USC Rossier School of Education Launches Online Master's of Education Program for Practicing Teachers

Dynamic Virtual Campus Experience Brings the Best of On-Campus Learning Online

Nov 09, 2012, 09:00 ET from USC Rossier School of Education

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education is proud to welcome its first online cohort of Master of Education in Advanced Instruction students. The program's inaugural class began in September. Modeled after the school's popular online Master of Arts in Teaching program, the immersive online program is designed for current teachers who are ready to develop advanced teaching methods. Working closely with fellow educators, candidates explore leadership opportunities in their own schools and communities. Unlike many other Master's of Education programs, USC Rossier allows teachers to expand their practice while participating in live, online face-to-face class sessions and completing fieldwork in their own classroom.

"At USC Rossier, we pride ourselves on bringing innovation to the way that teachers are prepared for the classroom, giving them the tools and skills to be the most effective teachers for today's diverse student body," said Karen Symms Gallagher, Ph.D., Dean of the USC Rossier School of Education. "Now, being able to offer the Master of Education in Advanced Instruction online means that we can educate current teachers—and ultimately improve student outcomes—all over the country and the world."

The Master of Education in Advanced Instruction prepares experienced kindergarten through 12th grade teachers to acquire the advanced research and effective teaching methods needed to help transform the lives of all students in three core subject areas: differing abilities, humanities and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Students also have the option to earn an additional Special Education Credential and Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Certificate. These specializations are designed to prepare teachers to develop and improve the specialized knowledge and skills needed to recognize and respond to individual differences among students with special education needs.

The online program, delivered through a virtual classroom environment and interactive platform developed by 2U, formerly known as 2tor, includes the same academically rigorous curriculum as the on-campus program, and classes are taught by the same USC faculty. Students benefit from an experience that is similar to a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom experience: a unique blend of live, face-to-face class sessions and self-paced coursework. Essentially, this program is the same online as it would be on-campus; it's simply offered through a different method of delivery.

When students enter the online classroom they see a "Brady Bunch" style grid of live-stream video that fosters interaction and collaboration among 10-12 other students and the profes­sor. During class, students can take notes, view slides, discuss ques­tions in a chat pod, break into groups, or "raise their hand" to answer a question. At any time, students can view their wall in a format that is similar to other familiar social media sites; check their class schedule or grades; catch up on missed reading; watch a supplementary video or join any number of the thousands of online social groups or communities.

This rich online experience is paired with critical hands-on field-based teaching experiences.

"I know my online students just as well—sometimes even better—than I know the students I have in my in-person courses," said Dr. Laila Hasan, Associate Professor of Clinical Education at USC Rossier. "This program isn't just watching a few videos and taking a few quizzes. It's real, rigorous, graduate-level education."

Unlike nearly all other Master's of Education programs, USC's Master's of Education students complete their fieldwork in the context of their own classrooms, with their own students and within their own communities. They video record their practicum exercises and are evaluated by Rossier faculty. The program takes a unique approach to helping students apply their new skills to overcome relevant, real world challenges in education. Students are required to complete an action research project that identifies an education-related problem of practice and develop an action research project to address the problem. The Master's of Education program extends USC's ongoing commitment that USC Rossier graduates will enter their profession fully prepared and able to improve learning in urban education.

"Because of our successful online Master of Arts in Teaching program, we know that delivering high-quality teacher preparation online is possible with the right technology and the right mindset," says Dean Gallagher. "We will continue exploring new ways, like bringing the Master of Education online, to produce more well-prepared teachers."

For more information, visit  

About the USC Rossier School of Education
The USC Rossier School of Education is one of the world's premier centers for graduate study in urban education. We prepare and develop educational leaders who are change agents; we lead the search for innovative, efficacious and just solutions through collaborative translational research; and, we create mutually beneficial partnerships to ensure our work is field-based and incorporates a diversity of perspectives and experiences. At the USC Rossier School, we are committed to innovation in all our programs, utilizing the latest in technologies and online capabilities to provide students with options for learning and succeeding. (

About 2U, Inc.
2U, Inc., formerly known as 2tor, Inc., partners with top-tier universities to deliver rigorous, selective graduate degree programs online. Founded in 2008 by John Katzman and a team of education veterans, the company provides universities with the technologies, infrastructural support and capital they need to transform their on-campus programs into high-quality, web-based programs. 2U is one of the highest-funded education technology start-ups in the United States. 2U has partnered with prestigious colleges and research universities to deliver the following groundbreaking online programs:

  • USC Rossier Online: Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Arts in Teaching –TESOL and Master of Education in Advanced Instruction from the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education
  • MSW@USC: Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Southern California School of Social Work
  • Nursing@Georgetown: Master of Science Degree in Nursing from Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies
  • MBA@UNC: Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School
  • MPA@UNC: Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government
  • @WashULaw: Master of Laws (LL.M.) in U.S. Law from Washington University School of Law
  • MPH@GW: Master of Public Health (MPH) in International and Rural Health from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services

SOURCE USC Rossier School of Education