Recently I went to my high school to observe the classes for my education courses. What stuck out to me was that one of the students was surprised that I was from Lycoming. “I didn’t know they had an education major!” she said to me. Then I had to explain that, no, Lycoming does not have education as a major.
You see, I was also confused when I wanted to pursue education at Lycoming College, because a lot of other schools near me offer it as a major. Lycoming, on the other hand, offers education as a certification, not a major. There are misconceptions about the certification program, and that is what I want to address today.
There have been a few older people and adults, who have never been to or attended Lycoming, that believe that the education certification is not the same as a major in education. Most of the time when I speak with people who say this it comes with a negative connotation that Lycoming’s education program is somehow “lesser” than that of a student who goes to college majoring in education. I want to clear the air because this is simply NOT the case.
The purpose of not offering a major in education is that upon graduation, students will have the full education and degree of a “true academic major” as well as a teaching certification. An easy example: a student wanting to teach primary education can major in Psychology. With the major in Psychology the student will develop a better understanding of child development and behavior, which they can pair with the education certification to learn how to teach students.
Personally, I believe this is set up for better success, because you have certification to teach as well as a bachelor’s in a specific field if you have trouble finding teaching work. Lycoming’s education program also offers dual certification! In my case, I am working towards an Art Generalist major with a K-12 Art certification, as well as special education certifications. This means that when I graduate I will be certified to teach art or special education, and if teaching is not for me, I can explore other career opportunities within the art field.
I do want to clarify: just because education is not a major at Lycoming does not mean it doesn’t act like one. Depending on the major you choose, adding the education certification can be difficult because the coursework and classes can add up. Personally, choosing an Art major with education certification is like double majoring because I do not have any room in my schedule for a minor due to the amount of classes I have to take to satisfy the requirements for both programs. I will be returning for an extra semester to student teach so that all of the classes will fit without having to take summer or online classes. This was my decision, and it can be a hard one to make, but I chose the path that was most cost-effective for myself so that I can complete my college experience with the things I want most.
I know all of this information may be confusing to some, especially students who are just looking at colleges. When considering becoming an educator, I highly suggest you reach out to students and staff that can lead you in the right direction, including myself. I would be glad to answer any questions regarding the program here at Lycoming!
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