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S U M M E R 2 0 1 1 V O L U M E 5 6 N U M B E R 4 “ Some teachers and practicing principals asked why we didn’t do this years ago. ” Follow Dordt's graduate education program is moving from an on-campus program to one that is offered primarily online. New technology makes virtual classrooms an effective tool for group and individual learning. Keeping up with the times ne llege onli Dordt Co Grad Ed program begins online educational leadership emphasis INSIDE 3 Engineers design solar water heater 6 Students head to the cities 15 Frank Zee is part of a different labor union Sally Jongsma E ven though it was first advertised in March, Dordt’s new educational leadership program will begin with the hoped-for 15 students this year. “We’ve had some people waiting in the wings, and others who enrolled when they heard the program was beginning. In the process, some teachers and practicing principals asked why we didn’t do this years ago,” says Graduate Education Director Tim Van Soelen. Many practicing teachers who consider going back to school to train for an administrative degree find it difficult to uproot their families for several weeks—or leave them behind—while they enroll in a graduate program. Even if they would prefer to get a degree from a Christian institution, they most often enroll at a nearby institution because it’s more economical and less disruptive to family life. Dordt’s new emphasis offers a “nearby” Christian option for Midwest teachers, and its online format makes it a good choice for students across the country and even around the world. “We’ve seen graduates of our Curriculum and Instruction emphasis go back into their schools and fill leadership roles. They bring expertise in experiential learning, studentoriented instruction, and cooperative ways of teaching and learning, and they enhance the learning process through the use of technology,” says Van Soelen. “But to be ‘the’ academic school leader in accredited schools, a teacher needs an administrative degree in educational leadership,” he adds. “We’re at the point where we can offer both.” Dordt’s education faculty includes three professors who have served as school administrators and have done research on issues related to administrative leadership. The leadership program will prepare students for high school, middle school, elementary, or special education leadership positions. The new emphasis will begin with a set of Core courses that it shares with students in the Curriculum and Instruction emphasis. In addition to core courses in educational DORDT COLLEGE psychology, issues in education, and research, Educational Leadership students will continue with a program of courses largely outlined by the Iowa Department of Education, since the program leads to state licensure. As with undergraduate degrees, the Iowa certification is readily transferable to other states. Dordt’s program will prepare Christian teachers for positions as principals in either Christian or public schools. Four of the new students are public school teachers; eight are Christian school teachers. “Principals lead differently based on their worldview and their philosophy of education,” says Van Soelen. Continued on page 3

Voice Summer 2011

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