Beginning spring semester 2013, coursework for new and existing students will be offered in North Kansas City School District buildings that offer the most convenience, as well as sufficient space for UMKC programming. An agreement has been reached to conduct courses at Golden Oaks Education Center at 3100 46th St. Students enrolled in courses at UMKC’s Northland Center will continue to attend classes at the current location through the end of fall semester 2012.
“By shifting our focus from traditional programming at a self-contained satellite location, the School will work more closely with area school districts to develop and deliver programming designed to meet the unique needs of those districts,” said Rob Leachman, Ed.D., program director for the Northland at the School of Education. “The UMKC School of Education has been a mainstay in the Northland for nearly 15 years, and we intend to maintain a significant but physically different presence into the future to deliver excellence and value to our stakeholders. Discussions with the school districts and individual educators centered on the professional development and graduate education needs of these districts, and those discussions led us in this direction.”
“This is more than just a simple change in location; it illustrates a renewed focus on developing responsive programming that we hope better meets the self-identified needs of the educators and students we serve,” Leachman said. “In addition to offering coursework leading to traditional graduate degrees, this transition will include an increased emphasis on continuing education and certificate programs that can address district needs with greater specificity. Ongoing collaboration with the districts may allow for the School of Education to utilize the expertise of district practitioners in providing graduate instruction to educators in their respective districts.”
The Northland changes presage additional outreach programs the School of Education is considering.
“Our commitment to the Northland remains strong and our reorganization continues our tradition of academic excellence. It likewise aligns with our strategic goals of fostering and modeling a collaborative environment and providing leadership for healthy urban communities. It similarly upholds our values of strategic innovation developed by skilled and knowledgeable professionals working collaboratively,” said Wanda J. Blanchett, Ph.D., dean, professor and Ewing Marion Kauffman/Missouri Endowed Chair in Teacher Education for the School.
During the transition, Leachman will become the director of continuing and professional education for the School of Education. A long-time Kansas City area school administrator and retired school superintendent, Leachman will facilitate the identification of needed programming in area school districts and then will work with School of Education faculty and district personnel to deliver that programming.
“We believe this transition will better position the School of Education to meet the needs of educators in our region by working more directly and collaboratively with districts,” Blanchett said. “We continue to deliver high quality student-centered service to our students in authentic real-world education settings."