Lake Erie College plans for Montessori education
College partners with Montessori Development Partnerships and The Hershey Foundation
Lake Erie College is collaborating with Montessori Development Partnerships (MDP) and The Hershey Foundation (HF) to establish a program for Montessori education which will encompass graduate and professional development opportunities – only the second program of this kind in the United States.
The two major objectives of the partnership are to create a master’s degree program in elementary Montessori education and to establish a new Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) training center (Lake Erie College Hershey Montessori Institute) that offers continuing education for existing Montessori educators.
The Hershey Foundation has awarded Lake Erie College a multi-year grant in the amount of $255,000 for startup funds for the initiative. Meanwhile, the faculty of the College will begin the review and accreditation processes to establish the new programs as soon as possible.
Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and anthropologist, inspired the birth of a worldwide educational movement in 1907 with a small group of children in Rome. Since that time, Montessori’s philosophy, materials and practices have spread around the globe and have been implemented in a variety of cultural settings.
Today, Montessori’s visionary ideas flourish with at least 4,000 private Montessori schools and 200 public schools offering a Montessori approach in North America alone. This continued growth of Montessori education, which has been implemented in a variety of cultural settings, has created a demand for highly-qualified Montessori teachers.
“We are pleased to have The Hershey Foundation name associated with such a unique program that will draw nationwide appeal,” said Lake Erie College President Michael T. Victor. “Through this partnership, we will develop niche programs that will help address the increasing demand for highly-qualified Montessori teachers,” Victor added.
“We are delighted to provide this grant to Lake Erie College during this exciting period of growth and expansion under President Victor,” said Debra Hershey Guren, president and chief executive officer of The Hershey Foundation. She stated her family is honored to have their name associated with the new Montessori program as it is a good fit with the Foundation’s primary mission.