MA Department of Education Commends PMC's Teacher Training Program

The Pine Manor Teacher Licensure Program recently received an enthusiastic and positive review from the Massachusetts Department of Education following a campus visit by a DOE team in July. The program not only met the requirements legislated by the Commonwealth for all higher education teacher training programs, but also was singled out for praise in several key areas.

The commendations from DOE signaled the end of two years of transitional activities in the Education Program: courses were added, requirements were strengthened, a new major was introduced, and two new Licensure areas were developed. These changes have generated renewed interest among students, resulting in higher enrollments and student enthusiasm that has led to the creation of an Education Club, as well as student success in passing the Massachusetts Teacher Licensure Exam.

The visiting team found the “diversity of the student body truly commendable,” noting that "since the teaching force (in our nation’s schools) is predominately white while students attending public schools are diverse in language, race, and culture, Pine Manor’s education programs are well positioned to address this racial disparity….” Although the Pine Manor Teacher Licensure Program is representative of the diversity found elsewhere on campus, it is particularly noteworthy in a teacher training program. Attracting diverse teacher candidates into higher education teacher training programs is a goal of higher education programs across the country. The Pine Manor Teacher Licensure Program far exceeds other colleges in this respect, representing an extraordinary feature of PMC’s teacher training that is valuable to both the teacher candidates and the classrooms that will be served by the graduating students.

The visiting team also commended:

  • the new Liberal Studies major, which was designed to meet the mandate of the Department of Education for a broad-based major for students seeking Elementary Education Licensure. This major is required for all Elementary Education Licensure candidates at PMC. Although the major was originally created to support Education students, it also contains a Global Studies concentration for other students who wish to focus on understanding world events and cultures, as well as a concentration in The School Age Child, which prepares non-Licensure Education students to work with children in after-school and recreational programs.
  • the new Licensure areas of Visual Arts, which prepares teacher candidates for teaching Visual Arts to students in grades 5–12, and Biology, which prepares candidates to teach Secondary Education students in the science classroom.

Further goals of the program include: continuing to attract strong teacher candidates into all Licensure areas (Early Childhood, Elementary , English, Biology, and Visual Arts); making licensing more financially accessible for students; and creating a partnership with an urban school in which students can complete practicum requirements while providing the partner school with well- qualified prospective teachers.

The Department of Education Program Approval Report best illustrated the PMC Teacher Education Program in stating,” The college mission is well articulated and evidenced throughout the college curriculum and instructional programs, the heart of which is reflected in the teacher licensure programs.”

Professor Mary Connor, Director of the Teacher Licensure Program since 2001,"has done an extraordinary job of rebuilding the Program in just a few years," stated Dean of the College Nia Lane Chester. Her performance was specfically commended by the Department of Education, which has subsequently askedProfessor Connor to serve on evaluation teams assessing education programs at other institutions.