SRU online education certificate earns department of education approval


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's College of Education has received online instruction program endorsement from the Pennsylvania Department of Education Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality.

In a memo to Keith Dils, dean of the college, Terry Barnaby, bureau director, said, "Congratulations on developing a certificate program that meets the Online Instruction Program Endorsement requirement. We commend you for your commitment to providing quality teacher preparation programs for the commonwealth."

PA Dept. Ed.

Program approval carries with it the promise that the Pennsylvania Department of Education will consider certification for those persons recommended by Slippery Rock University, Barnaby said. "All recommendations for certification should be submitted in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education certification procedures."

"We are certainly pleased and proud to have our program receive the commonwealth's approval," Dils said. "A large contingent of our college's faculty worked very hard to create the program and see to it that it followed all of the necessary guidelines so that it would serve our students."

"By granting SRU the ability to provide the PDE Online Instruction Program certificate program, the Pennsylvania Department of Education is recognizing the quality of our teacher preparation in this booming new area - online teaching," Dils said. "We know that more than 40,000 Pennsylvania K-12 students are taking online classes. And, we know that when teachers undergo a systematic study of the ways to create online learning experiences and the uses of online technologies, our Pennsylvania students will benefit."

This endorsement is one of three credentials students can earn via SRU's online Technology for Online Instruction teacher preparation program. By completing nine credits, students can earn the PDE Online Instruction Program Endorsement and the SRU graduate Letter of Completion in Teaching Online. By completing an additional 21 credits, or a total of 30 credits, students can also earn a master's degree in technology for online instruction.

The master's program began last fall. The new degree provides for an online instruction degree that gives graduates enhanced skills needed to teach K-12 students both online and in blended learning environments.

The master's program requires 30 credits of coursework, including a capstone project, where students develop an online module, including lessons, activities and assessments. The program itself is offered online.

For those who earn a Letter of Completion in teaching online, the master's program allows for seamless advancement.

The National Center for Education Statistics estimates more than half of public high schools have students enrolled in some distance education courses. The U.S. Department of Education has made teacher preparation for online instruction a national goal to improve the effectiveness of traditional classroom instruction and to connect skilled educators with the underserved communities that need them the most.

Karl E. Schwab