Standards Commission Approves New Educational Master's Program
September 13, 2004

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On Thursday, Sept. 9, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission voted to approve a Master of Education in Educational Leadership program at Mercer University with all standards being met. Created in response to the growing need for principals in Georgia, this new program will allow in-service teachers to earn a master's degree in administration close to home. School officials predict that there will be a significant shortage of school administrators in the state in the near future.

Classes begin in January at Mercer's Macon and Atlanta Campuses and at Mercer University's Regional Academic Center in McDonough. Mercer will host three information sessions on the new Educational Leadership Program. They will be held in McDonough on Sept. 29, Atlanta on Sept. 30 and Macon on Oct. 7. All sessions begin at 4:30 p.m. To register or for more information, call (678) 547-6100 (Atlanta area) or (478) 301-5400 (Macon area).

"This program is an attempt to be responsive to the needs of the communities that we serve," said Dr. Penny Elkins, associate professor of education, chair of the Tift College of Education programs in Henry and Douglas counties, and chair of the new program. "We believe strongly that this leadership program will have a tremendous impact on schools and children for generations to come."

Much research was put into the creation of this Mercer's Educational Leadership Program. The Tift College of Education faculty who designed the program consulted with many local school system leaders to get feedback on how they could best prepare candidates for the challenges of today's schools. Faculty researched best practices across the region and country and made sure the curriculum met the standards of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. In fact, the program is based on the most current national standards in educational leadership--those of the Education Leadership Constituent Consortium.
 
Mercer's Educational Leadership Program blends theory with practice by requiring all leadership candidates to participate in internships each semester, giving them hands-on experience in dealing with current issues faced by educational leaders. Leadership education candidates also have the unique opportunity to participate in leadership academies on topics deemed crucial to educational leadership. They can attend six Friday-Saturday sessions that will feature local educational leaders with an expertise in a particular area.
 
For educators who already have an M.Ed. degree, the Tift College of Education of Mercer University will offer "add-on" certification in educational leadership.
 
"To say that we are excited about this program and the opportunities it will provide would be an understatement," Mercer's Tift College of Education Dean Carl Martray said. "The high quality, rigorous program we have developed will exceed the standards of the profession."
 
For more information about the Educational Leadership Program at Mercer, call (678) 547-6100.

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