SIT Graduate Institute
|School for International Training|
|Location||Brattleboro, VT, USA|
The SIT Graduate Institute (formerly the School for International Training, the academic arm of the Experiment in International Living), in Vermont, is an accredited graduate education institution administered by World Learning, a non-profit international development and education organization. The Graduate Institute offers master's degrees and graduate certificates in a variety of fields related to international education and sustainable development. Located in Brattleboro, Vermont, the school also maintains a branch campus in downtown Washington, D.C.
The School for International Training (SIT) was established in 1964. SIT filled a need of returned Peace Corps volunteers by offering a graduate degree in International Development. The Vermont campus originally consisted of a small collection of dorms around a Carriage House on a scenic farm on the north end of Brattleboro. These early Peace Corps volunteers took lessons in foreign languages with materials and teachers from the language training from their service, and The School for International Training began to expand its offerings. By 1968, the small but increasing number of returned Peace Corps volunteers were requesting a degree in Teaching English as a Second Language, a new speciality. In 1969, two graduate programs were developed, International Career Training (ICT), and Masters in Teaching Languages (MAT) (French, Spanish and ESL).
The first MAT class consisted of three students, the second of 28 students, and the third of 38; in the fourth year the class size reached 50 students and stayed there for many years. ICTs spent part of their program on campus and part in internships around the world. MATs originally went to Mexico or Quebec for student teaching but by 1972, students began to develop other sites around the world. Eventually, the ICT program changed to PIM: Programs in Intercultural Management and developed specializations in NGS's and Civil Society, Peace and Conflict Transformation, Social Justice, Socially Responsible Management, Sustainable Development, International Education, Language and Culture, Teacher Preparation. Jody Williams, an MAT graduate, won the Nobel Prize for her work on banning land mines. Wangari Maathai, former Trustee Emerita, won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on sustainable development and democracy in Kenya.
In the late 1990s the MAT department created the Teacher Knowledge Project as a way for teachers to work together using the reflective cycle (to inquire into their practice) and principles of Experiential Learning. This project resulted in research in schools in New England focusing on reflective teaching, mentoring and structured language immersion. Other offshoots of the MAT program include a four-week TESOL Certificate program that offers basic preparation for teaching English as a second or foreign language and the ACCESS program that helps content teachers develop skills for working with English language learners in their classes.
Degree and certificate programs
The SIT Graduate Institute currently offers Master of Arts degrees in the following fields:
- Conflict transformation
- International education
- Sustainable development
- Intercultural service, leadership and management
- Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
In 2011, World Learning announced as part of the SIT Graduate Institute, a one-year masters program in Washington D.C., consisting of 12 months, three trimesters, 40 credits. The organization has also expressed an interest in restructuring in favor of "connecting with World Learning's global network" to bring students closer to the world for their studies, "strengthen their positioning", and "support their students".
Administration and faculty
The school head is Dean Preeti Shroff-Mehta, a specialist in the areas of "democratic governance, civil society strengthening, and institutional capacity development." The school's website currently lists 21 core faculty members, including five department chairs and two program directors; as well as senior practitioners and adjunct faculty.
According to World Learning's "Facts and Figures," as of November 2011, there were 538 students enrolled in master's degree and professional education programs at the SIT Graduate Institute, with 36 countries and 68 languages represented. More than a quarter of the student body is reported to be international in origin.
The SIT Graduate Institute is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Initially accredited in 1974, the institute's most recent accreditation was issued in 2002 and its next review for accreditation will take place in Fall 2013.
US Federal education statistics reporting continues under the name, School for International Training, but may include data in some respects (perhaps financial, but apparently not enrollment) for SIT Study Abroad, as well.
- Haruko Arimura, Japanese Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) politician
- Gamal Helal, Senior Diplomatic Interpretery & Policy Adviser, United States Department of State
- Richard W. Roberts, United States District Court judge
- Richard Ryscavage, S.J., Director of Center for Faith and Public Life and Professor of Sociology and International Studies at Fairfield University, nationally known expert on immigration and refugees
- Pamela White, United States Ambassador to Haiti
- Jody Williams, MAT Class of 1984 - recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize
- World Learning Facts and Figures, November 2011. Accessed: May 16, 2012.
- World Learning, "History". Accessed: May 16, 2012.
- SIT Graduate Institute, "TESOL Overview" Accessed: May 16, 2012.
- SIT Graduate Institute, "Master's Degree and Certificate Programs." Accessed: May 16, 2012.
- "Master of Arts in Sustainable Development (International Policy and Management, Washington, DC)". http://www.worldlearning.org/. 2011.
- Adam Weinberg, Personal Communication (to SIT Graduate community), Nov 3, 2010
- Dean, SIT Graduate Institute Accessed: May 16, 2012.
- SIT Graduate Institute, "Meet Our Faculty". Accessed: May 16, 2012.
- SIT Graduate Institute, "Student Demographics". Accessed: May 16, 2012.
- NEASC Roster of Accredited Institutions. Accessed: May 7, 2013.
- National Center for Education Statistics, IPEDS Data Center. Accessed: May 19, 2012.