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Office of the Dean

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A Message from the Dean of the College of Education and Human Services

Rider University is responding to the nationwide call for transformational improvements in our colleges of education. Engaging the “digital natives” who are growing up with coding, 1:1 learning technology, iPads, cloud computing, augmented reality gaming and ever-present social media means that we must learn to communicate and educate in different ways. Our programs in teacher education, teacher and administrator leadership, and human services offer cutting-edge opportunities for high quality preparation and professional growth.

And our students get jobs.
Most 2017 graduates are working in schools, clinical settings and organizations, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Our 2018 graduates are being hired every day. Our field-based programs and strong Rider alumni network provide important contacts and mentoring opportunities that leads to employment opportunities for our graduates in NJ and other states. In fact, six of our recent graduates have been named NJ Distinguished Student Teacher of the Year.

To learn “What happens to Rider graduates when they take actual teaching positions?” we turned to the New Jersey Department of Education for the answer. Their data show that 99% percent of all Rider graduates were rated as  ‘effective’ or ‘highly effective’ in the classroom by their principals or supervisors. This confirms information from ratings by student teaching cooperating teachers, supervisors, and professors of Rider students in their student-teaching semester and suggests that in the real, in-service world of everyday teaching, Rider graduates continue to excel.

Each year we survey recent graduates to ask about their satisfaction with their preparation at Rider. In Academic Year (AY) 2017-2018, 98% of all alumni surveyed reported that they are likely or very likely to recommend the program to others. In addition, 91% of recent graduates who accepted employment in New Jersey remained employed in the state after one year.

How do we make this happen?
We have created a diverse set of student-centered programs that address the needs of 21st century learners. We have created strategic partnerships with local schools, businesses, and government and community agencies so that we can work collaboratively to develop high-quality programs for our students.

The strengths of the Rider University College of Education and Human Services enable us to function successfully in today’s changing world. We have a strong faculty with diverse backgrounds and expertise. We value excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. Our professors are devoted advisors and mentors who relate well to their students. Our programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) now known as the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). These agencies represent the gold standard for accreditation in their respective fields. In fact, we are the first private institution in New Jersey to have the prestigious NCATE accreditation. We submitted our CAEP Self-Study report in July 2018 and are preparing for a spring 2019 re-accreditation visit.

Our two departments, graduate and undergraduate, specialize in meeting the needs of learners in various stages of life. As you browse our site you will find the details of all of our programs, certificates, and endorsements.

We have many new blended and fully online options available.  While our undergraduate teacher education program is a traditional face-to-face four-year program, our Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership is an online option. For those who hold a bachelor’s degree, our Master of Arts in Teaching with Embedded Teacher Certification is a popular option. This program can be taken either part time or full time. Our new highly selective doctorate in Educational Leadership, the first doctoral degree in Rider’s 154-year history, was launched in 2017. We have already recruited two distinguished cohorts of students and will begin recruiting our third cohort in the fall.

Our study abroad options are exciting. Each year we offer faculty-led study tours to countries such as Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Ireland, and England. Accompanied by faculty, students visit schools each day and have the opportunity to teach mini-lessons and tour the country.

Our College of Education and Human Services is STEM-strong.  As a partner in the prestigious 100Kin10 initiative, we are committed to implementing creative and innovative responses to our nation’s shared goal of preparing 100,000 excellent STEM teachers in 10 years.

With generous funding from the Martinson Family Foundation, we have created five online graduate level science and engineering as design courses and five online graduate level mathematics courses to enable teachers to deepen their understanding of STEM topics and achieve certification through grade 8 in many states.

We have formed a new partnership with U.S. Satellite Laboratory (USSL) to further develop science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers. USSL serves classroom teachers with live, online graduate courses that support the integration of real-world data, available from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in classroom inquiry.

Students in the Master of Arts and certificate programs in Teacher Leadership will be able to specialize in STEM by taking courses directly through USSL beginning fall 2018. They will learn how to enhance STEM P-12 teaching by engaging students in the current contexts of ocean, space and the changing world climate. With a nationwide shortage of STEM teachers, the program will provide teachers with the skills needed to become leaders and help shape STEM coursework in their schools.

Another successful initiative is Rider SELECT, a collaboration between Rider’s Departments of Science and our College of Education and Human Services. SELECT is dedicated to the preparation and career-long professional development of P-12 teachers of science and mathematics.

Grants from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Janssen Pharmacueticals, Inc. and the New Jersey Education Association enable us to offer summer programs for high school students interested in careers in science, technology, and mathematics teaching.

The Shakesperience festival, funded by Janssen Pharmaceutical, provides middle and high school students and their teachers the opportunity to engage with Rider University faculty from across our College of Education and Human Services, the Department of Theatre and Dance, and Westminster College of the Arts.

Classroom teachers find our focus on implementing state and national standards an excellent way to refresh their content knowledge and positively impact student achievement in P-12 schools. Career changers find Rider’s supportive culture and student-centered learning environment just what they need to grow and learn. Professional guidance, highly qualified professors, excellent field placements, and our connections to the field give graduates of Rider a competitive edge in landing the right job.

Successful graduates of our programs in organizational leadership, school and clinical mental health counseling, school psychology, teachers of students with disabilities, business education, administration and supervision, and classroom teaching are having a positive impact around the globe. Our certificate program in Life and Career Coaching enables our students to earn an additional credential while completing a graduate degree.

Study with us and join us on campus, on-site in your school or district, or online. Ask about our custom-made programs and school-based cohorts that address the specific needs of your school or organization.

Rider is an exciting place to be, and I invite you to browse our site so that you experience the outstanding work of our faculty, staff, and students. Please visit our campus and stop by to say hello. I’d be delighted to speak with you.

Warm regards,
Sharon J. Sherman
Dean