York College to offer Educational Technology M.Ed. Program beginning in Fall 2016
With school districts increasing funding for one-on-one initiatives, online learning and other technological advances, it’s more important than ever for teachers to develop new skills. York College has added an Educational Technology specialty to its Master of Education programs to better prepare teachers to teach using the technology that their students have access to in the modern classroom. In addition to a master’s degree, the program offers Pennsylvania Department of Education certification as an instructional technology specialist.
Building upon the legacy of the current Master of Education specialties of Reading Specialist and Educational Leadership – “one of strength, rigor and results,” according to Stacey Dammann, chair of the Education Department – the program was created to meet the needs of a curriculum infused with technology.
“We conducted a survey – a graduate needs assessment – and the 900 teachers in southcentral Pennsylvania who responded told us this was the program they wanted and needed most aside from the two others we currently offer,” said Dammann.
“There’s a transformative movement in education to provide teachers and students with technology,” said Josh DeSantis, assistant professor of Education and coordinator of the new Educational Technology program. “Schools are moving to one-to-one instruction, meaning that every student has a device. This has reoriented the classroom, and teachers need to enhance their skill set to adjust.”
The Educational Technology program will show teachers how to employ emerging technologies during instructional design, assessment, curriculum development and technology systems management. The program is about making better teachers, said DeSantis, but it’s also about helping teachers advance their careers.
“Education today is about mass customization, which involves gathering data on students that is then used to assign them to appropriate learning levels,” said DeSantis. “This is often among the duties of an instructional technology specialist, a position defined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Our program prepares teachers for this work.”
The Education Technology specialty is a blended program “designed around professional lives,” said DeSantis. “Sixty percent of our survey respondents said they preferred a blended format, which means they spend fewer days of instruction here on campus throughout their program. We responded by making our program a little more flexible and convenient. They get the classroom time with their peers and faculty, while enjoying the opportunity to complete some of the required work online.”
York College has also made its program more accessible and affordable by eliminating all fees. “We’ve established a cost structure that involves no fees,” said Dammann, “so the program cost is simply a per credit cost. And we’re working with districts to try to make it possible for teachers to not have to pay out-of-pocket at the beginning of the course. This is a very accessible, in-demand program and we want as many of our educators to take advantage of the opportunity to become better teachers and administrators.”
A private college located in southcentral Pennsylvania, York College offers more than 50 baccalaureate majors in professional programs, the sciences and humanities to its 4,400 undergraduate students. The College also offers master's programs in business, education and nursing, and a doctorate in nursing practice. York College students enjoy a high-quality education that emphasizes practical application and a community invested in their success. The College provides a personal plan to help students focus their passions and attain their goals so they are prepared for a lifetime of meaningful careers – ready to meet the challenges of their profession and feeling confident and proud of their achievements.
Contact: Mary Dolheimer, assistant dean, Office of Communications