Best Practices for Online Graduate Certificate Programs for Non-Traditional Students
Presented by Sarah MacDonald, Robin Anderson, and Mary Slade
A panel of faculty will present reflections on their experiences teaching and coordinating online graduate-level certificate programs for an off-campus audience of non-traditional students. Each of these online certificate programs uses available technological resources in different ways to meet the needs of a diverse group of learners. Dr. Mary Slade will discuss the K-12 Gifted Education certificate program, which provides experienced K-12 teachers across Virginia and beyond with an opportunity to explore the needs of gifted learners. Her comments will include developing online curriculum and the use of online resources to support instruction. Dr. Robin Anderson will discuss the Higher Education Assessment Specialist certificate program, which serves assessment practitioners in higher education institutions across the country. The certificate program gives students the most up-to-date information about assessment practice, skills and tools. Sarah MacDonald, from JMU Outreach & Engagement, will discuss the policies and practices in place at JMU to facilitate online certificate programs for non-traditional students.
Sarah MacDonald serves as Associate Director for JMU Outreach & Engagement. She came to JMU in July of 2007, and is responsible for coordinating multiple aspects of events and programs for Outreach & Engagement, including marketing, communications, and logistical arrangements. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Blackburn College, and Master’s degrees in English and Human Resource Education from the University of Illinois.
Robin Anderson is the Associate Director of the Center for Assessment and Research Studies and an Associate Professor in the Department of Graduate Psychology at JMU. In addition to teaching in the Assessment and Measurement Ph.D. program, Robin is the program coordinator for the Higher Education Assessment Specialist graduate certificate program. The online certificate program is operated in partnership with JMU’s Office of Outreach and Engagement.
Dr. Mary Slade is a Professor in the Department of Exceptional Education, where she directs the online gifted education. Mary teaches courses in gifted education, educational foundations, exceptional education, and civic engagement. Dr. Slade served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Gifted Children, and won the Early Leader Award from that organization in 1997. Mary’s current scholarship includes professional development, advanced studies, differentiation, consultation and collaboration, and web-based distribution of personnel preparation.