Mount Approved For New Degree Programs

Mount Saint Mary College teacher candidate Carla Maier works with a fourth-grade student using the Picturing Writing technique.  (Photo by Lee Ferris)
Mount Saint Mary College teacher candidate Carla Maier works with a fourth-grade student using the Picturing Writing technique. (Photo by Lee Ferris)

The New York State Education Department recently gave approval of its five-year BA/MS Ed degrees in history and math to Mount Saint Mary College.

The bachelor’s in mathematics/master’s in adolescence education and bachelor’s in history/master’s in adolescence education programs are available either with or without dual certification in special education.

The programs were developed by the Mount’s division of mathematics and information technology and the division of education, and the division of social sciences and division of education respectively.

Teachers in New York are required to earn a master’s degree within five years of their initial certification, so the programs will help students complete their training in a shorter period of time, noted Monica Merritt, associate professor of education at the Mount.

“Another benefit of having a 5-year option for each adolescence education concentration is that teacher candidates will be able to go through the education portion of the program as a cohort [group],” she added, allowing students the opportunity to forge lasting academic bonds with their classmates.

With the approval of the mathematics and history programs, every discipline in the Mount’s adolescence education program now has a five-year option. Other five-year BA/MS Ed options include English, biology and chemistry.

Mount Saint Mary College’s rigorous education program has produced two New York State Teachers of the Year in the last decade: Debra Calvino ‘81 (2010) and Dana McDonough ‘91, MS Ed ’00 (2016).

But Mount education students begin making a difference long before earning their diplomas. They enjoy many real-world, experiential learning opportunities during their Mount training.

The college’s Collaborative for Equity in Literacy Learning (CELL), established in 2012, provides tutoring and out-of-school literacy activities for children preschool to grade 12 with a focus on reading, conversation, and activities. CELL explores multicultural books, offers family literacy courses, and more. Each semester about 60 Mount teacher candidates, graduate and undergraduate, help instill a love of reading in local youth through CELL as part of their community fieldwork requirement.

Weekly literacy programs, staffed by Mount faculty and students, have long been a staple at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center. One such program gives local children a chance to spend the summer writing and illustrating their own books before formally presenting excerpts to their friends and families.

Other programs include English as a second language, the multidisciplinary Family Literacy Night, computer coding and iPad classes for pre-kindergarten through sixth-grade students, and more. They are held in the Armory on Saturday mornings, weekday mornings in the summertime, and weekday afternoons during the fall and spring semesters.

The Mount’s nationally accredited education program embeds fieldwork in coursework beginning in sophomore year, and earns high marks in preparing students for New York State licensure.

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