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OCU adds teacher education grad program

Oklahoma City University is hoping to address a continuing shortage of professionally trained educators with a new Master of Education degree program.

The new program unites two existing micro-credential certificate programs — Instructional Design and Educational Technology — with some added core and elective courses.

“The primary goal of the new program is to empower educators by equipping them with the knowledge and skills to leverage educational technology and effective instruction to improve student engagement,” said Heather Sparks, director of Teacher Education at OCU. “With the rapid changes in educational trends and the integration of technology in teaching, it’s crucial that teachers have the skills needed to remain at the forefront of modern educational practices.”

In a state that has approved a record number of teacher emergency certifications, Sparks noted the growing importance of preparing current and future educators for success. According to the Oklahoma State Department of Education, the state “continues to experience acute teacher shortages, most critically in grades PK-3 and special education.”

Sparks said participants in OCU’s Teacher Development Academy and Apple Teacher Training had expressed interest in more teacher training opportunities as well as advanced degrees that will prepare them for a successful future in the field. 

“Through our teacher education initiatives, we have modeled the power of effective instructional design and technology integration,” she said. “Now they seek ways to bring this power to their own classroom.”

While some existing courses like Teaching Methods Across the Curriculum, The Assessment/Instruction Loop and Classroom Management and Collaboration are integral to the new graduate degree program, several new courses have been added, including:

  • Survey of Instructional Technology
  • Principles of Curriculum and Instructional Design
  • Innovative Leadership

The degree program teaches skills such as designing effective learning experiences, integrating learning theories into instructional practices, leveraging instructional technology and leading curriculum-development initiatives.

All courses are delivered in a hybrid format, allowing for both in-person and remote participation.

More information about the new M.Ed. and certificate offerings is available here.

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