Good Catholic teacher colleges

Good Catholic teacher colleges

A reader writes:

Our 10 y.o. homeschooler is convinced that she knows enough about how education works that she should become a teacher on order to save all the poor “school kids” from the failings of institutional learning. Furthermore, she wants to go to a “real” Catholic college, so she can meet a nice Catholic boy, who wants kids in quantity. I support all of these goals, even if I am not sure that she can save education from institutions. So – what are the best “real” Catholic universities that offer education degrees? She wants to start working on admission requirements when we plan next year’s curriculum for homeschooling. N.B. she means by “real” just what one would hope, no St. Louis Jesuits need apply. Googling got me a lot more hits than content. Maybe ya’ll know or could spread the question around.

To start off, I know that Franciscan University of Steubenville offers degrees in education, as does the University of Dallas, as Melanie tells me. Anyone know of anything else?

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  • Good point Colleen. The Cardinal Newman Society is also developing a book that gives all kinds of information about Catholic colleges. It’s not out yet, but it should be soon.

    (Last year, I interviewed for the position of editor of the guide but decided not to take the job; it wasn’t anything to do with CNS or the project, just that it didn’t work for us.)

  • I admit bias, since I go there, but Thomas Aquinas College in California is a very traditional Catholic college (Latin Mass four times a day, for starters).  It doesn’t offer a degree in education, but a BA in liberal arts is a good start.  I know several grads who have begun teaching right out of school, and others who take a year or 18 months to get a master’s in education.

  • For your Canadian readers: There is no place to fulfill this ambition in the country at this time.  In some places, Catholic school boards try to convince themselves that graduates of the two remaining “independent” Catholic universities, St Thomas University in New Brunswick and St Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, are somehow safer choices.  They are mistaken.  All Canadian universities are secular to the core and more or less (mostly more) hostile to Catholicism.

    Why major in Education?  Good point, but no disrespect is meant to teacher education, which is a professional programme.  Students interested in teaching should pursue a good B.A. or B.Sc. degree with a major and a minor in a subject taught in the schools of their states.  Then they should find a good two-year post-baccalaureate teacher education programme, one with a substantial amount of practice teaching experience that can be done in Catholic schools.

    I believe that there are some interesting post-B.A. programmes at Notre Dame and Providence College.

  • DeSales University in Center Valley, PA.  Owned by the diocese of Allentown and run by the Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales.

  • My second daughter just earned a BA in elementary education and special education from Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. She chose Seton Hall over Franciscan University (which her older sister graduated from) strictly due to the academics offered there. Seton Hall’s program is eons ahead of Franciscan’s and is nationally acclaimed.

    As far as Catholic orthodoxy goes, Franciscan is eons ahead of Seton Hall. Much of the student population at Seton Hall is not Catholic and much more diverse than Franciscan. Although I must say my daughter had tremendous opportunities to do varied types of service and took full advantage of those, even taking a mission trip to El Salvador and working in soup kitchens. She got involved with FOCUS and campus ministry and those were tremendous faith enriching groups.

    My fear of her losing her faith – or having it watered down – at Seton Hall were never realized, thank God. I honestly believe she came out of there a better Catholic than she went in.

    Just my experience, for what it’s worth !

  • If a student comes to Boston College, they can get a real Catholic education if they know before hand that they are going to have to fight for it.  We can always use more, not less, faithful Catholics at BC…

  • Providence College does offer a teacher certification program. While some of the students at PC are…well…rather P.C., all in all it’s a good school. At least I think so. However, I will admit that there are many things about the school that I would change. Co-ed dorms being one of them.

    Now, Providence College also takes part in the Providence Alliance for Catholic Teachers (PACT). The PACT program is for Catholics who have undergraduate degrees with a major or 30 credits in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Education, English, History, Math, Spanish, and Theology. I work with several graduates of that program and they are great. The students teach while they are in school and get free tuition and a stipend in return.

    I work with several teachers from the PACT program and they are awesome.

    Here is the website:

  • infanted, the problem with BC is the unreal tuition! There is no way most people can afford BC unless they are incredibly generous with grants OR you want to come out with huge loans. Now, I know that you pay for the BC name but if you are going to be a teacher, there isn’t going to be a realistic way of having that much in loans and paying them off in the future (unless you have wealthy and generous parents, a trust fund or marry someone who has a great salary). Plus as a teacher (or nurse) there’s no sense in paying for a name college as it holds not enough weight in the employment search – one of those majors where you’ll get hired for about the same salary whether you went to BC or a state college or university.

    Same thing with Catholic University of America, Notre Dame and some of the other big name Catholic schools.

    A friend of mine’s son is going to graduate from Stonehill College in Easton (no bastion of Catholicism, btw) as a math teacher with 80k in loans—- horrifying to me. I don’t know how he will ever pay them off – and what a noose around his neck especially if he wants to settle in Ma$$achu$etts.

  • I would honestly suggest Notre Dame (PLS- The Great Books major) and St. Mary’s College (Education) program.  The universities have their faults but there are a lot of great people there.  In the last ten years, the number of engaged Catholics and organizations is even forcing the university in some ways to offer more substantial religious education programs to the entire population.  I would argue that percentage wise the number of faithful students there would equal or surpass some of the smaller colleges.