SETA fights for secondary education double major

The Secondary Education Teacher’s Association (SETA) this semester established a petition demanding secondary education be recognized as a dual major. According to the SETA proposal, the secondary education program “greatly exceed(s) the amount of credits required by the state to be considered a major.”

Although secondary education currently appears on transcripts, SETA would like the recognition to be displayed on diplomas as well.

This, the group said, will make it easier for those enrolled in the secondary education program to show that they have received the correct training to be teachers.

“It doesn’t change the program whatsoever. It’s just re-titling,” Chris Ricci, SETA president, said at SETA’s Feb. 18 meeting.

SETA hopes the petition being passed among secondary education students will give the students the recognition they deserve and access to more advisers and resources.

“It’s absolutely necessary to get advisers in secondary education. Students will feel more comfortable,” Justin Freedman, SETA publicity chair, said.

According to the proposal, SETA members also feel the change will “add to the College’s recognition that its secondary education students embody a great deal of the prestige (the College) receives on the local, state and national circuits.”

The proposal also says, “Students receive the recognition they deserve based upon state of New Jersey requirements and the work they do on a daily basis.”

Ricci is expecting no less than a 95 percent return on the petitions from secondary education students, based on SETA’s more efficient methods of distribution and collection of signatures this year.

Last year, an earlier edition of the petition was passed around by hand and received signatures from about 50 percent of the declared population.

Now, SETA asks secondary education teachers to pass out the petitions in their classrooms.

“This is a really good example of a student group getting together and advancing. It’s one of the best proposals I have ever seen,” William Behre, dean of the School of Education, said.

During a Feb. 20 meeting with the Teacher’s Education Planning Council, SETA student representatives presented their proposal. It resulted in success with a near-unanimous vote.

According to Behre, because secondary education is an established program, he is uncertain as to the exact process the proposal will follow.

However, he does not expect it to run into any major problems along the way.

“I think it can and should be a major. It should be implemented,” he said.

The SETA proposal’s “Rationale and Justifications” section concludes, “the students of secondary education deserve (recognition of the dual major) based upon the work they do, and the positive image they give to the institution they represent upon graduation.”