Nanda Fogle (BA '19; MAT '20), Literature
I really loved the ability to build my own skills in my content area as well as gain skills in teaching that content. Learning and practicing backwards design really helped in planning curriculum. Student teaching gave me the opportunity I needed to apply various learning strategies to see what worked best for my teaching style.
Peta Henry '17, Literature
One thing I would like to share with prospective MAT students is that they should always, always be honest with their professors, make friends with at least 1-2 peers (moral support as you begin those practicum months!), and just believe that you truly WILL be a good teacher. Bard taught me that we don't just automatically become good teachers; rather, we must actively be aware that it is a journey that requires daily belief in ourselves. Bard is amazing, so truly just make the very best of it! You will come away with more than just a master's in teaching!
Gary Dale Burns '18, English/ Literature
I chose to attend the Bard MAT because of the combined focus on literature and education as well as the extended hours of in-class student teaching. One of the things I liked best about the program was the camaraderie that I developed with a number of peers in my cohort and the extended contact and connections after life in the MAT that continue to this day. The program centered my study to become a teacher as a lifelong learner within a community, and this is the mindset I continue to bring with me to my career as a teacher.
Lucinda Segar '17, English/ Literature
The Bard MAT program is an affirming and inspiring program for educators that highlights the most powerful parts of our calling as teachers; it celebrates our content areas, emphasizes seeing, treating and teaching each student as an individual, and addresses the systemic inequities of our public education systems and how we might help change them.
Meghan Jaeger '20, Biology
I adored the close-knit community of Bard's MAT Program. The class sizes were small and very comfortable. The staff and other MAT students became like one big family, and everyone was so encouraging and helpful. The Bard MAT staff went above and beyond to ensure the success of each individual MAT student. There was no question I ever asked that they didn't fully acknowledge and look into. They truly modeled what a great teacher should be.
Dante Cardenas '21, Mathematics
I loved the community of faculty and fellow alums that I worked with, especially my research advisor Dr. Mary Krembs who provided one-on-one instruction and support during my two-years in the program.
Emmett Koltun Dienstag (BA '18; MAT '19), Biology
The professors at the MAT program were remarkable. I felt that our conversations both in and out of class gave me new perspectives on education that I would not have received anywhere else. What I appreciated most about them is how much they made class material relevant to us in our student teaching and in our own experience as students. They had an uncanny ability to connect material to real life examples making it easy to understand, but also more impactful.
Evan Krasner '21, History/ Social Studies
I chose Bard's MAT Program due to its stellar reputation and robust academics. Bard's MAT program is unusual in that in prepares graduate students in both pedagogy and their academic discipline (history, literature, etc.). I also enjoyed having small class sizes in which I got to know the other graduate students and professors as well. Finally, I am a native of the Hudson Valley, I spent weekends growing up in nearby Columbia County, NY, so Bard felt close to home.
Allison Burns '19, History/ Social Studies
Bard looked at me as a whole student and not just demographics, income, or GPA. The family atmosphere that the MAT faculty creates allows all students from different backgrounds to be successful.
Joshua Hatala ’10, History/ Social Studies
Bard MAT Adjunct Professor
Bard’s emphasis on learning how to think and train others to think like scientists, mathematicians, historians, etc. was very appealing. Additionally, the high caliber faculty, the cohort model with its intimate classes, and the innovative educational initiatives Bard has created throughout the country.
Luke Johnson ’16, English/ Literature
The MAT Program has completely prepared me for success in my district and I owe a lot of this success to the conversations we had in our literature classes. Thank you immensely for creating an environment that fostered that kind of critical thinking. I've noticed that the more I'm able to emulate that rigor in my classroom, even at a ninth grade level, the more the students are stepping up to the challenge and meeting my raised expectations.
Alhassan Susso ’12, History / Social Studies
All they see all day long is obstacles, and my job is to insure and guide them and help them to understand your obstacle does not define your future.” Susso, who is visually impaired, immigrated to the United States from West Africa. The district he teaches in is said to be one of the poorest congressional districts in the country, but Susso says he works there because he wants to transform lives. Susso's colleagues say he stays late every day despite living over two hours away. Last year, every student who completed his course graduated high school and 97% are now enrolled in college.
Rachel Cholst ’12, History/ Social Studies
I have a number of friends who are in other short-term programs (like Teaching Fellows and Teach for America.) Unlike those other programs, Bard genuinely prepared us for the classroom through our courses and intensive student teaching placements. It's a hugely important part of my professional life and, even though I am no longer a classroom teacher, I am so grateful to have taken part in this program. The lessons—academic and otherwise—I learned in my year in the MAT continue to inform my daily practice.
Mia Reisweber ’10, Literature/ English
Since I graduated in 2010, I’ve thought about or used or referred to what I learned at Bard on a near-daily basis. My teaching philosophy is a direct result of Bard. The knowledge and the tools I learned at Bard are absolutely ingrained in my daily lessons, lectures, discussions, assignments and assessments.
Megan Lind Persinger ’09, Literature/ English
I loved the small class/cohort sizes. I really felt like my professors knew me very well and that I knew my cohort very well. It created a very supportive environment and helped me feel like I received plenty of attention and support. I also liked the quality of the professors and students at the school. They were all very intelligent, kind-hearted people who had a lasting impact on me.
Audrey Enriquez ’08, Literature/ English
Totally immerse yourself in the program. Because I was wholly present, I got to engage in more than just the academics of the MAT Program. I established a supportive network with the faculty, made close friends across the disciplines, and thoroughly enjoyed what not only Bard College had to offer but the entire lovely Hudson Valley as well.
Joy Decker Sebesta ’15, Mathematics
I loved the planning class and anything taught by the mathematics faculty. I also loved the course on Identity, Culture, and the Classroom. That course made me think about things in such a different way from what I was used to. It's the best program and the professors are fabulous.
Michael Braff ’11, History
Upon reflection, after many years in the classroom and in the DOE system, I am extremely impressed by and pleased with how the Bard MAT Program prepared me for the challenges of being responsible for the education of a room full of adolescents.
Jessie Lanoil ’10, History/ Social Studies
When I met with the professors from Bard MAT, I immediately had real and engaging conversations about education and learning. Their genuine curiosity and thoughtfulness stood out to me from all other programs.
Cara Hyson ’07, History
I liked the quality of the professors and the effectiveness and efficiency of the program overall. In only a year, I learned and experienced so much. I also liked the sense of camaraderie in my cohort.
Rachael Scorca ’08, Literature/ English
I am thankful every day that I attended Bard and I like to give back by hosting student teachers, attending whatever panels I can, and promoting the program. It was one of the best years of my life, even though it was challenging. I feel like I make a difference in the world, and this program helped me see that.
Jack Chen ’10, Mathematics
I was attracted to the Bard MAT’s small program size, its active collaboration with local schools, and because of its support of the revision of public school programs.
Jeffrey Swanson ’08, History
I found the program's approach to be unique and intriguing, and I liked the balance between education and history courses.