Pete Connolly '19 MA in Education Plus Teacher Certification

Upper School English/Journalism Teacher, Assistant Rugby Coach, Malvern Preparatory School, Malvern, Pa.

Peter Connelly

The Villanova University Master's in Education program was the perfect fit for me and one of the best educational experiences of my life. There was an authentic sense of community among the faculty and members of the cohort. Everyone connected in the program was knowledgeable, friendly, engaging, dedicated and supportive. I especially enjoyed the mix of theoretical and practical courses, as well as the professionalism of my peers. The values rooted in the curriculum encouraged each student to pursue their interests while maintaining a sense of community. The skills I gained during my time in the cohort have helped me immensely and instilled the confidence to teach with a purpose. I know the lessons I learned at Villanova will stay with me throughout my career. After graduating from the program, I took a job as a teacher at Malvern Preparatory School, where I continue to pursue the core Augustinian values of Truth, Unity and Love.  

Maria Calzado Antoine '16 MA in Education

Chair of Modern Languages, The Shipley School, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

Maria Calzado Antoine '16 MA (Education), Chair of Modern Languages at the Shipley School

"My experience in the Villanova MA in Education program was transformative. As a Department Chair at The Shipley School, I have been able to put into practice everything I learnt from the program: from incorporating student voice into curricular reform, to carrying out research projects to inform curricular changes and practice, to supporting my department and guiding them to be the best they can be. I must say my confidence in taking this role and leading my department in such endeavors is all thanks to Villanova. I would not be the educator I am today if it wasn’t because of the faculty's teaching and labor of love to prepare educators like me to be the scholar practitioners our educational system needs."

Valerie Cunningham '17 MA Plus Teacher Certification

Biology and Environmental Science Teacher, Conestoga High School, Berwyn, Pa.

Valerie Cunningham '17 MA

“Through the Master’s Plus Program I was able to complete my Master’s degree and my teaching certification in just one year. I started the program in the summer of 2016, and by the fall of 2017, I was employed! As a Master’s Plus student, I valued the small class sizes because I got to regularly engage in group discussion, form relationships with my professors and connect with my peers. My cohort became a little family that supported one another through the twists and turns of student teaching, lesson planning and the job application process!” 

Jonathan Soffer '18 MA in Education Plus Teacher Certification

7th Grade Science Teacher, William Penn Middle School, Pennsbury School District


The Masters Plus Certification Program at Villanova prepared me very well to be a teacher. I gained a rich background in the history and philosophy of education during my time there. Even better, though, was the practical knowledge; this program focuses heavily on the diverse needs of students and how we can best meet them, which, as educators, is always our primary goal. I also met a lot of great people along the way!

Katelyn Kempf '20 MS in Counseling, School Counseling Track

5th - 8th Grade School Counselor, Fair Lawn School District, N.J.

Katelyn Kempf

My graduate school experience with Villanova’s counseling program was wonderful. During my time at Villanova, I earned more than 800 hours of counseling experience at the elementary, middle and high school levels in both the Philadelphia area and suburbs. I was thrilled that as a school counseling student, I was allowed and encouraged to take courses both in school counseling and clinical mental health counseling and was able to earn my National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential in addition to my N.J. and Pa. PreK-12 School Counselor certification upon graduation. A few highlights of my time in graduate school include conducting a master’s thesis and gaining leadership experience through the CSI honors society. My professors were so supportive during the job application process and helped me work through my options. After graduating from the school counseling program in May 2020, I worked as a K-4 school counselor for a year, and am now working as a full time 5th-8th grade school counselor in the Fair Lawn Public School District in N.J. I love being a school counselor and am so thankful to know that I will always have a support system through Villanova’s Education and Counseling Department if I am ever in need of future mentorship or guidance! 

Annie Baker '17 MS in Counseling, LPC, NCC

Licensed Professional Counselor

Annie Baker

I think Villanova prepared me for going into the counseling field more than I could have imagined! Learning and grasping theoretical orientations, understanding group dynamics, seeing the impact of diversity, introducing psychopathology and family systems, and having opportunities to practice and develop interpersonal counseling skills are only a few of the examples of how Villanova has paved the way for my current practice. The relationships developed with professors and the flexibility provided to meet the needs of each student allowed me to complete the program in a way that made sense for my life. After working in an intensive day treatment and outpatient eating disorder program, and receiving supervision for licensure, I am now accepting clients in my own private practice. Villanova provided me the opportunity to increase my awareness about myself and simultaneously develop the foundational skills needed to develop authentic therapeutic relationships and foster an environment that promotes healing for my clients.

Karen Zaino '11 MA in Education

Doctoral Candidate, Urban Education at the Graduate Center, CUNY


The graduate program in Education spurred my passion for research and my desire to pursue a doctorate. During my time as a graduate student, I was privileged to assist Dr. Jerusha Conner with her scholarship, and her mentorship has been invaluable to my own career trajectory. As a current doctoral candidate in Urban Education at the Graduate Center, CUNY, I am so grateful for the time I spent at Villanova learning from Dr. Conner! 

Department of Education and Counseling
302 St. Augustine Center
Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085