Professional Studies in Education

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We have had many teachers  earn their masters through UW-La Crosse.  I am consistently impressed with the work they do and what they learn from the program.

Tonight at our new teacher program Brienne Seifert Giessler (Burlington Learning Community) presented an Introduction to Formative Assessment.  It was an outstanding presentation and all of our teachers when asked what will you take from this , answered everything! Brienne has been a joy to work with since she entered our district about six years ago.  I have had the pleasure of working with her as a new teacher and as a member of her PDP team.  Tonight she raised her own bar!  The audience she selected to hear her presentation was perfect.  Her Powerpoint, her examples,and the style of presentation really held her audience.

I will continue to applaud the (UW-L ME-PD) program.  You have worked with some of our brightest and really allow them to reach their potential in leadership and instruction.  I wanted you to know how proud and impressed we were with Brienne.

- Jan Eckola, Director of Curriculum, Lake Geneva Schools

UW-L’s Master in Education – Professional Development Learning Community program was a great fit because the schedule allowed me to juggle a full-time job and raise three kids.  I could also tailor the program to meet my educational interests — specifically teaching adult learners.  It helped make crystal clear what I was good at, focus on it and get even better at it.

- Katy Smith, 2011 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, UW-L ME-PD graduate

I have always put off starting a specific Master's program because I never found one that truly appealed to me; instead I gathered over 60 credits beyond my B.S. in areas of interest to me.  Now, this Learning Community Program is allowing me to design my own learning experience.  The program itself serves as a skeletal guide on which I can build the muscles of choice.

- Maurine Fritz, graduate, Viroqua Learning Community

If the Learning Community approach were the universal standard, imagine the ripple effect within a school district or throughout education as we all gain this common ground from which to grow.

- Lori Schaefer, graduate, La Crosse Learning Community

The UW-L ME-PD Learning Community program has transformed me and so many of my UW-L classmates.  It was truly life changing and the best two years of education I have ever experienced...I will never forget the great gift (my facilitators) and UW-L gave me...great confidence and an awesome teacher "tool belt" to truly be that change I wish to see in the world.

- Esther Weitzel, graduate, Janesville Learning Community

The Learning Community approach to obtaining an ME-PD is one of the most positive educational initiatives that I have seen.  I have had the opportunity of working with a number of elementary teachers who have been in this program.  From my perspective as an elementary principal, it has been a professionally rewarding experience for them.  Certainly their knowledge base has been expanded.  But more importantly, their levels of confidence have been raised.  Their skills related to collaboration and cooperation have been developed.  The end result of this is, of course, the benefits for the children in our school.  We have implemented program improvements related to the Learning Community concept.  The teachers who have been participants in the Learning Community program have been the "shot in the arm" that our school needed to move us into the 21st century.

- Kathleen Trusonni, Principal, Viroqua Elementary School

I have had a number of my teachers receive their master's degree through UW-L's Learning Community Program.  Not only have these teachers grown professionally through this experience, they have improved our programs and instruction through their action research.  Even after the degree has been completed, these teachers continue to use the research model to determine the effectiveness of strategies and interventions.  This has been a great fit with our focus on quality and continuous improvement.

- Lisa Snyder, Principal, Viking Elementary, Holmen, WI

The Learning Community experience has been the most meaningful work I have done in more than 30 years of teaching.  In my traditional professional teaching role, I was largely deciding what my students should learn and how they should learn it.  In the Learning Community, members and the facilitators plan what and how to learn together.

- Hal Hiebert, Professor Emeritus, UW-La Crosse

I have worked with many teachers in the UW-La Crosse Learning Community program who, as a result of their work in the program, have emerged as strong school leaders and advocates for teachers and students in their school districts.  This program encourages teachers to take full responsibility for their own learning and to design a professional development plan that truly transforms them as educators!  I highly recommend the ME-PD Learning Community program to any teacher who wants to make a difference in education.

- Chris Bakkum, Registrar, UW-La Crosse

What an honor it is to be part of such important work.  The members of the Waunakee Learning Community are learning how to become master teachers as we examine our teaching practices, apply action research in our schools, and support each other in this transformational process.  Having a role in the professional and personal growth of our community is extremely rewarding.  The beneficiaries of our work extend well beyond our LC; they include students, colleagues and administrators in Wisconsin's PK-12 schools!

- Wendy Grace, Graduate Faculty Facilitator, UW-La Crosse

As a newcomer to the program, I just have to say that the more I experience things here, the more I thank my lucky stars for winding up as a part of it.  The ME-PD program seems to be a program driven by common sense that doesn’t pretend to know all of the answers while prescribing a rigid, inflexible path to teacher mastery.  There is so much that is immeasurable and unidentifiable in top-notch education and impactful teaching; the program doesn’t hide from the open-ended and inexplicable nature of education, it embraces it.  A program that is truly willing to learn, change, and grow right along with its learners.

- Jason Harelson, Graduate Faculty Facilitator, UW-La Crosse