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New college programs reflect the CCSS

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2013 09:31 AM

Once adopters of the Common Core State Standards finish implementing them, colleges should see a positive difference in students' level of preparedness for collegiate instruction. After all, the CCSS are designed to help K-12 learners become better prepared for the academic challenges that await them in higher education settings.

This is not the only way postsecondary institutions will be affected by the Common Core, as many schools are revamping their degree offerings to reflect the Standards. Following the creation of the CCSS, schools have adjusted their curricula to train the next generation of teachers so they are prepared to align their future classrooms with the Standards. Here are two examples of how institutions are addressing the Common Core through their academic offerings:

Lewis University introduces new programs
Illinois' Lewis University offers a selection of online degree programs. Among them is a new graduate degree, as well as three certificates that all reflect the Common Core, according to a press release from the institution.

The school's new Master of Education in curriculum and instruction was actually created in response to the CCSS. Over the course of their studies, those who pursue this degree will learn how to keep track of students' learning progress and integrate technology into Common Core-aligned classrooms. Meanwhile, the three certificates focus on the topics of English as a second language, reading and special education.

"The online programs in curriculum and instruction do more than just provide advanced knowledge in an increasingly important aspect of teaching," said Dr. Pam Jessee, dean of the university's College of Education, in a statement. "They are designed to transform students into advocates for social justice and expert educators able to engage a diverse, multicultural classroom."

Concordia University degree focuses on the CCSS
Oregon's Concordia University is another institution that offers students a chance to earn a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction online. The main difference is Concordia provides a degree that focuses specifically on the CCSS. According to the school's website, the Common Core State Standards instructional leader specialization helps K-12 teachers understand the Standards and their implementation process.

Over the course of their studies, educators learn how to adjust instructional plans to achieve desired results, evaluate students' learning progress and work with pupils from diverse backgrounds with unique needs. Ultimately, if teachers feel they are not ready to work in CCSS-aligned classrooms, they should know that there are degree programs that can bring them up to speed.