Purpose: The Catholic School Educator Preparation Program parallels the traditional education program while emphasizing the faith-based teacher’s role in helping children develop their spiritual lives.
Participants: The program is open to any education major or minor and is part of Rebuild My Church, a program that promotes faith and vocation at Marian University. The program is endorsed by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
Distinguishing Components: The Catholic School Educator Preparation Program requires a concentration in faith-based teaching. Marian University education students complete an additional 10 hours of coursework in theology that focuses on: the creed, liturgy, and sacraments of the Church; moral response; Old and New Testaments; the person of Jesus Christ; praying with children; the catechism of the Catholic Church; the teaching of religion; and the mission and history of Catholic schools. The program also provides opportunities for pre-service teachers to learn about teaching in a faith-based school from a mentor teacher. Lifelong learning practices are modeled by the mentor teacher with faith development as part of ongoing life in the classroom.
Implementation: The Catholic School Educator Preparation Program is a four-year program.
Year 1 is an introduction to the program with visits to schools along with reading and reflecting on becoming a Catholic school teacher.
In Year 2, the focus is on how faith permeates inclusion, mathematics, the arts, technology, and moral development and also understanding the school and relationships.
Year 3 addresses how faith permeates reading and language arts, social studies, science, moral development, and, if applicable, participation in sacramental preparation.
In Year 4, the emphasis is on how the faith-based school impacts the whole development of the child, teaching religion, planning a prayer service and/or a service project, and a clinical internship that includes the planning of a Mass.
Results: “The coursework and practicum experiences of the education program gave us the tools to lead in the classroom. Marian University was our first experience in a Catholic school as both students and educators. We feel blessed with the opportunities provided by Marian University to explore our calling to become Catholic school teachers.” “We love that we have the opportunity to openly share our Catholic faith with our students and colleagues. Our students inspire and challenge our spiritual lives daily with their faith, hope, and spirituality. We have a deeper understanding of our faith because of our leadership roles as educators. We are eternally grateful for the blessing of Marian University.”
Casey Zaberdac ’16 and Stephanie Hostetler ’16
Kindergarten and second grade teachers at St. Joan of Arc Catholic School