Kent State first in Ohio, third in nation to offer international certificate

Adriona Murphy

Kent State’s Middle Childhood Education Program is the first undergraduate program in Ohio and third in the U.S. to be issued the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme certificate in teaching and learning.

The International Baccalaureate is a nonprofit organization that works with schools, governments and international organizations to create programs that “encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right,” according to the mission statement on its website.

The Middle Years Programme, one of four programs IB offers, is aimed at giving students ranging from ages 11-16 a global perspective when learning about different subjects.

“For example, we’re not just teaching students how to convert measurements,” said Robin Dever, assistant professor and middle school program coordinator at the Kent State Geauga Campus. “We’re also looking at it like: ‘Why does the United States have one form of measurement and the rest of the world has another?’ It’s not so much teaching things in isolation anymore, it’s looking at a broader global context.”

Students who graduate from the Middle Childhood Education program, will not only receive their teaching license from the state of Ohio, but they will also be eligible to receive their International Baccalaureate Teaching and Learning certificate in MYP. This certificate allows graduates to teach at schools in Ohio, as well as any IB school.

“There are a lot of schools that have IB that are interested in hiring our students because they don’t have to do that extra level of training,” Dever said. “But even if they’re not going to teach in an IB school, the skills our graduates are gaining by teaching with global mindedness is going to help them in any classroom.”

According to the IB website, the MYP is available in over 1,000 schools in 101 countries. There are several districts in Northeast Ohio that offer the IB program including Akron, Oberlin and Shaker Heights.

MYP is currently taught at the Kent State main campus, Stark campus and Geauga campus, with about 60 students enrolled.

Contact Adriona Murphy at [email protected]