Rural Education

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints

Degree From the Outback

A university in Australia is now offering what may be the first education degree of its kind in the world: an online master's degree in rural education.

And thanks to some folks in Alabama, it's available to rural teachers here in the United States, no matter where they live.

James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland, in partnership with Malaspina University College in the Canadian province of British Columbia, are to begin offering classes in the program July 1. Students must enroll before then.

The Master of Education degree offered by James Cook University is a two-year program that focuses on education, along with rural community development—two efforts that often go hand in hand in rural places.

The degree program is aimed primarily at rural teachers, said Jack Shelton, a Tuscaloosa, Ala.-based faculty member in the online program. He is the founder and retired director of the Program for Rural Services and Research at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Students in the online program will take classes to learn more about how technology and online teaching will affect rural schools, and how education in smaller communities relates to community survival.

Plus, with all the classes on the Web for the first time, teachers and others who enroll in the program can get to know classmates from around the world—without ever leaving their homes. That's a big advantage for some rural educators whose nearest university might be hours away by car, or who might feel isolated otherwise, Mr. Shelton said.

In his class, for instance, classmates will be assigned partners with whom they'll stay in touch and work on projects.

Tuition totals about $8,400 for the two-year program.

Organizers aren't sure exactly how many people will enroll at first. The beginning cohort, a group that will stay together in the same classes over the two years, may be small, with perhaps about 20 people enrolled.

But Mr. Shelton sees the program growing substantially, and believes it will be a model for others. The degree encompasses six different courses of four months each.

"I don't know of a comparable degree offered anywhere," Mr. Shelton said, noting its special emphasis on rural studies.

For more information, call the University of Alabama rural-services department at (205) 348-6432 or visit ed/.

—Alan Richard [email protected]

Vol. 21, Issue 41, Page 6

Published in Print: June 19, 2002, as Rural Education

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >