Unification News for December 1999

The One Day Masters Degree at UB

Beth Bruno

Earn a graduate degree and teacher certification in two yearsóone day a week (9:30am-2:30pm), no nights, no weekends, no kidding!

The University of Bridgeportís School of Continuing and Professional Studies, Stamford Riverbend campus, in cooperation with the School of Education and Human Resources, launched a new teacher certification program in September of 1999 with an initial enrollment of 22 women and men. The program has been so well received by working professionals eyeing career change, that a new class will form in January of 2000 (also in Stamford) and expand to the main campus in Bridgeport in September of 2000. One of the prerequisites for admission is a Bachelorís Degree.

Rhonda Ginsberg of Stamford was thrilled when she heard about the one-day-a-week degree program. "I searched everywhere for a graduate program in teaching that would fit into my family and work life," she said, "but most required late afternoon and evening classes and travel to satellite campuses." Ms. Ginsberg had worked in the computer field for 25 years, the last seven of those years as the owner and founder of a computer consulting business. During her consulting years she began volunteering in the schools, first as a math/science tutor and later as a parent-teacher for the "Learning to Look" program, sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Working with individual students, especially those with challenging learning problems, captivated her interest, both personally and professionally. Rhonda plans to teach 4th or 5th grade after graduation. Later she may continue her studies in the field of special education.

"The schools need teachers like us," Rhonda commented. "Weíre professionals with maturity and life experience. We have families and knowledge about learning problems just from raising our own kids. Itís good for my sons to see me back in school and studying hard, yet they also see that momís still available to them."

Kris Kivela of New Milford entered the certification program after working many years as a senior financial analyst. Her job involved extensive travel and long hours that didnít mesh well with marriage and a growing family. "In the business world, people were treated too much like machines," she said. "I liked the atmosphere in the schools much better."

These days Kris teaches piano lessons in her home studio to 19 students. "I discovered that I love teaching children and seeing the light click on in their eyes," she said. "Finding this program is making a dream come true for me." Wednesday-only classes make it possible for Kris to continue working and studying around her familyís hectic schedule. She spends about 15 hours a week outside of class on homework assignments.

Rhonda and Kris especially appreciate the quality of instruction and the supportive, proactive role that student advisors take in helping them map out their two-year class schedule and identifying possible placements for student teaching. "Sharon Klebe, Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, not only goes the extra mile with us, she goes the extra two miles!" Kris remarked.

For a masterís degree, students must accumulate 33 credit hours, at a cost of $360 per credit. Following completion of all coursework, the CT Department of Teacher Certification requires 12 weeks of full-time, supervised student teaching.

This particular degree/teacher certification program leads to elementary or secondary certification. In the elementary certification program, all classes are offered on Wednesdays between 9:30am and 2:30pm. Students who pursue secondary certification are required to take some of their courses in a chosen field of concentration, such as math, science, English or history, courses which may only be offered in the late afternoon or evening. The Stamford Riverbend campus, which opened 13 years ago and offers classes seven days a week, provides library and computer facilities and a student/faculty bookstore.

The University of Bridgeport offers a broad range of undergraduate and graduate degree and professional programs at the main campus and at satellite campuses in Stamford, Waterbury, North Haven and Trumbull. Weekend graduate degree programs also exist in the fields of business, computer science, counseling and human resources.

For further information about these and other programs, contact: Sharon Klebe, Executive Director of the Stamford Campus at Riverbend PO Box 4585 5 Riverbend Drive Stamford, CT 06907-0585 Telephone: 203-358-0700 Fax: 203-967-3735 Email: klebe@bridgeport.edu Tempe Reith, Director IDEAL Program (for accelerated undergraduate degree) University of Bridgeport 276 Park Avenue Bridgeport, CT 06601 Telephone: 203-576-4800 Office of Admissions University of Bridgeport 126 Park Aveneue Bridgeport, CT 06601 Telephone: 203-576-4552 Toll-free number: 1-800-392-3582

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