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4 Reasons Why You Should Earn an Online Degree

When Erikson’s Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) concentration commenced in 2018, skeptics wondered why a higher education institution would promote an online master’s program that emphasizes relationships yet never meets in person let alone live on Zoom. In Erikson’s online MS in Early Childhood Education (OMSECE), we believe that with intention, care, and competence, both instructor and students walk away from each semester with the potential to have built a community of learners who are liberated, inspired, and ready to tackle difficult challenges within their unique contexts.

Within the OMSECE program our faculty are values-aligned: Our ways of being provide the foundation for our practices. Though not an exhaustive list, we will describe in minor detail three of our ways of being, and name several others.

  1. Supportive Listening: We begin with listening to one’s own inner wisdom while supporting their students to pursue theirs; being present with students with their thoughts, emotions, and somatic responses to the readings and videos.
  2. Emergent CurriculaIs based on the principles that children and adults are most successful in the learning process when curricula is co-created based on student interests, strengths, needs, and lived realities
  3. Hospitality: Connecting with the need for belonging, space to grow one’s self and strengths, and being valued is vital. In hospitable spaces, we are attuned to others’ ideas, contributions, and knowledge, and we welcome opportunities to see and be seen, to hear and be heard, and to care and be cared for.
  4. And more: We also value belonging, disrupting whiteness, strengths and asset-based perspectives, reciprocity, reflection, and co-creation of knowledge.

Students have commented on the ‘powerful learning spaces’ we create and that we ‘practice what we teach’; every decision we make about teaching online and SEL relates back to ways of being. Related to asynchronous conversations, we consistently strive to facilitate meaningful discussions within discussion posts. Students create projects that are collaborative and creative, and the projects enable students to access their own inner wisdom.

In our OMSECE program we are challenging the assumption that community is built, and relationships can only be formed in synchronous online sessions. Within our asynchronous model, relationships are developed and sustained, and transformations happen. From our observations, we wonder if, because of our values-aligned philosophy, thoughtful practices, and meaningful assignments, it’s possible that our students connect even more than our on-campus students.

To learn more about this non-licensure degree program, visit the Online Master’s of Early Childhood Education web page. Our admissions staff would be happy to speak with you about your career goals.

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