CMLA extends support to education students

CMLA extends support to education students

Graphic by Lee University CMLA

At one time, every college student has likely questioned whether or not they are prepared for life after graduation.

Lee’s education students have a unique opportunity to connect with the Collegiate Middle Level Association, a nationally recognized, professional organization that helps prepare students for entering their future classrooms, according to

Lee’s chapter of CMLA hopes to extend their reach to all education majors by offering relevant topics and discussions on campus. Chapter President Stephanie Edwards said it is her goal to reach out and make CMLA applicable to every education student.

“My goal is to make the club relevant for all education majors regardless of specialty or year,” Edwards said. “We want our meetings to be as relevant for a first semester freshman in ‘Intro to Teaching’ as it is for a senior who is preparing to student teach.”

As a member of CMLA, students can benefit from discussions about preparing for praxis exams or procedures for the first day of teaching. Students will also have a chance to work on resume building and participate in mock interviews with school principles.

While Edwards emphasized the importance of student involvement during college, she also advocates the benefits of CMLA even after graduation.

“It looks wonderful on a resume,” Edwards said. “Being a member of CMLA also gives you membership to the Association for Middle Level Educators, which is for current middle level administrators and educators.”

CMLA also gives students the opportunity to attend education conferences in the surrounding area. Public Relations Officer Rachel Oliver said her favorite experience as a member of CMLA was attending a conference last year with her fellow officers.

“Getting to go to that conference was just the most incredible experience,” Oliver said. “I’m learning so much [by] hearing from other teacher’s experiences and suggestions.”

Students in CMLA can benefit from teachers at conferences and panels, as well as gain support from CMLA’s faculty advisors at Lee. Professor of Education and CMLA advisor Dr. Ashely Smith Jr. is one CMLA advisor hopes to eventually host a CMLA conference at Lee.

“My vision for the chapter is to become a service leader to the local educational community,” Smith said, “Eventually, I would like our chapter to host preservice middle level teacher candidates from across Tennessee in a CMLA conference.”

With dedication to service and growth, Smith also hopes students can gain a broader perspective of the education field.

“The professional development provided by CMLA helps members to view their profession in a larger context,” Smith said.

Lee’s chapter of CMLA meets monthly, and education students can become a member by submitting an application along with a $10 membership fee. For more information, contact CMLA Secretary Anna Collins at

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