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Master of Education courses give students head start

Master of Education classes are offered at Doane’s School of Arts and Sciences over the summer so students can receive their Nebraska teaching certification within four years.

Education Professor Julie Kozisek said that at most Nebraska colleges it would take students longer to finish their teaching certification.

“It’s a big selling point of Doane,” she said. “If you go to many other colleges it’ll take you at least five years. Here you finish (in four years) and are ready to teach right away.”

Doane has had a Four-Year Graduation Guarantee since 1995 to ensure that students receive their degree in four years. In fact, Doane was one of the first in the nation to implement a guarantee.

Students in the program will have one-third of their master’s degree done by the time they complete the classes, which will allow them to be paid more as a first-year teacher.

“Salary for teachers is based on a continuum of education and years of experience,” Kozisek said. “The major way to get paid more is to get your master’s degree.”

The master's classes are also cheaper for students to take than undergraduate classes, she said.

The program includes four classes. Two classes all students in the program are required to take: Assessment of Learning and Beginning Teacher Seminar. The assessment class teaches students how to assess their classroom. The seminar gets students ready to be a first-year teacher. Students get ready to teach in the fall by preparing items such as lesson and discipline plans.

“It’s really unique to Doane,” Kozisek said. “It’s a pretty powerful class for them. It’s scary as a first-year teacher.”

The other two classes vary depending on the students’ majors.

Jens Lehman ’13, a music education major, said this program would allow him to study things not many first-year teachers have been able to and will allow him to develop things he can use when he begins teaching.

“It’s a good way to prepare yourself mentally (for teaching) and get a lot of practice,” Lehman said. “It helps you face the problems you will have first-year teaching and puts you a little ahead of the game, I think.”

PHOTO: Nate Knobel '14