UConn’s Master’s in Education degree and school of education are well-respected


UConn’s Masters in Education program is ranked 26th among U.S. universities by College Choice. (File photo/The Daily Campus)

The publication College Choice recently ranked the University of Connecticut 26th amongst the top 50 Master’s in Education degrees across US universities.

College Choice is “a leading authority in college and university rankings and resources” that considered criteria such as institutional reputation and return on investment in ranking the top 50 Master’s in Education degrees, according to a College Choice press release.

“The ranking is a recognition of the students and faculty,” Neag School of Education Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Joseph Madaus said. “Through teaching, graduates and research, we’re really trying to improve education for children and young adults throughout the country.”

A student in the Neag School of Education said that she is pleased with the ranking.

“I’m proud to be in a program that is so highly ranked and valued in our country. Just knowing that I am a part of such a successful program makes me want to work hard to live up to Neag’s standards and expectations,” sixth-semester secondary social studies, education and history double major Emily Pintavalle said in an email. “I hope I can contribute to the excellence of the school and continue to push Neag forward on the list and I know my peers and professors feel the same.”

Another student in the Neag School of Education concurred that the school prepares future instructors to better the US education system.

“The course work in Neag is truly eye-opening; it challenges my assumptions about education and the commonly accepted practices within the school system,” sixth-semester secondary sciences-biological sciences education major Amy Hetherington-Coy said in an email. “Without the program, I don’t know that I would be challenged to think as deeply about the practices at play in individual schools and public education at large.”

The Neag School of Education enables UConn students to earn master’s degrees and teaching certification through several programs, Madaus said.

“The IB/M (five-year integrated bachelor’s/master’s) program is where students apply during their sophomore year. If they’re accepted, they start their junior year. They can get their master’s and state certification at the K-12 level,” Madaus said. “Another program is TCPCG (teacher certification program for college graduates). It’s for people with their bachelor’s who want to be teachers. They do a summer and full academic year for their master’s and certification.”

Hetherington-Coy said in an email that Neag students inspired her to join the school of education.

“After attending info sessions at open house, I was instantly drawn to the program,” Hetherington-Coy said in an email. “The biggest factor was the testimonials from students in the program; their excitement and passion for their clinical placements and classwork was contagious.”

Neag professors are an asset to the school of education, Pintavalle said in an email.

“In each of my education classes, I have been lucky to have professors who are passionate about helping us become the best we can be for our future students,” Pintavalle said in an email. “You can tell the professors are proud to be a part of Neag and they want to continue the tradition of excellence within the school.”

Research is a substantial component of the Neag School of Education’s work, according to Madaus.

“Our research portfolio is broad and deep,” Madaus said. “It’s collaborative with other people at universities throughout the country.”

The Neag School of Education instructs students in various fields other than teaching, Madaus said.

“We also prepare professionals to be school psychologists, school counselors, statisticians, policy makers, principals, superintendents, sports managers; there’s certainly much more going on in the school than just teacher education.”

Several unique educational opportunities exist at Neag, Madaus noted in an email.

“The Neag School…has a program that prepares people to run offices for students with disabilities on college campuses (one of the only such programs in the world), and…we offer one of the top programs in the world in gifted and talented education,” Madaus said in an email.

Alexandra Retter is staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at alexandra.retter@uconn.edu.

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