Local superintendent finds online Ed.S. degree attractive

Bill_JohstonAn educator with 24 years’ experience, Bill Johnston (Ed.S. in PK-12 Education Administration ’12) speaks highly of his time as a student in the UMKC School of Education’s virtual world.  Johnston appreciated the convenience of 100% online learning, which catered to his busy lifestyle, and found that it did not negatively affect the quality of instruction. “I was impressed at how the instructors demanded quality work,” he said of his two years in the program.

Completing the program while serving as superintendent of Drexel (Mo.) R-IV School District and raising five children, Johnston found the flexibility of the on-line learning important, and a deciding factor in pursuing his degree.

Having not taken online courses prior to beginning his Ed.S. degree, Johnston admits he was, at first, very nervous.  “It took me a little while to settle in and get used to the format of my classes,” he explains, “but after a few weeks I became more confident in how I would go about getting my work done and how easy it was to use the online format in collaborating with classmates.”

Hired as a superintendent before actually starting the degree, Johnston claims the degree “turned out to be a real blessing in helping me get through the first two years of my superintendency.”

“It proved to me that I could take on the responsibility of attaining my degree while working full-time and gave me confidence to know that if you commit yourself to something and work hard at it you can achieve that goal,” Johnston explains.

“That has given me confidence in my work at Drexel, because as a superintendent you are faced with situations that require you to be a confident person in decisions that you have to make,” he continued.  “It has helped with gaining a knowledge base from my classes that give you the ability to handle real world situations that come across your desk in dealing with staff, administrators, board members and the public.  I can certainly say that everything I learned has been very instrumental in my development as a superintendent.”

The Drexel School District sits 50 miles south of Kansas City near the Kansas and Missouri state lines.  In 2013, 52% of its students were eligible for free or reduced lunch.

The School of Education’s 100% Ed.S. degree is designed for district-level administrators to enhance their professional skills and gain a deeper understanding across the professional field including facilities planning, school finance, governmental and legal aspects of special education, and other integrative experiences that bring together the application of theory to practice. The program can be completed in as little as five semesters and is designed for working adults, with flexible online coursework taught by readily available faculty. Upon completion, graduates will be eligible for superintendent certification in both Kansas and Missouri.

For more information, visit http://education.umkc.edu/academics/education-specialist-programs/educational-specialist-ed-s-in-pk-12-education-administration-superintendent/.