Contact: Steve Borzoni
NEW YORK-Pace University School of Education is providing an entry point into the teaching profession for career changers and college graduates who have had no previous formal study in the field of education. Since 1986, the Career Change Master of Science for Teachers (M.S.T.) degree program has enabled approximately 500 people to enter a new, more fulfilling second career.
One of those people is Sam Friedman of Yonkers, N.Y., who began attending classes at Pace after retiring as a satellite communications engineer at RCA. After completing the M.S.T. program, he was offered a position at the Graphic Communications Arts High School in New York City where he teaches mathematics. “My relationship with these students has been very gratifying,” says Friedman. “Working to help these kids become better students brings me a much deeper sense of satisfaction than building better satellites.”
With the M.S.T. degree and satisfactory scores on the New York State Teacher Certification Examination, students with baccalaureate degrees in fields other than education become provisionally certified to teach. They become eligible for permanent certification after two years of full-time teaching. The 36-credit program provides both theoretical frameworks and opportunities for their practical application. Students explore the different ways individuals learn, and develop their unique teaching style to meet the needs of individual students.
The average age of an M.S.T. student is about 30, although students have ranged in age from 22 to 62. Many students come to the program with experience in business and finance, science, technology, arts and communications, as well as government, military and medical backgrounds. Most are offered public school positions teaching at the elementary level.
Dr. Carol Keyes, chair of the Teacher Education department, recognizes that “the program is attracting mature professionals, who have had successful careers but now want to teach.”
“Many students find the communications, writing, managerial and organizational skills learned in their previous careers most useful when they are teaching in the classroom,” says Dr. Sandra Flank, professor of education.
Pace is a comprehensive, independent university with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. Nearly 14,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lubin School of Business, School of Computer Science and Information Systems, School of Education, School of Law and Lienhard School of Nursing.