When asked to describe the successes of the graduate program in the School of Education at Campbellsville University, Graduate Chair Valerie Flanagan smiles and shakes her head–signaling that it’s been amazing, and also hard to keep up with.
Dr. Flanagan oversees 20 full-time faculty, 20 part-time faculty (these numbers vary per semester), and coordinates 20 degree, certification, and endorsement programs. “It is impressive how fast we’ve grown. We currently have 524 grad students, and it seems we’re adding a new degree or certification every semester. But, this has been the vision of our university. And Dr. (Lisa) Allen, our Dean of the School of Ed, supports our innovation and risk-taking to provide offerings in as many areas as possible. It’s stressful, but in a positive way. We’re so blessed.”
Flanagan’s Associate Chair, Dr. Franklin Thomas, who plays a huge role in assisting in all facets of the graduate program, also sings her praises. “She is amazing. I don’t know how she keeps so much info straight in her head. Plus, she teaches in our program too. She is great to work with, but is also no nonsense. She expects rigor and top notch delivery of instruction—in every course.”
As the grad program has evolved, with its focus on innovation and online instruction, an array of partnerships with P-12 have developed. The Early Childhood international partnership with Zijing, China has three cohorts presently, and the principal ‘grow your own’ model has four active cohorts (co-taught by CU and P-12 faculty, and housed in the home district), and four alumni cohorts that have recently completed their course of study.
The Masters in Teaching (MAT) program serves the most candidates currently (114—51 Early Childhood), with School Counseling (113), Special Education (82), Principal (61), and Masters in Education (55—50 from China) also generating significant growth.
Many of these students (206) are Option 6, which allows them to be employed and working in the position while they do their course work with the university. The program also offers an Education Specialist degree (advanced degree beyond a MA—5 candidates presently).
Dean Allen adds: “Dr. Flanagan and her team continue to keep us on the cutting edge of high quality graduate education. Our consistent growth is evidence of her dedicated leadership and the array of talent she is surrounded with, and mentors wisely…We are indeed blessed here in our School of Ed.”