By Jason Reuter, Contributing Writer

For its 100th anniversary, the University of New Hampshire Department of Education will launch an online master’s degree in educational studies. The program will be the third online master’s program offered by the university, which launched an online master’s in business administration program in 2012 and an online master’s of social work in 2014.

One of the benefits to taking an online course is the fact they are asynchronous, meaning the course is designed so students can access lectures, assignment and materials at any time.

“The benefit about this class is the fact there is no set time you have to meet or log on,” said Erika Mantz, director of media relations for the University of New Hampshire. “I could do my work at 12 a.m. and you could do yours at 7 p.m., so it is really flexible for people who are working.”

There is a hybrid course being offered to students who would enjoy a more traditional classroom experience as well. This hybrid version of the program would allow students to take four core courses online and then choose electives from the course selections available at the Durham or Manchester campuses.

Many of the elective courses focus on the integration of technology to facilitate teaching and learning. This coincides with the recent recommendation from the governor’s task force on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

“It is important to understand that the M.Ed. in educational studies is a completely different degree from the master’s degrees in education that leads to teacher certification,” said Suzanne Graham, an associate professor of education. “If a student wants to be a public school teacher, this is not the degree they should pursue.”

This degree, unlike the master’s degrees in education that lead to certification to teach, is a flexible degree program designed for educators and individuals already working in educational settings who wish to expand their knowledge of education. It is intended to provide a foundation in educational studies that could be useful in a variety of settings such as business, educational and research centers, public policy institutes and national and state agencies. Those that are interested in becoming certified teachers or administrators should seek for a program in the division of educator preparation in the Department of Education.

The application process for the program is the same as any other master’s in education program. The application deadline for the program is March 1, 2015, and classes start at the end of May.

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