Diocesan teachers earn special education certificate from Marymount

The inaugural cohort from the Arlington Diocese Catholic Schools recently completed its special education certificate program through Marymount University in Arlington.

 

The cohort included eight kindergarten through eighth-grade teachers from three diocesan schools:

 

 Teresa Eichner, Gracelin Emmanuel, Amanda Fallon, Kathleen Hofer and Madeline Lawson from St. Agnes School in Arlington; Patricia Cummins and Maria May from St. Ambrose School in Annandale; and Nancy Tierney from St. Joseph School in Herndon.

 

“Working with this group was incredible,” said Clara Hauth, assistant professor of special education at Marymount. “They were some of the best students we’ve had because they were so dedicated to their teaching. They were immediately able to have hands-on application of what they learned, and could come back and share what worked, what didn’t, and ways they were able to improve upon it.”

 

Hauth said they also engaged in “turnaround training,” where students learned something and directly implemented training for others in their respective schools.

 

Hauth worked closely with Diane Elliott, special services coordinator for the diocesan Office of Catholic Schools, to develop and customize the advanced program, the only one of its kind in Northern Virginia. The program took 21 months to complete, from August 2016 to May 2018. It used a hybrid format of primarily classroom educated, but also integrated online learning.

 

“An important component of this program was doing what we could to meet the needs of this very close-knit group of full-time teachers,” Hauth said.

 

That included holding classes at the students’ schools, changing the order of classes or adjusting the schedule to fit their own teaching schedules.

 

The special education certificate is one of four certificates offered by Marymount. The others are science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM), English as a Second Language, and Global Education.

 

With 15 credits earned, half of the special education cohort members already are working toward their master’s degrees, which require 36 total credits.

 

“We’re putting together the second cohort and still have a few spots available,” Hauth said. “Everyone in the first group was a teacher but this program is open to teaching assistants and administrators.”

 

Marymount will hold an information session on its graduate education programs June 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the main campus in Arlington. The session will cover all of the university’s graduate level education programs and certificates and include a discussion on additional cohort opportunities.

 

Find out more

 

Go to marymount.edu/graduate-education-info.

 

                                

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018