UNCW’s Betty Holden Stike Education Laboratory in the Watson College of Education Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Since its opening 30 years ago, the Betty Holden Stike Education Laboratory in UNCW’s Watson College of Education has helped more than 7,500 future teachers serve over 6,000 local grade school students. Through the lab’s innovative and collaborative program, children in elementary and middle grades receive one-on-one tutoring from Watson College students who are applying the strategies they are learning in their college courses.

The lab is named in honor of the late Betty Holden Stike, a dedicated teacher and UNCW faculty member who taught at Watson for over 20 years and played an important role in the local educational community. The “Ed Lab,” as the program is known on campus, offers a full range of resources to help future teachers prepare for their teaching careers while offering local school children opportunities for personalized learning in an enriched environment. The lab, located in the Education Building, holds more than 13,800 books and other teaching materials.

“The Education Lab is an integral part of Watson College’s teacher preparation programs. It’s where educational theories become real practice with children. The Ed Lab experience benefits our future teachers and the children who receive the one-on-one instruction,” said Brian Brinkley, Director of the Ed Lab.

Over the years, the lab’s tutors have provided 150,000 hours of individualized instruction to grade-school students. About 25 percent of those mentored through the program receive full or partial scholarships. Brinkley, who estimates the value of those scholarships at $300,000, appreciates the support the lab has received over the years from many donors, including the Stike family; Carol Chase-Thomas, professor emerita of education; and Coastal Carolina Bank. In 2010, the lab expanded its program to the university’s extension site in Onslow County.

“The work of the Watson College is enriched by the presence of the Ed Lab as a distinguishing feature of the Teacher Education program," said Van O. Dempsey, Dean of the Watson College of Education. "Because of the shared vision and continued commitment of the staff, faculty, the community and donors, our students are prepared to be excellent classroom teachers."

-- Jeremy Sweeney and Andrea Monroe Weaver