Neol Area MED for Working Adults

William Woods University’s Graduate & Adult Studies (G&AS) program helped Anita Gilliland “develop professionally and academically, while at the same time allowing me to have a life outside of graduate school.” Gilliland, a student pursuing her master of education degree (MED) in Jefferson City, said, “William Woods puts a friendly face on graduate school.”

William Woods is offering Noel area residents the opportunity to pursue an MED without quitting work. An orientation will be held at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 19 at Noel Elementary School.

The 36-credit-hour MED program has two tracks— students can choose to study administration or curriculum and instruction. The administration track is intended to provide the student with the fundamental skills necessary for effective school administration at the elementary, middle, and/or secondary level(s). The curriculum & instruction (C&I) track is for teachers who wish to enhance their classroom skills.

In the beginning, the G&AS programs were located only in mid-Missouri. Now, thanks to the growing demand, William Woods has expanded G&AS programs to locations across the state for the convenience of interested students.

These programs make it possible for people with full-time jobs to complete a baccalaureate or a graduate degree while remaining employed. Employing a model of accelerated learning developed especially for the convenience of the working adult, these educational programs are structured so that a degree can be completed in as few as 18 months.

To guarantee the graduation of many well-rounded professionals, 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.

The word “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.

To better fit the schedules of the ever-busy G&AS students, classes meet once a week in the evening for four hours. Study groups can meet once more 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, associate provost for extended studies.

Because of the nature of programming—focusing effort on one course at a time—75 to 90 percent of all students finish their program successfully. Each course normally runs five to 10 weeks in length.

“William Woods University is a leader when it comes to designing quality programs for nontraditional adult students. Everything we do here at WWU in our Graduate & Adult Studies program is specifically designed to help adults succeed in reaching their goals as efficiently as possible,” said Tutt.

Non-traditional students reflect a growing national trend as more full-time working adults realize the value of maintaining a sustained involvement in higher
education. Many adult students recognize that they need additional education either to advance in their current positions or to change careers.

In addition to the MED, William Woods offers several other G&AS programs, including an associate of arts degree in liberal studies, ACCESS (general education), a bachelor of science in management (BSM), a bachelor of science in computer information management (CIM), a master of business administration (MBA) an MBA with accounting emphasis and a new MBA with health management emphasis. More information is available on the William Woods website at

William Woods University can bring programs to your business or community. If there is interest, call 1-800-995-3199 to schedule an information meeting to be held on-site or in your community. Or contact WWU by e-mail at or by fax at (573) 592-1164.