Mon. May 16th, 2022

 West Chester University currently offers two new special education online programs for its students.  

     Starting this past summer, the two programs were introduced by the university.  They are the Graduate Certificate Universal Design for Learning and Assistive Technology program and the Masters of Special Education Online College of Special Education program.  Both provide a way for distant students to attend classes online while earning a degree. The Graduate Certificate program offers 18 credits, while the Masters of Special Education program offers 33.  

 These new programs are, “directed at persons who want to utilize assistive technology,” Program Graduate Coordinator Dr. Vicki McGinley explained.

 The programs are accessed through students’ Desire2Learn (D2L) accounts on the WCU official website.  

     For each course there is a design team of two to three faculty members that are experienced with online course work or are being trained for it.  They work together to make sure every aspect of the class runs smoothly.

     “Our goal is to be sure the quality of the online courses are the same as face-to-face classes,” McGinley said.

    These new online programs are complete with activities, materials, voice-imbedded power points, blogs, discussion boards, and objectives.    

   They use what is referred to as a Wimba live classroom, which allows students to be in a live virtual classroom with his or her professor.  Certain D2L coordinators help with the setup of these live classrooms.  

     The classes that are presented live are referred to as synchronous, while the non-live classes are asynchronous.  The asynchronous classes are more of a paced learning program than live virtual classrooms.  However, a lot of courses fall somewhere in between the synchronous and asynchronous scale.  

     These two new programs guarantee that every class is taught by an expert, and focus highly on productive interaction between students and professors.  They provide an effective way for distance education at WCU to thrive.

  Lindsay Siebenaler is a

studen at West Chester University. She can reached at Lindsaysiebenaler@gmail.com.

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