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UW-River Falls to offer MSE degree in Montessori Education

February 9, 2018--Beginning in July, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls will offer a stand-alone Master of Science in Education degree in Montessori education.

The UW System Board of Regents voted to approve the degree program earlier today.

“We’re very proud of our Montessori education program and the real benefits it provides to both teachers and their students,” said UWRF Chancellor Dean Van Galen. “Under the leadership of Dean Michael Harris of our College of Education and Professional Studies, the team that has developed this program deserves great credit.”

UWRF is the only UW System school to offer a Montessori credential, and one of only two public universities in the United states to offer it as a master's degree. Previously, UWRF's Montessori degrees were options in the Master of Science in Education-Elementary Education and Master of Science in Education-Secondary Education authorizations.

According to the American Montessori Association, the Montessori method is a child-centered education approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. In order for a program to be considered fully compliant with Montessori principles, it must include multi-age groupings of students which foster peer learning, uninterrupted blocks of work time and guided choice of work activity.

UW-River Falls is affiliated with the American Montessori Society.

Today’s decision by the Board of Regents creates significant advantages for students.

“The main thing is that the degree a student earns now shows what the student studied,” said Michael Harris, dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies (CEPS). “That is advantageous for a teacher in terms of presentation of credentials and also for marketing and internal use.”

Today’s vote capped a nearly year-long approval process which was a partnership between CEPS and UWRF’s Continuing Education office.

UWRF’s program is accredited through 2020 by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education.

For more information, call Harris at 715-425-0602.

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