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Nica Morris Harrisville

A Launching Pad For Tomorrow’s Teachers

Keene State’s legacy Educator Preparation Program has a 114-year history of readying skilled, passionate students to educate future generations in the classroom. Meet some of the graduates, many of whom have gone on to lead their classrooms locally and throughout New Hampshire creating a homegrown workforce pipeline. Also, meet current students who are pre-service teachers and hear more about their journeys, and learn how our education grads are uniquely connected, hired quickly and enjoy rewarding careers.

An Enduring Legacy:
The Art Of Teaching Teachers

Keene State College alumni, Ritu Budakoti, Ian Kaplan, Tom Garceau, and Devon Coffey, showcase the institution's legacy, mentoring teachers and starting innovative clubs. Keene State's history, dating back to 1909, reveals a commitment to educator preparation, with deep partnerships and national accreditation. The narrative underscores the college's role in inspiring passionate and purpose-driven teachers who lead and make a lasting impact.

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A Long History In The Making

Keene State’s history of preparing future educators is well chronicled and dates back to 1909 when Keene Normal School opened with the mission of educating young women in the region. Those graduates were able to practice teaching in and around Keene. Having unpaid student-educators teach their children was a boon for taxpayers, whose financial ante toward public education diminished as a result.

The earliest Keene Normal School students studied education, pedagogy, and the liberal arts and sciences. A confluence of historical events, including a devastating hurricane, a world war, and the Great Depression, brought considerable and unforeseen pressures to bear on the institution.

But the school persevered by leveraging an evolving and growing liberal arts program and reputation, and emerged for the better, as Keene Teachers College, in 1939. Twenty-four years later, the school transitioned again, this time to Keene State College, which enrolled roughly 1,000 students at the time. Among the students who were part of the first class to attend and graduate from the college under its new – and current – name was Betsy Coll ’67, who used her degree to become a physical education teacher. Her extraordinary teaching career spanned 34 years.

In all its iterations, from 1909 until today, Keene State has launched thousands of Education careers, here, in New Hampshire, across the country, and around the world. School leaders, principals, early education center directors, and in especially large numbers, teachers in public schools, private academies, charter schools and corporate childcare centers.

Keene State and its Educator Preparation program claim many points of distinction, not the least of which is the national accreditation it has maintained since 1954, and that 14 of its undergraduate programs offer paths to recommendation for endorsement for NH Licensure to the NH Department of Education. Only one-third of all teacher preparation programs in the country are nationally accredited.

While many Educator Preparation programs in New Hampshire are state-approved, only Keene State and the University of New Hampshire are approved by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

The college’s deep and enduring partnerships with schools in the region; depth and tenure of caring and available faculty; graduate program options; and strong job-placement rates are other distinguishing qualities of the program.


Facts and Information to Consider

We have alumni who are teachers or school administrators in all 50 states, and some 150 living and/or working abroad. More than 16,700 of our graduates live in and/or work in New Hampshire.

Our graduates who participate in an internship, which includes student teaching, are two and a half times more likely to stay in New Hampshire to work.

Sixty percent of all U.S. teachers are in classrooms within 20 miles of where they went to college, according to Educators Rising, which supports students interested in education-related careers.

Brett Vance '94

Brett Vance '94 Is Time-Tested: “The Longer You Teach, The More Rewarding It Becomes”

Real-world learning opportunities at Keene State are neither new nor fleeting. Brett Vance ’94 is a reminder of that.

Twenty-seven years into his teaching career, the Owl grad says a Keene State student exchange at the Belgorod Pedagogical Institute in Belgorod, Russia, cemented his career ambition.

Kathryn Long '23

All in The Family: Love For Teaching Took Kathryn Long’s Education An Extra Step

A passion for teaching runs deep in the Long family. Following in her mother and grandmother's footsteps, Kathryn Long '23 is on track to a rewarding career as an educator.

After graduating with degrees in elementary education and studio art last spring, she's now enrolled in Keene State's one-year master's program in special education.

We know that our alums are incredible teachers and humans. I wish everyone could see them work with our children and in our communities. It is breathtaking.”

— Chris Parsons, Associate Professor of Education and English