Ericka J. Fisher, Ed.D., Associate Professor

Lauren B. Capotosto, Ed.D., Assistant Professor and Joseph H. Maguire '58 Fellow in Education

Ashley Isgro, M.A., Visiting Lecturer

Josue Lopez, Cand. Ph.D., Visiting Lecturer

Maura Mahoney, M.S.W., Visiting Lecturer

Maria Nemerowicz, Ed.D., Visiting Lecturer

David Roach, M.A.. Visiting Lecturer

Sally Sullivan, M.Ed.,Visiting Lecturer

Megan Ober, M.B.A., Field Placement Coordinator

The Department of Education offers courses that support two functions — allowing students to explore issues of education within the context of their liberal arts studies, and preparing students for teaching licensure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Courses in the department focus on the process of education from a number of different levels, from the individual (for example, the characteristics of learners and effective teachers) to the social and cultural (for example, education as social institution). A particular emphasis of the department curriculum is on issues that pertain to urban education.

Education Minor

The Education Minor is a six-course program open to students of all majors. The minor allows students to study the field of education as a liberal arts discipline and is separate from the Teacher Education Program. ​

Education Minor Requirements

1. Introductory course (one is required):

EDUC 167 Educational Psychology

EDUC 169 Schooling in the United States

2. Social Justice/Urban Issues (select one only):

EDUC 273 Urban Education

EDUC 340 Multicultural Education

3. Three Additional Electives in Education (other than EDUC 273 or EDUC 340)

Or two electives in Education and one appropriate outside course

4. Capstone Experience related to teaching and learning

Education Electives

EDUC 231 Adolescent Literacy

EDUC 232 Schools: Surviving & Achieving

EDUC 234 Family, Students  & Schools

EDUC 275 Historical Perspectives on American Education

EDUC 301 Methods of Teaching

EDUC 315 English Language Learners

EDUC 330 Seminar in Teaching (TEP students only)

EDUC 352 American School Reform

EDUC 354 Teachers: A Sociological Study

EDUC 360 Research in Education

Capstone Courses

EDUC 360 Research in Education

EDUC 380 Capstone Seminar

EDUC 390 Tutorial

EDUC 394 Directed Research

ACIP 379 Academic Internship

DCSP 382 Washington Internship

Elective Courses from an allied field

PSYC 223 Learning

PSYC 225 Developmental Psychology

PSYC 228 Psychology of Adolescence

PSYC 232  Developmental Science and Education

PSYC 236 Cognition & Memory

SOCL 269 Sociology in Education


Teacher Education Program

The Holy Cross Teacher Education Program (TEP) is an undergraduate licensure program that leads to a Massachusetts state initial teaching license as a secondary (grades 8-12) or middle (grades 5-8) school teacher in one of the following subject areas: biology, chemistry, Chinese, English, French, history, Latin and classical humanities, mathematics, physics, Spanish, or visual art. A program for the teaching of religion at the middle or secondary levels is available for religious studies majors, although this program does not lead to Massachusetts state licensure.

In order to complete the licensure program, students need to complete a liberal arts degree, taking courses within a major in the same academic area as they wish to teach, as well as a series of education courses. The courses to be completed within the major are determined by the specific academic department and the subject matter requirements set forth by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. (For further information, please see the Director of the Teacher Education Program or the Academic Liaison faculty member within each department at Holy Cross.) Within the academic component of the program, students complete a series of courses that include 80 hours of field-based experiences. Students spend one semester in a full-time practicum experience at a local Worcester Public School. The practicum is accompanied by one or two seminars in the Education department.

Application to the program occurs twice per year with application deadlines in October and February. All application materials are available on the TEP website. Students are required to enroll in the Foundations of Education courses before applying to the TEP.

TEP students are required to take six courses prior to the practicum semester:

• Two Foundations of Education courses (both courses are required before acceptance into the program and should be taken in the first or second year):  EDUC 167: Educational Psychology and EDUC 169: Schooling in the United States

• One approved course that emphasizes urban education

• One approved course that emphasizes human development

• EDUC 301: Methods of Teaching

• EDUC 310: Pre-practicum – Teaching (overload course)

The practicum semester is completed during the fourth year:

• EDUC 320: Practicum – Middle and Secondary School Teaching
• EDUC 330: Seminar in Teaching
Beginning in fall 2013, all TEP students are required to take EDUC 315: English Language Learners, typically taken during the practicum semester.

Ninth Semester Option

Begun in Fall 2014, a limited number of students in the Teacher Education Program may elect to participate in a ninth-semester option that allows them to complete their student teaching requirement in the semester immediately following graduation. The ninth-semester option consists of a supervised student teaching experience at one of our partner public schools along with enrollment in EDUC 330: Seminar on Teaching and EDUC 315: English Language Learners.

Students who desire the ninth-semester option must submit their application to the TEP Director by spring of their third year so that course planning in their major department and in the TEP can take place. The ninth-semester experience is available only in the fall semester immediately following the student’s graduation from Holy Cross. Grades obtained in the ninth semester will not contribute to the Holy Cross GPA. The cost of the program will be $2,300, which does not include fees and living expenses.


Education Courses

Educational Psychology
Fall, spring

Topics such as child and adolescent development, learning, readiness to learn, teaching, motivation, measurement of learning, mental abilities, children with special needs, and other topics are discussed as well as current issues in education. One unit.

Schooling in the United States
Fall, spring

This course is an introduction to the problems and possibilities of public schooling in the United States.  In it, students will consider big questions—questions about the purpose of school, about who should be educated, about what should be taught, and about the factors that constrain decision-making.  In order to get a range of perspectives on those questions, the course will utilize a number of disciplinary lenses—history, sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, etc. One unit.

Cognition and Instruction
Alternate years

This course provides students with the opportunity to explore how the science of learning has implications for pedagogical practices in classroom settings. The course provides a survey of key topics in cognitive psychology with special reference to applications in K-12 education. Topics include attention, memory, executive function, spatial thinking, problem-solving and creativity.  One unit.

Schools: Surviving and Achieving

Focuses on conceptual, historical, and current factors related to school counseling. The course takes a multi-method approach to learning that is rooted in social justice education and the belief that an equitable education can be achieved for all students. One unit.

Family, Students & Schools

This course examines the impact of families and schools on a range of student outcomes. Drawing from research in psychology and sociology, participants will explore the complexities and promises of fostering home-school partnerships. Students will explore the implications of the current research on family engagement for school policy and practice. One unit.

Education and the Law
Alternate years

This course provides students with the opportunity to explore the ways in which the legal system interfaces with the educational system in the United States. The course surveys some of the major pieces of federal and state legislation and judicial decisions that have had an impact on the functioning of American schools. Among the topics to be discussed are urban education, special education, race and gender equity, school financing, and the roles of teachers. One unit.

Urban Education

Focuses on education in large urban school districts, emphasizing both the rich diversity of city schools and the unique challenges faced by them. Participants will consider a range of factors that shape the conditions for teaching and learning in the urban context, and especially the dense concentration of low-income and minority students that tends to characterize urban schooling. Ultimately, students will work to understand the reality of urban education in America, as well as the possibilities for change. Includes a field-based experience. One unit.

Historical Perspectives on American Education
Alternate years

This course will explore the history of education in the United States from the Colonial Era to the present.  In so doing, it will address schools in the broader context of American cultural developments and the rise of the modern state.  As such, it will serve as a window into three centuries of American social, economic, religious, and political history.  At the same time, this class will use the past as a way of explaining the present--examining why schools developed in the manner they did, identifying paths not taken, and highlighting particular policies and programs that gave rise to the educational system we know today. One unit.

Methods of Teaching

Students examine and demonstrate various teaching methods. Students will pursue questions concerning the middle and secondary school curriculum, discipline and motivation, and instructional materials. Secondary and middle school goals and principles are also examined. Methodological and curricular questions specific to the discipline will be illustrated and discussed. Includes a field-based experience. One unit.

Pre-Practicum — Teaching
Fall, spring

The pre-practicum is the final field-based experience of the Teacher Education Program prior to the teaching practicum. It is a 30-hour, on-site period of observation and work in the Worcester Public Schools. The course incorporates structured classroom observations, assigned readings, and relationship-building in the schools. No units.

English Language Learners
Fall, spring

This course focuses on current theories and their applications related to the teaching and learning of English Language Learners (ELLs). It will expand students’ knowledge of how language functions within academic content teaching and learning, and how children and adolescents acquire a second language. Throughout the course, effective research-based strategies for teaching English Language Learners will be modeled. Teacher Education Program (TEP) students who complete this course will qualify for a Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Endorsement. One unit.

Practicum - Middle and Secondary School Teaching
Fall, spring

A full-time practicum experience of supervised teaching in the high school or middle school. Open only to TEP students. Three units.

Seminar in Teaching
Fall, spring

A seminar to accompany the Education 320 Practicum. Addresses issues arising in the practicum experience, as well as current topics in education in order to meet the professional standards for teachers. Open only to TEP students. One unit.

Multicultural Education

This seminar utilizes multicultural education theory and methodology to examine culture and diversity in American education.  Students examine the lived experience of “the other” as these students grow in population yet continue to be marginalized within the institution. Historical perspectives, current status, and future directions are explored throughout the semester.  One unit.

The Good High School
Alternate years

This course examines several area high schools labeled “good high schools.” Through an examination of policy, curriculum, physical plant, culture, and relationships, students will gain an understanding of what defines a good American high school. One unit.

American School Reform

This course surveys current approaches to educational change. As such, it explores the current systems and structures that constitute the policy framework, scrutinizes the assumptions and ideological underpinnings of different political camps, and examines the dynamic interactions between and among the actors shaping American education. Looking at various reform efforts and models, the course considers their use and practicality in the effort to transform schools. One unit.

Research in Education

Seminar focuses on research techniques commonly used in education. Students conduct an original research project over the course of the semester. One unit. 

Schools for a New America

This course will focus on the need to redefine our schools to respond to a new American reality. The transformation brought by globalization and technology have impacted every aspect of American life. This is particularly true in the new economic realities, the nature of work, our notion of community and growing income and opportunity disparities. Education is at the heart of an effective American response to these challenges. This course will define this current transformation, its current impact on schools, and the necessity for schools to redefine themselves. One unit.

Capstone Seminar

This capstone seminar is designed for students to apply and integrate their knowledge from previous coursework in a final project and presentation. The seminar will be organized through an essential question and the first third of the seminar will be devoted to establishing a context for addressing that question through reading and discussion. The final two thirds of the seminar will designed to direct this study which will include a field experience consistent with the chosen topic. One unit.

Fall, spring

Tutorial projects designed by students and faculty members. Admission determined by evaluation proposal. One unit.

Directed Research
Fall, spring

Students may undertake an independent research project under the direction of a faculty member. Permission required. One unit.

Jobs: Teaching as a Case Study

This class will consider teaching in the United States — its past, its present, and its future. How did the job evolve the way it did? To whom is the work attractive and why? What explains teacher decisions and behaviors? Why do we perceive teachers the way we do? What are the challenges teachers face? How could their jobs be made easier? In considering all of these questions, we will come to better understand teaching and the broader field of American education. But we will also come to understand other, even broader phenomena — what a profession is, for instance, how workplaces are influenced, what motivates people, and how policy can impact practice. One unit.

EDUC 231
Adolescent Literacy
Annually, spring

This course will examine why many adolescents struggle to acquire the literacy skills needed to meet workplace and post-secondary education demands. It will explore instructional approaches to address these challenges in middle and high school. Topics such as reading motivation, disciplinary literacy, diversity in student reading profiles, and the relationship of adolescent development to classroom contexts will be explored. One unit.