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A New Day at Marygrove College: By Dr. Elizabeth Burns, President, Marygrove College

Posted by mgcollege

Nov 12, 2018 11:14:53 AM

Elizabeth_Burns_optMarygrove College couldn’t be more excited to welcome an early childhood education center and a Detroit Public School Community District public elementary and high school to the Marygrove campus in northwest Detroit in the next couple years.

So many changes at the college have occurred to allow this never-before-tried P-20, cradle to career, educational concept to take root in the neighborhood. This is a bright new day for education in the city of Detroit.  And there’s a new day dawning at Marygrove, too.

Over 113 years, many things are bound to change.  From building a brand new campus in the city of Detroit in 1927, to providing college education to women back when it wasn’t fashionable, to adding master’s degree programs in the early ‘60s, to proactively racially integrating our college beginning in the late ‘60s, to going co-ed in the early ‘70s, to pioneering the distance learning Master in the Art of Teaching in the ‘80s and Master of Arts in Social Justice in the ‘90s, to adding community outreach programs like the Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series in the late ‘90s, Marygrove College has adapted while keeping our mission of education and our neighborhood as guiding stars. The difficult decision to suspend undergraduate programs late last year to concentrate on master’s-level education and professional development has allowed us to maintain our commitment and legacy in the city of Detroit.

The board of trustees made that decision because small liberal arts colleges like Marygrove continue to face dwindling enrollment due to the decline in the traditional college-attending student population. At the same time, we’ve seen an upward trend toward professional education and students seeking additional professional credentials.

8094325537_641b484081_zOur innovative – and much-needed -- graduate programs include Social Justice, Human Resource Management and Education. Specific programs include Elementary/Early Childhood Education, Reading and Literacy, Special Education with its concentration in Autism Spectrum Disorder; Educational Technology; Educational Leadership; a Master’s of Education with Teacher Certification; and our Master in the Art of Teaching, which just added a STEM concentration for teachers in 3rd to 5th grade. We are restarting our Griot program that supports African American men in the pursuit of their careers in their teacher certification studies.

You will find Marygrove-trained teachers in schools all across the metro Detroit area, the state and far beyond Michigan.  We have been fortunate to secure scholarship funds to assist new students in our programs. It’s unusual to find scholarships on the graduate level at all, let alone scholarships that help to offset some of a student’s tuition costs.

What’s unique about Marygrove is our grounding in the values of Catholic Social Teaching including human dignity and social justice, which undergird all our programs. We expect our students to be Citizen Leaders when they complete our programs and are dedicated to giving them the education they need to achieve this. At the graduate level, we feel, that individuals are equipped to advance in their careers and their lives…and the lives of their families.  There’s a new day dawning at Marygrove College and we invite the community to explore our curriculum and the opportunities we offer. 


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