Inside USD

USD Embraces Online Education

Monday, March 11, 2013

The School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) is set to join the march towards online higher education with the approval of its first online master’s level program. The Master of Education degree has been developed in response to the need for a program that serves students, improves program quality, and provides a cost-effective program for students in a difficult economy. The coursework will be taught by SOLES Department of Learning and Teaching faculty. The online MEd degree program is designed to be accessible for working professional educators who seek quality higher education.

According to Dr. Heather Lattimer, associate professor and chair of the Department of Learning and Teaching, “The online MEd program goals build on the department’s mission statement and our commitment to access and equity, urban education, research-guided practice, and internationalization. Graduates of USD’s online MEd program will possess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to prepare K-12 students for success in a globally connected 21st century society, promote equity and excellence through inclusive teaching practices that empower all students and advance social justice, and engage in systematic inquiry of classroom teaching and learning for leading transformation in the classroom, school, and professional community.”

Coursework in the 20-month program is fully online and includes action research assignments conducted in the degree seekers’ K-12 classrooms. The online format makes the degree accessible for educators and guides them through many experiences of researching and implementing new approaches and techniques in their own classrooms. “This innovative dynamic enriches the learning by allowing participants to connect their own learning in the MEd program with the teaching they provide for their K-12 students,” said Jason Lemon, dean of Professional and Continuing Education at USD, who is leading the online education initiative to reach, recruit and retain students for the online degree in collaboration with SOLES.

“K-12 education,” said Dr. Paula Cordeiro, professor and dean of the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, “has changed in significant ways. The structure has evolved to concerns within specific specializations and the need for educated professionals in these areas has increased: STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics); 21st Century Literacies; and UDL (Universal Design for Learning and Inclusive Education). The new format will maximize the flexibility required by working educators to obtain an advanced degree with online learning, while continuing their teaching full time.”

The program received final approval from the university on February 22, 2013, and is pending regional accreditation. Potential students for the Fall 2013 launch are lining up. For further information, visit the website created to inform the public about the program at

— Melissa Wagoner

  • Share/Bookmark