MNU Unveils New Path to Becoming a Classroom Teacher
| by Carol Best firstname.lastname@example.org
MNU’s latest innovation is a master’s degree equipping students to teach in the elementary grades, no matter their undergraduate major. The Master of Science in Elementary Education Unified program provides expertise in both elementary education and special education—and it is all online. The program addresses a shortage of teachers, particularly in special education.
“Last year the State of Kansas implemented a new designation combining elementary education and special education at the graduate level,” says Dr. Martin Dunlap, program chair. “The goal is to supply the need for teachers in special education. MNU is one of just a few universities with the program.”
Dunlap says the university encounters adults who have earned a bachelor’s degree and want to change careers. Previously the route to becoming a teacher often would require these individuals to earn a second bachelor’s degree. Now, however, they can earn a master’s degree instead, which means higher earning potential and saves time.
"We’re drawing students from a variety of careers,” Dunlap says. “Paraprofessionals in school districts, business people, all types of people in all sorts of jobs who want to become teachers.”
The 18-month program allows students to work full-time for the first year before student teaching. Instruction includes podcasts, vodcasts, social networking, wikis, and other electronic delivery technology. Students may also engage in real-time webcasts with instructors using virtual collaboration tools like Zoom, allowing for asynchronous and synchronous learning.
Once the students begin their student teaching assignments, they are placed in dual settings—half in a typical elementary and half in special education. The total timeframe for student teaching is one semester.
For students who do not have an earned bachelor’s degree, MNU also has an accelerated elementary education unified degree program.
Classes for the MSEEU program begin in August, and financial assistance is available. For more information, visit www.mnu.edu/graduate.