Education Department Earns Accreditation, Praise

Education faculty and staff: Heather Bergthold, Andrew Mullen (back), Michelle Hughes and Jane Wilson (front)

Education faculty and staff: Heather Bergthold, Andrew Mullen (back), Michelle Hughes and Jane Wilson (front)

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing has given full accreditation to the Westmont College Department of Education. The site visit team report says through interviews with stakeholders and school partners, it is clear that the local school community benefits from graduates of Westmont’s education department. “Employers consistently spoke of their desire to hire Westmont program completers because of their commitment to the ‘whole child,” the report says. “District employed supervisors stated in interviews that they preferred to host Westmont candidates for student teaching because it positively impacted their own instructional design and practices, as well as promoted growth in their P-12 students.

“As one school partner stated, Westmont is ‘a pillar of hope in our community.’”

The program was evaluated on Common Standards, which are larger issues of goals and institutional support, and Program Standards, which are more detailed matters related to the Multiple Subject (or Elementary) and Single Subject (Secondary) programs. At Westmont, students can earn Single Subject Teaching credentials in Art, Biology, Chemistry, English, History, Kinesiology, Music, Physics, and Spanish.

The Education Department's Class of 2018

The Education Department’s Class of 2018

Provost Mark Sargent is grateful for the education faculty and staff, Michelle Hughes, Andrew Mullen, Jane Wilson, and Heather Bergthold, who prepared for the review process.

“The education department has worked hard to cultivate a strong relationship with the local community and the local schools over the years, and that is apparent in the exceptional record of job placements,” Sargent says.

In recent years, 95 percent of graduates landed teaching positions within one year of graduation. Another strength is that about 70 percent of liberal studies students at Westmont are able to earn a Bachelor of Arts and Teaching Credential in four years instead of five.

Each year, Westmont partners with more than 120 teachers and administrators from diverse K-12 schools.

“Our education program is successful thanks, in large measure, to the close ties we have with our local school community,” says Wilson, chair of the education department. “Our cooperating teachers warmly welcome Westmont student teachers because they find them well-trained, committed to the whole child, and possessing strong moral character. They remark with great appreciation how the Westmont professors draw upon their own K-12 teaching experience to offer insightful weekly feedback to the student teachers.”

Westmont graduates teach in public and private schools locally and throughout California as well as Washington, Colorado, Texas, Illinois, Korea, Japan, China and Micronesia.