Early Assurance Agreement Addresses Nationwide Decline in Teacher Preparation Program Enrollment

Sage President Christopher Ames visited Columbia High School on Monday, Feb. 10, to announce a new early assurance agreement for Columbia High School students who want to study Education at Sage.

The Sage Colleges and Columbia High School today signed an Early Assurance Agreement that establishes a new college pathway for high school students, while at the same time, addressing a nationwide problem in education.

The pathway allows Columbia High School students to matriculate to Sage on pace to earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree – in four years. In fall 2020, The Sage Colleges will become Russell Sage College, a coeducational undergraduate and graduate college with campuses in Albany and Troy, N.Y.

Eligible Columbia students will be able to apply for admission to this innovative program as early as the 10th grade. After meeting the required course requirements at Columbia, students will have the opportunity to enroll at Sage on pace to earn a bachelor of science in either childhood education or physical education in three years, then a master of science in literacy, special education, counseling or health education, in the fourth year.

“Sage is proud to partner with Columbia High School to create opportunities for students and strengthen the teaching profession,” said Sage’s President Christopher Ames. “Public-private partnerships like these represent the future of education and allow us to serve local students and regional economic needs.”

“This partnership with Sage will enable our best and brightest students to begin their path to a rewarding teaching career while still in high school,” said Superintendent of Schools for the East Greenbush Central School District Jeffrey Simons. “In several certification areas, there is a teacher shortage in our country. This agreement will not only encourage our students to choose the teaching profession for their career, through coursework offered to them while in high school, they will gain some of the essential understandings and skills they need to become exemplary teachers.”

The Esteves School of Education at Russell Sage College is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. It offers bachelor’s degree programs in both childhood education and physical education, as well as, master’s degree programs in childhood/literacy education, childhood/special education, literacy education, literacy/special education, professional school counseling and school health education.

Nationally, there were approximately one-third fewer students enrolling in teacher preparation programs in 2018 than in 2010, and in New York state, there was a nearly 50 percent decline in teacher preparation program enrollment, according to the Center for American Progress.

Eligible students may apply for the program during their sophomore or junior year at Columbia based on their past and projected academic performance. Students will need to submit an application, essay and transcript to Sage, and must be on track to complete a required number of academic units in English, social studies, mathematics, laboratory science and language.

Students accepted to the early assurance education program will be able to secure their admission and reserve a place at Sage.

This agreement follows East Greenbush Central School District’s emphasized focus on college and career preparation. The district has added more college-level courses in recent years, now totaling 29 college-level courses.