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Local school offers Master's program

Mandi Cardosi, Staff Writer

A partnership between Miami University's department of educational leadership and Dublin City School District is currently in the making.

Kate Rousmaniere, professor and department chair of educational leadership, said they have offered a master's program for about 20 years now, but they are in the process of tweaking it. The revised program will offer an opportunity for teachers in the Dublin City School District to earn a Principal's Master's Degree.

David Axner, superintendent of Dublin City Schools, said a year ago a notice was sent to five or six universities around the country regarding the interest of a program like this one.

Prior to that notice, Miami President David Hodge paid the district a visit, with talk of creating some type of partnership. After Miami responded to the idea, conversations to take it to the next level were underway.

According to Rousmaniere, the participants of the program will have the opportunity to earn a state license for becoming a principal. Members of Miami's staff will be teaching on-site.

Rousmaniere also said two graduate students are working on further developing the program through a community survey. The two students are surveying the Dublin area and finding out how to create the best possible program for the city.

Rousmaniere said the department is excited about the fact that the program offers a hybrid online portion. Rousmaniere said these types of programs usually require face-to-face interaction, but with the new advances in technology, they are able to offer a certain portion of the class online.

"Less than 25 percent of courses will be online," Rousmaniere said, "It's a new way for students to think of course work."

Axner said Dublin City Schools are also excited about this partnership for many reasons.

"It's an opportunity for our staff to receive a principal's license right here on site," Anxer said. "It's a quality program, and the participants will be well trained."

Axner said initial interest in the program was outstanding, and the 20 spots for the first cohort were more than filled.

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"More than 50 staff members attended the meeting, and there were 26 or 27 people who applied for the first cohort," Axner said.

Axner also said the connections with Miami are entwined throughout Dublin City School staff. A few of the applicants are previous Miami undergraduates.

Junior Emily Heist, an early childhood education major, said the program would definitely be something she would consider in the future.

"Eventually, almost all teachers have to go back to get a masters," Heist said, "Any kind of person that helps you get it done would be good."