Harvard’s Undergraduate Teacher Education Program, which provided College students with teaching credentials prior to graduation, recently ended as part of an effort to direct students interested in the teaching towards the Graduate School of Education’s new Master of Teaching and Teacher Leadership program.
UTEP is the second undergraduate teaching program to end in recent years after Harvard Teacher Fellows transferred to TTL last October.
UTEP allowed “Harvard undergraduates to obtain certification as high school teachers while at the College,” according to an archived version of its website.
Students complete the program—consisting of both classroom and fieldwork assignments—over two semesters, often during their junior or senior year. Participants completed four academic courses and totaled a minimum of 460 hours in the field over the two semesters.
“When HGSE redesigned its master’s program, one of the main goals was to advance the training and engagement of future educators, while building on the lessons and all the success of previous teacher preparation programs, including UTEP,” HGSE spokesperson Bari E. Walsh. written in an email. “Now, all of HGSE’s teacher preparation efforts are integrated into the new Master of Teaching and Teacher Leadership program.”
Former UTEP student teacher Karolina M. Dos Santos 2014 said the program was challenging, but also valuable for her career.
“It was very challenging, both academically and being able to meet the teaching expectations of the students, but it was very helpful for me to think about a career, to get out of the Harvard bubble, to think about the next steps,” she said. .
Orin M. Gutlerner, UTEP’s associate director from 2003 to 2008, also described the challenges created by the intensity of the program.
“A fundamental challenge was that UTEP was, in many ways, seen as a complementary program,” he said. “It wasn’t a real concentration, it met very few concentration requirements despite the incredible demands and rigor of the program, and it was really all we could do to barely meet the requirements for passing a state license and offer UTEP while being able to attract even five or ten Harvard College students a year.
Meaghan E. Townsend ’21, a frequent advocate for educational pathways at the College, said she was disappointed with the cancellations of HTF and UTEP during the pandemic.
“It was disheartening, during the pandemic – at a time when the University and so many schools were talking a big game about the importance of education and what an educational crisis we were in – to now, as you saw it coming to see me, those two programs are gone,” she said.
Obtaining a teaching license, which Townsend described as a “bureaucratic clumsy system”, is now available to Harvard College students through HGSE’s TTL master’s program.
Garrett M. Rolph ’22, a peer counselor for the Secondary Field of Educational Studies, said the removal of the HTF and UTEP had negative effects on the pathways of students interested in the teaching profession.
“Now it doesn’t even make much sense to come to Harvard if you want to get an education,” he said. “It’s harder for you to become a teacher at Harvard than at any other public school, any other school that has some sort of licensure pathway, which Harvard sort of has eliminated now at the collegiate level.”
Gutlerner said it was important to nurture future teachers at the College, recalling meeting students who aspired to join the profession even as early as their freshman year.
“I think there’s a sizeable number of students at Harvard – I imagine it’s the same today – who are already coming to the college with those kinds of intentions,” he said. declared. “If those intentions are nurtured and their desire to make it big in this profession is nurtured over time, these are people who could literally change lives.”