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SMCM and Public Schools Revise Their Cooperative Agreement

March 17, 2010
Press Release #10-061


Acting president of St. Mary's College of Maryland (SMCM) Larry Vote recently signed a new agreement with St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS) superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano that updates a longstanding collaboration between the two school systems and includes a revised vision/mission statement.  Nearly 150 undergraduate SMCM students work in the public school system each semester, providing about 3,600 hours of tutoring and instruction each year to students kindergarten through grade 12. 

New to the agreement is the inclusion of the Master of Art in Teaching (MAT) graduate degree program, which did not exist when the original agreement was signed.  With the MAT program included in the new agreement, SMCM student teachers are working toward reflective practice, relationship-building skills, and research as a basis for teaching.  The student teachers will then be able to give self-assessments on their lesson plans and work more closely with students from diversified backgrounds. 

The new agreement also acknowledges the diversity found in St. Mary's public schools and the commitment undertaken by SMCM to work toward fostering county students to productively take part in a diverse world. New language in the agreement also paves the way for service learning opportunities for undergraduate courses at SMCM as a way to "enhance their understanding of the education system and their campus-based course work," according to the agreement. 

"I am so proud of our rich partnership with St. Mary's College of Maryland," said Martirano.  "Our students, teachers, and our community are reaping the benefits of our aligned purpose and collaborative endeavors."

"We're delighted with this new mission statement for the Professional Development Collaborative between SMCM and SMCPS," said Lois Stover, SMCM professor and chair of the education studies major at the college, as well as the director of teacher education.  "Since the last version of the statement was signed back in 1999, we've developed a new program, the MAT.  We also have a new superintendent in Dr. Martirano, and a new professional development school liaison/director of student teaching.  It was time to make a new commitment to the collaboration." 

St. Mary's College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger's, and The Princeton Review. Founded in 1840 as Maryland's "monument school" commemorating the state's first capital, SMCM is the state's only public honors college.

More than 2,000 students attend the college, which has the highest graduation rate for all Maryland public colleges and universities. The school's waterfront campus along the St. Mary's River in Southern Maryland is home to the 2009 National Intercollegiate Sailing Association Co-ed champions.

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