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William Carey University New Degree: Specialist in Education

HATTIESBURG, Miss. ― William Carey University is offering a new online degree for administrators and teachers who want to help other teachers improve their classroom instruction.

Principals, master teachers and lead teachers will be interested in specialist in education with an instructional leadership concentration, said Ben Burnett, dean of the school of education. The 30-hour degree is above a master’s degree but below a doctorate, he told the Hattiesburg American.

“A specialist degree will move them up to an AAA license, which is good for anyone who currently holds a teaching license because it puts them in line for better jobs and moves them up to better pay,” he said.

It will include lectures, videos and chats and has two tracks, said Liesa Weaver, chairwoman of the educational leadership department.

The first track is for students interested in instructional leadership, Weaver said.

“It’s geared toward preparing them to make instructional decisions in their school,” she said. “The second track is instructional assessment, which gears itself to looking at data, analyzing data and making those hard decisions (related to data).”

The school has sent 1,200 emails to educators across the state to announce the degree. Burnett says he’s also received queries from students in New Orleans and China who saw it advertised on the university’s website.

Students who take two courses a term can finish in two years.

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