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Press Release

The University of Hartford UHart) and the Montessori Training Center Northeast (MTCNE) celebrated 10 years of partnership and their recent milestones with an open house on Wednesday, October 11 at MTCNE’s newly renovated facility at Butterworth Hall on UHart’s Asylum Avenue campus in Hartford. 

The open house was a celebration of the partnership and an opportunity to showcase MTNCE’s new location.  Also present was James Walton to celebrate the commitment to Montessori research and educational programming.  In awarding the competitive grant in June, 2017, the Walton Family Foundation recognized the decade-long partnership and the success of their collaborative master’s program, which incorporates Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) teacher training delivered by MTCNE into the graduate education curriculum. Currently, UHart and MTCNE offer the only program in the northeast that combines Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) teacher training with a graduate degree.

“The University of Hartford has a long-standing history of community partnerships,” University Interim Provost H. Frederick Sweitzer said, “and this is one of which we are most proud, especially now that it is a three- way partnership with the James Walton Fund.”


James Walton explained that he developed an interest in Montessori teaching and training as he was finishing college and looking for ways to solve some of the biggest issues facing society today. “This partnership has a vision to find the most viable and competitive approach to training more and better Montessori teachers. We are thrilled to stay engaged with Hartford and to learn from all the innovative solutions that are being piloted here.”

The Walton Family Foundation grant is one of the largest educational grants awarded to UHart in its 60-year history. The funds are being used to establish the program, provide tuition assistance to eligible students who reflect a commitment to degree completion, and conduct research to evaluate the effectiveness of the new program as well as potential implications for Montessori educators and educator preparation. The grant is designed so that the Montessori bachelor’s degree becomes a tuition-based, self-sustaining program by the end of 2022.  

Paige M. Bray, director of Montessori studies at the University, said, “The tuition assistance dollars provide essential access to Montessori teacher education and underscore our commitment to degree completion. In addition to access, we already see this program contributing to a greater diversity of people in Montessori education.” 

“MTCNE's partnership with the University of Hartford is rare in how deeply it supports students, by integrating the undergraduate, graduate, and Montessori education in one.  And the Montessori community of Connecticut as a whole is intertwined with the training center and with each other, providing access to a large swath of children, including those for whom Montessori is not typically available.” Said Alyssa Schwartz AMI-USA Executive Director

The bachelor’s degree program began in the fall semester of 2017 for both early childhood and elementary education with a Montessori concentration. Training with the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) at MTCNE is incorporated in the curriculum so that graduates will earn a bachelor’s degree and an internationally-recognized AMI diploma. In addition, graduates will be eligible for Connecticut state teaching certification. The program is open to applicants who are adult learners, career enhancement candidates, community college transfers, and incoming first-year students. Visit for application and tuition assistance details.