by Alana J. Mauger
From pre-k to high school, teachers play an integral role in shaping students’ lives. And for decades, Montgomery County Community College’s Education programs have helped prepare teachers for the task. That preparation starts with an innovative curriculum that keeps pace with industry trends and transfer standards.
The College completed a multi-phase redesign of its Education programs in September, when the College’s Board of Trustees approved changes to the Secondary Education Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree program. That program completes the College’s redesigned Education portfolio, which also includes Education in the Early Years: Birth Through Grade Four A.A. and Education in the Middle Years: Grades Four through Eight A.A., approved in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
The Secondary Education A.A. program prepares students for transfer and ultimately certification to teach grades seven through 12. The program is divided into three distinct areas: liberal arts courses, professional education courses, and specific subject matter courses.
The College’s Education in the Early Years A.A. program, accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, prepares graduates for professional opportunities as teachers in early childhood settings and/or enables them to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree and teach elementary school up to grade four. The curriculum aligns with the statewide requirements for Early Childhood programs that ensure transfer to any of the fourteen universities in the state system of higher education.
Students enrolled in Education in the Middle Years A.A. program are required to select two areas of concentration, such as science and math, reading/language arts and social studies, or a similar combination (depending on the transfer institution). Graduates are prepared to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree and receive a Middle Years certification.
All three programs align with the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) certification requirements, for which students must complete nine credits of special education courses and a three-credit course for teaching English language learners. Students must also take MCCC’s Introduction to Education course (EDU 100), which allows students to observe different classrooms at different grade levels and to learn about certification options and requirements, as well as Public Speaking (SPC 120) for Secondary and Teaching with Technology (EDU 120) for Middle Years and Secondary.
The Education program modifications also ensure that MCCC students can transfer seamlessly in to programs at four-year colleges and universities. In fact, the College worked closely with regional institutions to ensure that students will transfer as juniors, having already fulfilled the schools’ first and second year requirements as long as they earn passing scores on the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) exams.
Visit the College’s Education webpage online to learn more.