Niagara University Profile 2012

Posted on: August 27, 2012

History of the Education Program – University of Niagara

Niagara University began in 1856 and has offered degrees in education since 1935. The first programs in education included undergraduate and graduate preparation for teachers and administrators focusing on the experiences of secondary schools.  The connection with the Ministry of Education in Ontario dates back to 1984 at which time the University was officially approved to offer programs in Ontario. The approved programs included those leading to a Master of Science Degree in Education (M.S. Ed.), including programs in administration, supervision and school counseling. Since 2007, provincial consent has included pre-service education in Ontario.  Today Niagara University offers programs in teacher education at both the baccalaureate and Master’s levels at the main campus located in Lewiston New York, just over the Queenston-Lewiston bridge and baccalaureate programs at satellite campuses located in Toronto and York region. 

Conceptual Framework and Mission
The conceptual framework for the University programs is grounded in the Catholic and Vincentian tradition upheld by its founding fathers.  As a Vincentian university, Niagara draws inspiration from St. Vincent de Paul, who organized his contemporaries to respond compassionately to people's basic needs. Continuing this tradition, Niagara seeks to inspire its teacher candidates to serve all members of society, especially the poor and oppressed, in local communities and in the larger world.  Founded on the over-all strategic plan of the university, the College of Education develops a strategic plan specific to teacher preparation.  The mission, as stated below, resonates throughout all of their programs and can be evidenced in particular through the field placements that are required of all candidates.

It is the mission of the College of Education, therefore, to prepare educators, who demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and qualities of good teaching needed to serve others and who further the practices of their respective professions.  We seek to inspire our candidates in the Vincentian tradition; and to foster core values of professional commitment and responsibility, professional relationships, and critical thinking and reflective practice (College of Education Strategic Plan, 2011-2017). 

Scholarship Opportunities

Realizing the growing diversity in our society, and the need for teachers of international languages, the College of Education at Niagara University has extended its areas of certification to include Spanish, French, Mandarin, Arabic and Italian. Its their belief that the best preparation to teach any language should include an understanding of the culture and, for this reason students who study with them are encouraged to take part in one of many study abroad experiences.  One such experience is an opportunity to study in Italy over the spring or summer break.  As a means to assist them in building the number of qualified Italian educators, we have procured through the generosity of Mr. Angelo Di Ianni, ten scholarship opportunities for students. 

Interested individuals are encouraged to contact Vincent Rinaldo PhD at the College of Education, Niagara University at vjr@niagara.edu.