A new take on graduate education
The University of Alabama has unparalleled graduate programs that combine the convenience of online learning with the importance of sharing face time with classmates and professors.
From educational psychology and higher education administration to language arts, education professionals are running to UA’s master’s and doctoral programs.
The unique executive cohort format of the EdD in Higher Education Administration program combines weekend, online, and web-assisted courses that allow people to work full time while developing their careers. Each cohort is comprised of a small group of professionals who begin the program together, take every course together and earn their degrees together.
“I love the cohort model. Everyone is competitive but also supportive. It’s really like a family. We’re working to walk across the stage together as a team,” said Leikisha Armstrong, Associate Registrar at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, who’s pursuing her EdD in Higher Education Administration.
Because of the University’s stellar reputation in education, its graduate programs attract not only dedicated, high-caliber professors and directors but also guest lecturers. They travel from all over the country for the opportunity to teach a class for The University of Alabama.
This one-of-a-kind program draws education professionals from over twenty states who offer diverse perspectives, backgrounds and philosophies, and share ideas from different institutions. Students’ distinct approaches to solutions provide a dynamic learning environment in and out of the classroom.
Another program focusing on the development of skills that help maximize learning opportunities for students is the master’s degree in secondary education, which leads to reading specialist certification. The program delivers research-based instruction through supervised practicum experiences and promotes classmate interactions.
“I always blogged or emailed my classmates if I needed help, and I texted my professors all the time. My professors were so great; they were always open, and I still keep in touch with them,” said Ashley Lawley, who graduated in May with a master’s degree in secondary education.
“We had experiences that just went over and above what I would’ve ever received in a conventional program. It was really fantastic,” said Lawley, who managed to work full time, raise a 4-year-old child, and have a second baby while finishing her degree.
Professionals like Lawley, who have such demanding schedules, appreciate feeling like part of a world-class institution, being able to access campus resources, and spending quality time with faculty and classmates who bring learning to a different level. They also find the online component of the programs extremely important. It gives students the flexibility to work full time, raise a family, and go to school all at the same time. Students read, research, write, and complete their assignments on their own time and at their own pace, and every minute they spend on their work has real-world, practical implications.
“Everything we did I found really valuable. I used every single project directly in my job, and I’m looking to apply everything I’ve learned to make my school a better learning environment,” said Lawley, a reading specialist at Bibb County High School in Centreville, Alabama. “My advanced education has truly allowed me to grow and given me the tools I need to address issues and enhance opportunities for students.”