Education Studies

You will tailor your own education coursework, with support, and your education studies will be fully integrated into Hamilton's innovative liberal arts curriculum. You will put in at last 75 hours of fieldwork in local schools.

Jose Vazquez '15 (blue shirt) paints a mural at a school in Baltimore with his group.
Jose Vazquez '15 (blue shirt) paints a mural at a school in Baltimore during an internship for The Heart of America Foundation in Washington D.C.

A student’s evolution: entertaining the possibilities

Jose Vazquez ’15 says his education classes showed him he can use his skills to do anything he wants. He entered Hamilton College thinking law school was the only way to go. “The education studies program at Hamilton is not about teaching you how to teach or how to only just frame a curriculum or learn about history. It embraces you and teaches you how to become a better learner yourself,” says Vazquez, who double-minors in education studies and Hispanic studies and majors in government.

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Vazquez chairs the College's Rainbow Alliance and founded and heads the Student Assembly’s philanthropy committee, among other activities.

He doesn’t expect to make a career teaching in a classroom, but he is convinced education will be part of his life in some way, maybe, for instance, by launching a foundation that helps needy students get to college. Vazquez looks to his internships for glimpses of what’s possible. He worked at The Heart of America Foundation, which remakes libraries at needy schools. At Google’s public policy office in Washington, D.C., Vazquez spoke to 700 kids about Internet safety.

“What’s fun is that, you know, at this point in Hamilton, I’m still discovering what I want to do with my life. Hamilton challenges you to keep your options open,” he says.

Alyssa Bawden ’12

Alyssa Bawden '12 and her first-graders at Success Academy Harlem 4.

A graduate’s progress: striving for change in schools

Teaching was not the career Alyssa Bawden ’12 anticipated, but after she took an education history course at Hamilton College, her interest grew and she made education studies her minor. Right out of college, Bawden landed a teaching fellowship with Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City, then earned a master’s degree. She teaches first-graders at Success Academy Harlem 4.

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Her initial interest in education was big picture, education reform as opposed to working in a classroom.

“I didn’t necessarily think I was going to go into teaching, but I also thought it was crazy to try to do education reform without actually being in the classroom, so we’ll see what happens from here,” says Bawden, who majored in English at Hamilton.

Working in a school her longer-term career goal has started to shift. She’s thinking now she may be able to make the biggest impact from a leadership position within a school.

Looking back on it, Bawden says she succeeded in the Success Academy program because Hamilton “set me up to be able to write and communicate and work with other people, and those critical skills have been really helpful.”