1:57 p.m., Jan. 26, 2010----Some current teachers might want to further their career but simply can't find enough hours in a day to attend school in a full-time graduate degree program. For other people without a teaching background, an education degree might sound like a promising choice for changing professions. The School of Education (SOE) at the University of Delaware offers several part-time programs to help these people achieve an advanced degree.
At an open house on Jan. 20, about 50 prospective graduate students came looking for answers and information. The event allowed participants to learn more about the specific degree programs. Faculty and current students shared the expectations, curriculum and opportunities for eight of the degrees, which can be earned on a part-time basis.
"The part-time graduate programs offered by SOE are focused, flexible, and innovative,” said Rachel Karchmer Klein, associate professor in literacy education. “For example, the M.Ed. in Reading program matches candidates' career goals with rigorous research-based content and practical experience. Designed for current teachers, the literacy faculty offers one to two courses a semester, employing a variety of course delivery methods including traditional, hybrid and online classes. This dynamic program, like most in the SOE, is nationally accredited."
SOE offers these part-time programs:
- Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
- M.Ed. in Educational Technology
- M.Ed. in Exceptional Children and Youth
- M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration
- M.Ed. in Reading
- M.Ed. in School Leadership
- Master of Instruction (M.I.), including School Library Media
- M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)
Some participants at the open house said they're interested in a taking a few graduate courses first, before committing to a degree program. Undergraduate student Allison Schaffer is attending the University of West Florida. She's currently student teaching in Delaware and she says this event helped to answer some of her questions about continuing in the education field.
“I just want to be the best teacher I can be, I think it's such an important job,” said Schaffer. “I'm just here to find out more information about what UD offers, because I think it's important to be the best at what you want to do.”
For Lisa Sherman, teaching is a way of life. Sherman says after teaching special education for 25 years, her interest has grown to include teaching English as a second language. She says interacting with her Spanish-speaking students influenced her decision to pursue another advanced teaching degree.
“It just began to fascinate me how they were acquiring their second language and the problems they were having and cultural things,” Sherman explained. “So that's what got me interested in ESL.”
She says she attended the open house to see how the school's M.A. in TESL program fits her future goals.
“This is going to give me options at all different levels of education, and different areas, maybe going overseas,” Sherman commented. “This program is great and I'm very excited about it.”
SOE faculty also spent time explaining the application process and deadlines for the programs at the event. In addition, they discussed the financial aid possibilities available to the applicants.
Application deadlines vary depending on the degree program. Anyone who missed the SOE open house or who would like more information about the part-time degree programs, log on to the School of Education Web site or contact Christina Johnston in the Graduate Office at [firstname.lastname@example.org].
Article and photos by Cassandra Kramer