On January 10th Lincoln Elementary welcomed a group of doctoral candidates from the University of Arizona at their school. The group consisted of twelve doctoral candidates and three professors that were greeted at the school entrance by the school STUCO Officers, along with their guides (Ms. Mayra Garcia and Mr. Carlson). Mr. Velásquez, School Superintendent, Mr. Young, Chief Deputy, and Dr. Lucina Romero were also there to greet them.According to the UA program coordinator, Ms. Vicky Mullins, the “UA has partnered with University of Arizona South (UAS), which is a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) and an upper-division branch campus, to create pathways to doctoral studies. The two campuses have formed a collaboration to increase numbers of underrepresented students who apply for and enroll in doctoral programs in education-related fields.” The visitors were escorted to the library for refreshments and fresh fruit. The group received a tour of the school, along with history and demographic information about Lincoln Elementary. The visitors had an opportunity to visit one classroom per grade level, along with the Early Learning Center Self Contained classrooms.
Afterward, the visitors were escorted to the cafeteria for lunch. Visitors had the option to select from a menu of-Chicken Alfredo, Mole (nut free), or Chef Salad! The group sat at a special table near the students. The school Grade Level Chairs, specials teachers, and their special education teachers ate with the candidates and their professors. After lunch, the doctoral candidates and their professors went back to the library for a QA session with the elementary teachers. It was an extremely engaging session where great questions arose from both groups with lots of positive interactions. The QA session had questions in regards some of the challenges the school faces, the population they serve, testing, most current pressing issues the school faces, and how the school is able to establish such a warm, family feeling environment for their students. The doctoral students had positive comments about Lincoln students and their staff, as well as how beautiful and clean their school has been maintained for being a 95 old building.