This week on Knight Life, we caught up with senior history major Joe Pilliteri, who is also pursuing a certification in adolescent education, to find out what it’s like to be a transfer student in the Division of Education.
KL: Why did you choose the Mount?
Joe: I am actually a transfer student here, which was a really easy process at the Mount. I attended a Transfer Day and I just had to bring my official high school and college transcripts to get an instant admission that day.
I decided to transfer to the Mount because I knew people who went to the school and everyone was really inviting here. Everyone helps everyone else, and there is a strong community feel on campus. Plus, I was interested in education, and the Division of Education at the Mount has such a strong reputation. In fact, the vast majority of my own teachers went here, which was why I decided to transfer to the Mount.
KL: What made you want to become a teacher?
Joe: I’ve always had a passion for being a teacher – my mom teaches kindergarten, and I’ve been able to see firsthand how rewarding that’s been for her. My football and baseball coaches in high school were also teachers, and I could see the level of reward they felt in students’ success.
KL: What are some of your favorite elements of the Mount’s Division of Education?
Joe: The Division of Education at the Mount is great because it is very hands-on. You get a lot of practice and knowledge through fieldwork, and those experiences are really diverse. The Division of Education faculty are absolutely outstanding; they are all former teachers who have done extensive research on education. In fact, one professor who was retiring last year gave us all her personal email if we ever wanted her to write us a letter of recommendation, which just isn’t something you’d see at another college or university.
KL: Why do education students have another major at the Mount?
Joe: As an education student at the Mount, you also declare a separate major besides education, which is extremely valuable for adolescence education, where you will teaching a specific subject to middle or high school students. This separate major in a content area (history, math, English, science, etc.) allows you to be more advanced in your teaching because you are learning about the subject in depth and can then share that knowledge with your students. In addition, as education students, we take a methods class in the content area on how to specifically teach that subject at the middle and high school levels.
KL: What advice would you give to prospective students interested in pursuing education at the Mount?
Joe: If you’re thinking about being an education student at the Mount, the best advice I could give would be that it’s not going to be what you expected it to be, but you’re going to fall in love with it because of the amazing faculty and the diverse experiences you’ll receive here.
To learn more about the Mount’s Division of Education, visit http://www.msmc.edu/education
Joseph Pilliterri, Class of 2018, is a history major pursuing certification in adolescent education from Walkill, NY.