Education Degree Programs to be Offered in Columbia

William Woods University is offering Columbia area residents the opportunity to pursue an education degree without quitting work. Programs include a master of education in athletics/activities administration and a specialist of education (Ed.S.) degree


The programs will begin with an orientation Sept. 23 at the Columbia site, Room 9, 3100 Falling Leaf Court, Columbia. The  Ed.S. orientation is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., with the master of education in athletics/activities administration at 6:30.


Prospective students are encouraged to contact the university’s Graduate & Adult Studies program prior to then, but walk-ins will be accepted. Call 1-800-995-3199 or contact WWU by e-mail at


The 36-credit-hour M.Ed. in athletics/activities administration is for anyone interested in developing and administering activities in any school or community setting. The program is one of the few to be recognized by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association as meeting the educational requirements toward becoming a Registered Athletic Administrator (RAA) or a Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA).


The degree is a practical course of education for anyone who works with or has experience in athletics or school activities. Officials, athletic trainers, summer and town league coaches and administrators, directors of YMCA’s or Boys and Girls Clubs and even former collegiate athletes are just some of the potential participants in this program.


North Central Association’s Higher Learning Commission granted approval in 2003 for William Woods to offer the specialist of education in school administration program. This degree prepares educational administrators to be certified for the superintendent’s certification. 


A specialist of education in curriculum leadership was added later.  These degrees are a level higher than the master’s degree and they prepare recipients to pursue the doctorate degree.


Miriam Spencer of Liberty, Mo., completed her specialist of education in school administration at William Woods.


“The convenient schedule and the way the curriculum covered material that I could immediately put to use was the greatest strength of the program,” she said.


She added, “I have referred several people to the program.  I explain that the format, location, and variety of professors were great.  The grandest opportunity was to spend time with professionals from a variety of districts and learn about best practices from others.”


Employing a model of accelerated learning developed especially for the convenience of the working adult, William Woods University’s Graduate and Adult Studies programs are structured so that a degree can be completed in as few as 22 months.


William Woods offers degree programs that utilize a cohort model, emphasizing learning through student-directed study groups of three to five students.


 “Cohort” describes a group of people who collaborate to reach a common goal.  WWU’s program utilizes the diversity of the individual members to broaden the learning experience of the class as a whole as they work together.  The school recognizes that learning can and does take place outside of the classroom and that theoretical knowledge is only useful if applied to real-life on-the-job situations.


Classes meet once a week in the evening for four hours.  Study groups meet outside of class to prepare projects and assignments before the upcoming week.         


 “With the teamwork approach of using study groups and projects within the cohort model, students can draw on a greater pool of ideas, and they have the opportunity to learn quickly that the effectiveness of one person can be greatly enhanced by utilizing the other members of the group,” said Sherry McCarthy, vice president and academic dean.


Because of the nature of programming—focusing effort on one course at a time—90 percent of all students finish their program successfully.  Each course in the M.Ed. program normally runs six weeks in length.


“William Woods University is a leader when it comes to designing quality programs for nontraditional adult students.  Everything we do is specifically designed to help adults succeed in reaching their goals as efficiently as possible,” said McCarthy.


William Woods offers several other Graduate & Adult Studies programs, including the ACCESS program of general education, an associate of arts degree in liberal studies, a bachelor of science in management (BSM), a BSM with human resources emphasis and a B.S. in paralegal studies.


Additional graduate programs include a master of education (M.Ed.) and master of business administration (MBA) and MBAs with accounting, agribusiness, health management or human resources emphasis.

William Woods can tailor any of its programs for a particular business or community. More informatio