Press Release: Manhattanville College School of Education Receives Award for Multicultural Education and Diversity


Press Release: Manhattanville College School of Education Receives Award for Multicultural Education and Diversity

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education to present The Best Practice Award in Support of Multicultural Education and Diversity on Feb. 28

February 13, 2020 • cara.cea

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PURCHASE, NY - The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) announced that Manhattanville College’s School of Education (SOE) in Purchase, NY is the recipient of the 2020 AACTE Best Practice Award in Support of Multicultural Education and Diversity for its Changing Suburbs Institute® (CSI) program. Shelley Wepner, dean and professor, Manhattanville College of Education, will be recognized formally with the award at the AACTE 72nd Annual Meeting, February 28 – March 1, in Atlanta, GA.

The AACTE’s Committee on Global Diversity has selected Manhattanville College’s School of Education’s Changing Suburbs Institute® as the 2020 recipient of the Best Practice Award in Support of Multicultural Education and Diversity.

“As the leading voice in educator preparation, AACTE represents educators throughout the U.S. who advance our profession through innovation, high standards, and leadership,” said Lynn M. Gangone, AACTE president and CEO. “For 24 years, AACTE has honored its member institutions, leaders, and individuals who make bold, exceptional, and revolutionary contributions to our field. The Changing Suburbs Institute® (CSI) program at Manhattanville College’s School of Education addresses the demographic changes in our students, which is occurring beyond historic urban centers to our suburbs throughout the country. No preparation program is exempt from preparing teacher candidates for increasingly diverse student populations throughout the entire country, and Manhattanville’s program serves as a model for other programs to emulate. As the recipient of a 2020 AACTE Award, Manhattanville College’s CSI program exemplifies best practice in our field.”

“As President of Manhattanville College, I am pleased and proud that our college is the recipient of this award,” said Manhattanville College President Michael E. Geisler, PhD. “Manhattanville’s School of Education has long partnered with educators and community members from schools in the area. The School of Education here recognized early on the need to do more to prepare teacher candidates to successfully work with low income, minority students whose first language is not English. As a result, we are among the leaders in helping to prepare teachers to meet these challenges.’’

The School of Education’s Changing Suburbs Institute® (CSI), which began in 2005, was developed in recognition of the increasing diversity in suburban school districts. A grass roots, school-university-community collaborative, CSI was established to ensure that practicing and prospective teachers would be prepared to teach an increasingly diverse student population focusing on teacher leadership and development, collaboration, dissemination of information, and parent education.

Shelley B. Wepner, Dean of the School of Education at Manhattanville, recognized an alumna who played an instrumental role in setting the stage for this recognition. “She challenged us as a School of Education 15 years ago to think differently about the way we were preparing our teacher candidates so that they would be equipped to teach in changing suburban schools to changing populations of students,” said Wepner. “We have since evolved into working closely with teachers, administrators, and parents in our partnership schools, and we have found a way for our teacher candidates to be immersed in schools that represent the diversity they will encounter when seeking employment.” Manhattanville College’s CSI Professional Development Schools (PDS) network has grown to include 16 suburban schools across 8 districts in Westchester County. Each PDS has a faculty liaison, employed by the college full-time or part-time, who spends 1-2 days each week at the school. Each PDS has a leadership team comprised of the liaison, teachers, and school administrators. Liaisons split their time providing professional development to practicing teachers and supervising student teachers.

President Geisler said that the Changing Suburbs Institute® has expanded its work to include parents. “I am particularly impressed that, with over 100 educators and community leaders collaborating on this initiative, the Changing Suburbs Institute® established parent education as one of its goals. Manhattanville College hosts two Hispanic parent leadership conferences each year, conducted entirely in Spanish, so that more parents can become strong advocates for their children’s education.’’

The college was also recognized by the White House in 2016 with the Bright Spot in Hispanic Education award for supporting Latino educational attainment and excellence.

This year’s award will be presented on February 28 at the Marriott Marquis Atlanta Hotel as part of AACTE’s Annual Meeting in Atlanta.

About the School of Education: Manhattanville College School of Education, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015, offers 23 undergraduate programs, 66 graduate programs, and 1 doctoral program in educational leadership with three pathway options. The School of Education offers dual degree programs for undergraduate students to complete bachelor’s degree and master’s degree program in education in 5½ years. A graduate accelerated program, Jump Start, prepares primarily career changers to teach in NYC. The Changing Suburbs Institute® (CSI) is the School of Education’s signature community outreach program that involves productive relationships with 16 professional development schools in 8 diverse local school districts. CSI has a significant Hispanic parent outreach program that has been recognized by the White House as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education. The Rose Institute for Learning and Literacy, established in 2014, trains teachers to use a multi-sensory, phonics-based approach for K-2 literacy instruction.

About Manhattanville College: Manhattanville College is a small, private liberal arts institution dedicated to academic excellence, purposeful education, and social justice. Located 30 miles from New York City on a 100-acre suburban campus in the heart of bustling Westchester County, Manhattanville enables easy access to robust entertainment offerings, educational resources, and business opportunities for its primarily residential and diverse student body. The College serves more than 1,500 undergraduate students and nearly 1,000 graduate students from more than 35 countries and 40 states. Founded in 1841, the College offers more than 75 undergraduate and graduate areas of study in the arts and sciences, education, business, and creative writing, as well as continuing and executive education programs. Graduate students can choose from more than 70 graduate and certificate programs and a doctorate in educational leadership. Extracurricular offerings include more than 45 clubs and 20 NCAA Division III teams. To learn more, visit

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Cara Cea,, 914-323-1278 or 914-906-9680

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