Haley Wofford, a 2016 graduate of the College, has had her article entitled “Retention in Kindergarten: A Case Study of Teacher Perceptions and Practices” accepted by the Journal for Undergraduate Ethnography. This online international journal specializes in undergraduate research and, according to its website, aims to “bring readers insights into subcultures, rituals, and social institutions.”
For the article, Wofford studied the role retention plays in a kindergarten classroom. She began by surveying a kindergarten teacher, then took the responses and conducted an interview. Wofford then followed with classroom visits observing the teacher’s interactions with students identified by the teacher as being at risk for retention. She looked for interventions, positive comments, and other forms of individualized instructions.
“This research was important to me because I am very passionate about education,” said Wofford. “When I started this research, I had a lot of questions about the role that retention played in a kindergarten classroom, and I feel that I found the answers I was looking for.”
Wofford conducted the research as part of her education capstone class. Dr. Julia Wilkins, assistant professor of education, stated that Wofford’s research provides valuable information for educators. She added, “It is great that PC students recognize the importance of disseminating their research findings. When students know their research has importance beyond the college classroom, it makes their work much more meaningful.”
Since graduating from PC, Wofford has accepted a job as a kindergarten teacher at Foster Park Elementary in Union, S.C. “I always felt like I was doing something that was important and could change the outlook that people have on kindergarten retention. I am now positive that I can use the findings and knowledge that I gained from my research in my new career.”
While at PC, Wofford was a member of the Kappa Delta Pi international honor society for education students, a committee member for the first annual Charles Chadwell Special Education Conference, and worked at Thornwell as a Momentum Summer Program Instructor.
Presbyterian College is located on a striking 240-acre campus in Clinton, between Columbia and Greenville, S.C. Offering challenging academics and a culture of honor, ethics, and service that prepares students to be leaders in communities, PC offers its students the benefit of engaging with an exceptional faculty who take individual interest in their students’ well-being, both personally and in the classroom. The Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy opened in 2010, and is dedicated to the ideals of leadership, honor to the profession, and service to the community. For more information about Presbyterian College, visit www.presby.edu.