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New master’s degree program for educators available

ISSUED: 23 May 2024
MEDIA CONTACT: Cecelia Mason

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Beginning with the fall 2024 semester, Shepherd University will offer a new master’s degree program geared toward working adults who are either in or aspire to be leaders in the education field.

The new 30-hour master’s degree program will be fully online, and most courses will be half a semester long. Admission is continuous, and students can start taking courses mid-semester, making it a more flexible degree to earn.

“We think that this will be more attractive for working adults,” said Dr. Richard Stevens, associate provost of faculty affairs. “A lot of the students will be regional, but we have a great opportunity to market much broader nationally and even internationally because these will be online courses that students can take at their own pace.”

The Master of Education in educational leadership will offer three concentrations: curriculum and instruction leadership, higher education leadership, and a concentration geared toward those wanting to serve as principals and assistant principals. The curriculum and instruction leadership and higher education leadership concentrations are available for students starting this fall. The other concentration will be offered once its accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

“The curriculum and instruction program prepares current teachers who want to take on leadership roles outside of being a principal or assistant principal,” Stevens said. “Those get defined in different ways at different institutions. A lot are teachers who are working on curriculum-related issues, so it might be a department chair, lead teacher, or work in the central office.”

The higher education concentration prepares people to work in student affairs, enrollment management, and academic affairs in leadership roles at colleges and universities—both two- and four-year institutions.

“People could work in residence life, or academic advising, or admissions, and other areas in higher education that are non-faculty,” Stevens said.

The third concentration, which may be offered as early as fall 2025, will prepare educators who want to move into kindergarten through 12th-grade jobs such as principal, assistant principal, and dean. Eventually, certificates for each concentration will be offered, so students can have a concentration in one topic and a certificate in another.

For more information about Shepherd’s new master’s degree program, visit the Graduate Studies webpage.

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