August 26, 2008
08-143

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

VSU Teams up Again to Offer Online Masters in Teaching

VALDOSTA - Valdosta State University will collaboratively participate in a new online Master of Arts in Teaching program with multiple certifications beginning January 2009.

The new degree targets people with bachelor's degrees in mathematics or a branch of science and related fields, who are looking to change careers. It will also provide a way for current teachers to add certifications in mathematics or one of the sciences.

The Board of Regents of the University system of Georgia approved the online graduate teaching degree that will be provided by the same institutions that joined resources to offer the six masters level education degrees, which began January 2008 (http://www.valdosta.edu/news/releases/degrees.112607/). Columbus State University, Kennesaw State University and the University of West Georgia will serve as the initial home institutions, with VSU and Georgia Southern University providing faculty and resources to support the program. VSU and GSU will become home institutions for the 39-semester-hour program beginning Fall 2010.

Jan Kettlewell, USG vice chancellor for P-16 initiatives, said the five institutions will reconfigure existing courses and utilize existing resources so that new funding will not be necessary. Like the first six collaborative education degrees, the new MAT will be available via the Georgia ONmyLINE Web site, www.georgiaonmyline.org, which offers easy access to online and distance education offerings system-wide, according to the USG.

Dr. Phil Gunter, dean of VSU's Dewar College of Education, said he and his faculty are proud to be a part of the new collaborative degree, one of many for VSU.

"VSU participates more collaboratively in multiple Georgia ONmyLINE degree offerings than any other institution, by far," Gunter said. "Collaborative degree offerings are a new construct for many USG institutions, and VSU seems to be leading the way."

The USG plans for the new degree, which offers certifications in mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics and earth/space science, to better equip high school teachers in these areas of education. Kettlewell cited statistics on Georgia public schools from the Georgia Certified Personnel Index for fiscal year 2006, which showed thousands of teachers in mathematics and the sciences had only a broad-field certificate, not major college coursework in their specific area of teaching (http://www.usg.edu/news/2008/082008.phtml).

For more information about the new MAT and VSU's participation in this and other collaborative online offerings, contact the Dewar College of Education at (229) 245-6424 or visit www.valdosta.edu/coe/ .