Master of Arts in Education

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Administrative Leadership

“Alverno's Administrative Leadership Licensure program has been shaped with coursework, content, and instructors who have given me both the theoretical and the practical experience I need to be an effective administrator.”

Denise Pitchford
8th Grade Principal
Andrew S. Douglas Academy
Master of Arts in Administrative Leadership, 2000


“The projects, self reflection, self assessment aspects of the program made it a very, very positive experience.

“The classes would be over, but we had an opportunity to look at what we had done and receive feedback and then could still improve on it. Because I had that feedback, I kept thinking about ways I could improve. In my past experience, when the class ended, you got the grade and it was over.

“I could work on things that were directly applicable to what I was doing at my school. The course work was defined yet flexible enough to meet my needs. In each class the faculty brought people in to share their experiences in the real world, to tell us what they were really doing.”

John Thomsen
Assistant Superintendent, Greenfield School District
Master of Arts in Administrative Leadership, 2001


“This whole program is about transformation. It gives you all the skills you need to effectively make changes. It builds your confidence.”

Derek Brewer
Assistant Principal
Harold S. Vincent High School
Master of Arts in Administrative Leadership and Instructional Leadership, 2003


“Each course in the Administrative Leadership Program is designed to encourage analysis, application and professional discourse with colleagues and experts in the Leadership field. In addition to meeting the state's license requirements, Alverno's program provided me with invaluable resources and networking opportunities with Wisconsin's finest administrators.”

Latish Reed
Assistant Principal, Malcolm X Academy
Master of Arts in Administrative Leadership, 2000


Adult Education and Instructional Design

"Alverno's Master's Degree program has given me the practical knowledge and skills needed to pursue my professional goals as an instructional designer and a performance consultant. I value the knowledgeable and supportive faculty who facilitated my development as a total person, and the collegial expertise that continues to challenge my career development."

Debbie Gans
Master of Arts in Instructional Design, 2001


“It changed my life….I now have the best job I have ever had. Although it’s not traditional instructional design, many of the skills I learned in the program cross over to what I am doing now. I am a user-centered designer. We design many different things for our home office employees and field people – software, forms, reports, websites, web applications. The user analysis, evaluation, research that were a part of my graduate program all come into play. It really made a difference.”

Judy Hurley
User-Centered Designer
Master of Arts in Instructional Design, 2000


“I was able to immediately apply the knowledge and skills I gained to facilitate a change in my work place from a traditional organization to a learning organization.”

Carol Jackett
Manager, Organizational Effectiveness
Master of Arts in Instructional Design, 1998


“I just achieved a considerable promotion because of the knowledge and skills I have learned at Alverno. Thanks for having such a great program.”

Chris Wodke
Technical Trainer, We-Energies
Master of Arts in Instructional Design, 2004


“My master’s research project on blended learning led to my giving a presentation on blended learning at a meeting that included those in charge of customer education….Then, I was given the task to complete our department’s first training venture in years….It was a hit in the company and I was given a new job. I am now the Clinical Training Development Specialist for Cardiology, a newly created position. I’m so excited about the challenges ahead. I owe this to Alverno and its superb instructors and program. Thank you.”

Rebecca Butts
GE Healthcare
Master of Arts in Instructional Design, 2001


Instructional Leadership

 “I particularly value the professional discussions our teachers encouraged about instruction. We delved into the historical roots of education as well as the current best practices; the best part was that we were professionals talking with other professionals. Alverno gave me a chance to examine the reasons behind my educational practice and philosophy. Teaching is a combination of art and science and the classes I took helped me understand both of those elements better.”

Nancy Van Caster
8-9 Reading Specialist
Menomonee Falls School District
Master of Arts in Instructional Leadership, 2002


“The Alverno College MDI program has empowered me as a leader within my community as an educator as well as a productive citizen. The coursework and studies related to my teaching and the greater community in which I live, further increase my level of involvement and commitment. As a full time teacher working in Southwest Wisconsin , courses and distance posed no problem to my learning and growth due to Alverno's dedicated faculty and ease of modern communication. Although five years have passed since receiving my degree, the pride I experienced has not diminished. My curricular expertise assists with guiding my school district in aligning local curriculum to our State Model Academic Standards and the charter school I assisted in forming as part of my cumulative project continues to flourish within a neighboring school district.”

Mark Witter
Master of Arts in Instructional Leadership, 1999


“Earning my Master's degree from Alverno College prepared me to meet new challenges in my career with confidence. Every course was designed to provide relevant opportunities that stretched my thinking in new and sometimes unexpected ways. This way of seeing the world keeps the focus on the possible, not the ‘good' or the ‘bad.' In both the K-12 classroom and in my current district role, I focus on what could be and try to see the potential in every person and each situation. Learning through the active use of knowledge influenced me to relate the phrase ‘lifelong learner' to all I do.

“By applying the skills and processes necessary to communicate with a variety of members of the educational community I learned how to view issues from multiple perspectives, enhancing my experiences by listening to and learning from others. Collaborating with peers opened many doors, sowed many friendships and taught me that progress depends on change, and change depends on effective communication. Alverno's focus on learning versus grading influenced me to concentrate on pushing myself as far as I could go--not just to the point of ‘earning an A.'

“I learned to constantly self-assess what I am doing in comparison to clearly established criteria, not to the person next to me. Real-world assignments and assessments afforded me the opportunity to practice my skills and receive feedback that I use to further improve. I use assessment practices in my daily work, constantly seeking improvement by design--not by accident.”

Patrice Ball
Curriculum Specialist, English Language Arts
Milwaukee Public Schools
Master of Arts in Instructional Leadership, 1998


“As an educator with over 30 years of experience and an MS in curriculum and instruction, Alverno College's Director of Instruction Licensure program provided a variety of opportunities that allowed me to build on my previous learning and experience and expand my abilities to more effectively apply my knowledge of curriculum, instruction and assessment. In my current position as Director of Standards and Assessment for the Oshkosh Area School District, I constantly apply the knowledge and understanding that I gathered in this program, particularly in the areas of proficiency-based learning, balanced assessment, assessment for learning, and educational restructuring.

“By participating in this program, I learned within a proficiency-based learning model. This experience greatly added to my understanding of proficiency-based learning so that I am better able to support its practical application across our school district. The Alverno College Director of Instruction Licensure program helped me synthesize my knowledge and understanding of all aspects of curriculum, assessment and instruction in ways that allow me to provide effective leadership and support to our teachers as they make the challenging transition from a traditional learning and teaching model to a student-centered, proficiency-based learning model focused on enhanced learning and achievement for all students.”

Phil Eickstaedt
Director of Standards and Assessment
Oshkosh Area School District
Master of Arts in Instructional Leadership, 2001


“The abilities Alverno's program emphasizes, through its challenging yet practical coursework, helped me to develop the skills necessary to draw on conceptual frameworks to design and implement science programs and projects.

“As a graduate of the Alverno master's program, I'm able to comfortably and confidently apply my learning and leadership skills through my involvement in various district, state and national level education committees.

“Through Alverno's master's program, I've learned how to operate with the “big picture” in mind and to advance my professional responsibility to student learning.”

Mary Staten
Science Curriculum Specialist, MPS
Master of Arts in Instructional Leadership, 1998


Reading Education

"Alverno challenged me. It asked me to give the best that I could give. It allowed me to demonstrate my knowledge of ideas and concepts in my own unique way. When I left Alverno I knew that I wasn't just given a degree, but rather that I earned it."

Judith Offenbacher
Literacy Coach, Kosciuszko Middle School
Master of Arts in Reading Education, 2002


Professional Development

“Through the MPD program at Alverno College I was able to choose my own area of study, and with help from the faculty develop courses around the specialty I chose. I was afforded the flexibility I needed while working full-time, and the expertise of a mentor, with whom I met on a one-to-one basis. The faculty at Alverno encouraged me to stretch myself in ways I didn’t think were possible, opening up the doors to the National Board Certification process and subsequent certification in my subject area. I have since been in another Master’s program at another college, and it cannot compare to the education I received at Alverno.”

Donna Sayler
Homewood-Flossmoor High School
Foreign Language Department Chair
Master of Arts in Professional Development, 2003


“I have always believed that learning happens when you participate in something. You are not just told what to remember, you actually create something new and share it with others. Alverno is about involving yourself in the classroom as well as making everything you do pertinent to your career. Who would have thought an animator, such as myself, could be thrown into a master’s class with a prison educator, an online instructor, a fourth grade teacher, a utilities trainer, and a voice teacher from New York and find such common ground that we all share? My Alverno experience is truly a life long experience.”

Rob Miller
Artist in Residence Program, Animator
UW-Parkside, Instructor
Master of Arts in Professional Development, 2004


Alternative Education

“I earned the Teaching in Alternative Schools license at Alverno. One of the main reasons that I chose Alverno was the time, two classes in the summer and one in the fall. That made it so easy to get it (the MAL license). Also I liked the nature of the courses. They were curriculum design courses rather than courses that concentrated on the affective domain. While that is very important, I am already familiar with that area because I work with special education children.”

Gerald Busch
Teacher, Mauston Public Schools
Teaching in Alternative Schools license, 2001


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