While Whitman does not have an education major or minor, a broad program in liberal arts and sciences can prepare students for graduate or professional work in education. The recommended majors for post-baccalaureate work depend on the desired age group, specialty, and profession within education. Students interested in educational practice, theory, pedagogy, policy, or administration are encouraged to take a broad range of courses and to include courses dealing with philosophy, social inequality, social group relations, psycho-social conditions of family/childhood/adolescence, and courses that may include community-based learning with local schools or educational organizations. Students interested in the field of bilingual education should visit both the Language Learning Center and the Office of Off-Campus Studies to find out more about opportunities to get experience in this area.
Master’s programs in teaching in the U.S. often have prerequisites that include a course in pedagogical theory and practice and a course in substantive areas, such as inequality in education, educational policy, or educational psychology. Whitman does not offer courses in pedagogical theory and practice (with classroom practice), but there are several courses that can serve as the substantive prerequisite, and there are some courses with applied components that may take place in local schools or educational organizations. Students interested in graduate school in education are encouraged to consult with the program of interest to see if particular courses at Whitman may count as a prerequisite.
Besides curricular offerings on topics in educational studies, Whitman offers numerous co-curricular opportunities for students who may want to gain practical experience in settings that are education-focused. These opportunities include mentoring and tutoring local students, student clubs, and summer internship opportunities. Information about these opportunities is available from the advisors listed above, from student clubs, and from the Student Engagement Center.
Because age group, specialty area, and geographic region influence the kinds of testing necessary to work in educational fields (and the timing of those exams), students are encouraged to investigate early the types of tests and majors that are required or recommended to meet their career or graduate school goals and to consult with the education advisors and Student Engagement Center resources before deciding on a major.