Independent Schools Program

A specialized course of study offered through our Master of Arts in Teaching, Teacher Leadership program.

Photo of an Independent School teacher working with a student in a classroom

Todd D’Alessandro, MAT ‘18

Teacher, Coach and Dorm Parent at Ethel Walker School

Photo of Todd D’Alessandro MAT ’18

“I am so much more assured, and feel very prepared for classroom challenges. I am establishing myself as a leader in my school community, and can see and feel myself making a difference.”

Educators who make a difference    

Graduates from our teacher leadership program make a major impact in their communities, including going on to:

  • Transform their classroom practice and improve student learning.
  • Receive teaching awards at the local, state, and national levels.
  • Publish articles in professional journals and magazines.
  • Give keynote addresses at major conferences.
  • Become thought leaders who are shaping the future of education.

Read about some of our MAT, Independent Schools alums

Photo of Todd D’Alessandro MAT ’18

Todd D’Alessandro MAT’18

Middle and upper school Spanish teacher, coach and dorm parent.
Photo of Susan Michalski MATL’18

Susan Michalski MAT’18

French teacher at the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, MA.
Photo of Emily McDowell MAT’18

Emily McDowell MAT’18

Associate Director of College Counseling at The Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, MA
Graphic logo for the National Association of Independent Schools

Alum Andrew Syfu MAT'18 featured in NAIS blog

“Finding Professional Development Opportunities at the Graduate Level” was written by program faculty Kim Evelti, Gwen Bass and Tiffany Espinosa.

Capstone Projects

Watch the video to hear Independent Schools Program Alumni talk about their time at Mount Holyoke College and about their capstone projects.

Is This Program Right For You?

A degree program created by independent schools faculty for independent schools faculty.

Designed for full-time educators working in independent schools who want to enhance their teaching and/or prepare for leadership roles. Students choose from two tracks: one focused on teaching pedagogy and the other for educators looking to hone their leadership skills. Students collaborate with outstanding independent schools faculty to expand their professional network.

Download the Independent Schools Program flyer.

Related programs

Have a question?

For more information contact us at 413-538-3478 or

Mount Holyoke College has consistently prepared outstanding educators who have transformed communities around the world. Mount Holyoke College is a member of the Consortium for Excellence in Teacher Education (CETE).

What You Learn

Through this program you will develop your teaching and leadership skills, and have the opportunity to focus on aspects of both that are unique to an independent school context.

You will develop an individualized course of study by choosing a primary focus on pedagogy or leadership, and then working with your advisor to choose appropriate electives. Your final semester will focus on a capstone project where you will work with a coach on a topic inspired by your professional goals.

Specialized Independent School Courses

  • Independent School: Beyond the Classroom
  • Advising & Counseling Students Beyond the Classroom
  • Coaching & Athletics
  • Independent Schools: New Teachers Seminar
  • Independent Schools: Experienced Practitioners Seminar
  • Seminar on Effective Teaching and Learning Strategies for Practitioners

Learn more about the Independent School Program Courses.

Pedagogy Course Offerings

  • Child/Adolescent Development
  • The Inclusive Classroom
  • Teaching with Technology
  • Differentiated Instruction for Diverse Learners
  • Second Language Acquisition and Classroom Practice
  • Developing Mathematical Ideas: Making Meaning for Operations
  • Interventions for Behavior and Classroom Management
  • Owning Assessments and Data for Student Learning
  • Explore other pedagogy courses:

Leadership Courses

  • Fostering a Collaborative Culture
  • Coaching, Mentoring, and Facilitating Instructional Improvements
  • Promoting Professional Learning
  • Leading Colleagues Using Research: Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice
  • Leadership in Practice for Educators
  • Explore other leadership courses

Download a sample course timeline.

Where & How You Learn

Our program is designed so you can balance work, family, and other life responsibilities while pursuing a graduate degree. You can attend summer classes on campus or from anywhere in the world via videoconference. During the school year our evening courses are offered in an interactive online format.

The program can be completed part-time over the course of two years.

Admission, Tuition and Financial Aid

We do rolling admissions throughout the year. While most students will start in the summer, we will help you customize your course sequence if it would be better for you to start in the fall or spring. Apply Now

Questions on How to Apply?

Find out about Tuition, Fees, and Billing.

Consider applying for one of our competitive scholarships and fellowships.

Frequently Asked Questions