Tift College of Education Student Accepts Full-Time Teaching Position at China’s Ameri-Can International Academy


ATLANTA – Janet Valley, an undergraduate student in Mercer University's Tift College of Education, has accepted a full-time teaching position at Ameri-Can International Academy (AIA) in Weifang, China, the result of a newly formed partnership between the two institutions.

“I am so pleased that Janet will be able to use all that she has learned in the Tift College of Education in this international setting,” said Dr. Jim Barta, dean of the College. “How exciting that her first experience in her new teaching career will take place at the Ameri-Can Academy with our Chinese colleagues. I know she will positively impact the lives of those she teaches as she herself benefits from their interactions with her. I hope this is just the start of an expanding exchange where many other of our finest graduates move on to help educate the world.”

Tift College formed a partnership with AIA in December to provide global opportunities for faculty in teaching and research, for students in student teaching and internships, and for teachers in professional development.

“This is an amazing opportunity for an outstanding Tift student, like Janet, and is a direct result of our partnership with Ameri-Can International Academy,” said Dr. Jay Feng, professor of education and director of the College's Tift Global Initiative. “A major goal of Tift Global Initiative is to prepare transforming educators with a global perspective. We are working to expand international opportunities for more Tift students and faculty, as well.”

Upon her graduation in May, Valley, who is majoring in early childhood education/special education, will become the first Mercer-trained teacher to obtain full-time employment with the academy.

“I look forward to being an ambassador for Mercer University, and I welcome this exciting opportunity to teach abroad,” said Valley, who is completing her student teaching this semester at Factory Shoals Elementary School in Lithia Springs.

AIA is an international school managed by both American and Chinese principals. The Academy offers recent college graduates a generous salary and benefits package to work as K-9, art or music teachers. This opportunity allows the newly minted teachers to become educational ambassadors, launch global careers, learn how to use the latest in classroom technology and strengthen prospects for graduate school and future employment.

“On behalf of the board, we want to express our warmest welcome to Ms. Valley,” said David An, executive director of AIA. “As the first Mercer graduate we've hired, we believe she will bring great values to our school. We hope she will enjoy her time in China and welcome more Mercer graduates to join us.”

Mercer faculty, staff or alumni interested in learning more about Tift College's partnership with AIA may contact Dr. Feng at (678) 547-6481 or feng_j@mercer.edu.

About the Tift College of Education

Mercer University's Tift College of Education – with campuses in Macon, Atlanta and the University's three Regional Academic Centers – prepares more professional educators than any other private institution in Georgia. The College offers baccalaureate and graduate degrees, and is guided by the conceptual framework of the “Transforming Practitioner,” which supports those who aspire to grow professionally throughout their careers, while also seeking to transform the lives of students. education.mercer.edu