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Montessori Institute of Milwaukee Joins Alverno College

Montessori Institute of Milwaukee Joins Alverno College

The Montessori Institute of Milwaukee (MIM) is relocating to Alverno College, strengthening the existing collaboration between the two institutions and paving the way for new programs that will lead to more Montessori-trained educators in southeastern Wisconsin.

Milwaukee’s only Association Montessori Internationale-certified training institute will be housed at Alverno effective September 1. The move supports Alverno’s strategic plan, building upon the college’s widely admired history of teacher preparation, and aims to educate teachers uniquely prepared in the Montessori method for a city with the most public Montessori schools in the country.

“We are thrilled to deepen our relationship with the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee,” said Dr. Patricia Luebke, dean of the College of Professional Studies at Alverno, which includes the Education division. “Alverno is committed to preparing highly skilled K-12 educators in both traditional and Montessori settings, and this new collaboration will better enable us to fill local high-need urban classrooms with quality teachers.”

“The opportunity to partner with Alverno is also an opportunity to support the students and teachers in the Milwaukee Public Schools,” said Andrea Fleener, M.Ed., executive director of MIM. “This program prepares teachers to navigate the public school system as practitioners of the Montessori method, which to me is the best of both worlds. By ensuring that graduates have the skills, ability and support to be successful in the traditional and Montessori settings, we are able to support the growing demands for public Montessori here in Milwaukee.”

In fall 2019, a cohort of paraprofessionals in the Milwaukee Public Schools’ Montessori schools will begin work on their licensure in elementary Montessori education and their bachelor’s degree in education. In summer 2020, MIM and Alverno will launch a post-baccalaureate Montessori training program that spans three summers. Students who wish to pursue a master's degree along with their Montessori licensure will complete nine additional credits during the academic year. 

This new opportunity builds upon an initiative that Alverno and MIM undertook in 2018 to create a dual licensure program that integrates the college’s Bachelor of Arts in Education with a Montessori teacher preparation program. Students who graduate from this program – the only one of its kind in Wisconsin, and one of only a few in the country – will be prepared to teach in Montessori and traditional education settings. Graduates are eligible for two Wisconsin teaching licenses: an early childhood/middle childhood (birth to age 11) teaching license and a Montessori (ages 3-6 or 6-12) teaching license.

The Montessori approach to education features multi-age classrooms, self-directed activity and hands-on learning. Trained Montessori teachers allow each child to develop at her or his own pace, using lessons and materials based on their characteristics and abilities.

A longtime leader in teacher education, Alverno is connected to more than 150 private and public schools in the Milwaukee area and beyond, and students conduct their field-experience work and student-teach at a variety of urban and suburban schools.

For more information about the partnership between Alverno and the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee, please visit alverno.edu/montessori.

About Montessori Institute of Milwaukee

Since 1989, the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee has been training teachers of children ages 3 to 6 and 6 to 12 using the Montessori method under the auspices of the Association Montessori Internationale. As an AMI training center, MIM upholds the objectives of the Association, which are to propagate and further the pedagogical principles and practice formulated by Dr. Maria Montessori for the full development of the human being. Since its beginning, MIM has conferred over 600 AMI diplomas and continues to support teachers in their classrooms, through mentoring, coaching and workshops. 

About Alverno College

Founded in 1887 by the School Sisters of St. Francis, Alverno College promotes the academic, personal and professional development of its students in a collaborative and inclusive environment. Undergraduate programs for women are offered in more than 60 areas of study, and graduate programs in education, nursing, community psychology, school psychology, music therapy and business are open to women and men.

A leader in higher education innovation, Alverno has earned international accolades for its highly effective ability-based, assessment-as-learning approach to education, which emphasizes hands-on experience and develops in-demand skills. The college, Wisconsin’s first Hispanic-Serving Institution, ranks among the top schools in the Midwest for its commitment to undergraduate teaching and innovation by U.S. News & World Report. For the past two years, The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education named Alverno the country’s most inspiring college.

Based in Milwaukee, Wis., Alverno College is a four-year independent, Catholic, liberal arts college.