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Shared Inquiry Master's Program Begins New Semester

By Laurel Kolkind
UWRF University Communications

NOV. 30, 2007--The University of Wisconsin-River Falls Master of Science in Education Professional Development begins a new semester in January. The graduate program, known as shared inquiry, is available to anyone interested in developing as an educator and leader and allows students to earn a degree while meeting one weekend a month over the course of two years.

Mary Manke, associate dean of the UWRF College of Education and Professional Studies and who also coordinates the program, says there are currently three active shared learning communities in the program: River Falls area, Wausau and Rice Lake.

The MSEPD through shared inquiry gives students the opportunity to set academic goals and explore answers to questions raised by a text or class experience with their peers within the program, says Manke. As a cohort program, the students who start the program together also finish together. Students customize their semester goals and design research projects to meet their own goals as educators and learners.

Manke says the program offers something important for teachers that is tailored to individual learner's needs. Everything learned within the shared inquiry program can be applied to all classrooms, even within the broad K-12 area, said Manke.

Benefits to the program include earning a master's degree in less than two years and a meeting one weekend a month at a location that is convenient for students. A culminating research project will allow students to focus in depth within an area that will directly benefit their personal teaching skills. Experienced program facilitators help students through this learning process, and coursework is also customized to meet personal and professional needs and preferences.

Manke anticipates continued growth of the shared inquiry program. "We're always interested at the results of the program," she said.

For more information, visit the Web site at or contact the UW-RF Graduate Studies Office at 715-425-3843 or 800-228-5607, or by email to .


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:08:41 Central Daylight Time


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