Release Date: November 24, 2009
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education (GSE) is offering two new online programs to make it easier for professionals to pursue additional education in gifted education and library science.
The advanced graduate certificate program in gifted education is designed for New York State certified teachers interested in developing the skills needed to address the specific needs of high-ability students, and is accepting applications for UB's spring 2010 semester that begins Jan. 13. It is a 15-credit-hour program that allows teachers to complete the required field work in gifted education in the community in which they live, and includes recommendation to New York State for the gifted education extension upon successful completion.
The online program is designed specifically for certified teachers looking to expand their credentials in gifted education, an area many educators have long considered neglected. "The greatest tragedy facing today's gifted children is the assumption that they will achieve to their full potential while being instructed at grade-level expectations," says Rosemary Callard-Szulgit, a program instructor.
The Master of Library Science program, also delivered entirely online, will give students the chance to earn a degree in the rapidly changing and dynamic world of library science. GSE's Department of Library and Information Studies is accepting students through Feb. 1 for fall 2010 admission.
The new two-year online cohort program provides a rigorous curriculum with a focus on information access and reference services, according to Dagobert Soergel, PhD, chair of the library and information studies.
"The first four courses, all in the required core, will be taught by our full-time research faculty. The advanced courses will be taught by both our full-time faculty and by experienced practitioners," says Soergel. "The cohort format allows for an integration of subjects taught across courses. The courses will use technology that allows not only presentation of concepts by the instructor, but also group work for guided discovery and other interactions among students.
"The cohort format also fosters the formation of an online community that adds an important dimension, and gives the students the opportunity to support and learn from each other that would otherwise be available only on campus."
Students who have participated in GSE's online programs say the engaging delivery of the curriculum and supportive instructors have helped them earn a degree that would not have been possible due to their geographic location or other circumstances that made enrolling in on-campus programs impossible.
"Providing opportunities to students from Kansas to Singapore and back to Buffalo is our mission," says Christine Kroll, assistant dean for online programs, who has 12 years of experience in teaching and delivering online education.
"This program appealed to me because the nearest university is hours from my rural Kansas home," says one February 2009 graduate of one of GSE's online offerings, the Science and the Public program. "I was able to work on my degree and continue to farm at the same time. I must admit, the classes were challenging, but who would have it any other way? It's this attention to detail that made the degree worth it in the first place."
The selection of programs and top-notch student services attract students who would otherwise not attend the university, says Kroll.
"We are extending the reach of the university, delivering on-campus programs fully online, through richly designed learning environments," Kroll says. "Our research faculty, seasoned practitioners and students come together -- from around the world -- to create unique classroom experiences designed for interaction, sharing, collaboration and scholarship."
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.