Program Overview

The Montessori Graduate Program prepares you to lead a Montessori classroom on the Early Childhood or Elementary levels. These programs provide a solid base of information needed to be successful in the Montessori classroom:

  • Montessori Philosophy
  • Montessori Child Development Theory
  • Methods in all of the curricular areas(Language Arts, Math, Sciences, Humanities)
  • Montessori Classroom Management
  • Two semester Practicum for student teaching with mentoring
  • Elective(s) to explore other areas of interest that are complimentary to your Montessori course of study

All courses are held in our fully equipped Montessori classroom and lab on Barry University’s main campus in Miami Shores. This classroom combines traditional Montessori materials with state of the art technology to meet the needs of today’s educators. Contact us today to schedule a tour and meet with the Program Director and Coordinator.

Accommodating the Working Professional

All classes are held in the late afternoon, evening and Saturdays and are designed for the working professional.

The Montessori Programs are designed to be completed within two years; however, a number of students are able to complete the program sooner.

State Certification

A previous education degree is not required to be accepted to this program. Many of our students come from other areas and disciplines. The Montessori Graduate Program at Barry University provides their students with everything they need to be successful as leaders in the Montessori classroom.

In our Montessori Graduate programs, state certification may be obtained if you fulfill the following three requirements:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree on any field.
  • Hired as a teacher in a private or public school.
  • Pass the Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE) of the level you wish to teach.

For program information, contact Interim' Program Director, Ms. Elizabeth Kpenkaan Leslie Lasseville, EdS (305-899-3736).

Montessori’s History at Barry

How the Program Began

Barry University is still the only institution of higher learning in the State of Florida with a Montessori Graduate programs and was the first university based program established in the Southeast. The Montessori program has built a reputation as an institution where education students graduating from Barry are well prepared to teach.

Over twenty years ago, Barry University was approached by Dade County Public Schools Magnet Program to offer a graduate program where teachers would earn a master's degree in Montessori education. The idea was well received by Barry University. The Adrian Dominican Sisters had already developed and administered two Montessori schools, one in Adrian, Michigan and another in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Doors opened for the first group of students for Montessori Elementary I-II program in 1992. MACTE accreditation was obtained in 1993. A year later the Early Childhood program was established and was accredited by MACTE in 1995.

Serving Montessori Schools in the Area

The Montessori program has responded to requests to teach off-campus at schools within the community. Most recently, the Early Childhood and Elementary programs are offered for Broward County Public Schools at Beachside Montessori Village (in Hollywood, Florida), for Duval Public Schools at John E. Ford Elementary (Jacksonville, Florida). In the past, we offered programs for three years at Virginia Shuman Young Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale and Rosarian Academy and Northboro Elementary School in West Palm Beach as well as others in Fort Myers, Florida and St. Petersburg, Florida.

The main campus serves teachers from throughout Florida in addition to teachers from Central and South Americas, Europe and Asia.


The Montessori Program is proud of its alumni. A number of our alumni have continued on to open their own Montessori schools throughout the US. Most of our alumni are lead teachers and directors throughout South Florida’s Montessori private and public schools.

Future of the Montessori Program

Several trends point to a bright future for the Montessori Program:

  • The increasing number of Montessori Magnet and Charter schools organized will need more Montessori certified teachers.
  • The Universal Pre-K approved by voters at a referendum to be implemented in 2005 highlights the importance of quality early childhood education. Montessori programs have been successful in offering high standard early childhood education for almost 100 years. The need for early childhood teachers to meet this new state mandate will be an opportunity for the Montessori Program at Barry University to prepare teachers for this role.
  • The increasing emphasis for our nation to educate children so they can read, compute and understand science is an opportunity for the Program to increase public awareness that the personalized, hands-on, multi-sensory strategies used in Montessori schools have been effective in achieving those goals. The increased demand for Montessori schools will need a greater supply of certified Montessori teachers.

Program Locations

Classes are held at Barry University's Miami Shores campus:

Barry University
11300 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami Shores, FL 33161