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Rigorous program proves difficult for timely finish

Castleton’s Education Program is very successful, though some students find it hard to accomplish in the four years.

But Richard Reardon, director of education, said he has many ways to ensure students’ succeed in just four years. He said he realize it’s a rigorous program, but it can be done.

“Our program is unlike many because it gets students out into the field early,” Reardon said.

Inquiry 1 is to be completed as a freshmen or as soon as you confirm your major and is worth 10 credits.  Inquiry 2 is to be taken as a senior, along with student teaching, and is worth 14 credits, he said.

“These are two giant classes. Some students are not ready for this rigorous work,” Reardon said.

To help education majors with planning, they are provided with two advisors, one from the department and the other from their concentration. Reardon stressed the importance of meeting with advisors and looking at the program evaluations.

Jake Bellamy is a senior at Castleton and will be graduating this spring.

“I knew from day one I wanted to be a teacher. It’s important when you enter the education program you understand the program evaluation and have regular meetings with your professors,” Bellamy said.

With all majors, students will struggle if they are not focused, Reardon said.

“If students don’t stay on track with everything, it can be overwhelming,” he said.

Shawna Pinsonault is a senior who will complete her education at another institution after Castleton to receive her licensure.

“I’ll admit it’s a little unorganized. It’s very important to figure out your concentration as quick as possible so you will have another advisor,” Pinsonault said.

According to Bellamy, planning ahead is very important in the program. “Trying to plan classes a semester in advance is critical,” Bellamy said.

Tyler Carpenter is a Castleton graduate and former football player who spent an extra semester to finish his degree.

“It wasn’t upsetting I didn’t finish on time because I got the time-consuming parts done after football,” Carpenter said. 

Although some students and professors may have different opinions on the rigor of the program and whether it’s realistic to complete in four years, many agree it just needs hard work and planning.

KT Pellegrino is a student who had to stay longer at Castleton to get her education degree. But she said it might not be the program’s fault.

“The program is only unorganized if the person entering is too,” she said.