A new program will allow future elementary and special education teachers from Madison College to transfer to the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education.
The two schools will formally sign the transfer agreement this Thursday, in an effort to encourage more students to pursue education careers. The plan is set to go into effect next September.
The move adds UW-Madison to a list of 12 schools in the state that offer a transfer pipeline through Madison College’s liberal arts education program. It will also give students guaranteed admission to the School of Education after matriculating from Madison College.
Once students have finished their associate degrees in the transfer education pre-major, they can take advantage of opportunities to meet with both schools’ advisors, as well as receive additional financial support through UW-Madison’s teacher preparation programs.
In a statement released Monday, Diana Hess, dean for UW-Madison’s School of Education, said she hopes more people from diverse backgrounds will consider joining the program.
“Our School of Education is dedicated to helping students from our community follow their dreams of becoming educators,” she said. “We encourage everyone — including first-generation college students, students of color, students with language proficiencies other than English, and people who are considering a career change or earning a second degree — to consider utilizing this new transfer agreement to join our School of Education.”
Those who transfer to the university will become eligible for its Wisconsin Teacher Pledge, which requires students to work at a Wisconsin primary institution for three to four years following graduation. The incentive covers the cost of testing, licensing and in-state tuition for all teacher education students.
One UW-Madison senior, Daniela Castellon, expressed her enthusiasm for the new partnership.
“It’s very exciting to learn that there will now be clear requirements and an easier pathway that make admission into UW–Madison’s School of Education attainable for Madison College students,” she said.
Castellon began her postsecondary education at Madison College, where she said it was difficult to make her dream of becoming a teacher a reality. It took several meetings and coordination with Madison College advisors to get where she is today — now studying elementary education and English as a second language.
“I want to make a difference in this world as a teacher, and I’m on that path now at UW–Madison,” she said.
Castellon, who identifies as Latinx and is a first-generation college student, reflected on her own experiences growing up in classrooms, saying she hopes to be a role model for others like her.
“Our education system isn’t perfect. There is a lot of injustice, especially for people of color,” she said. “I want to be that person in front of young people who can inspire them and that they can look up to. That’s what pushes me: to have someone say, ‘I want to be like my teacher — like Miss Daniela.’”
Throughout the years, Madison College and UW-Madison have worked on cultivating their relationship, offering additional resources for those who come through the transfer pipeline. The two institutions also have a contract for students enrolled in Madison College’s liberal arts transfer program.
More than 1,400 students in the liberal arts transfer into a four-year college every year, according to data from Madison College.
“This agreement strengthens the already deep partnership between Madison College and UW–Madison,” said Turina Bakken, provost of Madison College. “It provides a clear path to a meaningful profession for those who historically did not see college as an option, but who we know will make great teachers one day.”
UW-Madison’s provost John Karl Scholz added that the alliance will give students new opportunities on their paths to becoming teachers.
“At UW–Madison, we are committed to reducing barriers and broadening access to our university,” he said. “We are looking forward to welcoming and supporting students as they transition to our campus, and work toward their undergraduate degree and entry into the teaching profession.”
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