William Woods University is offering Poplar Bluff area residents the opportunity to pursue a master of education (M.Ed.) or a specialist of education (Ed.S.) degree without quitting work.
The programs will begin with an orientation Sept. 23 in room 104 of Poplar Bluff High School Building B, 1300 Victory Lane, Poplar Bluff. The M.Ed. orientation is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., with Ed.S. 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 AdultEd@WilliamWoods.edu.
The 36-credit-hour M.Ed. program has three tracks—students can choose to study administration, which is intended to provide the fundamental skills necessary for effective school administration; curriculum and instruction, which is for teachers who wish to enhance their classroom skills, and athletics/activities administration, which is for anyone interested in developing and administering activities in any school or community setting.
Claudia S. Gott, assistant superintendent of Warsaw R-IX Schools, completed her M.Ed. in Clinton. She said she found the program very beneficial and said “working with current educators and administrators in the course work was the greatest strength of the program.”
The program, she said, “prepared me to take the position I currently have with the utmost confidence, and the educational contacts I have gained from the Williams Woods Program are priceless.”
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.
In addition to the M.Ed. and Ed.S., 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 business administration (MBA) and MBAs with accounting, agribusiness, health management or human resources emphasis.