Department of Education

All of us can remember a favorite teacher who made a major impact on our lives.  If you want to be a passionate, inspiring teacher for your students, our education programs will give you a great foundation for a rewarding career.

Our education programs prepare confident, versatile, creative teachers prepared to work in a variety of settings. Our alumni are employed in early childhood centers, public and private schools, higher education institutions, and at the highest levels of education administration.

With job growth for kindergarten and elementary school teachers expected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, the demand for teachers will remain strong.

The UHart Difference

Department of Education student in classroom
On-Campus Magnet Schools
University of Hartford Magnet School

Two magnet schools are located right on our campus: The University of Hartford Magnet School, a pre-K to grade 5 elementary school (above), and the University High School of Science and Engineering. Both provide opportunities for fieldwork and student teaching.

  • Real-world learning begins right away - you’ll have classroom experience beginning your first semester of your first year.
  • With five schools on campus or within walking distance, we have multiple opportunities for teacher training right in our backyard.
  • Our bachelor’s degree in Integrated Elementary and Special Education allows you to earn two Connecticut certifications in four years, which opens doors to many more career options.
  • Our Montessori concentrations allow you to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree with an internationally recognized Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) diploma in one program.
  • Undergraduates can pursue research with our experienced faculty members.
  • Our honors program provides exceptional academic and co-curricular experiences for students seeking advanced inquiry and deeper exploration in education.
  • Class sizes are small, and you’ll receive ample individual mentoring from our faculty.

At the graduate level, we offer programs to support you at various stages of your career, including master’s degree programs in early childhood, elementary and special education as well as a Montessori concentration. Our doctoral program in educational leadership offers advanced training to mid-career adults interested in shaping their postsecondary education work environments into dynamic learning communities.

When I was job hunting, many employers took note of my dual certification in elementary and special education. That flexibility really made me stand out, along with the research I completed and presented at a national conference through the honors program. They were at the top of my resume.”

Hannah Schultz ‘14, special education teacher, New London, Conn. Public Schools

From Classroom to Career

Teacher in classroom

Through clinical experiences at approximately 55 partner schools throughout the state, you’ll gain the skills and training to become confident leading a classroom.  Fieldwork, practica and student teaching experiences take place throughout your program.

Principals, assistant principals, and teachers from our partner schools also meet with us regularly to help shape our clinical experiences and curriculum, ensuring they are meaningful and relevant in the changing landscape of education.

Our programs weave together coursework, clinical experiences, and preparation for Praxis exams to help students successfully obtain State of Connecticut certification.

Degree Programs

Undergraduate Majors
Undergraduate Minors
Graduate Programs
Additional Programs

These programs are offered in partnership with other University of Hartford schools and colleges:

Department Faculty and Staff

Theresa Abodeeb-Gentile
Associate Professor of Elementary Education
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Silvia Baptista
Office Coordinator
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Paige Bray
Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education
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Karen Case
Associate Professor of Administration and Supervision
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Jillian Cavanna
Assistant Professor of Elementary Education, STEM, and Innovation
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Maleka Donaldson
Assistant Professor of Early Elementary Education
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Nicole Foti
Assistant Professor of Educational Practice; Director of Clinical Experiences; Certification Officer
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Sarah Hart
Assistant Professor of Special Education
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Thilagha Jagaiah
Assistant Professor of Special Education; Recruitment and Retention Coordinator
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Karla I. Loya
Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership
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Peter Oliver
Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and Human Development
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Michael Panicello
Coordinator of Assessment & Accreditation
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Sheetal Sood
Department Co-Chair; Director of Online Education Graduate Programs; Associate Professor of Special Education
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Donn Weinholtz
Professor of Education; Director of Educational Leadership
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Lisa Zawilinski
Department Co-Chair; Associate Professor of Elementary Education
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Department Contacts

Lisa Zawilinski, Co-Chair
Education Department
860.768.5718
zawilinsk@hartford.edu

Sheetal Sood, Co-Chair
Education Department
860.768.4359
sood@hartford.edu

Silvia Baptista, Office Coordinator
860.768.5734
baptista@hartford.edu

Michael Panicello, Coordinator of Assessment & Accreditation 
860.768.5964
panicello@hartford.edu

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