Since joining St. John’s University, Regina
Mistretta, Ed.D., Professor of Education, has championed
efforts to improve the education of New York City school children.
Her latest undertaking is the Internship Placement
Project for School of Education students on St. John’s
Staten Island campus. The project enriches their skills and
practical learning experiences concerning school children,
deepening their understanding of issues and experiences that
confront today’s school-age students in and out of the
Freshman in a select Education course participate in a one-year
internship at a nonprofit organization, based on the interests and
needs of both student and organization. This required component of
the course may include co-teaching at the Staten Island
Children’s Museum in programs designed for children of
different learning abilities and styles, or shadowing adolescent
students with special needs at the Seton Foundation for
Learning. Subsequent internships are offered in the
undergraduates’ second, third and fourth years and is
also a required component of a particular course.
Fieldwork is accompanied by reflective on-campus group
sessions with St. John’s professors and other interns in the
project’s affiliated education courses. Interns also must
complete an inquiry project each semester and showcase their
findings at an annual campus conference.
“I’ve embraced the Internship Placement Project because it
represents innovative thinking that responds to the realities
teachers face in today’s classrooms,” Dr. Mistretta explains.
“It counters the ‘one-size fits all’ approach I’ve observed
elsewhere. Its unique collaborative efforts with nonprofit
organizations, along with a tailored focus on the multiple
dimensions of a child, provide learning opportunities that prepare
teachers for the diversity they will encounter.”