2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog

Isabelle Farrington College of Education

Michael P. Alfano, PhD


Phone:  203-365-7621

Fax: 203-365-7513



Mel L. Horton, EdD

Associate Dean

Phone: 203-365-4876

Fax: 203-365-7513



The Isabelle Farrington College of Education prepares and promotes a diverse community of educators, whose work is grounded in professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions in service to their students.  Guided by fundamental principles of social justice, human dignity and equity, we prepare our candidates to help their students navigate a global community that is undergoing profound cultural and technological change.  We use evidence of candidate performance to continuously improve practice and policy.

To accomplish this mission, the Isabelle Farrington College of Education assures that upon completion of the program of study, its graduates and program completers are highly qualified professionals in their respective areas of expertise, are deeply committed to all youngsters' growth and development, and have a sensitivity to the importance of social and emotional growth as an aspect of students' education.  The Isabelle Farrington College of Education adheres to and assures that candidates address the national and state standards of professional preparation of each of its programs.

A key partner in the mission is Horizons at SHU. Located within the Isabelle Farrington College of Education, this summer and weekend program provides academic enrichment and social support to children in the Bridgeport schools.

Teacher Preparation and Initial Certification

The Isabelle Farrington College of Education offers a professional curriculum approved by the state of Connecticut for certification as elementary and secondary school teachers. Prospective teachers must major in an academic discipline in addition to completing the teacher certification sequence. Thus, the teacher-graduate not only enters the job market with more than one skill, but also possesses an excellent academic background and a high level of professional competence.

Teacher Education programs focus on the personal growth of the teacher, as well as the social and emotional qualities conducive to teaching effectiveness. The components of the program—coursework, fieldwork, and student teaching—assist candidates in broadening their knowledge of the academic content areas along with the pedagogical and developmental practices that support learning and active inquiry. Fieldwork and student teaching are specially designed to help candidates experience the interrelationship between educational theory and practice.

The Isabelle Farrington College of Education offers several teacher certification choices: Elementary Education Grades 1–6, Secondary Biology 7–12, Secondary Chemistry 7–12, Secondary English 7–12, Secondary General Science 7–12, Secondary History and Social Studies 7–12, Secondary Mathematics 7–12, and Spanish 7–12. Additional University-approved credits are also required in each of the programs. For example, 3 credits in U.S. History is required.

There are two routes by which a candidate can achieve recommendation for initial teacher certification: the five-year program and the post-baccalaureate program.

Five Year Program

Sacred Heart undergraduates apply for admission to the Isabelle Farrington College of Education in spring of their sophomore year, complete seven certification courses while also satisfying BA/BS requirements, and complete the initial certification requirements in approximately five years. In addition, candidates complete the requirements for the Master of Arts in Teaching degree. During the fifth year, candidates also may serve as interns in the public schools. This internship includes a benefit equal to the tuition cost of 30 graduate credits. See the Isabelle Farrington College of Education for details of the graduate internship. Including the seven undergraduate education courses, candidates in the program complete a total of 60 credits of professional education.

Students seeking certification as elementary school teachers major in Interdisciplinary Studies. Students seeking certification as secondary school teachers major in the corresponding academic discipline. To be considered for the 5 Year Program, candidates must achieve and maintain a cumulative 2.67 GPA. Refer to the Graduate Catalog for additional requirements.

Post-Baccalaureate Program

Sacred Heart University candidates seeking teacher certification may elect to postpone the planned program leading to initial certification until they have completed the bachelor’s degree. Sacred Heart undergraduates choosing this route apply for admission to the Isabelle Farrington College of Education during fall of their senior year and begin education coursework as early as the late spring semester following undergraduate commencement.

Candidates also complete requirements for the Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Internship opportunities are available for two to three semesters of the full program (certification plus MAT). Teacher certification requires 36 credits; the MAT degree requires an additional 12 credits of graduate work that can be typically completed within two years. Specific details of the post-baccalaureate program are provided in the Graduate Catalog.

International Opportunity

The Farrington College of Education offers an international experiences in Dingle, Ireland. The program is open to all teacher preparation candidates as well as others considering careers in education.

The Irish experience takes place during the winter intensive session. Candidates experience the Irish educational system in an up close and personal way, observing classrooms in action, learning from Irish teachers and administrators, and meeting Irish teacher candidates. The course ED 341 Irish & American Education in Comparative Perspective counts in lieu of ED 302 Education in the United States or ED 304 Multicultural Education. For candidates who have already taken these courses, the Irish course also may serve as a MAT elective.

Horizons at SHU

Horizons at Sacred Heart University is an affiliate of Horizons National, an organization that aims to close the opportunity gap by providing consistent and long term academic and social support to low-income children across the country. Horizons at SHU serves students from the City of Bridgeport from kindergarten through high school.  The program's mission is to create a dynamic learning environment during the summer and on Saturdays during the school year. The children spend their time engaged in experiential literacy and math lessons as well as enjoying many different enrichment activities such as swimming, sports, art, music, gardening, STEM, wellness and more.

Application Process

Undergraduate candidates apply for admission to the five-year program in the fall of their sophomore year and begin professional education coursework in their junior year. Applicants who are entering the post-baccalaureate program may apply during fall semester of their senior year. All applications are managed through the Graduate Admissions Office.

Sacred Heart University adheres to all state regulations regarding teacher preparation.

Candidates must meet the following entrance requirements:

  • Complete the Online Graduate Education Form.
  • Take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam or qualify for Connecticut Department of Education waiver.
  • Provide evidence of state and national criminal history background check.
  • Present an essay (1–2 pages) discussing a recent experience interacting with children and/or youth and how this experience relates to expectations for a teaching career.
  • Meet with a faculty advisor in the Teacher Education program to review transcripts and develop a preliminary plan of study.
  • Maintain a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 2.67 to be considered for provisional admittance to the 5 Year Program.