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CSU MUST program shines nationally

Master of Urban Secondary Teaching Program is a finalist in the 2012 competition for the Distinguished Program in Teacher Education

By Mandy Duncan

February 2,2012

Students at Cleveland State have something to be proud of. The Master of Urban Secondary Teaching Program or MUST as it is referred to is a finalist in the 2012 award for the Distinguished Program in Teacher Education.

The award is sponsored by the Association of Teacher Educators and awards will be presented at the ATE’s annual meeting held in San Antonio, Texas in February 2012. The MUST program was started in the 90s and it is CSU’s first master’s licensure program. It meets most rigorous state and federal requirements for licensure.

It’s purpose is to make a difference in urban area high schools and it partners with Cleveland area high schools. It’s 14 month program and licensure is available in integrated language arts, social studies, science, mathematics, Spanish and visual arts.

There are 25 students in the program this year but there is no cap on how many students can enroll.

Graduates of the MUST can serve in the program after they graduate as mentors for the current cohorts. Job placement rate for MUST graduates averages 90 percent. Many MUST graduates have gone on to teach out of state.

“You’re going to grow as a person and be a fantastic teacher when you’re done. Teacher licensure can take you many places,” says Nancy Ciganko, the counselor of the program.
Ciganko tells students to make sure that they are focused and dedicated to the program because the coursework is very demanding.

“Thomas Major took on an early leadership role; he would contact me with questions and then passed it on to his fellow cohorts. They work together as a team but also know they have to be independent as well.”

The MUST program outcomes are social justice, urban teaching, urban school and communities resilience, resistance, and persistence. All MUST interns are expected to respect their own and students personal, social, and cultural uniqueness and understand how these attributes affect teaching and learning.

Frank O’Grady is a second career MUST cohort. O’Grady is a former Air Force officer who worked in an advertising agency in Cleveland. He joined the MUST program and loves every moment.

“ There are several things that I love about this program, the spirit and how the program is designed to help you become a teacher in urban schools, the cohort is fun because you have other students going through the program with you and the way that Diane Corrigan has designed the program to focus on social justice so the urban students succeed,” O’Grady says. Frank agrees with Ciganko that cohorts must be dedicated to theprogram and spirit of the program.

“ You have to believe that you can make a difference,” O’Grady says.

Gina Lamson is also a MUST cohort. She has a bachelor’s degree in English. She started the MUST program after changing majors several times before. Lamson is also a copyeditor for the Vindicator at CSU.

“The professors I’ve found have given us a lot of real world experience, and bring it into the classroom everything isn’t straight out of the textbook. I feel like I am with a second family, you really bond with the others, and come to really rely on each other, said Lamson. Summer session begins on May 21,2012.

“Everybody is there for you and supporting you if you need it. You form a lot of friendships and bonds that other MUST graduates tell me carries on after the program to later on in life,” said Lamson.