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CNR to Offer the Only New York Metro Area's Early-Childhood Education Master Degree Program with Montessori Concentration

May 27, 2015
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A Montessori certified teacher working with a student at the Montessori Children's Center in White Plains, NY.

NEW ROCHELLE, NY, May 27, 2015- Beginning this summer, The College of New Rochelle (CNR) will offer a Master's Degree Program in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Montessori Education. Offered in collaboration with the Center for Montessori Education|NY (CME|NY), this is the only dual program of its kind in the New York Metro Area, and one of a few in the country that offers a combined Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education with an American Montessori Society (AMS) Credential and New York State Certification.

Montessori education is unique because it uses personalized learning programs focused on a child's development. Children choose their work from a carefully prepared classroom environment that challenges them to explore, identify and solve problems, and develop trust in their own abilities. The Montessori approach encourages students to engage in learning through the use of self-correcting materials rather than direct instruction, and through the development of a strong community of learners and teachers who support and celebrate differences. Developed by Italian physician and educator Dr. Maria Montessori, it emphasizes independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child's natural psychological, physical, and social development.

"This dual program will be a resource for developing teachers to fill an upcoming shortage of certified early childhood teachers in light of the mandate for universal Pre-K in New York City. The combined training makes teachers more effective in both Montessori and traditional settings, even if they are not using Montessori learning materials," commented Dr. Kristin Berman, Associate Professor of Education at The College of New Rochelle, who helped develop the program.

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Small cohorts nurture and engage future Montessori teachers in a joyful process of learning.

The College's Master of Science in Early Childhood Education (birth-grade 2)  leading to New York State Certification and American Montessori Society Credential in Early Childhood Montessori Education, requires 30 credits of coursework. In accordance with the New York Teacher Education Standards, the program provides substantive coursework, supervised field experiences, and in-depth reflective seminars. Designed to be completed in one calendar year, it will consist of a cohort of adult students working as a group throughout the coursework. Upon completion and certification, candidates will be qualified to work in independent or public Montessori schools or other early childhood settings.

"We are excited to collaborate with The College of New Rochelle to offer the only dual program in the area that will enable us to train more certified teachers who can bring this effective methodology into both independent and public schools. As of now, a Montessori education is primarily available through independent schools and preschools. This dual certification will enable more public schools to incorporate Montessori for early childhood," said KT Korngold, CEO of CME|NY, the Center for Montessori Education|NY, White Plains, NY.

An increased demand for early childhood teachers, due to the new universal Pre-K mandate in New York City, is only one factor that makes this dual Montessori Early Childhood Master's Degree Program even more relevant.  Berman elaborated, "In the current educational climate of rote skills and high stakes testing, the Montessori method has attracted renewed interest because of its emphasis on conceptual learning, self regulation, and executive functioning, which also align with key components of the Common Core Standards."

Founded in 1969, The College of New Rochelle Graduate School has helped over 10,000 men and women improve their professional skills, make career changes, and re-enter the work force. Master's degrees are available in more than 25 areas including: Art Therapy/Counseling, Career Development, Communications, Educational Leadership, Gerontology, Mental Health Counseling, and School Psychology. The Graduate School offers courses during the evenings and weekends which give students the option of part- or full-time study. The school's professors are known for working one-on-one with students to ensure they get the help they need to succeed after they graduate.

The Center for Montessori Education|NY has been holding classes for Montessori teacher education on The College of New Rochelle campus for over 20 years. "We share with CNR a commitment and dedication to our adult learners as individuals," adds K.T. Korngold, "We are thrilled to have been approved by New York State for this new partnership, to help further our cohorts professionally, and to work together to support our adult learners as they achieve a high level of academic advancement and excellence in their Montessori and academic training."

For further information, please contact Michael Petri in Admissions at mpetri@cnr.edu or (914) 654-5256.