FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Communications
Loyola University Chicago’s School of Education Pilots Online Teacher Education
CHICAGO, March 16, 2005 This summer, Loyola University Chicago will complete a pilot online education program to train professionals interested in becoming secondary education teachers. In collaboration with Marquette University, Milwaukee, and St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, individuals can obtain a master’s degree in education (M.Ed.) as well as a Illinois secondary teacher certification (grades 6-12). The final deadline to apply for the summer cohort program is April 1, 2005.
Marquette’s School of Education initiated the program in response to the “No Child Left Behind Act,” which seeks to ensure that classrooms are staffed with highly qualified teachers. In particular, the program aims at increasing the number of teachers who come from minority backgrounds and plan to teach in content areas of high need such as math and science, or hope to work in communities where the teacher shortage is most severe.
“The idea was to develop a program for people who already have bachelor’s degrees and are moving into teaching from other fields,” said Janet Pierce-Ritter, associate dean, School of Education, and the project’s coordinator at Loyola.
“The online students take all of the same courses and receive the same degree as traditional M.Ed. students,” said Pierce-Ritter. “It’s just a different delivery model.”
Students must complete 33 semester hours, including nine classes and a semester of student teaching in a classroom setting. Students take seven of their classes online in a specific sequence over five consecutive semesters, including summer terms. The remaining two classes must be taken on campus at a time that is convenient to the student. Loyola also incorporates times for all of the students to meet in person because the face-to-face interaction is still an important element in the training.
Judith Hayn, an assistant professor of curriculum, instruction and educational psychology at Loyola, comments, “Research around online education shows that you must build in face time for the program to be successful.”
After the first summer of the pilot, the majority of students felt that the online delivery method was clear and that and that the program was convenient for working professionals. However, Pierce-Ritter noted that distance education isn’t for everyone.
“We encourage potential applicants to consider carefully whether they’re suited to online learning. In addition to having regular access to an Internet-connected computer, students need to be self-motivated and self-disciplined,” she said. “They have to be willing to set aside nine hours a week for each online course-18 hours a week for summer session courses-and be able to communicate effectively through writing.”
At the completion of the pilot project, the School of Education plans to evaluate the results and determine whether to offer the online program on an ongoing basis.
For more information about the online M.Ed. program, visit www.luc.edu/schools/education/degree/master/online/ or contact Pierce-Ritter at 312.915.6878.
About Loyola University Chicago
Committed to preparing people to lead extraordinary lives, Loyola University Chicago was founded in 1870 and is among the largest of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. Loyola has a total enrollment of more than 15,000 students, which includes 10,000 undergraduates hailing from all 50 states and 82 foreign countries. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy. Loyola also serves as the U.S. host university to the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies in Beijing, China. Loyola’s nine schools and colleges include arts and sciences, business administration, education, graduate studies, law, medicine, nursing, professional studies, and social work. Loyola offers 69 undergraduate majors, 77 master’s degrees, 36 doctoral degrees, and three professional degree programs. Recognizing Loyola’s excellence in education, U.S. News and World Report has ranked Loyola consistently among the “top national universities” in its annual publications. For more information, please visit our web site at www.luc.edu.