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Passionate about education? You’re invited to Ed Pros

Dan Covino, the new director of the Education Professions Career Community, talks with students interested in pursuing a career in education, including and extending beyond teaching.

Students with an interest in education careers attended the first of many meetings of the Education Professions Career Community, commonly known as Ed Pros, this Monday.

Those in attendance heard from Dan Covino, the new director of Ed Pros, on the general program for the year and upcoming events, and Covino heard from those attending on what they hoped to gain from Ed Pros this year.

Ed Pros is a Career Community that predates the recently established ones by the Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS) this year. The six other communities are part of a new initiative by the CLS to provide students hoping to pursue a career with the necessary resources to explore and eventually become successful in that field. However, Ed Pros isn’t just a resource for students taking an education class. Grinnellians with an interest in teaching in the U.S. or abroad, for a few years or for their whole lives, can take advantage of the opportunities and advice Ed Pros can provide.

Covino graduated from Grinnell in 2010, teaching in the Grinnell-Newburg school district and in Boston before eventually returning to the college this school year. “In some ways I feel like I never left,” Covino said. Covino’s responsibilities are wideranging, from assisting students participating in the teaching licensure program, to organizing speaking events and symposia, to helping students learn what they can do with their skill set.

“Education is a difficult one to pin down because so many positions can relate back to education,” Covino said, including librarians and museum curators as non-traditional educational careers. “It’s amazing how many of our grads are in educational positions.”

Covino also works closely with the education department and the teaching licensure program to organize events throughout the year.

“Ed Pros is the CLS branch, or the career oriented branch, of the three,” Covino said.

Ed Pros will be helping to bring in speakers on education for the student body, including Mary Beth Tinker, of the court case Tinker vs. Des Moines, which defined the constitutional rights of public school students, and hosting a symposium on the future of urban education in the spring, as well as holding more individualized events for the members of Ed Pros.

“I’m excited about a lot of things,” Covino laughed. “[But] the thing that excites me the most … is working with students.”

In addition to all the work Ed Pros does in the Grinnell College community, Covino hopes to collaborate with the local school districts, sharing the resources the College can provide.

“I’m excited to try and think of new ways to forge collaborative bonds between the two institutions — the school district and the College — through education,” Covino said.

Covino lauded the CLS’ work and the benefit of dedicated career advisers.

“I really want students to take advantage of [the work the CLS is doing]” Covino said. “At most institutions the size of Grinnell … students wouldn’t have access to career community directors or exploratory advisers … We have expert knowledge in STEM. We have expert knowledge in our pre-law community. We have expert knowledge in finance.”

Really, Covino pointed out, Grinnell’s campus is a wealth of expert knowledge, and he encouraged students to use their resources as much as possible.

“Meet with and form relationships with your professors. … I have been incredibly well served by relationships I formed as a student,” he said. “My hope for all Grinnell students is that they feel prepared to enter the workforce, that they have a skill set that serves them well, and that they are willing to take on challenges that positively affect people.”

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