Bethel College and School City of Mishawaka Partner to Start Kindergarten Lab Classroom

Bethel College entrance photo

MISHAWAKA, IND., April 28, 2016 – The Bethel College Education Department and School City of Mishawaka are partnering to create a laboratory kindergarten classroom on Bethel’s campus. The project was approved at Tuesday’s school board meeting. Matt Wood, principal of Battell Elementary School, and Kristie Cerling, Ed.D., chair of Bethel’s Education Department, will provide mutual oversight of the lab.

 Students from Bethel’s elementary education and transition to teaching programs will work in the lab to complete field experience and earn class credit. Kindergarten students will benefit from the low student-to-adult ratio, which will allow for individualized guidance and special attention to the learning styles and needs of each student. 

 “We are excited to partner with School City of Mishawaka to create opportunities for local students and families that will also benefit our Teacher Candidates,” says Cerling. “The on-campus classroom experience that this will provide for our Teacher Candidates will help them develop essential skills that can’t be learned from just a textbook or lecture. They’ll be better prepared to hit the ground running when they graduate and step into their own classroom.”

 A Bethel classroom is being prepared to house the lab, and a new playground and fencing will be installed on campus this summer.

 “School City of Mishawaka is very excited to partner with Bethel College for this laboratory kindergarten class,” says Stahly. “It has advantages for both our students and teachers as well as Bethel students who are preparing to teach.” Stahly hopes to find other ways to partner with Bethel in the future. “There are many potential educational opportunities that would be mutually beneficial to Bethel, the school system and our entire Mishawaka community.”  

 Any child who will be in kindergarten this fall and is enrolled in School City of Mishawaka is eligible to request placement in the Bethel kindergarten lab. To communicate interest in reserving a place, contact the School City of Mishawaka Administration Office at 574.254.4500.




Bethel College, located in Mishawaka, Ind., is an accredited Christian college offering associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in more than 50 areas of study. The current enrollment of nearly 1,800 includes students from 34 states and Puerto Rico, 11 countries and 22 percent from culturally diverse backgrounds. Bethel has been named a top tier college by U.S. News since 2005. Bethel is also nationally recognized by Money Magazine as a best college for your money and by Christian Universities Online as one of the 50 Best Christian Colleges and as the 28th most affordable Christian college. Connect with Bethel online at, or via Facebook (, Twitter ( and YouTube (



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