EDMOND, Okla. (September 30, 2021)- Today, Oklahoma Christian University (OC) and BloomBoard announced a partnership to help Oklahoma schools and districts with COVID recovery by supporting teachers with micro-credential-based graduate courses. This news comes after a recent report shed light on the Sooner State’s struggles with retaining teachers. Through this partnership, Oklahoma teachers will earn graduate credit from the university and build immediate teaching skills necessary to address pandemic-related setbacks to learning. Officials, including Oklahoma Secretary of Education Ryan Walters, are striving to fast-track career development in the teaching profession and solve talent pipeline needs through this program.
“Studies show that the number one factor of student success in the school setting is the quality of the teacher,” said Oklahoma Secretary of Education, Ryan Walters, “Oklahoma needs professional development now to allow us to be better teachers tomorrow. Micro-credentials provide teachers a career ladder for advancement while allowing them to stay in the classroom where they can change students’ lives.”
This partnership allows teachers to develop skills through a learning-by-doing process that is directly relevant to their classroom practice. Micro-credential-based programs are a flexible alternative to earning traditional graduate course credit towards a master’s degree. They provide an on-the-job approach to professional learning while promoting educators’ career and compensation advancement.
“This partnership extends OC’s mission-driven approach by directly supporting teaching and learning communities in our state, as we all attempt to carry on from the pandemic, ” said John deSteiguer, President of Oklahoma Christian University. “With BloomBoard, we’re able to deliver a combination of quality learning at an affordable price, which fulfills our aspiration to make higher education accessible to all learners.”
The courses offered in partnership with OC through BloomBoard are available to all public and private school teachers in Oklahoma. The following micro-credential-based courses are offered as a part of the initial phase of this program. OC and BloomBoard are also building upon these micro-credential-based offerings to create fully accredited master’s degree programs that will be available later this fall.
- Student Learning Recovery
- Student Well-being
- Classroom Culture
- Effective Blended Learning
“We’re encouraged by how OC is innovating with us to streamline how educators earn their master’s degrees,” said Sanford Kenyon, CEO of BloomBoard. “The pandemic has prompted school districts to rethink traditional professional development pathways for teachers. Pairing micro-credentials with graduate-level credit is a practical way to accelerate opportunities for teachers and help them reach career milestones.”
Schools and school districts may leverage federal relief funding to pay for teacher enrollment. Schools applying for federal funding must spend at least 20% of the funds to address learning loss through evidence-based interventions that respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs. Moreover, districts that employ teachers with postsecondary degrees are eligible for increased state funding. BloomBoard offers support for districts to navigate the funding application process.
BloomBoard welcomes enrollment as Oklahoma schools and districts step into the 2021-22 school year. Additional program and enrollment information is available https://bloomboard.com/graduate-credit-ocu/.
BloomBoard offers micro-credential-based advancement pathways for educators to meaningfully improve their instructional practice and accelerate both their careers and their compensation. Their learn-by-doing process allows teachers to demonstrate their abilities using evidence from their own classroom practices. BloomBoard partners with states, universities, and districts to create planned roadmaps for advancing educators based on a system’s uniquely identified needs and gaps. They also offer programs directly to teachers, including the National Board Pre-Candidacy Program. For more information, visitwww.bloomboard.com
About Oklahoma Christian University
Oklahoma Christian University is a higher learning community that transforms lives for Christian faith, scholarship and service. OC is defined by the collective impact of many incredible individuals. OC students learn alongside masterful teachers and world-class experts. They are Oxford trained theologians, NASA scientists and best-selling authors. OC is driven by missions – not just majors and believes everyone has an important significance to this world.
For more information, visit www.oc.edu.
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