In July 2015, the School of Education and Professional Learning at Trent will be welcoming the inaugural class of graduate students who will be completing a Master’s of Education program (M.Ed.).
The Master’s of Education is a two-year part-time program that is geared toward professionals of various fields looking to further their career into the field of education.
The part-time aspect of the program will allow students to remain in the workforce while studying. Says Dr. Cathy Bruce, the program’s director, “It’s intended for people in the Greater Peterborough Area, and you could be working while taking the program.”
This program has been in the works since 2007 and is on course with Trent’s vision to expand into professional education programs. The program will be fulfilling a niche market in the region.
The School of Education conducted two surveys to assess the needs of potential students and found that there was a group of individuals looking to learn about education while still working.
There are many Master’s of Education programs in the province which Trent will be joining the ranks of, but the school hopes to sell its own on the aspects of geographic convenience, interdisciplinary pedagogy, and the uniquely Trent experience.
The School of Education hopes to attract students from a diverse background and with a range of interests. The program will give the skills necessary for professionals with a wealth of prior knowledge, learn about education, and grow in those directions.
Dr. Bruce hopes to have an interdisciplinary composition of students in the program.
“We could have trainers of doctors who are trying to become educators and learn about pedagogy and how to engage others effectively,” she says. “We could have historians among other professions. It could be a real range.”
In order to accommodate the range of interests in students and working in the lines of Trent’s interdisciplinary tradition, the Master’s of Education draws on faculty of many departments. Psychology, Business Administration, and Indigenous Studies among others are represented in the M.Ed. faculty.
Bruce states that the program wishes to impart knowledge of environmental and social justice issues in this way.
It features three options for study: course only, research based, and research thesis. In each of these options students will take three mandatory courses, two of which will be completed during the summer months.
The course-only students will complete seven elective courses in addition to this, while the research based students will do five electives in addition to the three mandatory as well as a major research paper.
Finally, students completing the research thesis program will do the three mandatory courses, three electives, and a research thesis.
Expansion into this area comes with some reservations from the Ministry of Education at the Province of Ontario, who remarked in the Strategic Mandate agreement that they were concerned there was a surplus of education programs in Ontario.
Trent University, basing their data on independent surveys conducted over the past few years, is forging ahead to service the proclaimed needs of the community.
This comes at a time when enrolment in Arts programs is falling and the professional programs are becoming more popular.
With the creation of the Centre for Teaching and Learning only a few months ago, it is clear that education studies at Trent is building quickly.