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FAQ - Online Master of Education in Cooperation with the International Baccalaureate

FAQ

Why UoPeople?

 

1. Who should be interested in pursuing an M.Ed. in Advanced Teaching from UoPeople?

While the program is primarily directed at K-12 classroom teachers in public and private schools, anyone who works with children and youth could benefit from the program. 

 

Educators work in a variety of settings – nursery schools, community colleges, after-school programs, museums, sports and recreation programs, hospitals, tutoring programs, health and wellness settings, religious education programs, etc.  Acquiring a deeper understanding of human development, teaching and learning theory, behavior management, assessment of learning, etc., would enhance their ability to work in these roles.

 

2. What makes this program unique?

The UoPeople M.Ed. in Advanced Teaching views teaching as a learner-centered endeavor.  It believes that the effective teacher is a skilled professional who fosters an inclusive and inquiring classroom, relies on data-driven decision making, and employs tailored curricular and pedagogical approaches to facilitate the learning of the students in their classrooms.  Students who complete the program will be valued additions to any school’s teaching force.

 

3. The program does not lead to certification.  Can I teach without teacher certification?

Yes.  Many independent and parochial schools in the US will hire a master’s level teacher who does not have state/national licensure or certification.  Nursery schools and community and technical colleges in the US also do not require certification.  Individuals working in education-relate roles like those described above also do not require certification.

 

4. Will I be qualified to teach in an International Baccalaureate program if I complete this program?

The International Baccalaureate Organization will waive the requirement to attend a Category 1 Workshop for qualified graduates of the M.Ed. in Advanced Teaching program.  This opens the way for an IB school to consider applicants for their teaching positions who graduated from this program.

 

Admissions, Financial Aid, Fees, Transfer Credit

 

1. What are the criteria for acceptance?

  • Be able to demonstrate undergraduate degree completion
  • Have English proficiency

Students must first complete at least three M.Ed. Core courses as a Non-Degree Seeking Student (NDSS) and earn a grade of 2.67 or higher in each course.  Only once they have demonstrated that they have the appropriate preparedness for graduate-level work can they be admitted to study toward the degree. In general, courses taken by non-degree seeking students can be accepted for credit towards one’s degree program after being accepted as a Degree Seeking Student (DSS), so no time is lost on the path towards a degree.

 

2. Many programs require a much higher CGPA for admission.  Why doesn’t UoPeople?

UoPeople students are typically 25-40 years of age and are working adults and/or individuals with family responsibilities.  They have been doing other things since completing their Bachelor’s degree, so that the undergraduate CGPA may no longer be the best predictor of their success in graduate school.  UoPeople’s two-stage admissions pathway is a much better indicator than an undergraduate CGPA of an individual’s capacity to handle graduate-level work.

 

3. Do I need to have completed an undergraduate program in teacher education in order to be admitted to the program?

No, while having prior coursework in education may be helpful, it is not necessary.  Having a major in a disciplinary field (e.g., history, math, English, biology, etc.) can be just as important.  Teaching is all about imparting content and skills, and having a subject area in which one is highly knowledgeable is equally important for teachers.

 

4. Do I need to have had teaching experience in order to apply to the program?

While it may be useful in one’s studies to have had prior experience in some type of educational role, there is no requirement that an applicant have had prior teaching experience.

 

5. Does the program admit applicants from other countries, as well as from the U.S.?

In keeping with its mission to create access and opportunity, UoPeople admits students from all parts of the globe, all socioeconomic strata, and all cultural and social backgrounds – creating a student body that mirrors today’s diverse society.

 

6. Will priority be given to UoPeople graduates?

This opportunity is available to everyone. Special consideration may be given to certain successful graduates of UoPeople’s undergraduate program.

University of the People does not require that applicants come from any particular undergraduate major or employment field and considers both what applicants have achieved in the past and what the evidence suggests they have the potential to achieve in the future. And, in keeping with its mission, it admits students from all parts of the globe, all socioeconomic strata, and all cultural and social backgrounds – creating a student body that mirrors today’s diverse society.

 

7. Does UoPeople provide student visas?

UoPeople offers all of its programming in an online environment.  Students study from home, so no visa is needed.

 

8. Is UoPeople an accredited institution?

University of the People is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.  The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency.  DEAC is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

 

9. Is it accredited in other countries?

UoPeople has not pursued accreditation in any other country.  In many places, being accredited in the U.S. means that it is a highly respected institution.  International applicants are encouraged to check the status of UoPeople degrees in their own country.

 

10. Does UoPeople accept transfer credits?

UoPeople may award 50 percent of the credits required for the M.Ed. Program. Hence, UoPeople will apply no more than 18 transfer credits toward the completion of the M.Ed. Degree.

 

Note: Credits taken at the undergraduate level cannot be applied towards a UoPeople graduate degree

 

11. How many students does UoPeople plan to accept for the program?

As with any new program, UoPeople will start small and then grow it as needed to accommodate the demand, always keeping in mind that its first responsibility is to ensure the quality of the education that is being provided.

 

12. What is the total cost for the degree?

The cost of the M.Ed. in Advanced Teaching includes a $60 Application Processing Fee and a $200 assessment fee per course.  There are no tuition charges.  Assuming one takes the minimum required 13 courses (39 semester credit hours), the total cost of the degree will be $2,660.

 

13. What are the costs for books and materials?

UoPeople provides all instructional materials at no cost within the courses themselves.

 

14. Are there scholarships?

UoPeople offers as many scholarships as it has the funds available to do so.  Currently, all of the donated scholarships are only for undergraduate degree study.  UoPeople is working hard to raise scholarship funds so that no qualified student will be denied the opportunity to study for financial reasons.  As soon as it is able to raise scholarship support for the M.Ed. program, UoPeople will begin offering aid to students.  For now, it is not possible to offer any aid for study in the program.

 

15. When will UoPeople begin enrolling the first cohort of students in this program?

University of the People is already accepting applications for Term 3 of the 2019 Academic year (beginning Jan 31, 2019). The application deadline for Term 3 is Dec 19, 2018. Please click here to apply.

 

Studying at UoPeople

 

1. How is UoPeople’s academic year organized?

UoPeople’s academic year runs from September 1 through August 31.  There are five terms in the academic year.  Each term is nine weeks in length, and there are one or two weeks between terms.  Term 1 begins the first week of September.  Term 5 ends in the middle of August.

 

Students studying full-time take two courses per term.  Students studying part-time take one course per term.

 

2. Do I have to begin my studies in any particular term?

No.  UoPeople accepts new students to begin studying in all of its five terms.  Students can begin their studies in the term that works best for them.  Click here to access the application.

 

3. How many hours per week should students expect to devote to their coursework?

A student should expect to spend at least 15-17 hours per week on each course.  This includes readings, research work, writing, project work, etc.

 

4. Do students need any specific type of internet connection in order to study?

Students who study at UoPeople need to have consistent access to a computer that has a reliable internet connection.  If students are working on a computer that is not their personal computer and are unable to save documents, it is important that they have an external drive on which to store their work.

 

5. What learning management system does UoPeople use?

UoPeople uses Moodle as its learning management system.

 

6. How large are the UoPeople classes?

UoPeople works to maintain small class sizes in its courses.  Typically, there are no more than 20-30 students per class.  Having small classes fosters a sense of community, and students develop relationships that will stay with them throughout their professional lives.

 

7. Does UoPeople have a diverse student body?

UoPeople admits students from around the globe.  This ensures that classes will have representation from many different cultures.  It broadens horizons and enriches the curriculum as students bring their local experiences to the conversation about teaching around the world.

 

8. Do students study in cohorts?

The M.Ed. in Advanced Teaching is not a cohort-based program.  Many students work while studying and/or have family obligations and may have to take breaks from their studies.  Their classmates must be able to continue moving forward with their studies, and these students have to be able to pick up where they left off once they are able to return to their studies.  That is why a cohort model is not used.

 

9. How does the Learning Week work?

There are nine (9) Learning Weeks in a term.  There is a Learning Guide for each week.  All texts, readings, cases and other supplemental materials are provided within the course itself.  

 

Students can allocate their time however they like within each week.  They must, however, complete all of the tasks for the week within that seven-day period.

 

10. How are the courses structured?

Emphasis is placed on teamwork and project-centered learning.  Through Discussion Forums and critiquing the work of peers, students consolidate their own knowledge and skills even as they are contributing to the growth of others. Students also work in teams to complete projects, write papers, and prepare class presentations.

 

11. What kinds of research resources does UoPeople have?

UoPeople offers its students access to library resources through the Library Information and Resources Network (LIRN).  These resources support the research, writing and homework needs of its students.  With a simple query, students are put in touch with an experienced librarian who can help them navigate the array of digitized books, journals, documents, photographs and other research materials available to them.

UoPeople also makes the resources of JSTOR available to its students.  Both the JSTOR and LIRN resources can be accessed by students right inside their courses.

 

12. What kind of advising resources are provided to students?

Each student is connected with a personal Program Advisor as soon as they commence their studies.  Their Program Advisor remains with them through graduation and acts as a support system throughout their studies.  The Program Advisor answers any questions the student may have, offers academic advice, discusses course selection, and offers encouragement throughout the years of their studies.

 

13. Are there opportunities for classes to meet in person?

UoPeople is unable to facilitate face-to-face meetings among its students.  It would be impossible to do this due to the global make-up of its classes.

 

14. Aren’t there concerns about online degrees?

Online learning is gradually picking up in popularity and recognition. People have various opinions regarding online degrees because they are a new concept in contrast to the old tradition of physically attending school. Studying online is an effective and successful way to learn, and many of the best universities in the world, as well as almost all universities in the U.S. are offering more and more online courses, and many offer full degrees online. There is also a strong movement for open platform education; this means organizations like UoPeople are working to bring education online in a more affordable manner.

 

Our peer-to-peer learning, which teaches the students to study and interact with other students from around the world, is part of what works best in international companies, where people need to work with teams from around the world. More and more companies are beginning to recognize online degrees these days – so we believe it is just a matter of time before there will be more universal acceptance of online education and online degrees. Moreover, one can look at who is behind the university to see the caliber of support and recognition.

 

Program Information

 

1. Who developed the program?

The program was designed under the direction of the Education Advisory Board.  It approved the program goals, curricular structure, course content, course sequencing, and course learning objectives.

 

Members of the Education Advisory Board include:  James Fraser, New York University (Dean, UoPeople Division of Education); Gavin Dykes, Education World Forum; Conrad Hughes, International School of Geneva; Rebecca Hughes, International Baccalaureate; Siva Kumari, International Baccalaureate; Arthur Levine, Woodrow Wilson Foundation; Hannele Niemi, University of Helsinki; Roy Pea, Stanford University; Claude Steele, Stanford University; David Thomas, Trevor Day School, NYC; Eduard Vallory, University of Barcelona.

 

The courses were developed by doctoral-level Subject Matter Expert/Course Developers with teaching and research backgrounds in the course content that they were developing.  They worked under the direct supervision of the UoPeople Directors of Curriculum and of Instructional Design.

 

2. How was the International Baccalaureate involved in developing the program?

The M.Ed. in Advanced Teaching was designed in cooperation with the International Baccalaureate (IB).  The IB is a global leader in the provision of high-quality, accessible programs for K-12 students.  Offered by almost 5,000 schools in more than 150 countries, IB programs encourage both personal growth and academic achievement.  The IB requirement to attend a Category 1 Workshop is waived for qualified graduates of the M.Ed. program.

 

IB staff members were part of a Combined UoPeople-IB Working Group that shepherded the creation of the program from its inception through to its receiving approval from the accrediting agency.  They brought valuable expertise and insights to the design and development process.

 

3. Who are the Course Instructors?

Courses are taught by doctoral-level Course Instructors with backgrounds in the areas in which they are teaching.  They volunteer their time to support the mission of UoPeople, and are overseen by the UoPeople Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, the Director of Faculty Affairs, and the senior faculty affairs team.

 

4. What are the components of the M.Ed. in Advanced Teaching?

A student in the M.Ed. in Advanced Teaching program must complete a minimum of 39 semester hour credits, which is equivalent to a minimum of 13 courses.

 

There are four components to the M.Ed. in Advanced Teaching program:

  • Core Courses
  • Specialization Core Courses
  • Specialization Elective Courses
  • Capstone Course

 

All students complete the nine (9) Core Courses, the Capstone Course, two specialization core courses, and one specialization elective, for a total of 13 courses.

 

Students choose whether they wish to specialize in teaching at the elementary/middle school level or at the secondary school level.  The level at which they choose to specialize will determine the Specialization Core Courses and the Specialization Elective Courses that they will take.

Alternatively, students have the option of completing both specializations. In this case, students will be required to complete the two (2) specialization core courses and one (1) elective from BOTH specialization tracks. This increases the required courses to complete the M.Ed. to a minimum of 16.

5. What is the Research and Practice Portfolio?

 Research and Practice Portfolio contains information related to teaching and teaching practice that is assembled by an individual for his/her own personal and professional use.  Students are advised to begin collecting as soon as they start the program.  Once they start building their Portfolio, it will quickly become a habit. 

 

When they complete the program, they will have a rich array of resources to call upon right from the outset.  They will have a portfolio structure already in place on which they can build throughout your entire teaching careers.

 

6. Where can the course descriptions for the program be found?

The courses for the M.Ed. in Advanced Teaching can be found in the University Catalog here, or on the website here.

 

7. Must courses be taken in a specific sequence?

Yes, and no.  EDUC 5910 Applied Professional Inquiry is the Capstone Course and is taken as the final course in one’s program.  Students must take EDUC 5470 Research in Education before they can take EDUC 5910 Applied Professional Inquiry.  Beyond that, there is no required course sequence because students may have particular topics that they want to study or they they are seeking information in order to solve issues in their current work settings.  That being said, the Education Advisory Board recommends that students consider grouping some of the courses in this manner:

 

  • Start with coursework in development
  • Next take coursework in learning theory and in curriculum design
  • Take coursework covering barriers to learning, assessment and evaluation, and teaching for inclusive classrooms close to one another
  • Take coursework in educational contexts and in educational research toward the end of one’s program

 

8. What happens during the Capstone Course?

Every M.Ed. student is required to complete a final applied research project.  Using rigorous education research methods, students will delve into a teaching-related question that has practical relevance for their own professional practice.  They submit a report on the results of the study.

 

9. How are students graded?

Students are graded on their performance on assignments that can include discussion forum submissions, papers, projects, and presentations.  They are also graded on the quality and content of their Research and Practice Portfolio and on the final report on their applied research project.

 

10. What happens if a student fails a course?

If students fail a course, they are permitted to retake that course a second time.  They may not take the course more than two times.

 

11. Will every student in the program have the opportunity to do an internship experience in an International Baccalaureate school?

No.  The opportunity to do an IB internship is limited to those who have done exceptionally well in their studies and who have the flexibility to travel and the personal financial capacity to do so.  The internship opportunities will be highly competitive, and must be entirely self-funded by the student.

 

Graduation, Career Services

 

1. How long does it take to complete the M.Ed. in Advanced Teaching?

A full-time student who takes 2 courses per term can graduate within 7 terms, or 17 months.

 

2. Is there a time limit for completing the program?

Yes, the program must be completed within 5 calendar years after a student’s initial matriculation in the program.

 

3. How will I know how much more I have to do to earn the degree?

Students can monitor progress toward completing their degree requirements using their individualized Degree Audit.  It will show what requirements have already been met and which remain to be done.

 

4. What steps do I take when I am about to complete the program?

Students in their final term of study complete and submit the Graduation Application.  The Office of Student Services does a graduation audit and notifies the student of his/her readiness for graduation.

 

5. What employment options might be available for graduates?

Teaching is the largest single employment sector in the U.S., and is an occupation that has experienced considerable growth in the past two decades.  Data also show that worldwide over 260 million school-aged children are not in school, and that 100 million of those who do attend school do not complete primary school.  While UoPeople makes no promise of employment, as the demand for teaching increases across the globe, the M.Ed. in Advanced Teaching could prepare aspiring teachers to fill these roles in the U.S. and abroad.

 

Because the program has been designed in cooperation with the International Baccalaureate, qualified graduates of the program may be considered for employment by IB schools.

 

6. What kinds of career services does UoPeople offer?

UoPeople does not offer a placement service.  It does, however, provide resources to assist with career planning.  These services include such things as assistance with resume writing and the development of interviewing and job searching skills

 

7. Are there networking opportunities?

Networking is also an essential tool to building a successful career.  UoPeople’s international community of students and faculty provides a global networking community.  With students hailing from over 200 countries and faculty from top international universities, corporations and foundations, students can find people living and working in places that they want to be.

 

UoPeople uses Microsoft’s Yammer for its internal social media network.  Within this tool, students can network with other UoPeople students, even those who are not in the same class.

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