Montclair State University Named One of 10 Schools Nationwide as Trailblazer to Better Education for the 21st Century

Institutions featured in November/December issue of Edutopia

MONTCLAIR, NJ -- Montclair State University, New Jersey's second largest university which celebrates its centennial this year, has been named one of ten schools nationwide blazing the trail to better education practices by Edutopia, a nonprofit foundation established in 1991 by filmmaker George Lucas. Edutopia is widely regarded as the leading resource for educators who want to improve schools for the twenty-first century.

Calling attention to the crisis that confronts teacher preparation in the United States, Edutopia selected Montclair State University as one of ten national finalists in a field of more than 1200 schools of education because of its innovative programs leading the way to teacher preparation that more closely mirrors the demands of teaching in real classrooms. Each of the institutions selected by Edutopia is featured in the November/December issue of Edutopia and on

"I am delighted to hear this exciting news," said Ada Beth Cutler, dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Montclair State. "I am so proud of the talented and dedicated faculty and staff colleagues who have truly earned this designation as one of the ten leading schools of education in the nation."

Montclair State University was hailed for its interdisciplinary approach to innovations based on the needs of public schools. At the College's Center of Pedagogy, the first in the nation, an interdisciplinary body of arts and sciences, education, and school faculty members establishes policies and practices. Within the Center of Pedagogy, the MSU Network for Educational Renewal is the school-university partnership with 25 nearby school districts where students from Montclair State have their field experiences, and faculty from the University teach courses and mentor students on-site. Edutopia commended Montclair State's close partnership with public schools.

Students are guided through their teacher education program by a document called the "Portrait of a Teacher," a set of statements that embody Montclair State's vision of an educator that is used to inform admission into all of the University's education programs, assessments through teacher preparation, and professional development for teachers. The Portrait is aligned with state and national teaching standards.

Montclair State University was founded in 1908 as the New Jersey State Normal School at Montclair in response to the growing demand for professionally trained teachers. Since that time, Montclair State University's College of Education and Human Services has grown to include seven academic departments and five institutes and programs of study.

The other schools sharing the Edutopia honor with Montclair State University are Alverno College (Milwaukee, WI), Academy for Urban School Leadership (Chicago, IL), Bank Street College of Education (New York, NY) Boston Teacher Residency (Boston, MA) Curry School of Education (Charlottesville, VA) Emporia State University (Emporia, KS), Michigan State University, Stanford University, and the University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX).

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Released 12/3/2007