What Concerns Did You Have Before Pursuing a Graduate Program?
Before pursuing my master’s degree, I had several concerns about starting a graduate program. My first concern was whether I would be able to fit this type of program into my hectic schedule. As a mom, wife, and teacher, I didn’t know if I would have the time to attend classes and complete assignments. I worried that the program would be too demanding and that I would be required to be available at specific times, which would not be convenient for me.
It had also been several years since I had obtained my undergraduate degree, so I was nervous about going back to college, and I feared that it would be difficult. Lastly, I wanted to make certain to choose a program that was going to be beneficial for me and that what I learned throughout my graduate program would be relevant, helpful, and valuable in my current and future teaching career.
Did You Have Any Reservations About a Fully Online Program?
My entire undergrad program was in-person, and when I decided to pursue my graduate degree, I had never taken online classes before. I didn’t necessarily like the idea of taking an online class, let alone enrolling in a program that was entirely online. I worried that the learning, assignments, expectations, the overall experience would not be the same quality as an in-person program. I was also concerned that this program would be more complex than the in-person version.
How Did Concordia University Chicago’s Online Format Address Your Concerns?
I was pleasantly surprised by how Concordia University Chicago’s online graduate program addressed my concerns. Most importantly, the program provided me with a great deal of flexibility. There were very few times that I was required to be available during a specific day and time during the program.
The program allowed for me to continuously work on my assignments and activities whenever it was convenient for me to do so. I worked at my own pace and around my schedule. The assignments and the work required for each course were manageable and not too demanding, even for a person like me who is a full-time teacher, wife, and mom.
My professors provided me with the guidance that I needed to understand the course material and the expectations for all major assignments. This helped to make my experience of going back to college much easier and less stressful. Furthermore, this online program provided me with quality instruction that taught me skills that were relevant, helpful, and useful, and which I was able to incorporate in my teaching career. These skills helped to enhance my knowledge and performance as a teacher.
What Resources and Tools Did You Use Throughout Your Program?
Concordia University Chicago’s online master’s degree programs provide students several resources and tools to assist with their learning. One of the resources that I found most helpful was the electronic databases which contained a vast selection of peer-reviewed journal articles.
These databases were handy when completing assignments and writing research papers. A tool that I found to be helpful was Blackboard. This tool was easy to navigate, helped me stay organized, and provided ways to communicate, connect, and collaborate with my professors and cohorts.
How Did You Foster Connection and Collaboration with Your Cohorts and Professors?
While part of Concordia University Chicago’s M.A. Curriculum and Instruction program, I found it very easy to foster connection and collaboration with my cohorts and professors. I fostered connection and collaboration with my professors by reaching out to them with any questions or concerns about the course material and assignments.
The professors were always available, although online, and responded to my questions or concerns in a prompt and effective manner. They also provided me with constant feedback, which often lent itself to collaborative conversations and exchanges, which I made sure to take advantage of because it made my learning experience more meaningful.
One of the best parts that I found about this online program was the connection and collaboration that I developed with all the program cohorts. While communicating and collaborating on class projects and assignments, we often shared a lot about ourselves. We got to know each other well, even though we attended courses online and never interacted in person.
Throughout the program, we regularly shared our feelings and struggles and often found that we were all feeling the same way and struggling with the same issues. This led to us becoming very supportive of each other and helping and encouraging one another. We developed this sense of family, which helped us get through the program together.
In Your Opinion, What are the Top Advantages of Concordia University Chicago’s Online M.A. Curriculum and Instruction Program?
Concordia University Chicago’s M.A. Curriculum and Instruction Program has many advantages. These advantages include being a flexible, supportive, and collaborative program. This program allows for current teachers to work at their own pace and around their busy schedules at times that are convenient for them. It provides teachers with the resources and support needed to succeed in the program. It also lends itself to creating meaning and collaborative relationships between professors and program cohorts.
Concordia University Chicago’s Online M.A. Curriculum and Instruction Program is a quality program that provides teachers with valuable skills needed to become more effective in their teaching. It helps teachers to understand the importance of looking at the whole child when planning and implementing lessons.
It also teaches the importance of:
- Using current research to drive instruction (especially when it comes to ELLs)
- How to be a reflective teacher
- How to focus on/maximize importance of ongoing cycle of assessments
It teaches teachers how to meet their students’ needs better.