The University’s Graduate Liberal Studies (GLS) program—the all-encompassing program for students seeking a post-bachelor’s degree—is partnering with the Alternative Route to Certification (ARC) program based in Connecticut. ARC, run by the Connecticut Office of Higher Education, offers courses in education and prepares students for teaching professions. ARC and GLS will be teaming up to provide all University graduate, and some select undergraduate, students the opportunity to become certified teachers.
ARC’s primary focus is providing flexible courses for adults interested in becoming educators and preparing them for teaching certification. It offers multiple programs, one of which is a one-year, part-time pathway to certification. This program will be encouraged within the University’s graduate studies department for students wishing to become professional educators. The partnership was proposed by the University, and ARC accepted.
Much of the value of a relationship between ARC and GLS lies in the necessity of a master’s degree to gain full teaching certification. With GLS, students can obtain a master’s degree, and via ARC, students can also gain a teaching certification.
Director of Continuing Studies and Graduate Liberal Studies Jennifer Curran, who is a proponent of this partnership, noted the value of the new relationship in a recent News @ Wesleyan article.
“Connecticut has a particular need for teachers in certain areas, and that’s what the ARC program is designed to provide,” Curran said. “We’re offering an excellent and cost-effective pathway for these individuals to obtain the master’s degree they need for further certification—and better pay.”
Curran, in an email to The Argus, also elaborated on the GLS program in conjunction with ARC.
“The Graduate Liberal Studies Program at Wesleyan offers evening classes to working adults,” she explained. “Most attend part-time, although full-time study is possible. Students can earn a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS), a Graduate Certificate in Writing, or an MPhil in Liberal Arts. Many GLS students are public school teachers.”
Students stand to receive additional benefits from this relationship. The University, as an incentive to ARC students, is offering scholarships that considerably lower the cost of receiving a master’s education. Likewise, students admitted to the University’s master’s degree program will have priority in selection for the ARC program. In this way, the partnership is mutually beneficial, with potential incentives available to ARC students to join GLS, and vice versa.
This relationship also fills a particular void within the graduate studies programs, as the University does not currently offer teaching certification. While the University does offer an education minor, which centers around engaging students in a critical look at education institutions, the certificate does not provide course credentials for teaching certification. This is a lack that the partnership with ARC makes up for.
The ARC program is also available to dedicated undergraduate students.
“Through this new partnership, Wesleyan students may, by special exception, begin the ARC program in their senior year and will be able to graduate with their BA degree and a pathway to certification, with pedagogy courses taken through ARC,” the News @ Wesleyan article reads. “Or they may choose to take the ARC program after graduation, while pursuing a master’s degree at Wesleyan.”
The program requires sincere dedication. It involves a year of Friday afternoon courses, in addition to courses all day on Saturdays in Hartford, Conn. The program also necessitates a six-week teaching practicum in a public school. The efforts, however, culminate in a valuable certification, as noted by Curran.
“[C]ertification is so rigorous in Connecticut, that it is often accepted in other states (the contrary is not true),” Curran explained.
Emmy Hughes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.