Master of Arts (M.A.) in Special Education (Extended Certification - Online Format)
What is online learning?
Online learning allows students to learn course material at their own
pace, within the timelines of the course, in the comfort of their home,
at the local library or coffee shop. Students connect to the Internet
to access course material, submit assignments, and connect with fellow
students and professors.
How is online learning different from traditional classroom learning?
Instead of the traditional lecture/discussion format used in
face-to-face format courses, online courses are presented
electronically. Students typically participate in discussions, real time
chats, multimedia presentations, group assignments and web searches.
Most of the work in online courses is done asynchronously, allowing
students to complete the assignments independently.
Is the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Special Education (extended certification) online program accredited?
Cardinal Stritch University is accredited by the North Central
Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) and the National Council for
Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The Wisconsin Department of
Public Instruction has also granted approval of the program.
Is financial aid available?
Yes. Please visit Stritch's Financial Aid for Graduate Students webpage to learn more about opportunities that are available to you.
What if I have questions or problems during the program?
If you have a question about the academic program content, please
contact the M.A. in Special Education (extended certification - online
format) coordinator, Adrienne Nerad, at (414) 410-4334, toll-free (800)
347-8822, ext. 4334, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions about technology, University procedures, billing, financial
aid, and other matters throughout the program will be assigned to a
Stritch staff member.
Who teaches the courses?
All course are taught by either Stritch faculty or highly qualified
adjunct professors. All instructors have experience in the K-12
classroom and are recognized for their success in the classroom.
Is the online program appropriate for me?
The M.A. in Special Education (extended certification) program at
Cardinal Stritch University is directed toward the extended
certification needs in the area of Special Education. Candidates in this
program must have a high comfort level with technology and be able to
Try one of these online self-assessments to determine if online learning is right for you.
Do I need to be an expert in technology to take the program?
In order to succeed in this online program, students should have
basic computer skills such as navigating the Internet, using word
processing packages, and sending and receiving emails. More advanced
skills will be taught throughout the program.
How much time do I have to complete a course?
Each course has a start and end date. Three credit courses are scheduled over an eight-week period.
Do I receive a grade?
Yes, grades are given for each course based on course and program rubrics.
Are there quizzes and final exams that I need to take?
The philosophy of the program requires that each course have at least
one “key assessment,” typically a classroom-oriented project, unit or
lesson plan. There are no final exams.
Are there times when I am required to be online?
Depending on the course, synchronous (i.e. live) chat rooms may be
suggested or required. If that is the case, a mutually agreed upon time
will be set by the cohort. You may also have times when you are
completing a project with a group and may need to be online at a
mutually agreed upon time.
How much time should I set aside for each course?
Online courses have similar requirements as face-to-face courses.
Typically, a student will spend eight to 12 hours per week on online
courses. Most students log onto the Educator site at least once per day.
How do I order textbooks for the program?
You will be notified prior to the start of a class what textbooks, if
any, are required. Textbooks can be purchased online through a number
of vendors (e.g. Amazon.com) or through the Stritch Bookstore.
What are the advantages of an online program?
Flexibility is the main advantage of the online program, however,
another advantage is academic parity. Students are judged on the quality
of their academic work, not on their social skills, aggressiveness in
discussions, or personal charisma.
How many students will be in my cohort?
Cardinal Stritch University is committed to the individual learner.
For that reason, many cohorts are in the range of 12 to 15 students,
with a maximum of 20.
Am I able to transfer credits into the program from another university?
Do I have access to the Cardinal Stritch University library?
Yes. You will receive a Stritch ID, which allows you access to
library books, periodicals, research databases, and all other student
services, including career services.
Do I ever have an opportunity to meet face-to-face with my professors and fellow students?
Yes, two face-to-face weekends are scheduled during the program, one at the beginning and one in the middle of the program.
How do I complete my student teaching?
Student teaching is an eight week experience. You will complete the
requirements listed in the course syllabus for the experience.You will
have a Stritch supervisor and either a cooperating teacher, if you are
in a traditional placement, or a school-based supervisor if you are
doing student teaching on-the-job. The Stritch supervisor will observe
you four times during the eight weeks. Your on-site cooperating teacher
or supervisor will perform one formal observation and provide ongoing
support during the student teaching. After each observation by your
Stritch supervisor, you will discuss the observation. Any assessments
that are in the course syllable will have a related rubric that you will
see before assessments are completed. Your instructor will collect your
copies of the rubrics when assessments are graded.
How are classes taught online?
Each course will have two to eight sessions (weeks), based on the
number of credits for the course. For a three credit course, work to be
completed is posted on the Learning Management System (LMS). Cardinal
Stritch University uses Educator, a web-based LMS. It is located at http://educator.stritch.edu/.
Students log onto the site with a password. Students will then see a
list of activities they will complete for the week or during the course.
They might be linked to a site to do reading or see a video.
What are the specific requirements of chat groups? Do I have to be online at certain times?
If a course has a group chat (synchronous), students will have the
dates listed at the beginning of the course, and therefore may have to
be online at a specific time for those specific chats. They may also
have to be online at specific times to complete group assessments, if
they are required.
What kind of assignments will I have to complete?
Each class will have key assessments that will be listed in the
syllabus. Like traditional face-to-face format classes, these will
include individual and group assignments. Students will use the
discussion and reply ability of the LMS to increase their understanding
of key concepts. The main difference is that the online program will
have final projects with each class rather than final exams.