News Item

Lander accepting applications for its Montessori master's degree program

December 10, 2015

Lander University is still accepting applications for its master’s degree in Montessori education, which will begin a new term in January.

The Master of Education in Montessori Education program makes it possible for certified teachers to obtain a master’s in as little as 18 months. Lander Montessori director Barbara Ervin said the class structure allows students to continue working at their teaching jobs while attending classes.

Sandy Wade was a working parent when she enrolled in Lander’s master’s program. She received her degree in 2014 and now works as an upper-elementary teacher in Charlotte, N.C., at a school that was the first public Montessori school in North Carolina. She described Lander’s program as a perfect fit. She said the program offered a flexible mix of online courses and classroom study. “It helped me be able to get all of the classes that I needed and still live my life.”

Wade felt well-prepared for her job as a Montessori teacher after completing the Lander program. “The professors prepare you in every way and they have always been there me when I needed more help or training, or just someone to talk to.”

Lander is one of the few colleges or universities in the country and the only one in South Carolina to offer undergraduate and graduate-level Montessori teacher education degrees leading to certification by the American Montessori Society. Master’s graduates will be qualified to teach at one of three levels: early childhood (ages 3 to 6), and elementary grades 1 to 3, and 4 to 6.

Most Montessori schools in the U.S. are privately owned but there has been a marked increase in public programs in the last 15 years, and there is an expectation they will continue to grow, creating a greater demand for teachers.

South Carolina leads the nation in the number of public Montessori schools.

The Riley Institute’s Center for Education Policy and Leadership (CEPL) at Furman University says the state achieved its top ranking because of the considerable investment by Greenwood’s Self Family Foundation in public Montessori classrooms and in Lander’s Montessori education program.

The CEPL also cites a 2014 survey showing that 67-percent of South Carolina Montessori teachers have master’s degrees.

Applications for Lander’s Montessori master’s program are available online at www.lander.edu under the Admissions page. Further information is available by contacting Barbara Ervin in the Department of Teacher Education at 864-388-8751 or Martine Fezler at 864-388-8628.

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Sandy Wade, a graduate of Lander University’s Master’s of Education in Montessori Education, works with students in her upper-elementary class at Park Road Montessori School in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo courtesy Heather Liebler Photography)