The University of Alabama doesn’t have a Malaysia campus. But that didn’t stop Kelly Wright from earned a Master of Arts in Special Education from the University of Alabama while teaching at the International Community School in Singapore.
After completing a degree in Elementary Education, Wright was excited to expand her teaching credentials to include Special Education. Shortly after enrolling in The University of Alabama's Gifted and Talented program, an opportunity arose for Wright to teach in Kenya. The area's poor technology inhibited her from continuing her coursework. Determined to finish what she started, Wright resumed her graduate studies after moving to Singapore for her next teaching assignment. Social media and online discussion boards allowed Wright to complete assignments and interact with professors and classmates despite the long distance.
The UA Gifted and Talented program is a blended program, which combines evening, weekend and online courses. But because Wright had completed some coursework and was gaining valuable experience by teaching abroad, her professors went above and beyond to ensure that she had the opportunity to complete her degree.
Wright offers reassurance for teachers seeking specialty certifications who worry that online education may be too impersonal or too cold. It’s definitely neither, she says.
"The UA professors were able to use Facetime with me while I was in Singapore,” says Wright. “We communicated a lot through email, and the projects were completed online."
Wright offers reassurance for teachers seeking advanced certification who worry that distance learning programs may be impersonal. She said that it's definitely neither.
“They (UA professors) were very flexible and great to work with as a staff. They all care about me, so I think that helps when the professors care. You can tell they are passionate about teaching.”
Wright received an unexpected bonus from online learning. She reports that developing skills to use new distance technology and techniques boosted her creativity as a teacher.
“I love how creative this program has made me as a teacher — it truly helps me to think outside the box. Many of my students are gifted with strengths in the areas of cultural knowledge and vocabulary. Through this program I have learned that giftedness crosses many domains.”
Wright spent a month on the University’s Tuscaloosa campus in order to complete the program's internship requirement. The summer enrichment workshop (SEW) gives students the opportunity to work with a select group of gifted children from the Tuscaloosa area and expand upon their teaching skills in this intensive workshop.
No. The University of Alabama's College of Education has been serving distance learning students for many years. Students in online and blended degree programs are held to the same standards as their campus counterparts, and they are taught by the same faculty who teach on campus.
Distance students are served by the Education School which employs 86 full-time tenured or tenure track faculty, instructors, and more than 70 support staff. The Education School served about 2,000 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate education majors in 2013.
Over 30,000 UA College of Education alumni work around the globe as teachers, administrators, school counselors and psychologists. Whether alumni live or work a UA degree provides them with a prestigious and established basis for excelling in their education careers by leveraging an impressive network of graduates.
The University of Alabama's College of Education offers a variety of master’s degree programs on campus and online. on campus and online.
Majors and certifications for educators offered through online include:
The University of Alabama also offers a number of blended programs within the College of Education. Blended programs combine online learning with weekend and evening classes.
The National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accredits the Education School, a guarantee of quality and prestige for all education majors.
UA’s online Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling ranks as among the 10 best affordable online psychology degrees in the nation based on an objective comparison of 71 professional master’s offered by competing regionally accredited universities in the United States.
The College recently renovated Bibb Graves Hall, its flagship building, with an investment of $9.1 million dollars. Bibb Graves Hall houses one of the finest counselor education facilities in the country.
The College of Education is home to the University of Alabama Disability Sports Program, one of three collegiate women’s wheelchair basketball programs and one of 12 collegiate men’s wheelchair basketball programs in the country. The women’s team has won three consecutive national championships.
Both the Elementary Education program and The Multiple Abilities Program (MAP) have earned Certificates of Distinction from the International Reading Association. The University of Alabama is one of only 10 programs nationwide to have earned this honor.
The College of Education’s Consortium for Overseas Student Teaching (COST) is a nationally acclaimed program that provides students opportunities to teach worldwide.
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