When I enrolled in the Doctor of Arts program in Community College Education at George Mason University, I hoped to organically combine formal study with the practical work I do in the classroom each day. Midway through my second course in the program, I have not been disappointed.
The course I am taking this semester, titled Higher Education in the Digital Age, is proving to be just as relevant to my work as a classroom teacher in Arlington Public Schools as was last semester's course, The Community College.
Last semester I wrote a final paper, Dual Enrollment in a High School Career and Technical Center as a Strategy to Address the Achievement Gap, that gave me the background I needed to make a post in a local community forum, Oppose Institutional Racism in the APS Budget Survey, which helped kick off a community effort to protect educational opportunity for adult immigrant members of our community. This effort appears to have been successful, and I have no doubt that my GMU study made me a more effective participant.
This semester we are looking into the future of higher education in the 21st century, and in particular the impact of educational games, flipped classrooms, MOOCs, Open Educational Resources, and other current technological innovations on education. This study motived me to start using Khan Academy with my students this year, which in turn led me to receive an invitation for a Google sponsored program to encourage female students to study computer programming using Khan Academy's new Intro to JS: Drawing and Animation course.
In my current course at GMU, I am studying the broader context in which the new educational resources I am using in my classroom reside. This combination of theory and practice helps me make better use of both.
I am definitely and satisfied student with my GMU graduate program thus far.