USA Announces One-Year Option to Complete Online Master's in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education
Posted on December 13, 2019 by Amber Day
The University of South Alabama College of Education and Professional Studies recently announced that educators can complete the fully online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Elementary Education (K-6) and M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education (PreK-3) programs in just one year, beginning in the 2020 summer semester. Previously, the two degrees were only offered as two-year programs.
“USA faculty in the College of Education and Professional Studies are constantly discovering new ways to integrate academic theory and teaching, and it’s more important now than ever for teachers to continue building their skill sets to best impact our future leaders,” said Dr. Andrea Kent, dean of the USA College of Education and Professional Studies. “Teachers who come back to South to earn their master’s degree join the initiative of continuous improvement in education across the nation.”
Teachers who return to complete their master’s are eligible for a pay raise through the Alabama State Department of Education. Teachers can see the most updated ALSDE salary schedule online.
“We are excited to respond to feedback and now be able to offer these two programs that can be completed in one or two years," Kent said. “This expands opportunities and options for our students. This initiative coupled with our Educator Excellence Scholarship means that now is the time for educators to advance their careers by coming home or becoming a South Alabama Jaguar.”
The USA Educator Excellence Scholarship is a 20% tuition reduction scholarship. Alabama educators granted admission to an eligible graduate program automatically qualify for the scholarship. The master’s degrees in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education fall under this scholarship. Other Master of Education programs and Education Specialist (Ed.S.) programs are eligible for the scholarship.
The master’s in Early Childhood Education can now be taken as a 30-hour fully online program in one or two years. The degree provides advanced study for teachers who already hold the Class B Professional Early Childhood Certificate. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible for the Class A Professional Early Childhood Education (P-3) certificate, a requirement for those intending to work in grades PreK-3 in public elementary schools. The program is designed to provide in-depth knowledge of child development, childhood learning, and teaching skills for young children ages four through eight.
“USA continually strives to meet students needs without sacrificing quality,” said Dr. Hannah Szatkowski, academic advisor for the early childhood education graduate program and reading specialist program coordinator. “These programs are specifically designed to provide students with the tools to be successful in a variety of future educational endeavors. Not only does a master’s allow teachers to qualify for additional income upon completion, it provides teachers with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of content and research-based practices.”
The master’s in Elementary Education can also now be taken as a 30-hour fully online program in one or two years. The degree provides advanced study for teachers who already hold the Class B Professional Elementary Education (K-6) Certificate. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible for the Class A Professional Elementary Education (K-6) Certificate.
“Most of the teachers on the Alabama Gulf Coast are graduates of South,” said Dr. Lauren Brannan, academic advisor for the elementary education graduate program. “They already have professional relationships with the faculty here at South, so coming back can feel a little like coming home.”
Outside of the master’s degrees in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education, USA also offers an Alternative Master of Education, master’s with Reading Certification, and Instructional Specialist for both programs.
USA also plans to offer an elective course for National Board Certification starting the 2020 fall semester. National Board Certified teachers in Alabama earn an annual pay supplement of $5,000. In addition, NBCTs who teach in certain subject areas and in one of Alabama's 351 eligible schools can earn up to an extra $5,000 each year.
Prospective graduate students can apply now for the summer semester online. The application deadline for summer is May 31, 2020. The summer semester starts June 3, 2020. No GRE/MAT required.
If prospective students have questions, please contact the USA College of Education and Professional Studies Graduate Academic Records Specialist Jamie Lett at firstname.lastname@example.org or (251) 380-2630.