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Best Programs for Undergraduate Education Majors

redfeatherredfeather 73 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
Daughter is putting together her list of colleges to apply to this Fall. Stats: top 10%, 3.8 unweighted GPA, rigorous courseload, 1390 superscored SAT, EC's heavily focused on leadership and community service. Primary interest area is elementary education, but also interested in writing/journalism and possibly environmental studies. She's very interested in civic engagement, service learning courses, study abroad, and is really hoping for the traditional college experience: school spirit, hanging out on the quad... A good outing club would be a plus. Doesn't want to stray too far from home (NH). She loves everything about Boston College and would apply ED in a heartbeat if we didn't need to compare FA packages. She also really likes Connecticut College and is thinking Wheaton Mass and Allegheny as more realistic matches. Our in state flagship (University of NH) is her safety. She's taken Skidmore, Brandeis, Clark, Fairfield, and Boston University off her list - just didn't seem the right fit to her, which is a big factor in her search. Like's St. Mike's, but even with their top merit scholarship, the net price still comes in higher than we can afford. U Rochester came in too high as well. Others she's mulling over (but not super excited about) that would be a reach: Colgate, Colby and Bates. Any other suggestions? Thank you!
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Replies to: Best Programs for Undergraduate Education Majors

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78229 replies690 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    In what state or region does she want to become a teacher? Check the teacher preparation programs at the various colleges and how they match up to teacher credentialing requirements in that state or region.
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  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing 2152 replies101 threadsForum Champion Williams College Forum Champion
    edited September 14
    I am a New York State public school administrator (Long Island) who hires elementary school teachers.

    Your daughter need not major in education, just take the required courses to get her certification and go somewhere where she can fulfill her student teaching requirements as well. As ucbalumnus noted, she should figure out in which state(s) she wants to live and teach, and find out what it takes to be certified there.

    Usually, it is easiest to pursue a program in the same state in which you want to live, and to pick a program that is accredited as a program by the state— it’s less hassle to get certified. BUT, that is not necessary if she does her research and makes sure she adheres to requirements and deadlines. Also, it need not be as an undergraduate. If you can afford for her to go straight to grad school, she can go to college anywhere. Like many of the teachers I supervise, I majored in a liberal arts subject (English) in college, and did not take any education courses until grad school.

    Your daughter sounds like a very bright young woman, and it seems she is interested in some top colleges that specialize in liberal arts more than in preprofessional majors like education. I think that is a great thing. Our school district is always interested in candidates who show intellectual passion, and one indication of that may be a major (or second major) in a liberal arts subject, like the environmental studies or creative writing/English that interest your daughter.

    College can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend four years studying lots of interesting subjects just for learning’s sake. Whether she majors in education or something else, she should take advantage of the opportunity to study widely in various subjects of interest.

    (I have two teachers who went to Boston College as undergrads, by the way, and another who went to Holy Cross, which may have some similar appeal to your daughter. Great teachers, all of them.)

    Taking the need for an education major out of the mix, if she likes Connecticut College, Wheaton, and Allegheny, I am guessing she might also have some interest in Bard, Bennington, Muhlenberg, or St. Lawrence. (The first two of those are artsier, the second two are more mainstream.) Ithaca might be a good fit, with a strong journalism program too and a gorgeous surrounding area for hikes (but not a fit if she rejected Skidmore and Brandeis for their more modern architecture, which Ithaca also has); Ithaca would be a safe level for her. Maybe Franklin and Marshall or Lafayette or Hobart/William Smith or Bucknell or Union or Gettysburg, if not too much Greek life for her. Ursinus would be another on the level of Allegheny and Ithaca. Also, how about University of Vermont?

    (We always have lots of teacher candidates from both SUNY Geneseo and SUNY New Paltz, which have great hiking areas nearby, but perhaps she would not want a NYS college as an out of state student.)

    It always is exciting to hear of high achievers who plan to become teachers. Good luck to her!
    edited September 14
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  • AriBenSionAriBenSion 72 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    You should definitely visit Colgate.
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  • redfeatherredfeather 73 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thank you so much for the feedback and suggestions! Love the idea of my daughter spending the next 4 years exploring her passions and getting the most out of the college experience vs. focusing specifically on career goals - so your feedback really resonated.
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