Yale College Dean Mary Miller sent an e-mail Monday to undergraduates enrolled in the Teacher Preparation Program to explain why the program will end this June.
Miller said budget constraints and low student interest in certification prompted the end of the program, but many courses will still be offered under the heading “Education Studies.”
“We will still be offering coursework that many students find critical to making decisions about which career paths to pursue,” she said in an interview with the News Monday.
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But Brian Bills ’12 and Kaitlyn Newell ’12, who are collecting positive testimonials from students, program alumni, and community members for a report to administrators, said they were not satisfied with Miller’s e-mail. Bills said he is upset that the administration decided to cut the program without consulting students or the standing committee that oversees the program and he wishes the administration would have been clearer in its communication.
“The first thing that struck me was that [Miller] is not interested in a dialogue,” he said, adding that it seems Miller is “not interested in hearing from us.”
Miller said in an interview that she would read any report the students put together, but said that the decision to phase out the program was made last summer.
Bills said even though many students do not take all of the courses required for certification, the classes they do take still have an impact on students. By requiring students to spend time in New Haven classrooms, Newell said, the courses provide a practical knowledge of teaching.
“I thought [Miller’s] statements were misleading,” Newell said. “Taking out the certification really does gut the program.”
Bills added that the remaining courses will suffer because he expects several of the program’s faculty to leave. Shrinking the program, he said, is “a great way to throw away the talent we already have and never get it back.”
Bills and Newell are inviting undergraduates and graduate students in the Teacher Preparation Program to talk about their experiences at an event Thursday to raise awareness about the cuts.