As the demand for teachers and educational leaders continues to grow, so does the need for programs that prepare them with specialized skills for new roles.
Carroll’s School of Education and Human Services offers several graduate programs to prepare tomorrow’s educators and leaders with opportunities to enhance their skills and responsiveness to current trends in their classrooms, schools and educational systems.
Nationally, many school districts are experiencing a shortage of teachers and principals – and Wisconsin is no exception. Dr. Brad Kose, Director of Graduate Programs in Carroll’s School of Education and Human Services, says it is critical that higher education institutions support educator and leadership licensing as well as opportunities for professional learning and growth, and Carroll offers several ways to do just that.
“We are very intentional about having robust, deep field experiences integrated into our programs.” Kose says. "It’s all about learning the work by doing the work."
Under Carroll’s cohort model, students learn and work alongside the same colleagues throughout the entire program. Students can build their skills with high-quality instructors with program areas of expertise. Kose says this is consistent across all programs.
Carroll offers a range of options for educational professionals seeking post-graduate course work in varying disciplines that include reading teacher, instructional coaching, and educational leadership. Students may pursue a master’s degree, new licensure area and/or teaching and learning certificates.
Sarah Morales, who teaches second grade at Swanson Elementary, recently decided to pursue a reading specialist license to add to her skill set. Intensive field experiences were built into the five-course program. Her continued growth for her long-term teaching career aligns with her district’s goals in student reading growth.
“Some of the most meaningful aspects of these programs are meaningful connections between theory and practice,” said Kathy Kramer, dean of Carroll’s School of Education and Human Services. “It adds the ‘why’ to the ‘what’ and ‘how.’”
Kramer says these programs build on educational professionals’ understanding of their practice and expand their knowledge and skill.
For Morales, Carroll faculty like Whitney Roth and Rebecca Anderson challenged her to grow in her understanding of equity in education, preparing her to think critically about inclusion in the world of education.
“I learned the importance of always considering how and when to best use my voice to advocate for all students,” Morales said. “The program also provided me the opportunity to grow my own ability to critique and analyze all aspects of education through a research-based lens.”
Carroll's graduate programs offer unique opportunities like a range of modalities, hands-on experience with practicum, small class and cohort sizes and high job-placement rates. In addition to these benefits, Kramer says students experience a relevant curriculum and purposeful experiences and establish communities of practice. They also have monthly in-person meetings so students can apply learnings between class meetings.
Most graduate students are already in their career of choice – and these graduate programs provide additive experiences that promote both personal and professional growth. The collaborative nature of the learning community model and students’ connection to their classroom practice creates a sense of agency, educational advocacy and leadership.
“Education is something that impacts everyone in the community and being an educator is about teaching and learning in and out of the classroom,” said Kramer. “Educators who understand the complexities of the policies, laws and practices in school systems are better positioned to advocate for learners, families and the profession.”
These programs are known to connect educators with their passion for teaching and learning, while gaining new skills and insights. Carroll fosters a community of learners who expand professional networks and transform teaching practices.
Morales says that whatever path a professional chooses, any of Carroll's graduate programs are sure to only further fuel that passion.
“I am grateful that my program allowed me to grow into a more reflective and intentional individual in all aspects of my life.” Morales said. “Supporting students to become critical thinkers and expert learners cannot be done without reflection and intentionality.”
For more information about Carrolls education programs, visit www.carrollu.edu/academics/education.