The Division of Education Emerges from School of Health Professions

By Angelina Persaud, News Editor

The Division of Education will now be the formal school for education majors following the name change of the School of Education and Health to the School of Health Professions (SoHP). 

The name change was announced as part of Manhattan College’s plan to expand its majors to include more options in the healthcare field. As a result, majors that are focused specifically in healthcare will be gathered under SoHP, whereas the education sector has now become, “the semi-autonomous Division of Education within the School of Liberal Arts.” 

According to an email released by President Br. Daniel Gardner, FSC, education majors will be enrolled in the School of Liberal Arts (SoLA) since the majority of education concentrations fall under a liberal arts category. However, students with a math or science concentration will still be able to take classes for their major associated with the Kakos School of Science. 

“This move affirms our century-long commitment to providing a quality education for educators,” Gardner wrote in the email. “Education, of course, is at the core of the Lasallian mission, and this move will strengthen the resources of our highly regarded and accredited Department of Education.” 

Additionally, the overall curriculum for education majors will remain the same regardless if students are pursuing a math, science or liberal arts-related concentration. 

“The Division will also continue to have responsibility for managing clinical placements and student teaching, grant awards for its students, and maintaining licensures and special accreditations for its programs,” Gardner wrote. 

Karen Nicholson, Ph.D., dean of the current School of Education and Health, spoke about the steps students can take now to ensure they are making the most of the opportunities presented by the college. She particularly recommends that students lean on their academic advisors and Career Center resources to ensure they are meeting all requirements of their major. 

“If they’re not quite sure what they want to do but they know they want to be in the healthcare field, I would go and talk it over with their advisor,” Nicholson said. “They can kind of do a self analysis on what you want and figure it out from there.” 

Nicholson also spoke about the impact the name change will have on the community and the reputation of MC as an institution.

“I think in education, our reputation is very strong. We’re not impacting the curriculum, and we’re still going to be turning out good teachers as graduates,” Nicholson said. “As long as we are thoughtful about doing a good job of developing new curriculums for the health professions, we’ll be providing the same quality education for the students in the new programs that we’re providing in existing programs.” 

Tracy Lahey, Ph.D., chairperson of the education department, is confident that the education graduates of MC will continue to flourish regardless of the merging into SoLA.

“We feel sure that all of our students in Education will continue to be nurtured

and encouraged because as with nursing, there is and will continue to be a teacher shortage in our

area (and nation-wide),” Lahey wrote in an email to The Quadrangle. “Teaching is a most rewarding profession, and we want to support even more candidates to enter this vocation.”

She also noted an upcoming opportunity for prospective education majors who are interested in a K-12 certification for special education to help students with disabilities. 

“A Lot of students don’t realize that in addition to having a positive influence on the lives of K-12 students and directly impacting many other professions,” Lahey wrote. “They can make a good living as an educator working in New York State, and there are several avenues they can pursue if they want to move beyond teaching.” 

Lahey also spoke about the success of education graduates and the hope she has that they will continue to be recruited in the education sector in the coming years.

“We have an outstanding reputation for graduating highly effective teachers and administrators, particularly with the District 10 schools,” Lahey wrote. “We have a strong network of alumni serving as school administrators and teachers. When school administrators are looking to hire teachers, they seek us out, because they know that our graduates are well-prepared.”

Katie Rachman, a junior childhood education major with a concentration in social studies, found her passion to become an education major through her experience as a dance teacher assistant for several years. She spoke about how the supportive environment of the education department has made her less nervous about the upcoming divisional change. 

“I think the education program, at least childhood ed, is really such a supportive and inviting environment,” Rachman said.

She also emphasized the loyalty of the professors to the students and the community built in the department.

“If you ever have a chance to take an education class, take it, those professors are the best,” Rachman said. “They really know how to teach. It’s really just the best experience and I’m so happy I decided to be an education major, especially at Manhattan College.” 

Alicia Bartolotta, a sophomore childhood special education major with a concentration in English, expressed some concerns over how certain classes offered to education majors would transfer over into SoLA.

“I’ve taken classes here like my kinesiology class, that I think are really going to help my career going forward,” Bartolotta said. “So [the program] being taken out of the School of Education and Health, I don’t know if liberal arts does a Kinesiology class, or stuff like that, that wouldn’t be that beneficial to me.” 

However, she also shared her hopes that MC will continue to enhance the education program and provide quality education for its students. 

“The education program, I was told, was going to grow so much here, and it’s going to be such a big thing,” Bartolotta said. “I hope they still keep moving forward and making the program better.”

She also highlighted the student-professor relationships within the department as a constant motivation for students and a sign of the success of the school. 

“The education professors here are wonderful, like I they are the people I can count on if I’m struggling,” Bartolotta said. “I know for a fact I can go to my education professors if I have any question at any time of the day and they will get back to me.” 

The Division of Education will formally join SoLA as of July 1, 2023.