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Drake SOE Receives 2009 IDLA Innovator Award

April 21, 2009
News PhotoThe Iowa Distance Learning Association honored the Drake University School of Education with the 2009 Innovator Award. The honor is given to individuals or organizations for contributions to distance learning trough outstanding teaching, program design and development, innovations in methods, technique, and technology and advocacy The award was presented to Dean Janet McMahill, Director of Extension Education Chuck Sengstock, and Online Instructional Designer Jean Cross during the annual IDLA conference, April 17, in Altoona, IA.

The School of Education has been a leader in the field of Distance Learning for more than 15 years. It hosted one of the first classrooms for the Iowa Communication Network, which was the only telecommunications network of its kind in the nation at the time. The SOE was also one of the first schools to pilot an online exchange program. In 2003, Drake partnered with Drury University in Springfield, MO, to allow enrolled students to take online courses from both universities.

The School of Education’s Extension Education Division was founded to coordinate the many distance learning courses and programs for students within Iowa, throughout the United States and in 11 countries.  Today, the department offers graduate-level courses in online, video, ICN and traditional face-to-face formats. Last year, more than 14,000 students enrolled in courses through Extension Education. Classroom teachers can use these courses for renewal of teaching certificates, advancement on local salary schedules, elective credit in graduate degree programs, personal growth and development, or renewal of coaching activities.

In addition to these individual course opportunities, the SOE also offers full degree and certificate programs at several off-campus locations and through online and ICN courses. Students can also work towards a Masters of Science in Education in Effective Teaching, a Masters of Science in Education in Education Leadership, or a Masters of Science in Counseling at a number of locations throughout the state. In addition, classroom teachers can earn endorsements in the areas of Gifted and Talented, Middle School, Elementary Reading, or Secondary Reading.

“By focusing on areas where students need additional support and by identifying new markets and technologies, we are positioning the SOE to grow its programs through satisfied and vocal students, as well as by changing with the trends of the market and economy,” said Dean McMahill.