I was sent the following press release:
CAMDEN TEACHER DESIGNS ENGLISH REVIEW
FOR RETURNING VETERANS
An Adjunct Professor at Wesley College has designed a five-day English review for returning veterans, and he’s looking for volunteers to form a class next week in Dover.
Michael Rhea developed the program based on four years of teaching College Writing to airmen on Dover Air Force Base. “During those years, I taught high school graduates, some of whom were illiterate despite their diplomas. They responded well and left my class with the knowledge of how to write an essay,” he said.
“My program emphasizes writing. It embraces two iconic elements of American education,” Rhea said. The first is the one-room schoolhouse, in which students of varying abilities were tutored in the same room. The second is military basic training, in which a firm but fair authority figure creates rapport as he controls the class. I teach in a coat and tie to make that position clear. I don’t think teachers should dress like slobs.”
Before teaching College Writing, Rhea, 74, taught print and broadcast journalism at six colleges and universities, including the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, William Paterson University of New Jersey, American University in Washington and the University of Maryland in College Park. He moved to Wesley College in 2005 after his retirement from Reuters News Agency as an editor in Washington. He moved to Delaware to restore a historic home in Camden.
According to Rhea, the program is under consideration by the Department of Veterans Affairs. U.S. Sen. Tom Carper’s office has also taken an interest. Rhea, who holds a masters degree in Media Studies from New School University in New York and a masters in Education from Columbia, is seeking from 10 to 15 veterans for the class, which is free. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 9 -13 at the Delaware Veterans Commission off Walker Road.
“The goal is to send young men and women to college with some preparation.” Rhea said. “They will know what a syllabus or student-teacher contract is. They will understand that college is not high school and why. And they will have written an essay, starting with the parts of speech and going into sentence and paragraph development.”
Each student will be given a dictionary. There are no textbooks. The course is not graded. Rhea said it would not be difficult to convert it to a one-credit college course. The teacher will have a textbook to use as a source.
The curriculum was designed independently. There is no connection to Wesley College. The copyright for Professor Mike’s 5-Day English Review is pending.
Tony Davila, Executive Director, Delaware Department of State 302-739-2792
John Garcia, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs, 202-461-7400
Denise Westcott, Sen. Carper’s office, 302-856-7690
Mike Rhea, 302-387-1044.
Assignment Editors: Prof. Rhea is teaching on base Monday, July 2 at 5:15 p.m. for passes, contact Administrator Tracey Lundblad at 302-736-2372.