Transylvania's education program encompasses an intellectually vibrant community committed to the liberal arts and to preparing students for a fulfilling personal and professional life. Whether students choose one of the teacher preparatory education majors or the non-teaching educational studies major, they will learn to examine the many problems and issues of education in a critical, open-minded spirit. Students reflect on what it means to be an educated person, and they explore diversity and equity issues in all their courses.
Teacher preparation majors are theoretically based rather than just technique driven. Primary, middle grades, and secondary preparation students must be actively involved in their own learning, participating in a variety of interactive classes and seminars on campus and in P-12 classrooms.
Most courses include labs and field work, and the major includes a professional development component.
Students who are not interested in teaching but rather the discipline of education and knowledge acquisition may find the educational studies major a good fit. The major appeals to students who plan to study educational philosophy or policy studies at the graduate level and serves as a good second major for pre-law, psychology, or sociology majors, among others.
The two major paths have courses that overlap, so teacher preparation and non-teaching students take classes together. This enriches the experience for both groups as they approach topics from different angles.
Transylvania University has current accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), soon to be known as the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The university's teacher preparation program is also certified by the commonwealth of Kentucky.
Transylvania's education program is fortunate to have the state-of-the-art resources of the Cowgill Center to support its interdisciplinary approach. The $3 million building includes a computer laboratory, lecture and seminar rooms, a glass-enclosed study bay, and the Monroe Moosnick Medical Museum. The high-tech multimedia classroom on the second floor has a large display screen for streaming images or video from networked computers, television, or satellite.
The model classroom on the first floor encourages innovative hands-on teaching and learning. It includes computers, a SmartBoard, television, sink, counters and storage cabinets, and a multi-purpose screen and projector. During their junior-year pedagogy classes, education majors use the model classroom to experiment with learning environments and classroom layouts and practice using the equipment and resources to prepare their lesson plans.
During their first course, Transylvania education majors observe in the classrooms of local schools. Throughout their course work they participate in a variety of teaching experiences, including a four-week May term practicum that allows them to spend full days in a P–12 classroom. This hands-on approach is capped by a semester of student teaching completed in a public school during the senior year. Many of these opportunities are made possible by Transylvania's location near downtown Lexington, which puts students in close proximity to both public and private elementary, middle, and high schools.