The University of San Diego’s online MEd program recently celebrated its latest group of graduates! These graduates have a lot to celebrate and be proud of as they have graduated from one of the best online MEd programs in the nation. But what does that mean exactly?
One of the best indicators of a top online education program is its reputation. U.S. News & World Report, has recently ranked the University of San Diego’s Master of Education online degree number 22 out of nearly 200 schools! Ranked as 75 in last year’s report, USD’s program made a significant climb in the rankings, moving up 53 spots and getting closer to the University’s goal of making it into the top 10 best MEd programs in the nation.
Launched in 2013, the online MEd program immediately started to draw the attention of academics and prospective students. Just 16 months after its launch, the MEd program was ranked 75th in the nation on the list of the 2015 Best Online Graduate Education Programs — making it one of only two online programs from California universities in the ranking of more than 250 programs. Today, just four years after its conception, USD’s MEd continues to climb in the ranks, which is significant considering its very recent beginnings.
About the Rankings
U.S. News & World Report ranks schools based on five general categories:
- Student engagement
- Student services and technology
- Admissions selectivity
- Faculty credentials and training
- Peer reputation
Graduate feedback is also a huge factor in program rankings. When the MEd online program was first ranked, because the program was so new, there were no graduates to give feedback. After four years and six graduating classes, however, there has been an enormous amount of positive student feedback which has contributed to the program’s ascent to 22.
What Makes USD’s Online MEd Unique
The MEd online degree places an emphasis on 21st century skills for today’s evolving classrooms. Just this past summer, USD rolled out a leadership concentration for MEd students, bringing the previous four specializations available to students, to five. These cutting-edge specializations address the issues and opportunities facing educators today. They include, STEAM, Inclusive Learning, Literacy and Digital Learning, Curriculum and Instruction and School Leadership.
The program also features an interactive, collaborative environment taught by experienced faculty with extensive K-12 experience, and strong networking and experiential learning opportunities. Students accepted into the MEd program must have professional experience in the field. Because students with vast experience from around the country can collaborate via online forums, an extremely valuable and rich peer-to-peer learning environment is created.
Originally created as a collaboration between the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) and Professional and Continuing Education (PCE), the program combines the content expertise of the faculty at SOLES with the delivery expertise of PCE to create the best overall experience for students. The program provides K-12 teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to advance in today’s classroom, while allowing them to continue working full-time through the flexibility of online learning.
What Students Are Saying
Amy Zapatka, Dean of School Culture at Achievement First, chose to complete her MEd through USD’s online program because USD catered to full-time educators and is well known for its rigorous content. She was also drawn to USD’s program because of its focus on cognitive theory, ethics, equity and social justice.
“Equity in education is something I take very seriously — it’s a passion of mine and it’s what I have dedicated my life and career to. Doing coursework that integrated equity, studying the inequality that is still happening in our country and having those uncomfortable discussions on topics that people are afraid to talk about like the achievement gap and race in the United States— that’s what I really wanted out of a program and I found that at USD. There was not one course that didn’t include some element of equity.” You can hear from Amy directly in this video which highlights her work at Achievement First.
Karl Frank, Science Department Chair at Campbell Hall in North Hollywood, credits this appointment to the advanced STEAM education that he received at the University of San Diego.
“As a science teacher, my whole philosophy is that science education should be hands-on and interdisciplinary and that students are best served through a STEAM approach. So, a project involving biomimicry, for instance, lets kids get involved with engineering, aerodynamics and the principle of flight to name just a few. Getting a master’s degree in education with a concentration in STEAM combined all of my passions and has helped me tremendously in my career advancement.”
Daniela Keeler landed her current role as an instructional technology coach after completing her MEd with USD. She now teaches literacy in the digital age and helps teachers effectively integrate technology into their classrooms.
“The position I currently hold was a new position for the district. I didn’t know this job even existed when I went back to school. But when I was going through the University of San Diego program, I started to learn what I liked doing regarding technology and the classroom – and I implemented a lot of technology into my classroom during that year and a half I was in the program and teaching high school English. I remember telling my husband, ‘if I could just take these lessons I’m learning and teach other people how to do it, I would prefer doing that.’ And then I heard about the new instructional technology coach position in my district!
Being in the program changed my whole career path. Now, in my current position at the district office, I have a wider perspective of what’s going on in my district, which gives me a broader perspective as to what is going on in education as a whole.”
Teachers are important! No one knows that better than the students and faculty in the MEd program at USD. MEd graduates consistently indicate that ready access to supportive faculty is one of the things they value the most about their educational experience. The faculty in the MEd program are scholars and accomplished educators with a range of academic experience.
You can learn all about the professors and lecturers in the MEd program here.
As we watch another class graduate, we are reminded how important our students truly are to the quality of our program. Without the driven, diverse, experienced and passionate professionals whom we continue to attract and graduate from our online master of education program, we would not be able to produce such an engaging and thought-provoking learning community.
In our ongoing effort to attract the very best in education, we are continually assessing the program, learning outcomes, and relevancy, and soliciting feedback from current students so that we can improve upon our current offerings and deliver the top-notch education students desire.
To learn more about the MEd at USD, contact an admissions representative today.