Since May of 2015, Northwestern College has been offering Teacher Master Education Program enabling teachers to be lifelong learners and continue their education.
The program focuses on self-evaluation of teaching and enables teachers to incorporate more technology in the classroom., all while still working a full time job.
There are currently about 150 students enrolled in this program, but it is growing. NW hopes to reach out to the surrounding community to recruit more online students.
There are several emphases the master’s program focuses on, including Early Childhood, Master Teacher and Leadership. NW hopes to add more emphases and expand the program within the coming years.
The length of time to complete the program is around two years, and it is recommended that the teachers taking these courses take one course per each eight week period.
Due to the fact that this program is offered solely online provides teachers with flexibility to be able to gain their Master’s in Education while dealing with a busy schedule.
Sarah Huibregste was recently hired by NW to serve as the Teachers Master Education Program Director. Huibregste will work with NW’s online students working toward a Master’s in Education. Huibregste sees great benefits in offering this program online.
“We can reach these teachers without them even having to come to campus and support them in their classrooms as they are studying and trying to work around their schedules,” Huibregtse said.
The majority of the program’s online students are Iowa residents, local teachers and alumni. The program also maintains a focus within the local schools to help instruct teachers on new techniques in the classroom.
A unique aspect to NW’s Master’s in Education program is that the class sizes are much smaller and more personal within the program, which helps students connect more with their class and their professor through an online program. Teachers also have the unique opportunity to bring in their teaching experiences and expand their knowledge by sharing new ideas with one another.
“This program is about applying and looking at your experiences and bringing those into the classroom,” Huibregste said. “At the graduate level it is very experiential so you get a lot of sharing and brainstorming and it’s fun because you have people from all walks of life.”
Huibregste has an undergraduate degree in elementary education with a minor in computer science from Lakeland College in Wisc. Her master’s in computer sceince is from Cardinal Stretch University in Wisc. and her doctorate in instructional design from Capella University.
Huibregste has had a wide variety of experiences in education, ranging from teaching in elementary, middle, high school and at the collegiate level both online and on campus.
As the director of online Masters program, Huibregtse has a vision for how she can use her experiences to instruct teachers based on what she has learned through her years as a teacher.
“This program gives me the opportunity to train the teachers to be involved with everything that I have been involved with in the past,” Huibregtse said.
Huibregste is hopeful that being able to share her experiences with others teachers will help those who take online classes become better teachers.
Huibregste enjoys having the opportunity to give back to the educational community through sharing her experiences as a teacher and an educator.