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Westmont Education Department Earns Accreditation

Evaluation finds school's value to the community

Westmont education department members Heather Bergthold, Andrew Mullen, back; Michelle Hughes Jane Wilson, front. Click to view larger
Westmont education department members Heather Bergthold, Andrew Mullen, back; Michelle Hughes Jane Wilson, front. (Westmont College)

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing has given full accreditation to the Westmont College Department of Education.

The site visit team report says through interviews with stakeholders and school partners, it is clear the local school community benefits from graduates of Westmont’s education department.

“Employers consistently spoke of their desire to hire Westmont program completers because of their commitment to the ‘whole child,' ” the report says.

“District-employed supervisors stated in interviews that they preferred to host Westmont candidates for student teaching because it positively impacted their own instructional design and practices, as well as promoted growth in their P-12 students," the report states.

“As one school partner stated, Westmont is ‘a pillar of hope in our community,’” the report states.

The program was evaluated on Common Standards, which are larger issues of goals and institutional support, and Program Standards, which are more detailed matters related to the Multiple Subject (or elementary) and Single Subject (secondary) programs.

At Westmont, students can earn Single Subject Teaching credentials in art, biology, chemistry, English, history, kinesiology, music, physics and Spanish.

Provost Mark Sargent said he is grateful for the education faculty and staff, Michelle Hughes, Andrew Mullen, Jane Wilson and Heather Bergthold, who prepared for the review process.

“The education department has worked hard to cultivate a strong relationship with the local community and the local schools over the years, and that is apparent in the exceptional record of job placements,” Sargent said.

In recent years, 95 percent of graduates landed teaching positions within one year of graduation. Another strength is that about 70 percent of liberal studies students at Westmont are able to earn a bachelor of arts and teaching credential in four years instead of five.

Each year, Westmont partners with more than 120 teachers and administrators from diverse K-12 schools.

“Our education program is successful thanks, in large measure, to the close ties we have with our local school community,” said Wilson, chair of the education department.

“Our cooperating teachers warmly welcome Westmont student teachers because they find them well-trained, committed to the whole child, and possessing strong moral character," Wilson said.

"They remark with great appreciation how the Westmont professors draw upon their own K-12 teaching experience to offer insightful weekly feedback to the student teachers,” she said.

Westmont graduates teach in public and private schools locally and throughout California as well as Washington, Colorado, Texas, Illinois, Korea, Japan, China and Micronesia.

— Scott Craig for Westmont College.

 

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