STAC to offer new master’s in teaching options

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St. Thomas Aquinas College’s School of Education is delighted to announce that it has expanded its graduate degree options to include a Master of Science in Teaching (MST) in Art Education (K-12) and Students with Disabilities (1-6) and a Master of Science in Teaching (MST) in Art Education (K-12) and Students with Disabilities (7-12).

These graduate programs will prepare candidates with a Bachelor’s degree in visual arts to teach visual arts to all school-aged students in all grade levels and specialize in meeting the needs of students with disabilities in the grade levels selected.  The program will provide candidates with foundational knowledge in teaching methods for their subject area, as well as foundations in special education. The program at St. Thomas Aquinas College stresses the importance of high quality instruction in art that can be used to complement learning in other curriculum areas and prepares school-aged children to use their talents in the workplace.  The programs are a total of 39-42 credits, including a semester of student teaching, and can be completed in 18 months. Candidates can take longer if they wish to do so.

These dual certification programs are the only ones of their kind in New York State. The arts, including visual arts, have long been used to foster participation of student with disabilities in activities with their nondisabled peers. Students are able to contribute to art projects in different ways at their own skill level. It is vital that teachers of the visual arts are able to meet the differing learning needs of all their students, including students with disabilities.

The program includes Art Methods classes at both the Elementary and Secondary levels so that candidates are fully prepared to teach school-aged children in all grade levels as well as classes in special education. Upon completion of the program, candidates will be able to apply for teaching certification in Art Education (K-12) and Students with Disabilities at their chosen grade level.  Candidates will be able to teach in both public and private schools with students of all ages. During the program, candidates in the program have access to the studio and will be invited to submit their own work to student exhibits at the Azarian McCullough Art Gallery.

Ashley Lewis (Nyack, NY), a candidate in the College’s MST in Art Education program, says she heard about St. Thomas Aquinas College’s excellent reputation in teacher education through her academic adviser at her undergraduate institution. She enjoys her classes with Dr. Regine Rossi, Assistant Professor of Education, because “you learn about different types of lesson plans and can chose one that fits your discipline.” She finds her Art Methods class “a lot of fun, and feels prepared to meets students’ needs when I start teaching,” and appreciates her professors who “challenge her thoughts and encourage her to consider more than one perspective.”

The School of Education also offers undergraduate programs in childhood, special, adolescence, and art education, and educational studies, as well as graduate and certificate programs in educational leadership, special education, special education with autism, literacy, and additional programs for career changers.  For more information, contact the School of Education at 845-398-4158 or schoolofeducation@stac.edu.

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