Making an Impact in Education

Department of Psychology and Education

Reese-BuildingBuilding on more than a century of expertise, Mount Holyoke offers an interdisciplinary undergraduate program in psychology and education as well as a master of arts degree.

Undergraduate students have the option of choosing several different academic programs that relate to education: the education minor (with teacher licensure) or educational studies minor; the Nexus in education policy and practice; or the psychology and education major (with or without licensure).

» Read “Access to Education,” from the spring 2014 Alumnae Quarterly.

The number of licensure areas at the undergraduate and master’s level at Mount Holyoke.
The number of undergraduates that completed licensure programs and were endorsed for initial certification with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2013.



Gorse Child Study Center

Gorse Children’s Center at Stonybrook—which serves children from infant through school-age—is a laboratory preschool and kindergarten in its own building, serving as an observation and study site for Mount Holyoke undergraduate students.

Amy Wise ’97 fingerpaints with two boys in a kindergarten class in the photo to the left.



Current students interested in education have created a new student group, which meets weekly to discuss issues of importance in education. The group has watched a film series looking at how teachers are portrayed in film and discussed topics such as ways of building for leadership in pre-service teachers.

Alumnae Mentorship and Guidance

Current juniors and seniors met with recent alumnae in March for informal mentoring and networking. Rachel Cummings ’09, Denise Lucia ’12, Jessica Law ’13, and Erica Foley ’13 traveled back to campus to talk about their experiences teaching in local schools.


Extraordinary Alumnae Educators

These are just a few of the amazing  educators that Mount Holyoke has produced over the years. Know a teacher that deserves to be in this slideshow? Let us know in the comments section, or nominate her for the Elizabeth Topham Kennan Award.

  • Fidelia Fiske
    Fidelia Fiske, class of 1842, was the founder and first principal of a female seminary at Orumiyeh in Persia (Urmia in present-day Iran).
  • Susan Mills
    Susan Tolman Mills, class of 1845, founded Mills College with her husband. It was the first US college for women west of the Rocky Mountains.
  • Alice Gordon Gulick, class of 1867, founded a school for girls, the International Institute for Girls in San Sebastian (later known as the International Institute for Girls in Spain).
  • Alice J. McLellan Birney
    Alice McLellan Birney, class of 1879, was the cofounder of what became the Parent-Teacher Association
  • Rhea Dehart ’42, was a teacher for forty years, the president and field representative of her local teacher’s union, and the president of her local board of education.
  • Karen Brosnan MacDonald
    Karen Brosnan MacDonald ’78 was named Maine’s 2014 Teacher of the Year.
  • Mary-Cantu
    Mary Elizabeth Cantu ’01 is the founder of Spare Parts, an organization that supplies art materials to schools in Texas, a much needed program that she started when the state legislature chopped $5 billion out of school budgets in 2011.
  • Sadiqua Basiri Saleem
    Sadiqa Basiri Saleem FP’09 helped found the Oruj Learning Center, which educates more than 2,700 girls, established the first Afghan community college for women, and started the Family Welfare Center for the Elimination of Violence against Women.


Elizabeth Topham Kennan Award

Given to alumnae for outstanding achievement in, and contributions to, the field of education, honoring the service former president Elizabeth Topham Kennan ’60 has given to the College and to higher education in general. Do you know a teacher deserving of this award? Nominate her today!

2013 Award Winners

Rita Rothenberg Calvo
Rita Rothenberg Calvo ’63
Elinor Miller Greenberg
Elinor Miller Greenberg ’53
Martha Cowen Cutts
Martha Cowen Cutts ’68


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