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New Five-Year Master of Science for Teachers Programs

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ Twenty-six students at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh recently finished their first academic year in the new five-year adolescence education (grades 7 -12) combined Bachelor of Arts/Master of Science for Teachers programs.

SUNY Plattsburgh is the only college in the SUNY system that has established the comprehensive five-year adolescence education programs. These programs are designed to help teacher education candidates maximize their college experience by combining liberal arts study with knowledge of teaching and learning.

"The new combined bachelor's-master's programs in adolescence education are an exciting innovation for SUNY Plattsburgh," said Dr. Robert Golden, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "They offer students programs that will fully prepare them for success as teachers in a demanding and competitive marketplace. Graduates of these programs will be thoroughly grounded in their area of specialization and already in possession of a master's degree in teaching. This program is an example of Plattsburgh's commitment to both the liberal arts and the professional development of our students."

Currently in the pilot stage, the programs offer a combined undergraduate degree in biology, chemistry, English, French, geology (earth science), history (social studies), mathematics, physics or Spanish with a graduate degree in adolescence education.

The students currently in the pilot programs were invited to participate based on their grade point averages, overall academic performances or recommendations by respective academic chairs.

"We have solicited students based on academic performance for the fall 2006," said Lois Beach, associate professor and chair of adolescence education and chair of the MST program. "So far, 12 students have expressed an interest for the next academic year."

The programs consist of undergraduate general education courses, course work in related disciplines, and each student will take a six-credit education course in the sophomore or beginning of their junior year.

Students will then begin their graduate course work in the eighth semester, typically the last semester of the senior year. They will continue their graduate course work for another two full semesters plus take a summer graduate course.

The programs culminate in a student teaching experience during the 10th semester. At the completion of the program, students will graduate with a bachelor's degree in their discipline and a master's degree in adolescence education.

"These programs offer a seamless entryway to graduate education," said Bethanne Delgaudio, graduate advisor in education, health and human services and the five-year program advisor. "The students are accepted into the program for both undergraduate and graduate studies. SUNY colleges have been asked to develop five-year programs."

"The comprehensive five-year adolescence education programs are a great achievement," said Beach. "The program has been a collaborative effort between the arts and science faculty and the adolescence education faculty."

The five-year programs are unique in the way that they prepare teacher education candidates to work with students, parents and administrators in a rapidly changing educational landscape.

"I like the five-year programs because they would allow me to save money and enter the job market sooner with my master's rather than have to worry about completing it at a later date," said Zachary Warner, a student in the pilot program.

The Admissions Office will begin to recruit students for the new programs in the fall, to begin in fall 2007.

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