As many as 100 classical school teachers will receive scholarships this year as the University of Dallas intensifies its efforts within the classical education arena. The university also plans to bring on two new tenure-track faculty members, each devoted primarily to one of two programs in the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts, namely, the Alternative Teacher Certification program and the Classical Education program.
Integral to the mission of the university is the commitment to nurturing lives dedicated to virtue, to servant leadership, to entrepreneurship, to engaged citizenship and to sound, circumspect judgment. These classical education programs uphold and enrich this mission by preparing teachers to further and perpetuate it at all levels of primary education, from kindergarten through 12th grade, with a focus on classical and content-rich environments.
Both the Classical Education and Alternative Certification programs will be fully available long-distance, through development of high-quality online courses.
The program’s growth is being made possible by a grant from the Charles Koch Foundation. The Foundation supports research and educational programs in areas such as criminal justice and policing reform, free expression, foreign policy, economic opportunity and innovation.
“Education has the power to transform lives, and teachers are at the heart of it,” said the foundation’s Director of Educational Partnerships Brennan Brown. “The University of Dallas is innovating to provide access to high-quality education and certificate opportunities.”
The Braniff Graduate School, which provides a variety of master’s and doctoral programs, piloted its first graduate program of this kind two years ago as the classical education concentration within its Humanities program. Subsequently, the Education Department, with a long-standing undergraduate major in education, started to offer graduate certificates and degrees within Braniff aimed primarily at teachers in public and diocesan schools. And now, the Education Department in collaboration with the Humanities with Classical Education Concentration program will offer an Alternative Certification program, which will integrate classical pedagogy, for aspiring K–12 teachers who already have their bachelor’s degrees.
As explained by Assistant Dean of Braniff, Graduate Director of Classical Education, and Assistant Professor of Humanities Matthew Post, Ph.D., “This program will strengthen our commitment to helping teachers and promoting excellence in K-12 education, thereby serving our communities and ultimately, we hope, the entire country.”
“We want all children to be in programs that appropriately address their educational needs,” said Associate Professor of Education Janette Boazman, Ph.D. “For an increasing number of students, the classical education curriculum in a virtue-based and content-rich environment provides an appropriate educational setting for developing deep meaningful knowledge, experiences of personal and academic success, and movement toward the achievement of a more virtuous, unified and happy life.”
“We respect everything that’s great in public education and the dedication of public educators,” said Post. “This program, which is the hard work of the Education Department, will include proven pedagogical approaches used by teachers who focus on the liberal arts, core knowledge and character. These approaches really resonate with students, and parents are increasingly seeing their value. While earning potential and technical skills are important, education should also consider the ends that inform a full and meaningful life.”
“UD has something to offer that no one else can, especially the collaborative relationship between the Classical Education program and the Education Department,” added Braniff Graduate School Dean Joshua Parens, Ph.D.