For questions contact:
Dr. Shantia Kerr Sims
Now part of the Department of Educational Leadership and Human Development. Webpages moving with entire UCM website redesign this coming year.
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Warrensburg, MO 64093
Dr. Odin Jurkowski, Chair
1. What course do I take first? What are the order of classes?
The first class to take is INST 5100. Field experiences should always be taken towards the end, if not the final semester then at least as close as possible: INST 4920 for the minor, INST 6930 for the MS, and INST 6920 for the EdS. There are a couple courses with prerequisites (such as INST 5500 and INST 4120), but for most of the courses the order doens't matter.
2. Student Numbers, and Passwords, and Help Desk, oh my!
There is a Getting Started Checklist for online students that has a great deal of information. This is a great first place to stop to get logistical questions answered. You may also find this page about student ID's and Passwords useful. You will need to login to both Blackboard and your student email by the first day of the semester. Faculty utilize email for important information and communication, and classes are conducted via Blackboard.
3. Who is my advisor?
Undergraduate students are advised by Dr. Shantia Kerr Sims. Graduate students in the certificate program do not technically have an advisor. However, you may contact Dr. Shantia Kerr Sims at any time for assistance. Graduate students in the MS program are divided between Dr. Zinna Bland, Dr. Odin Jurkowski, and Dr. Shantia Kerr Sims. After acceptance to the MS or EdS program you will receive a letter listing who your advisor is. If you are not sure, then contact Dr. Shantia Kerr Sims and she can check.
4. As a graduate student, how many classes should I take? How long will it take me to finish the Master of Science degree?
Full-time study as a graduate student is 9 hrs (about 3 classes). Most students who work full-time take 2 classes each semester. Some feel more comfortable taking only 1, while others may take 3, but the most typical is 2. If you are unsure and just beginning the program it may be a good idea and cautiously take only 1 class. In the end, it depends on how much time you can devote to school. As UCM is on a traditional semester schedule we have spring, summer, and fall classes. Doing the math you can calculate that the MS could be completed in three or four semesters if taking a full load. Part-time students may still only take two years give or take.
5. What is Central Degree?
Students should utilize Central Degree via My Central to ensure that they are on track for graduation. This electronic version of the program of study indicates if your GPA requirements have been met, what required courses have been taken, and what electives have been applied based upon the semester of acceptance to the program. If you want to transfer in courses for credit or choose electives from outside the stated areas you will need to contact your advisor for approval. Otherwise you can simply register for courses and take any appropriate electives. Linked here are instructions for accessing the system.
6. I enrolled in courses but they aren't showing up in Blackboard?
Classes are not visible to students until the start of the semester, and are made unavailable after the semester ends. Comparable to traditional face-to-face classes, if you were to show up before the semester began you would find an empty room without the instructor or other students. That said, you should at least be able to log in to Blackboard once you are registered, you just won't see your classes. Additionally, there are slight differences between faculty. Some may make the classes visible to students the night or weekend before classes begin, some will wait until they get into work that morning of the first day of the semester. Furthermore, there is a slight lag time between registering for courses and when the system adds you to the course. This can sometimes take a day or two. Contact your instructor if the semester has begun and you can't get into your classes.
7. My technology skills need some updating. Suggestions?
Start with INST 5100 to get acclimated to the program. Then work with your advisor to select some undergraduate electives and take those next.
8. How much does tuition cost? What is available for scholarships?
9. I'm not sure if I want just the Certificate or the entire Master's degree. What should I do?
Go ahead and start the certificate. Once finished you can decide if you want to continue or not. If you do continue, your certificate courses count towards the MS. You can always apply to the master's program after completing the certificate. However, if your goal is the master's then you do not need the certificate as those courses are the core of the master's.
To muddy the waters more, you can technically apply to both the certificate and the MS at the same time. It really depends on what your end goals are and if you need financial aid. If you do not need financial aid and only want the certificate then apply for that. If you want the MS and/or need financial aid apply for the MS. The only time you really need to apply for both is if you need financial aid but are not sure what you want to complete.
10. Will I be certified to teach in a k-12 school?
No, Educational Technology is not a certification area. If you are already certified (elementary education, middle school, school library media, business teacher education, special education, technology education, etc.) then our program will enhance what you are already doing. However, if you do not have any kind of certification and you do want to teach in a k-12 school you should contact the Certification Office to talk about options and additional course work that would be needed.
11. I'm an international student. Can I complete your program?
If you reside outside of the United States you can complete our program as it is entirely online. However, if you are an international student coming to the U.S. there are different requirements from the home country as to how much can be taken online and how much is required face-to-face. Through a combination of face-to-face electives, choosing a face-to-face section of the research course, and some tweaking we can try and make it work if possible. You'll want to work closely with your advisor so we can ensure meeting your requirements. You will want to begin the application process by contacting our international center. They must accept you first before we see any of your application materials. firstname.lastname@example.org
If you choose face-to-face electives from other programs (6 hours), a different face-to-face research course (CTE 5900 or EDFL 5900 for instance), and the internship, it is possible to have a total of 12 hours face-to-face with the remaining 18 hours online.
12. How do I apply?
The process begins at Graduate Studies.
13. Now that I have my Master's or Education Specialist, what if I want a Doctorate?
Check out AECT Curricula Data of Degree Programs. While the focus is on comparison of curriculum across the field, it's also useful to see what programs are offered where. The majority of programs are still face-to-face or hybrid, but there are some doctoral programs with online options.
Here are a few completely online programs. If you find others let us know and we'll add to the list.
14. What do I need to do when it's time to graduate?
Students need to complete paperwork as they approach the end of their program. At the beginning of the semester you start you last course(s) you have to complete paperwork and send to your advisor.
Certificate: Complete the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and send to Dr. Jurkowski. There is no graduation ceremony for graduate certificates. The Graduate School will mail you your certificate when all grades are recorded and the paperwork is processed.
MS/EdS: Contact the Graduate School for the graduation packet. There are two forms which you must complete and send to your advisor. See also the Graduate School commencement page. Please see the appropriate deadlines for the semester you plan to graduate. If you plan on participating in the commencement ceremony you must notify the Graduate School. Note that there are two ceremonies each year, December and May. Summer graduates typically participate in the May ceremony which means summer graduates must complete paperwork early as if they were finishing in spring.