Education Degree Programs to be Offered in St. Joseph

William Woods University is offering St. Joseph 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 at 5:30 p.m. March 16 at the Enright Center, 514 North 22nd Street.

Prospective students are encouraged to contact the university’s Graduate and 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 MED 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.

William Woods University’s program helped Anita Gilliland “develop professionally and academically, while at the same time allowing me to have a life outside of graduate school.” Gilliland, who completed her M.Ed. in Jefferson City, said, “William Woods puts a friendly face on graduate school.”

North Central Association’s Higher Learning Commission granted approval last year 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 instructional leadership was added this year. These degrees are a level higher than the master’s degree and they prepare recipients to pursue the doctorate degree.

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.

Gilliland has high praise for the cohort program. “The William Woods cohort program allowed me to continue teaching full-time while attending classes one night a week. Because we were part of a cohort, we were able to develop friendships and close working relationships with classmates and professors,” she said.

“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 Betty R. Tutt, WWU vice president of external initiatives.

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 Tutt.

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

Additional graduate programs include a master of business administration (MBA) and MBAs with accounting, health management or human resources emphasis and a master of education (M.Ed.) in administration, curriculum/instruction or athletics/activities administration.

William Woods can tailor any of its programs for a particular business or community. More information is available on the William Woods website at