St. Catherine University Reenvisions Education Program Array

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St. Kate's Education Program

Programming will shift to help fill the teaching gap, hew to the institution’s mission and values

St. Catherine University announced today it is reenvisioning its Education program offerings to meet the needs of the time: offering programming that fills a need among teachers while also addressing policy and educational inequities. 

This decision builds on a legacy of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, who established the University to meet the needs of the time by providing a quality education to young women. With this radical shift in approach to Education program offerings, St. Catherine University reaffirms the Sisters’ commitment by empowering faculty to continuously learn new ways of teaching and design curriculum that launches students’ teaching careers in ways that meet and exceed the needs of the educational system.

The reenvisioning of offerings focuses on St. Kate’s legacy areas in education in which the University has been a leader and innovator, and furthers social justice by leveraging education to create equity and opportunities for all. In line with this, the University will maintain the Elementary Education (K-6) program and Preprimary Endorsement (3-K), Media Library Specialist licensure, graduate Montessori degrees and certificates, Early Childhood (Birth-3) education, and post-licensure programs for current licensed educators while exploring and developing new offerings. The University will sunset secondary licensure and middle school endorsement programs effective Fall 2020, which have seen a consistent decline in interest and enrollment nationally for the past decade.

“K-12 education is rapidly changing and evolving, and we have an incredible opportunity to be ahead of those changes and meet the current needs of teachers and administrators to strengthen education for all,” said Tarshia Stanley, PhD, dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences. “There are identified gaps of need for programs beyond teacher preparation where our faculty and leadership can support the future of education. We have deep knowledge and expertise that is perfectly suited for creating offerings that would address educational inequities. New, innovative programming like this is aligned with our mission and addresses important social justice issues.”

According to a study released late last year by the Center for American Progress, enrollment in teacher-preparation programs nationwide has dropped by a third from 2010 to 2018. The study also showed that the number of black and Hispanic teacher-candidates enrolled in teacher preparation dropped by a quarter over that same time period, creating disparities between students and educators.  

Yet there is a growing need for programs that support advancing the careers of teachers, such as education cultural studies, education leadership,organizational leadership, school/ educational psychology, and more. “By creating space in our Educational offerings to meet these needs, we are poised to grow our programming to quickly satisfy those learning gaps,” Stanley explained.

Interim program director named

St. Catherine University also announced that Lori Maxfield, PhD, will serve as interim Education program director while St. Kate’s searches for its next director. Maxfield brings over 35 years of professional experience (PK-12 and Higher Education) in classroom teaching, curriculum development, assessment, teacher professional development, educational psychology, gifted education, and STEM Education. Maxfield spent 15 years of her career at St. Catherine University (1998-2013), where she served in a variety of instructional and administrative roles in the education department.

“I am honored and delighted to be back at St. Kate’s and in this role,” said Maxfield. “St. Kate’s has a long history and commitment to offering Education programming and teaching the next generation of educators. It is also an institution that has always strived to continually grow and evolve to ensure its programs are relevant. This is a pivotal moment for St. Kate’s, and I am excited to be part of the next phase and reenvisioning the Education program.”