6 must-knows about Mount Holyoke and its MAT in English Language Learners program

Teaching two students in a classroom

1. Our education programs are approved with distinction by the state of Massachusetts.

Mount Holyoke College is one of two colleges in Massachusetts to have its teacher education programs granted approval with distinction by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The department says Mount Holyoke’s teacher education programs are “operating at such a high level they can serve as a model for other providers in the state and nation.” This was based on multiple factors, including our:

  • New, innovative approaches to educator preparation.
  • Intentional partnerships with pre-K-12 schools/districts.
  • A commitment to diversifying the educator workforce.

“The things I learned two years ago, when I started the program, are things I’m seeing on Twitter chats today.” – graduate programs alum

Hear how Mount Holyoke puts you ahead of the curve.

“You can read books about teaching and talk about teaching, but there’s no substitute for standing in front of a classroom of students.” – MAT supervising practitioner

Hear why our year-long placement is both important and beneficial.

2. Our faculty is made up of experts actively working in the field, which means they deeply and authentically understand the nuances of teaching in today’s schools.

Meet some of your future professors, advisors and mentors:

  • Alicia Lopez: ELL/ESL faculty member
    • Alicia’s 23 years in the classroom span two states and three subjects (French, Spanish, ESL).
    • She is passionate about teaching through a social justice lens, family engagement, and advocating for English language learners, as well as teaching them self-advocacy skills.
    • Area of specialty: sociocultural context of schooling and current research in the field of ELL teaching and learning.
  • Erin Casioppo, differentiated instruction and diverse learners faculty
    • Erin is a special education teacher in Amherst, Massachusetts.
    • She is an experienced classroom teacher, reading instructor, ELL teacher and teacher of the deaf.
    • Area of specialty: supporting students in inclusive settings, the neuroscience of learning, and the integration of art, language and academic learning.
  • Holly Graham, ELL/ESL Faculty member
    • Holly has classroom experience as a middle school English and history teacher.
    • She is a national speaker on language and applied linguistics.
    • Area of specialty: the relationship between language and its functions in social settings, the importance of language and linguistic choice within the curriculum and how we think about and discuss language.

Meet our graduate faculty

3. Our MAT English Language Learner program means living and advancing our values of diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • We are committed to helping public schools diversify the professional teaching staff in their school systems.
    • “This program benefits the paraeducators as well as the district. Mount Holyoke gives them an education of excellence and the tools to become good teachers. It’s a win-win situation.” – Damany Gordon, diversity and equity specialist at Amherst public schools

    • “The goal is to diversify the teacher workforce in order to more accurately reflect the student body and the community as a whole. This is important work.” – Ruth Hornsby, assistant director

  • Thanks to Mount Holyoke’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, there are ample educational opportunities and programs provided by the College that focus on a wide range of identities through the lens of social justice education, ally development, and identity development.
“I want my students to feel that their cultures are represented and valued in the classroom.” – Stephani Lopez Rodriguez MAT’19
Stephani Lopez Rodriguez teaching two students in a classroom.

4. Mount Holyoke graduate programs are inclusive and diverse.

1/5 graduate students self-identify as a student of color

Mount Holyoke welcomes and supports students of all backgrounds and identities. We have a commitment to encouraging and supporting teachers and educational leaders who are underrepresented in the field so all students can see a reflection of themselves in their schools. Our alum reflect the beauty and diversity of their classrooms; they are teachers that serve as mentors, role models and inspiration for students of color, who have visible and invisible disabilities, are LGBT, are immigrants and who are multicultural and multilingual.

5. Hands-on, personalized support and connection is a distinct and long-standing part of Mount Holyoke’s culture. From admissions to career launch and beyond, being part of Mount Holyoke is a life-long experience.

Amy Nichols

Talk 1:1 with an admissions coordinator

Find a time that works best for you! Have all of your admissions questions answered in a one-on-one meeting or attend a Virtual Open House.
Students with laptops in the grass under the trees.

Learn about your career options and licensure

The non-licensure program can be completed online and culminates in a capstone project. The licensure program includes student teaching.
Graphic depicting career outcomes

Opportunities await you in our Career Center

The CDC at Mount Holyoke helps graduate students chart a course for the future and gain the practical experience needed to succeed.

6. As a Mount Holyoke student, you join the legacy of an elite college with a revered history of preparing educators and changemakers dating back to 1837. Your life-long status as a Mount Holyoke alum comes with strength in numbers and community.

When Mount Holyoke College was started in 1837, one of the goals was to prepare educators to go out and engage with the world. Today we have a tight knit community of nearly 40,000 Mount Holyoke College alums, 25% of whom are in education as teachers, coaches, leaders and policymakers. It is a community with strong traditions that tie together generations of alums.

Photo of Stephani Lopez Rodriguez MAT’19

Meet 1 of nearly 40,000 Mount Holyoke alums

Stephani Lopez Rodriguez MAT’19 is a fiercely passionate recent graduate with licensure in teaching English language learners.

Powered by Mount Holyoke

What “Powered by Mount Holyoke” really means

Nearly 90% of our alums are active in Mount Holyoke’s career directory and 25% of them are employed in education-related occupations.

“Anyone who is looking to be a part of a close-knit community will really like it here.” – graduate programs alum

Listen to our students talk about the community at Mount Holyoke.

Learn more about our English Language Learners Programs