master of education

New program offers Drury education students a fast track to a master’s degree

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 19, 2017 — Drury University’s School of Education and Child Development is offering a new option for students to complete both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in just five years.

The “4+1” program makes it possible for academically qualified and motivated students to begin their 36-hour master’s degree while still an undergraduate, saving them both time and money. Drury is one of the only colleges in the state of Missouri to offer such an option.

“Earning a master’s degree is a natural extension of the contemporary teacher’s professional development, leading to mastery in specialized areas of education, improved job prospects and a significant increase in compensation throughout the educator’s career,” says Dr. Asikaa Cosgrove, assistant professor of education and the director of graduate programs for the School of Education. “The concurrent credit program offers a seamless transition into graduate study, giving new teachers the opportunity to reach a higher level of preparation and competence without the difficulties of having to readjust to a return to college after years in the workforce.”

How the program works

Working closely with advisors, eligible undergraduate students may enroll in up to 9 credit hours of selected graduate courses from the master in education programs while still pursing a bachelor’s degree. Successful completion of these courses will earn both undergraduate credit toward the bachelor’s degree and graduate credit toward a master’s degree.

Students typically complete bachelor’s degree coursework in four years. They will then take the remaining 27 hours of graduate coursework during the subsequent three or four semesters (the typical sequence is summer, fall, and spring semesters).

The School of Education offers bachelor’s programs in Elementary and Secondary Education and a variety of graduate degrees with a range of specialization areas. For the 4+1 program, students can choose from one of two master’s degree programs: Curriculum and Instruction (elementary, middle, or secondary), or Integrated Learning.

More details about eligibility requirements, course schedules, and tuition structures are available at Drury.edu/education.

###

Media Contact: Dr. Asikaa Cosgrove, Director of Graduate Programs – School of Education and Child Development: (417) 837-7806 or acosgrove@drury.edu.

Two of Missouri’s best new teachers trained at Drury

Two of Missouri’s best new teachers received their professional training from Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies.

Callie Beard, an elementary school teacher in the Lebanon school district, and Fernando Sustaita, a middle school teacher at Nixa, were recently given the Outstanding Beginning Teacher Award by the Missouri Association for Colleges of Teacher Education.

The recipients were selected based on evaluations of outstanding graduates completed by their college or university, and recommendations from the school districts where they teach.

Callie Beard teaches elementary school students in her Lebanon classroom.

Callie Beard teaches elementary school students in her Lebanon classroom.

“I was stunned, shocked and elated,” says Beard, who teaches social studies and communication arts to fifth graders.

After spending her first two years at another school, Beard switched gears seeking more financial flexibility and classes closer to her hometown of Lebanon. She took classes through Drury’s Springfield, St. Robert and Lebanon campuses. Many of her instructors were teachers in the immediate area.

“They could draw from their own personal experience,” Beard says. “They had classroom examples ready; they were familiar faces.”

Sustaita knows about switching gears, too. After 15 years in the business world, he decided to make a career change and become a teacher. Now in his second year at a seventh grade history teacher in Nixa, he also coaches three sports (cross country, basketball and track), drives busses for the teams, serves on school committees.

“When I want to do something, I go in 110 percent,” he says. “I don’t hold back.”

Fernando Sustaita teaches history at Nixa, and also coaches cross country, basketball and track.

Fernando Sustaita teaches history at Nixa, and also coaches cross country, basketball and track.

Seeing students succeed drives him, Sustaita says. And that’s the same kind of treatment he received from his professors when he was a student earning a Master of Education at Drury, he says. In fact, he still reaches out to them for advice and mentorship, even after graduation.

“I trust the education system there,” he says. “I trusted my advisors. And I know that wherever I’m going to go, people are going to look at that degree and hold it to a high standard.”

###

Story by Mike Brothers, Drury’s director of media relations.