More aspiring Arkansas principals and superintendents will be able to earn their credentials thanks to Southern Arkansas University’s new online Educational Leadership Programs.
The Arkansas Department of Education and the Arkansas Department of Higher Education both recently approved online delivery for SAU’s M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision for licensure in Building Level (Principal) and District Level (Superintendent) Administration. Transitioning these programs to an innovative online delivery platform required intensive planning to prepare for the rigorous review by ADE and ADHE, according to Dr. Marla Strecker director of SAU’s Educational Leadership Programs.
“Teachers aspiring to become school leaders and impact our nation’s educational system from the principal and superintendent levels are often very busy individuals with active careers, young families, and hosts of community leadership responsibilities,” said Strecker. “This new format will allow SAU to meet the enrollment needs of those dynamic individuals.”
Another important component of this transition to online learning is the enrichment SAU will be able to offer the students.
“Without the limits of traditional scheduling, SAU can now engage online guest speakers who are leading the state and nation in transforming K-12 education,” said Strecker.
In addition, the SAU Education Leadership Programs will also begin recognizing leaders in Arkansas education reform and improvement. A “Transformational Leadership Award” will be presented each year starting Spring 2015 to a principal or superintendent who has proven results in school improvement and student learning. Each of the award recipients will have the opportunity to enrich the experience of SAU students with practical tips in leading change and true knowledge of how to transform Arkansas K-12 learning.
These two new online Master’s degree programs are added to the Curriculum/Program Administrator licensure area that was previously approved for online delivery. A total of seven other graduate degrees are offered through the cost-effective College of Education at SAU. OnlineU.org recently listed SAU’s Education Master’s degrees as the most affordable in Arkansas and ninth most affordable in the nation.
The SAU College of Education is also accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and its successor, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
“Adherence to national standards and specialized accreditation ensures the rigor of the courses, while the intern experiences offered through SAU provide the evidence of application,” said Dr. Alec Testa, chair of the Department of Counseling and Professional Studies.
Testa added that Strecker brings significant online teaching and leadership experience to the College of Education, and that they are continuing to explore making additional online offerings available.