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Spring and Summer Opportunities for Teachers

MARCH 3, 2006--The University of Wisconsin-River Falls offers a variety of ways this spring and summer for educators and education administrators to earn credits toward professional development or specific degree and certificate programs.

Through "Online Learning for Educators," more than a dozen, one-credit online classes are offered. All coursework can be completed at a student's own pace and finished within six weeks. Spring classes begin March 13, and summer classes begin June 19.

"Online for Educators is perfect for those teachers seeking credits for recertification," said Mary Manke, assistant dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies. "Teachers who can't attend class on campus will enjoy the convenience of an online format. And, since all classes meet different DPI teacher standards, educators can select topics that may be used to build their professional development plains under PI-34."

Educators interested in enhancing their technology skills in the classroom can choose from three classes that can also be applied toward earning a Technology for Educators certificate. The courses are designed to help K-12 educators apply technology to meet learning objectives, increase teaching capabilities and integrate educational technology in their classrooms. Two of the courses are available online.

Two other certificate programs offered online include Community Education and Service-Learning, both with introductory courses beginning on June 19. All courses required for each certificate can be completed online, with a cohort of peers and within one year.

"All coursework is provided via the Internet and with other distance-learning tools," said Stanley Potts, program coordinator at UW-River Falls. "The compressed course schedule is also a popular feature. Colleagues from around the country will follow the same schedule and complete the program together within one year."

Another certification program that uses a compressed schedule in the summer is the Learning Disabilities Teacher Certification. This program prepares educators to obtain Wisconsin certifications in learning disabilities. Recent enhancements to the program make it possible for participants to complete the program in just one year, or take a second year if necessary. The program begins in the summer then continues through the academic year.

Master of science in education degrees for secondary education in science, math or fine arts also starts in the summer. This degree program helps educators strengthen their teaching skills and broaden content knowledge. Like most of the other UW-RF degree programs, courses can be taken for professional development without an individual committing to the degree program.

Fine arts educators will inspire their own work with a core of interdisciplinary arts courses and enhance their skills with content-specific electives. Math educators will learn effective teaching methods from mathematical content courses such as geometry for educators, statistics for educators, and technology in teaching of elementary and middle school mathematics. In addition, science educators can blend discipline-specific core courses in biology, chemistry and physics to meet their individual needs and preferences.

This summer, the UW-RF physics department will offer three courses for secondary education teachers with funding from the Wisconsin Elementary and Secondary Education Act's Improving Teacher Quality Program. Enrollment is limited, and stipends and course equipment awards are available to selected Wisconsin teachers. All teachers interested in these ESEA classes must complete an application by March 27, available from the .

Educators with an interest in obtaining licensure or certification in reading may begin a program with the Reading Summer Institute starting June 19. Three summer courses enable educators to complete eight credits in just three weeks. The degree program continues throughout the academic year with evening courses.

Recent improvements to this program make this an attractive route to a degree. With a reduction in credits needed to complete the degree, students beginning this summer can complete their master's degree and obtain a Wisconsin Reading Specialist license in just 30 credits. A reading certificate can be completed in just 21-23 credits, with most of these courses offered during the Summer Reading Institute.

Last but not least, a new master of science in education degree for educators interested in becoming leaders begins this summer. The Principal Licensure program has recently been expanded from a certificate program to a master's degree, which is required for aspiring principals in Wisconsin. The program begins with a summer Leadership Development Seminar on campus and continues throughout the academic year on dates and locations determined by each cohort of students.

"This program is approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for individuals seeking certification as a K-12 principal and was the first competency-based program established in Wisconsin," said Florence Monsour, professor of education and UW-RF program coordinator. Students complete a portfolio providing evidence of the skills needed to meet National Policy Board and Wisconsin Administrator standards in the final phase of the program.

All participants for these courses or programs need to apply for graduate study at UW-River Falls before registering for classes. Apply online at or visit for application instructions.

The University of Wisconsin - River Falls Outreach and Graduate Studies Office provides lifelong learners with academic and professional development programs that are practical, flexible, convenient and affordable. A complete list of courses, course descriptions and admission information is available at http:/ or can be obtained by calling 715-425-3256, 1-800-228-5607 or e-mailing


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:07:08 Central Daylight Time

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