December 02, 2011
El Camino Academy director visits Division of Education, Shares teaching opportunities in Colombia

Beth Afanador, Director of El Camino Academy in Bogota, Columbia met with the Division of Education at Lees-McRae College in early November to recruit graduates for employment and teacher candidates for internships (including summer session).

About 20 teacher education candidates attended the informative session.

The Division of Education at Lees-McRae has established an informal partnership with El Camino Academy, and will remain in contact in the future about possibilities for teacher candidates and graduates. This connection can provide opportunities for teacher candidates to complete summer internships at the school and/or opportunities for employment following graduation. The partnership will also enable El Camino Academy to provide their students with well-prepared teacher candidates for summer programs as well as full-licensed teachers for their classrooms.

El Camino Academy is a non-denominational Christian, US-based, English-speaking school in Bogota, Columbia. The current student body is 299 students, serving PK-12, with an average of 22 students per class. El Camino Academy serves families from 17 countries.

El Camino presently employs 48 teachers, including special teachers for art, music, physical education, and Spanish. Their library has over 20,000 volumes, with approximately 90% of the books being in English. The majority of the faculty is considered missionaries who have raised their own support. Primarily from the US and Canada, most teachers are certified and a number have many years of experience.

El Camino is accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International and is officially approved by the Columbian Ministry of Education, so students are able to receive diplomas from the USA and Columbia. Most graduates attend higher education in some form, most in the US.

This partnership is one which will provide teaching abroad opportunities for teacher candidates and graduates. This type of experience will prepare teacher candidates and graduates to teach in diverse learning environments, foster global citizenship, and provide opportunities to experience the culture of another country, while building a new network of friends from around the world.

Courtney Luckadoo, a junior Elementary Education major said, "Being a Spanish minor, I believe the El Camino Academy sounded like a great opportunity for students interested in teaching in a foreign country. It gives them an opportunity to experience a new culture and knowledge of students while increasing their own knowledge. Columbia is a country full of diversity in language, religion and society. If you are interested in broadening your knowledge of education beyond America, then this is an opportunity you should consider."

Ashley Mintz, a junior Elementary Education major said, "The El Camino Academy presentation opened my eyes as a teacher candidate. I really did not know of the opportunities for teaching overseas. The Academy would be a great opportunity to future educators on campus who are of Christian faith because the school is for the children of Colombia as well as the children of missionaries. I believe the El Camino Academy is a fabulous school because of its religious values and the cultural experience."

Anyone who would like further information concerning possible internships and/or employment is invited to visit the El Camino website: or come by the Division of Education and Teacher Education.

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