UMBC Mic'd Up

When an educational credential meets a real-world need.

April 06, 2021 UMBC Mic'd Up with Jerri Frick and Dennise Cardona Season 1 Episode 6
UMBC Mic'd Up
When an educational credential meets a real-world need.
Show Notes Transcript

If you’re a certified teacher and looking to up your credentials with a fulfilling, content-focused master’s degree, check out this interview from UMBC. You’ll learn all about what makes the Master of Arts in Education so valuable in the education world. 

Dennise Cardona  0:01  
Today we are here with Jerry frac program director of UN VCs, Master of Arts in Education Program. She's here to answer a few questions about this new program, including its value and need in the educational industry, who could best benefit from the program? What makes it stand apart from similar programs, and some insights on how a busy school teacher can best balance life while taking this program? Jerry, what is the value of a graduate degree in MAE?,

Jerri Frick  0:33  
Our program helps teachers become more knowledgeable in the content area, in teaching skills, pedagogical knowledge. And in the areas of teacher leadership. We want our teachers to become leaders in the content area within their schools and school systems. So that allows teachers to become those team leaders in their school system department chair person, it could be someone who wants to apply to one of those content areas, specialists type of degrees in the school system. Those go by many names, content coaches, content specialists, intervention teachers for those specific content areas, etc. many opportunities for students to take our degree and use it for furthering their career in education.

Dennise Cardona  1:23  
Can you talk about the industry needs and how the program will address them?

Jerri Frick  1:28  
Currently in industry, we know that computer science, mathematics, and stem are highly sought after careers. And there are a lot of job opportunities in those right now. So we're looking at ways that we can work in our program to help prepare those people who eventually will be hired into those positions. Our mae program works with our teachers. So we are training those teachers and educating those teachers so that they can better educate their pre K to 12th grade students for those ever changing careers and jobs. We need to make sure we're up on the current technologies, the best teaching practices, and so on, so we can help those teachers make the best choices in the classroom.

Dennise Cardona  2:13  
Jerry who could benefit from this program?

Jerri Frick  2:17  
Any certified teacher who is interested in enhancing their content knowledge, their pedagogy knowledge, or their teaching skills should definitely think about applying to our program. They're interested in the field of computer science, mathematics, or stem, a program could lead to additional endorsements for those teachers or additional certifications, and to go through the process to obtain those additional certifications, and different content areas. But again, this is for already certified teachers to add on to their current education knowledge.

Dennise Cardona  2:50  
What makes your mbcs ma program stand apart from the similar programs at other institutions?

Jerri Frick  2:57  
UMBC's MAE program has a strong focus on the content area. So half of our ma degree is focused solely on the content area, whether that's computer science, mathematics, or interdisciplinary stem. So that's something that's different from other universities. The other half of our program focuses on things such as teacher research, teacher leadership, and making sure that we're handling all those pedagogical skills and helping our teachers become the future leaders in their schools within the content knowledge or within the school system. Our program is designed right now and on pace, to be the first university in the state of Maryland to offer a fully online Computer Science program for certified teachers. That's so important because there's so many states coming on board with new computer science standards, that teachers need to be able to have that content knowledge and pedagogy model knowledge to be able to teach those.

Dennise Cardona  3:54  
Why should a certified teacher consider this degree?

Jerri Frick  3:58  
In the STEM content area, UMBC is one of five universities in the state of Maryland who offer the endorsement for the pre K to six stem instructional leader endorsement. That is an additional endorsement to your teaching certificate that if you're in the state of Maryland, you can apply to that program and obtain that certification in mathematics. We've been teaching fully online for five years. So we have become one of the leaders in our ma program at creating and developing and teaching fully online. So we offer that as a great benefit to continuing and improving our programs. And we have a lot of teachers who are now teaching online and they can follow some of the same things we've used. Or we reach out to them and say, Hey, they know what you might need to teach online and we can definitely help them as well. And so we were able to do that because of our communities and online teaching and an online educating in this specific con 10 areas. So it's not just a general, online teaching, we're actually teaching the same content areas said those in our school system are teaching.

Dennise Cardona  5:08  
Can you tell us some highlights of the course curriculum?

Jerri Frick  5:12  
Some of the themes throughout our entire ma program, no matter what content are you focusing on, is culturally responsive instruction is so important right now for teachers to understand how they can reach all of their students, and that some of the best practices for reaching all of our students and making sure that we are aware of all of the needs, and working to meet those needs of all of our students. We focus also on teacher research in teacher leadership, which means the teachers are going to look at the data that they already get in the classroom, to see what they can do to improve their teaching their modified teaching strategies, or continue changing things up to better help their students learn. We talked about teacher leadership on our program, we are talking about leaders in the content area, we want teachers to be some of the most experienced people in their school in their content area, whether that's computer science, mathematics, or interdisciplinary stem, we want them to be those leaders within their schools, and within their school system, in computer science, from the content area focuses in there are on algorithms and programming and understanding how you go from the algorithm to programming and actually programming in specific programming languages that meet the current needs of today. with mathematics, we focus on the content areas that teachers are teaching in our school systems. So that could be in pre k, where you're focusing on numbers and kindergarten numbers into beginning operations with numbers, addition, subtraction, and so on, up through algebra of through geometry, and on into calculus. So we're focusing strictly on those content areas that teachers can be teaching and really enhancing their knowledge in those areas, which then can enhance their teaching and help their students learn those content areas even better. In our interdisciplinary STEM program. Some of the things that are focused on there in our courses, are designing projects and experiments. There's a big scene right now in environmental science and engineering and using engineering to reach across those disciplines. That's one example of how you can reach across the disciplines of science, technology, course engineering, and mathematics, to make sure you're doing more project based learning more experiments, and more ways of making those connections between those fields, as we know is so important in our job force right now.

Dennise Cardona  7:36  
Can you speak to a busy school teacher taking this program and balancing it with life?

Jerri Frick  7:42  
Absolutely, this is of utmost importance to our teachers, they need to be able to balance their families, their teaching jobs, and going to graduate school. One of the ways we do this is, of course, by having the program fully online, teachers can use their time, as best is what works for them, they are able to complete coursework in a normal night, if that's what works on the weekends, etc. We have due dates, of course, for when these, these are two, they're not self paced. But teachers are able to work when it's most convenient for them. We do offer both asynchronous, which means you know, kind of that offline where it's online, but you can do the coursework whenever you want. You don't have to be logged on the computer at a specific time to do that work. The synchronous side, which we do use some of that in our courses as well is you'll be given at the beginning of semester, a list of when you would actually need to be online. So you can have pens that live teaching interaction with your instructor that benefits teachers as well with their busy lives and busy schedule. She'll know up front when those synchronous meetings are happening. We also advise our teachers to only take one or two classes a semester. So taking graduate school part time while working full time. Again, this is up to the teachers themselves, they are able to take more classes if that works for them. If something happens, and you need to take a semester off, we also work with teachers assess our ability to make sure that you can continue your degree of study without any interruptions. So we understand that life gets busy family life gets busy work, life gets busy. So we do want to make sure that our teachers are not overwhelmed with the type of coursework that they're doing while working full time. Our program is rigorous. We also understand that we're working with adults with very busy careers time consuming careers, and that we want to make sure that they're successful in our coursework. However, if something happens that a teacher needs to take some time off from classes, we do work with our students as best as we can to make sure that we advise them properly and what might be the best options for them. And in order to meet their needs. We were all fully aware of the complexity that teachers have in our jobs, and we absolutely respect that and work with our teachers throughout the entire program.

Dennise Cardona  9:58  
Is there anything else you'd like to add? About the MAE program at UMBC?

Jerri Frick  10:03  
Some of the features that I'd like to make sure we mentioned about the MAE program is that we like to grow our own as he would say, we hire adjuncts who are actually graduates of our program to teach in our courses. So their master teachers teaching our school system, who had the benefit of attaining an advanced graduate degree in the content area, to then teach our other teachers. And that really is a great way to continue those teachers professional development pathway, if they're looking for something more that they want to be doing in the world of education, we welcome that. The MAE program is also offered at a great price right now, this is actually the lowest price I've seen in many years. So $12,000 for a fully online master's degree, which is only $1,000 per each three credit course. And we have 12, three credit courses in our program, waiving all of those extra fees and things that are often you'll often see with higher education, they're gone. So you don't have to worry about those. The only additional costs you would have to worry about are textbooks or other course materials, which we do keep to a very reasonable price, because we know we are working with teachers who work very hard for the money that they earn. In our Emmy program, we learned so much from each other, we learn from our teachers and our classes. We learn from each other across many different school districts and across different states. And we use and can incorporate them into our courses and make those courses even better. We can make sure that that extends that learning experience and learning community for all of our teachers in our program. And we want to make sure that we use every bit of technology that we have to better educate and to better enhance that community of learners in our ma program.

Dennise Cardona  11:51  
Jerry, thank you so much for being here with us today and sharing your insights with us. If you would like to learn more about the MA program here at UBC visit ma

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