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Simmons & Madrid Schools Partner To Boost Teachers' International Skills

BOSTON (December 11, 2006) — Simmons College is partnering with schools in Madrid, Spain, for a unique program that has Simmons education students living in Madrid and teaching English to children there for nearly a year. The joint effort supports English language instruction for elementary school students in Madrid and provides international experience for American teachers upon their return to the U.S.

Simmons College President Susan C. Scrimshaw, who is fluent in Spanish, and Lynda Johnson, Simmons assistant dean for general education, traveled to Spain Nov. 19 to sign the three-year partnership agreement with officials from the Madrid Charter Schools - Union de Cooperativas de Ensenanza de Trabajo Asociado de Madrid (UCETAM) - at the American Embassy in Madrid.

The "Simmons in Madrid" graduate education program, which includes a 10-month student teaching practicum in Madrid, is the first partnership of its kind between an American college or university and the Spanish schools.

Candidates for the new program, scheduled to start in summer 2007, are current educators or future teachers of elementary education, Spanish, or English as a Second Language. To be eligible for the program, students must have completed one academic year of Spanish language instruction at a college or university. UCETAM will provide scholarships and airfare to Simmons students to work as
English-speaking interns in Madrid charter elementary schools.  As the partnership continues, Simmons will provide teacher training to teachers in Madrid and match Boston-area schools with schools in Spain for exchange and collaboration opportunities.
"Spain's Ministry of Education and Science believes that all of its country's high school graduates should be bilingual," said Johnson.  "Of all the colleges and universities in the U.S., Simmons was chosen as the partner institution. It's a fantastic opportunity for our students, and a win-win for both sides of the partnership."

For more information about the Simmons in Madrid program, click here.

Simmons College has a pioneering undergraduate college for women; renowned graduate programs for women and men in social work, health studies, library and information science, education, and liberal arts; and the nation's only MBA program designed for women.