MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Barbara Young, Professor of Education at MTSU, has over 50 years of experience in education, including over 30 on the Blue Raider Campus.
With this depth of pedagogical knowledge, Young saw an opportunity to create and lead a unique graduate program that would deliver high quality online education and address the plethora of diversity issues facing educators today. .
The Culture, Cognition and Learning Process Honors Diploma was born in 2007 with a curriculum that applies to classroom teachers, school administrators and other professionals working in a constantly changing and complex world.
“In addition to being completely online, the asynchronous courses are available on a fixed rotational schedule throughout the year, allowing students to plan their own path to graduation,” said Young, a native from New Orleans who taught classes from Kindergarten to Grade 12. nearly two decades across Louisiana before moving to Tennessee.
“This flexibility of format, along with the graduate program’s unique curriculum, makes it attractive to a diverse group of applicants,” Young added.
After leaving the K-12 grade, Young pursued a career in higher education in the English Department of MTSU and in the Departments of Elementary, Special Education, and Instructional Leadership at the College of Education, where she is a Full Professor.
In addition to degrees from the University of Louisiana, University of New Orleans, and Tennessee State University, she also graduated from MTSU twice.
Young’s program aims to answer complex questions such as “What makes learning harder or easier?” “” What is learning? “” How do cultural issues impact the teaching and learning process? And “Should educators know anything about the brains of students sitting in their classrooms?” Among other things, Young writes on the website of the program she runs. here.
As the name of the program suggests, courses focus on diversity, contributions of psychology to the field of teaching and learning, contributions of neuroscience to the field of education, historical and social context multicultural education and cultural issues in education.
Students must have a master’s degree to apply, although they do not need to be licensed educators.
“I appreciated the emphasis on diversity”
Tabetha Sullens, assistant director of student affairs at Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, graduated from the program in 2018 and is currently teaching one of the program’s courses this fall as an adjunct professor.
Sullens said she was fortunate enough to take several of her classes with Young.
“She (Young) has been incredibly supportive, provided outstanding feedback on the courses, and encouraged me to pursue and pursue a PhD,” Sullens said.
At Webb School, a boarding school, Sullens welcomes students from 23 countries and 15 states.
“I appreciated the emphasis on diversity in the program’s curriculum,” she said. “Diversity is such an important aspect of our daily life. Understanding how to navigate, inspire and encourage today’s students continues to evolve…. I have gleaned real world applications and use many of the concepts and practices covered in the program. ”
In addition to emphasizing diversity and cognition, the program includes a course in research, which Sullens said every educator could benefit from.
Sullens also explained that the flexibility of the asynchronous program is doable for anyone, even someone like her with a demanding full-time job and family responsibilities.
“You (can) shape the course in your life; that’s the beauty of asynchronous programs.
She was also pleasantly surprised by the connections she made with other students in an online program.
“The program has allowed us to build authentic relationships within an online platform,” said Sullens. “I am still in contact with a few classmates and Dr. Young.”
She said educators with this specialization would appeal to hiring schools and that she would encourage practicing educators, including her colleagues at the Webb School, to consider continuing their education in this program or one. from others to MTSU.
“Schools across the United States are becoming more diverse every year,” Sullens said. “To encourage our students to be the best they can be, we need to understand how to support and respond to different contexts, experiences, needs and learning styles. This program develops these skills.