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Graduate and Continuing Studies offers new Teacher-Leader program as part of master's program

AUGUST 5, 2004 - Beginning with this year's fall semester, the Muskingum College Department of Graduate and Continuing Studies will offer a new Teacher-Leader program as a part of its Master of Arts in Education (MAE) degree.

The Teacher -Leader program will help already licensed teachers earning their MAE to become more effective leaders outside the classroom by developing their leadership and decision-making skills, along with other related competencies. It also is suited to master's plus qualifications.

Dr. Ruthann Fagan, associate vice president of academic affairs and dean of graduate and continuing studies at Muskingum, explained the reasoning for the new program, saying, "The mission of teacher education at Muskingum College is to develop teacher-leaders who encourage, equip and empower their students, and that requires well-rounded and thoroughly prepared teachers in and out of the classroom. This program is designed to educate and prepare that kind of teacher."

The program was developed with the help of chief administrators from area schools, including Barb Hansen, superintendent of the East Muskingum Schools; Scott Davis, superintendent of the Morgan County Schools; and Judy VanVoorhis, director of curriculum instruction and assessment for the Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center.

Of this new program, Hansen said, "The extraordinary thing about this program is that it is available to teachers right here in their back yards. Thanks to Muskingum College, teachers can advance their skills and their credentials without having to travel a long way to a larger, less personal institution. It's just a wonderful opportunity for teachers, and a great contribution to the teaching field."

Davis added that, "One of the many impressive things about this program is its balance between theory and practice. The result is training that educators can really use and apply."

VanVoorhis noted, "In the last ten years, there has been a great deal of research that reflects the fact that the more teachers know, the better teachers they are. Muskingum has been at the forefront of addressing this issue, and this program is a solid approach to providing the best equipped teachers possible."

The curriculum for the new program includes courses focusing on teaching and leading in a culture of change, motivation and learning, building and working in collaborative teams, educational research for teacher-leaders, teaching and assessment in a standards-based environment, creating a climate for learning and data-based decision-making.

Dr. Fagan concluded by saying, "Muskingum College is constantly expanding and refining the teacher-preparation curriculum to help educators be the best they can be. This new program is another vital part of that preparation."

For further information, contact the Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies at Muskingum College by calling 740-826-8038.