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About MHSE

Dr. Wesley Pitts, Chair

Welcome to the Department of Middle and High School Education (MHSE). The mission of MHSE is to provide undergraduate and graduate studies that serves to engage a diverse body of students to become well-prepared and effective secondary teachers and educators. The vision of the department is: 1) to provide students with course work and professional experiences and settings relevant to their area(s) of specialization and 2) to introduce students to current, innovative, and culturally and linguistically relevant and anti-racist instructional leadership strategies enabling them to acquire academic and personal/social skills/dispositions that prepare them to be successful in secondary education settings.

In keeping with the mission and our educational framework, the Lehman Urban Transformative Education (LUTE), we prepare students for initial New York State certification to teach academic and special subjects in middle and high schools, grades 5-12. MHSE also offers a new Human Rights and Transformative Justice Advanced Certificate (with an online option).

Undergraduate and Graduate Teacher Education Program sequences have been designed for students wanting certification in the subject areas of English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Arts, Health, and Music. Students are required to complete a major in the academic area in which they expect to teach. Consistent with all New York State (NYS) Certification requirements, undergraduate students will need to complete the appropriate liberal arts core requirements.

Graduate Teacher Education Program sequences lead to Master’s degrees and to both NYS Initial and Professional certifications in English Education (Grades 7-12), Mathematics Education (Grades 5-9 and 7-12), Science Education (Grades 7-12), Social Studies Education (Grades 7-12), Spanish teaching (7-12), Music (7-12), Art (7-12) and TESOL Education (PreK-Grade 12). Starting in the fall of 2022, the department will offer also offers new programs leading to dual certification in the content areas and adolescent Generalist Special Education. MHSE also offers Advanced Certificates in all the academic subject areas. A Bilingual Extension in PreK-Grade 12 for teachers who are already NYS certified in an academic subject area is also available.

Finally, MHSE faculty have partnered with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) faculty to secure $1.2 million award from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Robert Noyce Teacher Preparing 21st Century STEM Teachers for the Urban Classroom (Focus on STEM) teacher residency scholarship program to recruit and train elementary and secondary teachers with STEM backgrounds, to work in high-need schools, and support them in shaping K-12 students to become the next generation of scientists. The project is being led by a diverse group of faculty from Lehman’s School of Education and School of Natural and Social Sciences, with Wesley Pitts as principal investigator (PI). He’s joined by co-PIs Gillian Bayne, an associate professor of science education; Andrei Jitianu, professor and chair of the Chemistry Department. Dr Celia Cruz, a doctoral lecturer in the Department of Mathematics, and Jane Higgins, director of the New York City Writing Project at Lehman’s Institute for Literacy Studies, have also join the management team.

MHSE has also partnered with the CUNY’s Office of the University Dean of Education lead by Dr. Ashleigh Thompson to participate in the Computing Integrated Teacher Education Initiative. CITE is a $17 million, four-year initiative to support CUNY faculty at all ranks and all teacher education programs to integrate New York State Computer Science and Digital Fluency learning standards aligned computing content and pedagogy into required education courses, field work and student teaching. Funded publicly by the NYC Department of Education and privately by the Robin Hood Learning + Technology Fund, Gotham Gives, and Google, CITE aims to ensure all CUNY teacher education graduates are prepared to help fulfill the equity imperative for universal K-12 computing education. The Lehman CITE team is led by Dr. Sunyata Smith, assistant professor of science education, Dr. Jennifer Collette, associate professor of bilingual education in the Department of Early Childhood and Childhood Education, and Ms. Joi Jones, MHSE Student Success Coordinator.

The Focus on STEM and CITE Programs are part of a larger initiative undertaken by the Department of Middle and High School Education as a response to the local and national contexts of need and urgency to recruit, retain and prepare highly qualified teachers. In this effort, we are working closely with the New York City Department of Education to develop small, middle and high schools in the Bronx. It is this relationship and the ongoing collaboration with these small new schools that offers a unique teacher development opportunity at Lehman College for students in our department.