Home Alumni Five things to know about pursuing a graduate degree from the School of Education

Five things to know about pursuing a graduate degree from the School of Education

Learn how SOE graduate programs prepare leaders in the field

The Drake University School of Education offers graduate level programs including master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees in the areas of effective teaching, educational leadership, adult training and development, higher education and counseling. Visit www.drake.edu/soe/programs/ for more information.

1. The School of Education has structured its graduate programs to meet the needs of working professionals. “We strive to remove the barriers that prevent adults from continuing their education by offering evening and weekend courses. Our programs are geared towards the adult learner,” says Jared McCarty, graduate admissions coordinator.

2. Our curriculum is rigorous and faculty maintain high expectations, but we also provide students with a strong support system. “SOE educational leadership professors travel to locations throughout the state to bring learning opportunities to our students,” says Thomas Buckmiller, assistant professor of education. “Our students are competent, focused, excited about school leadership and extremely employable after graduation.”

3. The alumni network in the state is strong. More than 2,000 current Iowa teachers, counselors and administrators are graduates of Drake’s School of Education. Those alumni comprise more than 60 percent of Iowa’s school district staff. Drake alumni represent 32 percent of superintendents and 23 percent of principals in Iowa’s primary and secondary schools

4. Theory and practice both have a place in the curriculum. “Drake provided me with a strong background in both instructional leadership and school management,” says Joel Pedersen, superintendent for Cardinal Community School District. Pedersen earned a master’s degree and his doctorate from Drake’s School of Education; he was named the School Administrators of Iowa Middle Level Principal of the Year in 2010.  “My professional network was also built during my time at Drake. I still collaborate with former professors and classmates. The Drake school leadership programs are built around the Iowa Standards for School Leaders. This approach balances leadership theory and practical application perfectly. I felt prepared to tackle complex school issues early in my career as a result of my preparation at Drake.”

5. A graduate degree can prepare you for a new career. At Drake, a graduate student who earned his or her bachelor’s degree in a field other than education can earn an Iowa teaching certificate while pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching in secondary education or Master of Science in Teaching in elementary education.

“Our graduates have read, written and applied contemporary strategies that they can use in public or private schools, agencies or corporate training,” says Jan McMahill, dean of Drake’s School of Education. “Our professors and practitioners collaborate to help our graduate students realize the Drake difference.”