Sarasota University, the world’s only Montessori-focused institution of higher education, and the Center for Guided Montessori Studies, one of the world’s leading accredited teacher education programs, today announced a historic partnership to reshape the direction of Montessori higher education.
Sarasota University (SU) founder Dr. Ronald Ogrodnik said that the Center for Guided Montessori Studies (CGMS) will now lead the institution. CGMS partners, Tim Seldin, Kitty Bravo, and Marc Seldin have been named to the SU board, and CGMS will serve as the management company in charge of all SU operations. Dr. Ogrodnik will continue to serve on the board and as the university President. Dr. Daniel Robin Howe will serve as Director of Education.
“Working together, CGMS and SU will be able to further our institution’s mission of offering strengths-based education,” said Dr. Ogrodnik. He continued, “CGMS is the perfect partner for SU. Founded in 2006, CGMS is one of the world’s largest and most respected Montessori teacher education programs and entirely shares SU’s values.”
Sarasota University is the only accredited institution of higher education solely devoted to Montessori. Although some other colleges and universities offer Montessori-oriented degrees, SU is the sole institution devoted entirely to implementing Dr. Montessori’s vision for higher education.
Asked about his vision for the future, CGMS Director of Operations Marc Seldin said “We hope to offer closer integration between CGMS programs and those of Sarasota, eventually including dual enrollment. But first, we intend to work with the University to improve all of their systems and processes.” He clarified that the CGMS management team will complement, not replace, SU existing staff.
Kitty Bravo, the Director of Education at CGMS, expressed confidence about the opportunities this new direction affords both institutions. “CGMS and Sarasota University share a passionate commitment to the highest standards of Montessori education. We have long admired Sarasota University, and together we feel that we can realize our long-held dream to run a university designed and led by Montessorians which serves the global community of Montessori educators and schools.”
Although CGMS is affiliated with the International Montessori Council, this will not be an exclusive relationship. Sarasota University will continue to welcome adult learners who are enrolled in, or who have completed an accredited Montessori certification program from other organizations. “Our goal is to serve the entire Montessori community,” says Kitty Bravo.
Tim Seldin is President of CGMS and the Montessori Foundation. Asked about next steps, Mr. Seldin offered a guide to CGMS’ initial priorities.
“One of the essential elements of our plans for the future is the establishment of a new position at the university: a Student Success Coordinator, who will work with individual students to guide them along their educational journey. Among the tasks ahead will be the development of strong systems for community engagement and enrollment, input from faculty and staff, a new learning platform for courses, strong financial planning, institutional advancement, and the development of a fresh strategic plan.”
Sarasota University is an accredited institution offering master’s degrees in Montessori education and leadership. Find out more online at www.sarasotauniversity.edu