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Faculty Spotlight
Dean, School of Fire and Health Sciences
School of Education

The teacher preparation programs at Anna Maria College aim to develop the student as a deeply committed, knowledgeable, and reflective practitioner. The programs are built on the idea that K–12 students are unique individuals, who are joined together as different members of a learning community. As learning community members, there is a responsibility to respect, support, and learn from each other. Both the individual and social dimensions of learning are stressed. AMC students are asked to consider how to help K–12 students grow in both their individual capabilities as learners and in their capabilities as responsible and cooperative co-learners.

Our goal is to cultivate educators who are supportive colleagues, maintain a high level of competence and integrity in their teaching practices, use feedback to improve their performance, embrace the diversity of their students, and ultimately serve as positive adult role models in their school community.

Anna Maria was ranked as one of the top 50 schools in Massachusetts providing excellence in education.  
Program Goals

  1. To develop capability as a planner of students’ learning: To gain confidence and competence in planning for classroom learning in and across various curriculum areas, taking into account the diverse developmental needs, interests, backgrounds, and learning styles of students

  2. To develop capability and versatility as a teacher: To gain confidence and competence in various modes of teaching, including, but not limited to, “direct” teaching (teacher-led demonstration and direction) and “indirect” teaching (facilitate, model, guide, coach, support, and co-learn)

  3. To learn to integrate teaching, learning, and assessment: To gain confidence and competence in assessing and evaluating classroom students’ learning and to adapt instruction accordingly

  4. To become a reflective practitioner: To learn to reflect on the process of teaching and learning and on the assumptions, values, and beliefs that underlie it
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Program Philosophy

Professional dispositions are the cornerstone of the Educator Preparation Program at Anna Maria College as we believe that professional dispositions often determine the success, or lack of success, of our educator candidates. The professional disposition indicators are threaded throughout the program in order for students to make connections from course content to their role as a professional educator. The Educator Preparation Program at Anna Maria College aligns course criteria, pre-practicum, and practicum experiences with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Professional Standards. Students are provided with guidance and feedback to plan curriculum and instruction, deliver effective instruction, manage classroom climate and operations, promote equity, and meet professional responsibilities. The program philosophy is to model effective teaching practices, provide current research, promote theoretical appreciation, and make connections to practice for all students.


The Educator Preparation Program integrates effective teaching strategies for curriculum planning to meet the needs of a diverse student body. Using the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Curriculum Framework Standards, students are taught to target essential knowledge when planning learning objectives, create measurable evaluations of student learning, and provide evidence of differentiated instruction. Anna Maria College students are challenged to promote active learning, using standards-based instruction, and to share ideas and teaching strategies to begin their collegial experience even before they enter the teaching profession.

The Education Program faculty at Anna Maria College works closely with supervising practitioners to communicate the standards and expectations of the pre-practicum and practicum experience. We value feedback from the field and serve as a support system for students and practitioners during this learning process. Ultimately, AMC students will be future colleagues; therefore, we challenge supervising practitioners to model and discuss qualities of effective teaching to prepare our students for their role as a professional educator in the community. 

The Education Program places a high priority on active approaches to learning. AMC students are encouraged, for example, to help classroom students develop mathematical and scientific understanding through inquiry, questioning, problem solving, and investigation, and to connect this process between and among curriculum areas in their planning, based on a belief that learning naturally involves such connections. AMC students are encouraged to try different strategies in assessing classroom students’ learning and needs (e.g., journals, conferences, portfolios).


Summary of Programs

The following educator preparation programs prepare students for initial teacher licensure and are approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: 

Fifth-Year Option

Students who wish to pursue graduate or professional study in education can complete the requisite coursework through courses offered in the School of Education, the schools associated with their primary major, and the Colleges of Worcester Consortium. Through the Fifth-Year Option at Anna Maria College, advanced students may also earn up to two courses in advanced placement graduate credits. 

The following Master of Education programs are approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for teacher licensure preparation:

  • Preparation for Initial Teacher Licensure
    Early Childhood; Teacher of Students with and without Disabilities (Pre K-2)
    Elementary (1-6)
    Visual Art (PreK-8;5-12)
    Reading (All levels)
    Moderate Special Needs (PreK-8;5-12)
  • Preparation for Professional Teacher Licensure
    English Language Arts 

In addition, eligible students have the opportunity to achieve a non-licensure master’s degree.  More information can be found on the School of Education Graduate Programs website. 

Learning Outcomes for the School of Education Programs (PDF)


Chris Holmes-webDean of the School of Education
Christine Holmes, Ed.D. 
(508) 849-3418

Dr. Christine Holmes has been associated with Anna Maria College since 1999. As Director of Education Programs, Dr. Holmes has infused AMC’s educator preparation programs with rigor and excellence, helping to produce professional teachers and educators who have been recognized in their fields. Respected by her colleagues both on and off campus, Dr. Holmes was promoted to full professorship in 2011 and received the AMC Excellence Award for academic year 2011–2012.
A graduate of Fitchburg State College, Dr. Holmes received her M.S. from Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts, and earned her Ed.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her background and experience in the areas of human development and education complement her ongoing research that focuses on college teacher beliefs and conceptions about teaching and learning, preservice teacher preparation, inservice and mentor teacher training, affective learning, and ways of teaching and learning both face to face and online.
Dr. Holmes is cofounder of the Center for Teaching Excellence and serves as its Director as well as a faculty mentor. In this capacity, her work focuses on faculty development and developmental supervision.