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Education Department

Location: Main Office: McKay Campus Building C, Room, C176
Chairperson: Dr. Denise LaFrance, 978-665-3995, McKay C155
Support Staff: Carolyn Hughes, 978-665-3193 and Lael Lavery, 978-665-3308
Admissions Office: 978-665-3144 or


Fitchburg State offers a variety of specialized teacher education area programs including Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Middle School Education and Special Education.

Our curriculum is only one of seven of the sixty colleges or universities in Massachusetts that have earned recognition by some of the largest professional organizations of educators for children and youth that promote excellence in the content of teacher preparation programs, including:

We have also earned distinction from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation CAEP/NCATE. We are most proud that our high quality programs have met their rigorous national standards and that our programs and teacher candidates can be favorably compared nationwide.

As a pre-service teacher candidate, you will also have numerous opportunities to work in a variety of real-life settings including our McKay Campus School, which houses a preschool, an elementary school, and the middle school Fitchburg Arts Academy. Our local public schools and varied community childcare centers will provide you additional enrichment opportunities. We believe these specially designed yearlong field experiences will better prepare you for the realities of your teaching career.

All teacher education candidates in the Education Department who will be endorsed for licensure in Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle School and Special Education carry a double major. They complete academic requirements in a liberal arts and sciences major, titled Interdisciplinary Studies (IDIS) and those of their education major. In addition to the dual major, students choose a minor to complete in English, mathematics, history, or social sciences. Teacher candidates begin their education courses and fieldwork in their freshman year and student-teach in their senior year.

Two Year Rotation of Courses

Four Year Plan of Study



Benharris, Lyndsey, Early Education and Care, Early Childhood Literacy, Observation and Assessment in Early Years, Developmentally Appropriate Practices & Programs for Young Children, Designing Environments for young Children
Cortezia, William, Middle school education, social studies, curriculum and instruction, sociology of education
Day, Danette, Teacher education, Cultural Proficiency, Contemplative Studies
DeAngelis, Karen, Special Education and Elementary Education, Understanding Diversity and Disabilities, Science & Social Studies for Students with and without Disabilities
Farron-Davis, Felicia, Severe disabilities, quantitative and qualities research, English language instruction
Heiligenstein, Janna, English Language Acquisition, Educational Leadership, Culturally Responsive Schools, Professional Development for Educators.
Howard, Anne, Severe disabilities, special education
Joseph, Ruth, Literacy and Reading
LaFrance, Denise, Teaching Math to Students with and without Disabilities, Assessment of Students with and without Disabilities, Educational Research, and Practicum and Research Seminar
Link, Laurie, Elementary Education, Teaching Math Effectively, Science in Education, Assessment for Instruction
Murray, Nancy, Emotional/behavioral disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, instruction and assessment in reading
Nichols, Joann, Early childhood,psychology of education, fabric arts
Shapiro, Robert, Behavior analysis, behavior support
Sullivan, Annette, Language Arts Education, Social studies, reading and writing in the content areas
Tyner, Scott, Special Education, Understanding Diversity and Disabilities, Language Development and Speech


One of the more impressive facilities at the university is the McKay Arts Academy, a PreK-8 Innovation school. This school, located right on the campus, provides students in teacher preparation programs access to classrooms where they can observe and teach. Without leaving the campus, teacher candidates can combine what they are learning in their courses with what occurs in public school classrooms and, thus, enhance their understanding of educational theory and practice.

The Education Department offers state-of-the-art multimedia classrooms. All classrooms are equipped with computer technology and have been recently renovated. Our teacher candidates enjoy small class sizes and learn in inviting, comfortable classrooms.