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Graduate Programs in Education
All of the graduate programs in Education are low-residency and require a one-week stay on the Western State Colorado University campus in Gunnison, Colorado in early August. During the subsequent school year, students complete course work online while working in schools with mentor support. This combination of practical training and face-to-face and online learning is extremely effective in preparing educators, but it does require a high degree of self-discipline and commitment.
Beyond the one-week residency each August, students do not need to live in Gunnison. Students work or intern in schools within the communities where they live. The program cost structure is the same for in-state and out-of-state students. Students completing the programs at Western are prepared for licensure in the State of Colorado. Students desiring to teach in other states should check with the department of education in their home state to learn what is required to transfer a Colorado teaching license to that state.
K-12 Online Track Options
1. Initial Teacher Licensure Program - designed for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree and want to earn an initial teaching license. Those seeking initial licensure have the choice of two tracks:
- Internship Track requirements include working with a mentor teacher in the same endorsement area a minimum of 24 hours a week, while taking a full load of education courses online for the full year. Western State Colorado University will assist with the internship placements for all admitted students. The internship placement can include being hired as a paraprofessional, if the paraprofessional position is in the same endorsement area in which the student is seeking licensure.
- Alternative Licensure Track requirements include obtaining a Statement of Eligibility (SOE) from the Colorado Department of Education and being hired as the teacher of record 100% of the day with at least 51% of the day in the approved endorsement area, while you take a full load of education courses online for the full year.
2. Principal Licensure Program - designed for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree and want to earn a principal license. Those seeking licensure have the choice of two tracks:
- Internship Track requirements include working with a mentor principal a minimum of 7-8 hours a week, while taking a full load of education courses online for the full year. Western State Colorado University will assist with the internship placements for all admitted students.
- Alternative Licensure Track requirements include obtaining a Statement of Eligibility (SOE) from the Colorado Department of Education and being hired as the principal of record while taking a full load of education courses online for the full year.
3. Added Endorsement Program - this program is designed for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree, a teaching license, and want to add an endorsement to a current license. Students currently not hired as a teacher must teach with a mentor teacher in a school for a minimum of 135 hours, per semester. The Teacher Education Program will assist with the internship placement for all admitted students.
- Teacher Leadership Track -Teacher leadership is defined as the work of a teacher-leader within a school who is regarded as an excellent educator; is well respected by peers; is recognized for his/her leadership capacity; holds a lifelong learning orientation; and has been identified to facilitate, advocate, and advance school reform and improvement of student learning. This work is typically carried out through informal and formal venues and processes; for example, with teachers in their classrooms, and with colleagues and administrators through leadership responsibilities on school and district level task forces, committees, and/or membership in district level professional development projects.
- Reading Leadership Track – Reading leadership is defined as the work of a reading-leader situated in the classroom or in a school or district level position who knows federal and state policies related to literacy; has advanced knowledge of the development, implementation, and evaluation of scientifically-based reading programs; and can work effectively with other instructional staff to meet the literacy needs of all students. The reading leader provides professional guidance and expertise to classroom teachers, school and/or district literacy curriculum, instruction, and assessment programs; and, develops and conducts in-service programs related to literacy
- K-12 Online Teacher Leadership Track – K-12 Online teacher leadership is defined as the work of an individual (an online teacher-leader) teaching online in a virtual school and/or in a blended setting who knows federal and state policies related to online teaching and learning; has advanced knowledge of the development, implementation, and evaluation of quality online teaching and instructional design; and can work effectively with other online instructional staff to meet the targeted learning needs of all students. The online teacher leader provides professional guidance and expertise to virtual schools on effective curriculum, instruction, and assessment programs.
- Educational Administrator Leadership Track – Educational Administrator leadership is defined as the work of an educational administrator-leader in a school or district level position. Educational administrator leaders are expected to be change agents and facilitators who improve conditions for learning through the creation of cultures that allow schools to operate as professional learning communities. They are also expected to bring out the leadership potential of every teacher and employee in the building and to work collaboratively with them, so that the school as a whole makes better decisions and is committed to continuous improvement. Effective educational administrator leaders are knowledgeable about how to create an environment that encourages and develops responsibility, ethics, and citizenship, in self and others. They work collaboratively to set the direction for a school community committed to and focused on learning. Effective educational administrator leaders are able create a common vision within the learning community and then support the movement toward that vision. They empower teachers to lead school projects and initiatives, rather than serve as the chief problem-solver. They acknowledge and address in planning, the internal and external factors affecting the school and the learning process.
Sample the Graduate MA Program
A non-degree seeking student holding a bachelor’s degree may be allowed to complete up to nine credit hours of 600-level graduate coursework at WSCU, to be determined by individual graduate programs, before admission into a graduate program. These credits, graded B- or higher, may be applied to a graduate degree at WSCU upon approval by the Chair/Director of the program. The registration for graduate level courses does not constitute or imply admission into a graduate program, as the candidate must meet the program admission requirements. Coursework completed more than five years prior to being admitted into the graduate program shall be evaluated by the major department as to current relevance and applicability to the degree requirements. Contact Extended University Studies at 970.9430.2885 for more information. firstname.lastname@example.org