Friday, May 08, 2009
Husband and wife, Frank and Debbie Jordan will fulfill a lifelong dream on Friday, May 8, during SC State’s Spring Commencement Ceremony as they will receive their doctor of education degrees in Educational Leadership.
The Jordans, who reside in Rock Hill, S.C., learned about SC State’s doctoral program through their local school district office, which informed them that the program would soon become available in Rock Hill. They jumped at the opportunity.
“When we learned about the doctoral program, we had just completed our master degrees and were looking to go as far as we could,” said Frank.
High school sweethearts, the Jordans took their educational journey together, first attending the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, obtaining their bachelor’s degrees in Elementary Education. They went on to obtain their master’s degrees in Divergent Learning from Columbia College in Columbia S.C.
Although they were able to complete many of their doctorial courses in their hometown and online, the Jordans found themselves traveling to Orangeburg, S.C. during the summer to take weekend courses and to Greenville, S.C., one night during the week for two semesters. They completed the doctorial program in four years.
“The program was very intense and challenging at times. I do however appreciate the rigor of the courses as they have prepared us to help educate others,” said Debbie.
The Jordans are already applying what they’ve learned to their daily lives. Frank, who currently teaches remedial Reading courses at Saluda Trail Middle School in Rock Hill, is currently developing a new program that will help local elementary and middle school students make academic and social transitions to the next grade levels.
Through the program, students will be connected with a mentor that will provide one-on-one instruction and interaction during cultural and educational activities. The mentors will follow the students through middle and high school to provide long-term assistance.
“I’ve been working with students who have been struggling in remedial courses and see the challenges they have with making the transition from elementary to middle school,” said Frank. “I feel that if we can identify those differences early and provide support prior to and during their years in school, it will be very beneficial for them,” he continued.
Frank also serves as assistant pastor of New Life Assemblies of God in Tega Cay, S.C.
Debbie’s passion is exhibited in the classroom as she teaches third grade at Old Pointe Elementary School also in Rock Hill.
Currently, she trains Education majors at Winthrop University by offering lesson plan assistance and discussing behavioral aspects amongst young children.
Twice, Debbie has been named Teacher of the Year at Old Pointe Elementary School. Also, she has been nationally board certified in the area of Early Child Generalist, allowing her to teach the subject anywhere in the world.
At the age of 52, both Frank and Debbie, who is nine months older than her husband, are the oldest graduates in the doctoral program.
“We often seemed to take on the roles of mom and dad of our group. It was not uncommon for us to get phone calls at night to help others with assignments,” they both agreed.
While reflecting back, the Jordans agree that a lot of sacrifices were made during their journey.
“We missed many family functions because we were always involved with studying and writing papers, however it’s been a very rewarding experience,” said Debbie.
Frank concluded, “The grace of God is part of our success. We believed that he would see us through and he did.”