Educating Educators at Walden University
Walden University is one of the few colleges in the world today that operates as a corporation. Founded in 1970 as a type of senior college, it was the brainchild of two teachers who thought that adult and other nontraditional students needed an easier way to work on their doctoral degrees. Classes took place on a small campus in Florida. Students attended sessions on the campus to work with their advisers on their thesis papers. They then completed work on their thesis papers at home. When Walden received approval from Minnesota to offer doctoral degrees in the state, it moved its headquarters to Minneapolis and opened a new campus in the city. Some people know the university because it was the first in the world to offer online doctoral degree programs.
Though the university initially offered public administration and education degrees, it now offers degrees in more fields. Walden is home to five separate colleges that allow students to study social work, technology, business and other subjects. It also publishes three academic journals of its own. Current students have the chance to submit articles to those journals and review the work done by their peers. Though the university still has its headquarters in Minneapolis, it functions as an online college. The majority of its students are still working professionals and adult learners who complete their degrees while working full time. Enrollment at Walden reached more than 51,000 students in the 2010s.
Online Master’s in Education
Walden University offers a Master of Science in Education online program through The Richard W. Riley College of Education. Designed for those who want to work in the education field and those already working in that field, the program is suitable for students fresh out of college and those who have more teaching experience. It is available as a general program and a self-designed program that allows students to take courses based on their individual career goals.
This program also has different specializations available. Students can pick a specialization in a specific area of teaching like math and identify the age range of the students they want to teach. They can also pick a specialization in STEM teaching, special education or teacher leadership. Walden offers all specializations as accelerated programs that allow students to complete all their degree requirements and the requirements of their specializations in three years or less.
All education majors must take the same three core courses. Teacher as Professional is a class that looks at the professional aspects of teaching while Enhancing Learning for Diverse Populations teaches students about the different types of people taking classes today and how they can tailor their curriculum to the needs of each individual person. The program also features a class called Action Research for Educators that deals with the research that educators do in the modern world. All the other classes that students take will come from within their specializations. Each class is worth between three and five credits. Walden University does not require that education majors do any fieldwork or visit its campus.
Walden University Accreditation Details
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accredited the Walden University Online Masters in Education program. It also accredited all its undergrad programs that serve as prep programs for future teachers. The university’s nursing program also has specialty accreditation. Walden has regional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NSACS), which is also a type of regional accreditation. Online students can successfully apply for financial aid and use the government aid that they receive to pay for their tuition.
Walden University Application Requirements
Walden has several requirements in place for students applying to one of its graduate programs. Those students must submit an official transcript that shows they studied at a college or university with regional accreditation. Students coming from other countries must earn a degree from a school with the equivalent to regional accreditation. The university also requires that students maintain a 3.0 grade point average while in college. Students must have a 3.0 GPA in all the classes they took within their majors and a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5. Though it will accept any type of transcript as part of the application process, it asks for an official transcript prior to the student taking any classes. This lets Walden see that the student has an undergrad degree.
All prospective graduate students will complete the online application and pay the university’s application fee. They may need to submit the contact information for at least two references too. These references will speak to the university on the behalf of the student. It asks for both a phone number and an email address for each reference. Students who want to transfer credits into a graduate program will need to submit official transcripts from the schools where they earned those credits. Students should also check the technical requirements that the university has to ensure that they have everything necessary to take online classes at Walden University.
Tuition and Financial Aid
All online education students pay a tuition rate of $580 per semester hour. They also pay a technology fee of $185 each semester. This brings the total cost of finishing the program up to $18,325. The university will accept up to 15 credits that a student earned from another college or university. Those who transfer in credits will find that their costs drop to nearly half this amount. Depending on the specialization that the student picks, his or her costs may increase or decrease. This tuition rate applies only to those enrolled in the general Masters in Education program.
As Walden has regional accreditation, graduate students can apply for financial aid with the FAFSA. The government allows graduate students to borrow $20,500 a year in unsubsidized loan money. This means that interest will build on those loans while the student is still in school. The maximum amount that students can borrow is $138,500, but this includes any direct or subsidized loans that they borrowed at the undergrad level. Walden will also work with students receiving tuition reimbursement from those employers and those who want to work out a payment plan. Alternative loans are another option for graduate students. Walden University accepts the loans that students borrow from private and nontraditional lenders.