Fairfield University announces innovative approach to teacher education through undergraduate minor and new five-year options


Campus

Fairfield University has announced an innovative new program that re-thinks teacher education for undergraduates and offers the advantage of acting early to make focused choices about teacher training. Individuals that are motivated to become educators or are interested in education-related fields may minor in educational studies and in addition, they will have a variety of new options leading to higher degrees and certification thus ensuring that they begin their credentialed teaching careers stronger and sooner than ever before.

The Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions in close collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences will now offer a five-year integrated bachelor of arts-master of arts degree teacher certification program. In announcing the new program, Director of undergraduate admissions Karen Pellegrino said, "We have always enrolled students with an interest in pursuing a career as a classroom teacher and our new five-year program will make Fairfield an even more attractive option for such students." In addition, undergraduate students will have an opportunity to complete a 15-credit minor in educational studies and, as another option, they may enroll in a four-year bachelor of arts degree teacher certification program in K-12 music education.

"The program we have developed at Fairfield is broad enough to address local, national and international educational issues and individual enough to engage each student as he or she develops a personal philosophy of education," said Patricia Calderwood, professor of curriculum and instruction and director of the new program. "There is no substitution for the experience a student gains by actually working in local schools and at various stages in the program, our students develop a first-hand understanding of students, their families and the communities in which they live," she continued. "Our faculty and local teachers mentor each student during an extensive and intensive sequence of field and student teaching experiences. We also provide service learning opportunities and internships that enrich the learning experience immeasurably."

The minor in educational studies is open to all interested Fairfield undergraduates. The five-year teacher education tracks in secondary (science, mathematics, English, social studies and world languages), elementary and TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) education are open to qualified candidates. The elementary and TESOL tracks are pending final state approval in early 2011. Admission to these education programs is made on a rolling basis and is offered each semester. Paid teaching internships are available during the graduate year.

For further information on Fairfield University's five-year teacher certification program and the minor in educational studies, visit the website at www.fairfield.edu/fiveyearteaching or contact Program Director Calderwood at pcalderwood@fairfield.edu.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on December 10, 2010

Vol. 43, No. 143