Siena Heights University's Program Expanding Professional development Services It Offers Area Educators
Siena Heights University’s Graduate Teacher Education program is expanding the professional development services it offers area educators. SHU has added new master’s and specialist degree programs, new courses with emphasis on technology-integrated education and revamped additional-endorsement and certificate renewal programs. This is in response to a recent series of reforms enacted by the Michigan State Board of Education that applies more stringent state requirements for students, teachers and administrators.
In January 2007, SHU became one of the first colleges or universities in the state to offer the new three-credit course in reading instruction required by Public Act 118 of teachers in all grades and subject areas for upgrades to professional teacher certification. Its all-online format has attracted students from across the state, and reflects the state’s commitment to “digital citizenship,” as outlined in the 2006 Michigan Educational Technology Plan and Michigan Merit Curriculum.
“If we are requiring high schoolers to have an online learning experience, how about giving their teachers the same opportunity?” asked Professor Anne Hooghart, Director of Graduate Teacher Education at SHU.
Integration of technology into classroom teaching is the focus of SHU’s new Mathematics Education with Emphasis on Technology M.A. degree program. The first of its kind in Michigan, this professional master’s degree program gives current and aspiring high school and college mathematics teachers enhanced content knowledge and hands-on experience with integration of advanced technologies such as graphing calculators and the latest software for teaching statistics, calculus and geometry. Starting in January 2008, students in this two-year program will take paired courses focused on content and technology in various sub-fields of mathematics, beginning with statistics.
Professor Tim Husband, chair of the SHU mathematics department, is also spearheading a partnership with the Hillsdale-Lenawee-Monroe Math & Science Center to bring the Michigan Mathematics Program Improvement Project to campus. MMIP is focused on improving schools’ adequate yearly progress (AYP) indicators by raising math test scores through improved curriculum and instruction, particularly for middle school students with special needs. Beginning in January 2008, pairs of math teachers and special education teachers from area schools will take part in a six-day MMIP workshop on SHU’s Adrian campus, for which they can earn graduate credit.
SHU is also actively engaged in professional development for current and aspiring school administrators for grades preK-16. As part of the Michigan Department of Education Voluntary Administrator Certification Work Group, Hooghart is participating in the design of standards in response to Public Act 335, which reinstated voluntary certification for school administrators in August 2006. SHU now offers an M.A. in Educational Leadership at six campuses across the state. Its Educational Leadership Specialist of Arts program was revived at the Adrian campus in January 2007, and is slated to begin another new cohort in June 2008.
In January 2008, SHU will offer graduate credit for participants in the Michigan Leadership Improvement Framework Endorsement (MI-LIFE) curriculum, being offered to area school administrators through the Lenawee Intermediate School District.
“Through our longstanding partnership with the LISD, we have been able to offer graduate credit for high-quality courses at a 50 percent tuition discount, and these courses have been quite popular with educators,” Hooghart said. “We hope the same will prove true for this new initiative for administrators’ professional development.”For additional information, please contact Anne M. Hooghart at firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-264-7662 (or toll-free 877-438-1596).