I wanted to offer a different perspective on distance learning programs. I
was in the pioneer cohort for the California State University, Sacramento,
Internet Masters in Educational Technology. It was the best educational
experience of my adult-learner life!
We did 75% online and 25% face-to-face. The professors were very conscious
of creating a collaborative learning environment. The program started with
us meeting face-to-face for three very intense days (grad school boot camp
24/7) to establish a working relationship with each other. During the
entire masters program, the cohort members became very close and had
incredible discussions online, complete with inside jokes, imaginative
virtual environments and even an online baby shower for one of our members.
We met face-to-face about twice a semester; but the face-to-face element was
crucial to making the program so successful. The final project was an online
portfolio. It included an action research piece. My portfolio can be
The content was cutting edge, grounded in sound educational practice, and
totally relevant to the classroom teacher. The whole program was geared for
the mid-career professional and was very respectful of our collective
experiences, constraints and expectations.
The most important thing is to ask yourself if you can thrive in this
environment. One has to be an independent self-initiator who is good at
setting and meeting deadlines. Obviously, this kind of program isn't for
I think you have to 'shop around' and even 'interview' the people who will
be responsible for the program and content.
This online program totally beat the socks off of my previous master's
program from the same institution. And where else can you attend grad
school from the comfort of your home computer office, dressed in sweats and
munching on pretzels?
-Alix E. Peshette
Emerson Junior High School
From: Jayna Huffines [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2003 6:30 PM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Re: Masters Program
Whatever program you decide to pursue, I would not recommend a distance
learning program, and that goes for anyone who is reading this. I tried to
take a class this semester from East Carolina University and it has been
ridiculous. I have a hard time learning anything when I get five emails from
the professor the entire semester and very little feedback on the work. I
think I could do a masters program if I could actually attend class on
campus. Good luck, Sal, but if it comes down to distance learning, I
wouldn't recommend it. (Just my opinion, some of you may know great programs
from other universities.)
Does any art teacher have a masters degree in an area other that art
education? I am looking into a program for a Masters in Teaching and
Leadership but not sure how it would benefit me. I would get a small bump in
salary, but not enough to justify taking out a 10,000 loan to cover the
costs. Any suggestions or advice? I would greatly appreciate it.