Preparing educators to be effective leaders with specialized degree programs

08/21/2012  | 
Specialized Graduate Programs

Northcentral University understands that the dynamic field of Education requires highly skilled teachers, leaders and administrators — and our specialized degree programs are designed to help busy professionals advance in their current profession — or start a new one. The mission for Northcentral’s School of Education is to prepare professional educators at all levels to become effective leaders, reflective practitioners, and successful communicators within the diverse field of education. Northcentral’s School of Education is centered on improving teaching, learning, research and leadership contributions throughout all levels of human development and education.

“Our vision is to become a global leader in delivering career-long professional preparation and development through excellence in student-focused online environments,” notes Cindy K. Knott, EdD, Dean of the School of Education. “Our graduate education programs are designed to promote your ability to refine and apply learned knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Along with Faculty analysis and assessment, students are challenged to continually reflect on their own learning and application to adjust and shape their thinking and behavior in efforts to positively impact their lifelong learning journey.”

Master of Education (MEd)

As part of Northcentral’s commitment to supporting the development of effective leaders and reflective practitioners through an applied experiential learning model, the master of education degree program teaches students to apply education leadership principles to real-world problems and case studies. This helps engage students in the learning process, while creating a learning experience that is meaningful, personalized and professionally relevant. Our 30-credit MEd program offered with eight-week courses is designed to give graduate students a broader understanding of current theory and practice in Education.

“Our goal for students in our Master’s degree program is that they will apply education leadership principles and theories to real-world educational problems,” relates Dr. Knott. “Ultimately, to be effective in your career, you will need to analyze educational issues within your specialty area and make important decisions and recommendations.”

Northcentral also emphasizes effective use of technology, one of the most important issue facing all educators today, and an area that constantly changes. NCU also stresses communicating effectively and in a caring manner in a variety of learning contexts within a global environment. “This means accurately integrating multiple perspectives related to race, gender, individual differences, and ethnic and cultural perspectives,” adds Dr. Knott.

Doctor of Education (EdD)

The Doctor of Education (EdD) is the degree of choice for many educational leaders, such as teachers, administrators, instructional leaders, organizational leaders, experts in education technology and more. This degree program is an excellent option for students who already have leadership responsibilities in various areas of education, including colleges, PK-12 schools, proprietary organizations, private and public businesses, or the military.

“At NCU, we’re committed to promoting our students’ advancement of knowledge based on research as it applies to the professional practice of and effective leadership in education,” explains Dr. Knott. “Our job is really to enable competent, committed and reflective professionals to pursue their personal goals of leadership and advanced scholarship in relation to their areas of interest.”

Northcentral also enhances students’ communication skills and competencies (oral, written, computer literacy, interpersonal) to support their professional practice and within a global environment. Ultimately, NCU prepares students as reflective practitioners, and through the doctoral dissertation project experience, helps students intellectually explore practical and systemic solutions for problems and challenges facing education today.

Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)

NCU’s Doctor of Philosophy in Education degree program is designed primarily for students who wish to teach in higher education, conduct educational research or work in the area of educational research. A good deal of the program is focused on academic research, including basic foundation and methodology courses, and the final doctoral dissertation. Through these courses, students have the opportunity to engage in academic research and apply their findings to generate new knowledge or reformulate existing knowledge.

“At the PhD level, our goal is to promote our students’ opportunities to engage in academic research, scholarship, and systematic inquiry within the field of education,” states Dr. Knott.

NCU’s PhD program enhances students’ communication skills and competencies (oral, written, computer literacy, interpersonal) to support their professional practice and development within a global environment. It also prepares professionals, through the practice of research, to generate new knowledge or the reformulation of existing knowledge as a basis for the development of educational theory through applied research. In the end, Northcentral strives to provide a graduate experience that is intellectually stimulating, professionally relevant, and leads to research that supports decision making and problem solving around the key issues facing education.

Welcoming Pioneers in Online Education

Timothy Mundell traveled full circle at NCU — first taking the plunge as a Doctoral candidate. He now works as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Education.

To complete his Education Doctorate Degree in Organizational Leadership, Mundell completed his dissertation study entitled “Principal Leadership in a Middle School Culture.” He soon after joined Northcentral as an adjunct professor, and he works teaching, guiding, and facilitating doctoral learners through qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research courses in preparation for the dissertation sequence. He also serves on dissertation committees to review concept papers, dissertation proposals, and dissertation manuscripts, as well as serving as dissertation committee chair to coordinate, facilitate, and advocate for student research and milestone paper development.

“NCU has a clear process combined with the support that students need to achieve their goals, but there are extremely high standards — and expectation levels are high,” explains Mundell. “It’s an exciting time for education and Northcentral is truly a pioneer in online education — consistently delivering quality instruction.”

“We hold ourselves to the highest standards of academic excellence, accessibility and student support,” observes Scott W.M. Burrus, PhD, Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Northcentral University.

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