Bard News & Events

Press Release


Mark Primoff
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation has awarded Bard College a $1 million grant to support the College’s innovative Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program to develop partnerships with New York City schools and enact meaningful education reform in high-needs urban schools. Bard’s MAT Program, which enrolled its first class in June, was designed with the goals of changing the way teachers are trained and fostering lasting improvements in precollege teaching nationwide. Toward those ends, the Program will use the Petrie grant, which will be paid over three years, to establish extensive mentoring programs between New York City public high school teachers and MAT students, classroom training in the city’s public high schools for MAT students, and a fellowship program for MAT students who commit to teaching in public schools in New York City after they graduate. “We are extremely gratified that the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation has extended this generous grant to Bard’s MAT Program. It is both a validation of our unique mission, and a tool that will help us to make substantial long-term improvements in the New York City schools and provide a support system for new teachers in those schools,” said Ric Campbell, director of the MAT Program. Bard’s Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program, which takes a year for students to complete, was established in 2003 to address critical issues in the training of teachers for grades 7-12, such as subject-matter mastery for teachers, integrated clinical training, and the ability of new teachers to advance and implement innovative teaching methods in the classroom. Many secondary school teachers in the United States, for example, do not hold an undergraduate degree in the subject they teach, and rarely in the course of their training are prospective teachers asked to integrate subjectmatter and pedagogy courses in a clinically meaningful way, or to research and practice new approaches to teaching. The MAT Program builds on Bard’s long history of innovation education, from its Institute for Writing and Thinking teacher-training programs to the ground-breaking Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) in New York City. The grant from the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation will be used to identify and establish collaborative relationships between the MAT Program and schools in New York City, recruit and provide training and workshops for mentor teachers from those schools, and recruit MAT applicants who commit to teaching in New York City public high schools for five years. The Petrie Fellowhip Program will provide $25,000 scholarships for a total of 15 eligible students over the three-year grant period. Participating students would spend two days per week in New York City classrooms in the fall and then five days per week for 20 weeks in the spring. Furthermore, the Petrie grant will foster unique research partnerships between MAT faculty and students and New York City public high school teachers that will identify challenging issues and institute new approaches to address them. As the program evolves, MAT faculty will evaluate these collaborations and new educational practices to assess their impact on teacher retention and student achievement. The program will p document and publish the results of this research on a local and national level with the aim of becoming a national model for secondary school education and reform. The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation is a private, independent grantmaking foundation that began active operation in 2002. The Foundation's mission arises from the belief that education is the key to realizing an individual's potential and his or her ability to become an active, productive and engaged participant in a democratic society. Therefore, the Foundation's primary focus is on education. In order to carry out its mission, the goals of the Foundation are to assist disadvantaged students with moral and civic character, academic promise, financial needs and the determination to fulfill their potential; and to assist in the recruitment, training and retention of teachers, principals and administrators at every level of schooling, from kindergarten through professional school. Toward this end, the Foundation seeks out, initiates and supports educational programs that focus on recruitment, training, and retention of quality teachers, principals and administrators; after school programs; enrichment programs for disadvantaged youth; scholarship programs for students; and school improvement. As the Foundation's programs are carefully focused, most grants are awarded as part of programs initiated and founded by the Foundation. The Foundation usually solicits proposals from grantees which have been identified through a careful screening process. Accordingly, unsolicited proposals are rarely funded. The principal focus of grants is in New York City and surrounding areas. The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation is a wholly charitable trust created under the Will of Milton Petrie, and is classified as a private foundation under sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a) of the internal Revenue Code. Bard MAT Program The core of Bard’s yearlong MAT Program is an integrated curriculum leading to a master of arts degree and teaching certificate in adolescent education in one of four subject areas: English, mathematics, physics, or history. In future years the program will be expanded to include certification in other fields, including art, biology, chemistry, foreign languages, and music. Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree in liberal arts with a major in the elective discipline. Bard MAT students are required to complete at least six graduate level courses in their elective discipline, while taking education courses that challenge them to apply the results of research and pedagogical analysis to classroom teaching. In each phase of their MAT experience, students must pursue a research question that engages them in the kind of reflective practice that is essential to teaching effectively and growing professionally. Linked to advanced study in their field, the education curriculum helps MAT students to consider how they learn, and how alternative approaches to teaching and learning provide broader access to academic competence. Throughout the 12-month program, all courses are closely integrated with teaching experiences, beginning in the summer as tutors, followed by 140 hours of field experience in the fall and two 10-week sessions of student teaching in the winter and spring quarters. Bard has confirmed partnerships with several local public school districts, including urban districts in Poughkeepsie and Kingston. There are also student teaching assignments and mentoring opportunities at BHSEC. The course work and field work will be a part of the common curriculum, which is integrated with an active advisory program in which students in small groups are closely supported by a dedicated MAT faculty member through biweekly meetings (and more as necessary) throughout the year. Prospective applicants to Bard College’s new MAT Program should contact Ric Campbell at 845-758-7145 or for information and application materials. Visit the Bard College MAT Program website at # # # 10/13/04


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This event was last updated on 02-25-2005