Dordt College News

Dordt offers new, accredited masters of education online option

November 21, 2011

Dordt College’s classroom walls have expanded throughout the world thanks to the use of new technologies. The college has begun offering an Educational Leadership track of the graduate education program online, and this innovative program has received full accreditation from the Iowa State Board of Education. The accreditation noted that the program “met or met with strength” requirements in all categories.

The program prepares students for positions as principals in both Christian and public schools. Online classes, assignments, and discussions will give teachers from the Midwest and around the world a new option as they consider where to do advanced studies in education.

“The education department is ready and equipped to partner with candidates in our local communities, as well as those throughout the world who want to lead schools Christianly, those who are called to shape the teaching and learning process in PK through 12th grade schools around the world,” said Dordt College’s Graduate Education Director Tim Van Soelen.

Increasing use of the internet and the opportunities it makes available helped convince Dordt education faculty to offer the new program in an online format. Students will use online resources such as GoTo Meeting and Camtasia for live weekly group conversations and interactive presentations. Chat rooms will allow classmates to share what they are learning, ask questions, and offer opinions and suggestions.

“These new technologies have allowed experts from different areas of North America to join the class as guest speakers to share their experiences, insights, and expertise on how to lead Christianly in public and Christian schools,” said Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Ryan Zonnefeld.

In addition to their studies, each person in the program is required to spend a minimum of 400 hours in schools, engaged in critical observation and action research. Students will also shadow principals and become involved with a school’s community.

According to Van Soelen, the graduate education committee is also exploring the possibility of offering some undergraduate courses on-line.

The Dordt College education department offers bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees in education. The master’s program is designed to fit into the life of the in-service teacher, even those living far from campus, while providing a high-quality education program. Dordt now offers two graduate education tracks: Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership.

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