A Collaborative Effort With Regional Educators Results in New Online Master’s Degree at USC Upstate

August 15, 2018 at 11:21 am

Spartanburg, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Upstate is offering a new online master’s degree to help teachers advance in their careers and meet the changing needs of increasingly diverse classrooms, which will facilitate professional and economic advancement in Spartanburg, Union, and Cherokee counties.

“The Master’s Degree in Applied Learning and Instruction was created in order to establish a regional and flexible pathway for pursuit of a master’s degree that meets the needs of the teachers we serve and at the request of nine partner school districts,” said Dr. Clif Flynn, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at USC Upstate. “Our goal is to serve adults in the region who wish to combine credits earned through their districts with flexible master’s level study.”

The 36-hour online degree program offers educators the opportunity to pursue an advanced degree online while also adding endorsements to a teaching certificate. Aimed at equipping teachers to meet the needs of students in their diverse classrooms, this program emphasizes the application of theory and evolving practices in classrooms. Students complete a series of core courses and then select a concentration in one of four areas: Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Literacy, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

“This innovative degree provides an academic opportunity for participants to positively impact their school and community as they apply what they are learning throughout the degree program,” said Dr. Laura Reynolds, dean of the School of Education, Human Performance and Health at USC Upstate. “It is designed for those who are interested in advancing and applying psychological principles to improve learning and instruction in a wide variety of settings and content areas, and allows students to concentrate on areas of interest and expertise.”

In the face of the current teacher shortage, Reynolds anticipates demand in the nine school districts to be substantial. Area districts are utilizing the new M.Ed. as a tool for the recruitment and retention of teachers, and the program’s flexibility allows students to use credits attained through professional development in their course of study. The availability of user-friendly on-line, hybrid and traditional coursework creates additional appeal for working professionals, and several area districts are offering financial support for teachers to pursue this meaningful degree.

“USC Upstate is Spartanburg School District Two’s first choice for offering relevant and required courses for our teachers, including add-on endorsements,” said Angela Hinton, assistant superintendent of instructional services for District Two. “USC Upstate continues to listen to and meet the needs of teachers in Spartanburg County.”

To apply or for more information, contact Alyssa Dickerson at dickersa@uscupstate.edu or 864-503-5573.


About USC Upstate

The University of South Carolina Upstate is a regional comprehensive university offering more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business administration, nursing, and education. Located along the I-85 corridor in Spartanburg between Greenville and Charlotte, USC Upstate is ranked by U.S. News & World Report at #2 among Top Public Schools. It serves as a major talent producer for the region, with more than 6,000 students, approximately 1,300 new graduates a year, and nearly 30,000 alumni, many of whom live and work in the state. The USC Upstate Spartans compete in 17 NCAA Division 1 sports as a member of the Big South Conference. For more information, visit www.uscupstate.edu.




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