Dr. Joseph Lathan, Lifelong Advocate for Educators, Named Director of Online MEd at University of San Diego

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USD Dr Joseph Lathan Cover

January 6, 2019 (SAN DIEGO, Calif.) – As a lifelong student and educator, Dr. Joseph Lathan believes wholeheartedly in challenging yourself. His own challenges have included leaving the rural Michigan farm where he grew up for New York City to pursue professional opportunities in the education field.

More recently, he made the cross-country leap from the East Coast to the West to serve as academic director of the online Master of Education degree at the University of San Diego — a program that invites teachers to challenge themselves to become the very best educators they can be.

Dr. Lathan, who also serves as professor of practice at USD, is a powerful and passionate advocate both for teachers and the teaching profession.

“I understand the impact that teachers make in a physical or virtual classroom. Often, the teachers become one of the first points of influence for our youth and we as a society do not give them enough recognition for the amazing work they do,” said Lathan, adding that, to reach one’s full potential as a teacher, it is helpful to view your work as “a calling.”

Educational administration has been the focus of his work for the past two decades, working at four different colleges including NYU and Fordham University. His experience includes working at public and private, non-profit, for-profit and religious institutions in the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral disciplines; he has helped universities start online learning programs and managed existing programs.

“Additionally, I was also a student of online education for 10-plus years completing my bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. online,” said Lathan, who earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from SUNY Empire State College, his master’s in education administration from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in organizational leadership from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

As he begins his new role at USD, Dr. Lathan said he wants students, faculty and administrators alike to know that “I’m reachable and I like to keep an open-door policy.”

Regarding the value and the importance of online learning, he observed, “Learning online and learning in a classroom should be the same quality learning experience and the only thing that should differ is the modality of learning but not the learning itself.”

He believes there are many important reasons why teachers should consider challenging themselves to earn their MEd, saying, “Earning a Master of Education degree provides the opportunity for students to learn or develop their desired areas of expertise, transition into senior administrative roles and maximize their earning power.”

USD’s “concerted effort” to achieve academic excellence in online learning was one of the reasons he accepted this new challenge. In addition to providing an empowering and stimulating learning environment in which MEd candidates interact with experienced faculty and fellow educators from across the country, he said, “Our commitment to social justice sets us apart and aligns with the incredible work that teachers do on a daily basis.”

For more information about the University of San Diego’s online Master of Education program, please visit the MEd program page or call (888) 832-0239.

About the University of San Diego’s Master of Education Program

With five distinct specializations — STEAM, Curriculum & Instruction, Literacy & Digital Learning, Inclusive Learning, and School Leadership — the University of San Diego’s fully online Master of Education (MEd) degree program prepares students with the knowledge and skills they need to enhance their teaching. The program features an emphasis on 21st century skills, equity and social justice, classroom inquiry and a professional response to the Common Core Standards.

Media Contact

Courtney Legoll
University of San Diego
[email protected]

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