Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Blog

It takes teamwork to make the dream work

Checking In with Our Teacher Credentialing Candidates

by Linda Knicely, Consultant, Battelle for Kids | Aug 10, 2015

As the OAC Straight A grant approaches its third anniversary, dozens of secondary teachers are in the throes of pursuing their graduate degrees or those with master’s degrees already are completing graduate work to gain dual enrollment adjunct instructor status. Recently, we checked in with many of them to see how they were feeling about their experiences thus far. The word cloud represents responses to the questions: 

  • Please list the three most valuable learning outcomes that you have gained from your graduate program thus far.
  • How have your experiences in the graduate credentialing track differed from what you were expecting?
  • What are the top three challenges that you are working to overcome in order to successfully complete your program?
  • How do you think that your current or anticipated graduate coursework will benefit your students?
  • How do you think that your current or anticipated graduate coursework will improve your teaching practice?

Key Takeaway #1
Teachers’ reactions to the College Credit Plus requirement that the graduate degree or 18 hours focus on content expertise, rather than attention to pedagogy underscores the different perspectives that K–12 and higher education bring to this issue. It is one that continue to warrant emphasis from an advocacy angle.

Key Takeaway #2
It is important that the commitment on teachers’ parts as they undertake these journeys not be minimized and that the description of “teacher friendly” (intended to refer to the ability to enroll part-time and via online or blended delivery) not be communicated as easier or more closely connected to the secondary teaching experience than might be hoped. With the mandated emphasis on content over pedagogy, these parameters are immutable.

Key Takeaway #3
The majority of credentialing candidates can identify specific ways in which their graduate coursework will benefit their students.

We truly appreciate all of the already-busy teachers who are obviously juggling full-time teaching, graduate course expectations, family and/or other responsibilities and yet found the time to respond to a fully narrative survey and provide their very valuable input. Not all questions asked are included and not all responses have been shared; however the full, unedited survey response summary will be shared with project managers and evaluators and is available upon request by contacting Linda Knicely.