Just ask Arnold Thomas Bigger about being prepared for his career in education and he is quick to credit the University of the District of Columbia for a solid program, support system and most importantly, the financial assistance that made it all possible.
Bigger is a 2012 alumnus, who received the Paul Phillips Cooke Scholarship for the 2010-2011 academic year. He graduated from UDC with a Bachelor of Arts in English, certification in teaching English in secondary schools, and national recognition as a Certified Nonprofit Professional from the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.
“I give back to the Paul Phillips Cooke Scholarship because I am a result of the foundation that I received from UDC,” Bigger said. “I will continue to support the scholarship because it continues to support me.”
Today, he is a licensed English and art teacher, and a CNP working as a secondary teacher for the Emerson Preparatory School in Washington, DC. He is continuing his graduate studies working toward his Doctor of Education.
After UDC, he began graduate studies at the George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development and Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. He graduated with a Master of Arts in Teaching for Art Education in 2015. Bigger has served as a Curriculum Development intern for the DC office of One Economy Corporation, Secondary English Student Teaching intern for District of Columbia Public Schools, and as an Intermediate Art Student Teaching intern for the LAB School in Washington.
Bigger is a member of numerous organizations including the National Education Association, the National Art Education Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, the Assembly for the Teaching of English Grammar, the Alpha Epsilon Rho Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor in Education; and the Association of Certified Nonprofit Professionals.
The Paul Phillips Cooke Scholarship was established in 1983 and is awarded annually to at least two students who are admitted into a teacher education program at UDC. The scholarship is named in recognition of the many accomplishments of the late Dr. Paul Phillips Cooke, a former president of the District of Columbia Teachers College.
The scholarship is open to Teacher Education majors with a 2.8 (undergraduate level) and 3.3 (graduate level) cumulative GPA or higher. Applicants must be District of Columbia residents and admitted to the Teacher Education Program.