Meredith College’s graduate programs in education have come a long way since their beginning in 1983. At that time, we offered an M.Ed. degree in Elementary Education with developmental emphases in early or intermediate childhood and content emphases that included mathematics, reading, and broad curriculum.
In 1999, components of the program were restructured to create concentrations in Elementary Education and Reading. These were joined by an additional M.Ed. concentration in English as a Second Language (ESL). The M.Ed. continues to serve licensed teachers who want either to develop deeper expertise or to expand more broadly their knowledge of teaching and learning. In 2008, we expanded significantly with the introduction of M.Ed. options in Academically/Intellectually Gifted and Special Education and a new degree, the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.), with specialty area choices in Elementary and Special Education. Our M.A.T. in ESL arrived in 2011. These M.A.T. options serve students who are not experienced educators but who wish to earn licensure at an advanced level. Our innovative 5+ Programs in Special Education (2011) and ESL (2013) give select Meredith undergraduate students an opportunity to begin graduate work during their senior year. Over the past 30 years, we have assembled a valuable collection of specialty area programs aimed at addressing the various needs of all students in our K-12 schools. We have graduated an average of 50 students each year for the past four years. We are proud of what we have accomplished, but we take greater satisfaction in the accomplishments of our graduates and the positive impact they have had on the field of education and in the lives of children.
Celebratory events include a January 2014 presentation on co-teaching for student success by Lynne Cook, Dean of the College of Education at California State University. Cook’s visit was part of our Connecting Pedagogy, Practice, and Perspectives lecture series. We will also celebrate on Thursday evening, March 6, with a social gathering on campus. This event will provide our current students and graduates an opportunity to reunite and to connect with colleagues, friends, faculty, and others who have contributed to the success of our programs over the years. N.C. State Board of Education member, former faculty member, and Meredith College alumna Tricia Willoughby, ’90, M.Ed.- Reading, will offer brief remarks. Finally, our annual Graduate Research Conference on April 23 will highlight the academic achievements of current and returning students as they present their research projects.
-- By Monica McKinney, Professor of Education