Oct. 19, 2012

CALS will continue to evolve its education program

Through collaborative discussions between the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' (CALS) leadership and faculty within the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)/education minor programs, reaccreditation for the master's program will not be pursued when the current accreditation expires Dec. 31, 2013.

"We are committed to ensuring that our current students have every opportunity to certify as teachers," said Travis Park, director of the Cornell Teacher Education Program (CTE).

Students currently enrolled or soon to apply to the MAT program have the opportunity to certify as teachers if they graduate by December 2013. CALS has requested an extension of the current accreditation to July 31, 2014; if granted, students will be able to get certified if they complete the program by that date.

The college has reached an articulation agreement with Ithaca College for the MAT program. The popular education minor will remain and continue to be developed, as will a majority of the courses in the minor. Thus, students interested in educational studies at Cornell will be able to complete the minor with relevant courses.

Further, completing the education minor will prepare students to complete teacher certification through the Ithaca College MAT.

"We are proud of [the education minor's] recent growth and will continue to support students and maintain our nearly 100 percent placement of graduates," Park said. "We recognize that our faculty has a strong commitment to consistently and successfully serving our students."

This summer, CTE was awarded a National Science Foundation Robert F. Noyce Capacity Building grant to recruit science teachers and build capacity within the program. Associated faculty will be modifying the activities associated with the grant to focus on further developing the education minor, recruiting science teachers and building strategic alliances with other teacher preparation programs.

"We will continue to work to provide excellent learning and encouragement for Cornell students who wish to find challenging and rewarding careers in all fields of education," said Kathryn J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of CALS.

The decision to not seek reaccreditation follows the 2012 CALS announcement to close the Department of Education. This decision was made as part of the universitywide strategic effort, Reimagining Cornell. With the closing of the department, most of the professors from the department have either relocated to other academic departments or left Cornell.