The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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A centennial celebration

St. John’s University’s school of education is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The School of Education was opened in 1908 as the school of pedagogy under Dean John Walsh.

At a time when all that was needed to become a teacher was a two-year certification program, St. John’s was just the second institution of higher learning to offer graduate courses for educators.

The first Doctor of Education degrees were awarded in 1939. In 1955, the graduate and undergraduate programs were united under one administration as the school of education. In 2005, the Teacher Education Accreditation Council granted the school national accreditation for its program.

Dr. Jerrold Ross, dean of The School of Education, is honored to celebrate the centennial of the school.

“It’s recognition for 100 years of leading the education profession,” he said. “We have always been raising the standards of the teaching profession.”

He added, “St. John’s was the first school to support the new populations coming into New York. One hundred years ago it was the Irish, Italian, and German. Today it is people from around the world.”

However, this centennial celebration is not just about looking at the past accomplishments of the school and its alumni. It’s also about looking forward into the future of the school.

There will be a gala dinner on Saturday, Sept. 27 to kick off the centennial celebration. It will be held at the Grand Hyatt New York in Manhattan and will honor alumni and friends of St. John’s University who have made major contributions to the school.

When asked what he saw for the next 100 years of the school, Dean Ross said, “I see the expansion of programs internationally as well as a continued growth in the number of students in the program, especially in the graduate program.”

He added, “There will be an expansion of course offerings on all four campuses: Queens, Manhattan, Oakdale and Staten Island. Also, faculty will be even more actively involved in the research of all the ways in which all kinds of children learn.”

He also spoke about the growth of graduate programs overseas.
“Our theme for graduate students is to study in the countries from which their students are coming from,” he said.

“This year, we have started with programs in the Dominican Republic and starting next year there will be programs in Mexico and Taiwan.”

He noted, “This gives teachers a way to view how students live and learn in their own nation before becoming the students they serve here.”

In a letter to alumni and friends of the school, the dean said this is only the beginning of a series of programs that will include lectures, networking and social events.

Those lectures will include the Elizabeth Gavin Lecture series featuring Mary Gordon, Paul Baumann, and Peter Steinfels on Oct. 15, Nov. 19, and Apr. 21, respectively.

The School of Education will also help to bring the past and the future together on Feb. 24, 2009 when it hosts the Hartigan C.O.A.C.H. Program. The program brings students together with alumni, who will give the students guidance and practical advice to prepare them for a career in the field of education.

As part of the centennial celebration, the school will also be featured in the Catholics in NY (1808-1946) Exhibition on Oct. 26 at the Museum of the City of New York from 1 to 4 p.m.

The exhibit shows the influence of the Catholic Church and its members in New York and it has memorabilia and photos from St. John’s. The exhibit costs $50 and includes a
tour and brunch.Students seem enthusiastic about the celebration on the whole.

“I think it should be celebrated because if it wasn’t for educators we wouldn’t have a school to go to,” said Maria Sicuranza, an education major.

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