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Before beginning this description of the Seattle Pacific University Online Masters of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction, I must offer a few words of disclosure. Readers interested in my opinions of American higher education and especially the high cost of higher education should consult my series on Choosing a College in Tough Economic Times. I am a careful critic of educational programs with years of experience as a professor, administrator, consultant and accrediting officer.
In this instance, I must also state that I am a faculty member of Seattle Pacific University, though not in the School of Education, and former Dean of Graduate Studies. When I praise this particular program, I am bringing my usual skepticism to bear, but as a reader you have a right to know that in this case I am reviewing my own institution.
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Seattle Pacific University, founded in 1891, is a comprehensive university whose School of Education has an excellent reputation in its region. The university is accredited by the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities, and the education programs, including the online MEd, are accredited by NCATE. The SPU School of Education has offered masters and doctoral level degrees in education for many years and has well established relationships with school districts throughout Washington State and surrounding states.
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SPU's Online MEd
Seattle Pacific University's Online Masters in Education degree focuses on Curriculum and Instruction. It is not a certification program and does not provide supervised practice in the classroom. Prospective students looking for an MAT with certification should look elsewhere. Teachers looking for an excellent MEd to expand their skills and to advance professionally will be well served by the SPU degree.
The program is delivered by regular faculty members who have deep experience as teachers and administrators and excellent publication records. This is not a program taught by large numbers of adjuncts or other part timers. Faculty in this program also participate in SPU's other undergraduate, masters level and doctoral programs in Education. The faculty is diverse by many measures, and the school has deep strengths in such areas as international education, assessment, and instructional methods.
The degree program requires 48 credits.
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A Long History
SPU did not leap into offering online education. The university has provided continuing education to Washington State's teachers for many years, sometimes through on-site classes, classes in schools around the state, classes delivered by television and audio cassette, and now by computers. Consequently, the university has decades of experience with teacher education and with many technological platforms.
The university provides abundant information and assistance concerning the kind of computer equipment and connectivity you should have to succeed in the program. Courses use the Blackboard platform, and there are many opportunities for students and faculty to correspond with each other as courses are completed. Student and faculty dialogues on Blackboard go a long way toward making an online degree as relational as a classroom experience--without the trouble of driving to a university after a day of work.
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For More Information
For further information, consult Seattle Pacific University's website at www.spu.edu. You can access the description of the Online Masters in Education by clicking on School of Education under departments, or by clicking on Academics and then Graduate Programs. The site contains a full description of the courses, the technology requirements, and a downloadable manual for the degree. Program faculty and officers of the university's graduate admissions office can answer any questions you may have about details of the degree, admissions standards, and other matters.