By Erik Gunn By the time she enrolled in the College of Education’s master’s program, Jen Vega had packed almost a lifetime’s worth of teaching into 15 years. Starting as a public school substitute teacher, she went on to be an instructor for middle and high school magnet programs and then an entry-level administrator. Five years ago, she came to Mother of Good Counsel, a K-8 Catholic school on Milwaukee’s northwest side, as a middle school math teacher and math specialist. Teaching had rewarded her repeatedly with opportunities to help young people build their skills and grow up, thought the El Paso, Texas, native. But she needed to go further. “If I’m a teacher, I can only affect what is in front of me,” says Vega, Eng ’91, Grad ’13, speaking with rapid-fire intensity between student conference meetings one morning at the school. “That’s the constraint of just being in the classroom.” Vega opted for the master of education in educational administration program, which typically takes three years to complete and enrolls teachers and administrators seeking certification as a principal or a director of instruction. Offered for more than two decades, it has evolved to incorporate a focused and hands-on curriculum and a deeper engagement with Catholic social teaching. Graduates qualify for state licensure, a credential parochial schools increasingly prefer because it strengthens their case for accreditation.
Education 2013 Magazine