The University of Cincinnati’s online Educational Leadership program is unique and not just because it is completed entirely online. “The care and time we give students makes it unique,” said Lori Stovall, Master of Education in Educational Leadership graduate and facilitator. “Students have so many avenues and options if they have questions. Our job as facilitators is to provide the highest level of support.”
In addition to the work of the facilitators, a widely important piece to the online MEd program is the cohort. Considered a benefit, the cohort establishes a peer group for students entering into the program and is widely acclaimed as a success factor. The cohort stays intact throughout the student’s entire journey in obtaining their Masters degree. It offers students a support system by building a community of individuals with similar passions for education as well as leadership skills. Students are able to share ideas and discuss real situations which they are each able to learn from.
As a facilitator, Stovall knows all too well the benefits of being a part of a cohort. “You simply can’t put into words the many benefits students get out of this type of collaboration,” she said. Not only is it a great support system to help get you through the courses, but it is a huge networking resource as well. “I still run into people at regional meetings. The cohort is a great opportunity to meet people and has even served as an outlet for professional opportunities.”
Upon graduating from the Educational Leadership program herself, Stovall decided she wasn’t ready to leave UC entirely and opted to become a facilitator so she herself could continue working with new cohorts. “Since graduating I have been able to carry what I learned from the program into the facilitator role as well as in my role as Assistant Principal.” The role of facilitator has proved to be very fulfilling for Stovall, the social aspect and the sense of community has instilled a level of trust and reference for both her and the students she’s worked with.
“I am very proud to be a graduate of this program as well as a part of it today; I feel that the students are too, they learn how to strategically plan ahead and leave with a sense of feeling prepared.”