Undergraduate Education Mission Statement
Undergraduate Mission of the Teacher Education Program
The liberal arts curriculum at Chatham University supports the belief that a successful, productive individual possesses certain skills and understandings. They include the ability to inquire, analyze, and think critically; the ability to read, write and speak persuasively; the ability to understand numbers and statistics; a sense of history; an understanding of science; a sense of civilized values; an appreciation of the fine and performing arts; insight into other cultures, and study in depth that cuts across academic disciplines. In keeping with the educational philosophy and mission of Chatham University, the major goal of the Education Program of the college is to prepare students through this type of liberal arts education, to excel in the teaching profession. The education program pursues this goal through the provision of experiences that provide students with a complement of skills essential for productive work and decision making as professional educators. The program is guided by the following convictions:
- That narrow vision and intolerance can be overcome through an understanding of the realities presented by the liberal arts, and through the testing of ideas and methods;
- That one must learn how to identify problems, evaluate evidence, and pursue solutions;
- That one must learn to judge ideas critically and express them effectively;
- That in pursuit of learning, imagination is as important and useful as reason.
Chatham University supports the proposition that a small liberal arts college, concerned with the intellectual, physical, aesthetic, and moral development of its students and offering an academic program of rigor and excellence provides a challenging and unparalleled educational experience. Chatham strives to maintain its uniqueness and distinctiveness by recognizing and providing for the professional aspirations of its students within the context of a strong liberal arts tradition. These goals of the institution as a whole strongly support and complement the objectives of the educational program. As a professional preparation program at Chatham, the education sequence provides an important mechanism for individualized application of classroom experiences which heighten a student’s use and understanding of a liberal arts education. Both the education department and the college as a whole are striving through their offerings and outlook to create the best curricular vehicle for Chatham’s aims; a program which stresses broad interaction between its liberal arts curriculum and its professional program.
Thus, the structure of the Education Program directly involves the integration of the general education curriculum of the College. The content courses that are inherent to the Secondary Education certifications are taught within the various divisions of the College. Through student discussions and exit interview surveys, the students’ views are solicited and valued. Educators in their field are asked for their input on best practices as Education Program Faculty visit schools and attend professional association symposia. Adjunct faculty members, specialists in their fields, are also collaborators in choosing the best practices that become integral to the Program Mission. Each semester an adjunct meeting is held to share program information and seek input for program excellence.
The mission of the Education Program has been built on the cooperative efforts of all its constituents. The faculty, students, and leaders in the education community have served to inform this mission. The mission is made available to faculty, students and cooperating teachers from local school districts through distribution of the Teacher Education Certification Program Handbook, Student Teaching Handbooks and Education Program Newsletters. Each year the faculty of the education program revisit its mission for validation and refinement.