By Hannah Deane ’20 & Angelina Ingrassia ’18
Staff Reporter & Managing Editor
Recent changes to the Massachusetts regulations for education licensure have opened up new horizons for those wanting a degree in early and elementary education.
These students will no longer be required to select a second major from the state approved list, but will now be encouraged to seek out a second major, minor, or concentration in any field.
Dr. Ellen Ballock explained, “While those Gordon students preparing to teach middle and high school will still be expected to have two majors, one in the content area they plan to teach and one in education, Gordon students preparing to teach in early childhood and elementary grades will no longer be required to choose a second major from a prescribed list of options.”
Early Education and English major, Vicki Franks (‘20) added, “The law changed to redefine what it meant to be a ‘highly qualified’ educator.”
With this seemingly drastic change many were shocked by the news.
“This is a big change so people are kind of apprehensive. A lot of people have chosen second majors they’re not really passionate about just to fill the requirement, and now it’s something they don’t even really need to be highly qualified,” Franks continued.
“A lot of people wouldn’t have done a second major. The education department is very demanding because they’re training us to be teachers. To add another department on top of that feels almost impossible. And now all that effort feels like it’s for nothing,” Franks concluded.
Although the change might seem negative for many students, Ballock explained some of the positive aspects that will result. She explained, “Now early childhood and elementary majors will have flexibility to choose to pursue second majors or minors or concentrations in ANY discipline of interest.”
“We anticipate that some students will continue to choose to complete a second major. Others may complete one or more minors or concentrations.” She continued.
The school also believes that these changes will greatly benefit students with their time and educational options. Ballock stated,“It may be easier for early childhood and elementary majors to participate in honors programs or study abroad options because they will have more flexibility in their program of study. We anticipate that education majors will be actively involved in many other disciplines/departments across campus.”
Current students whose major has been effect can choose to either fulfill the ‘17-‘18 catalogue requirements, or can change to the updated requirements. Changes will be implemented beginning the ‘18-‘19 academic year and onward.