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July 1, 2003

Viterbo Graduate Program Hits New Record Teachers on Campus July 7-11

LA CROSSE, Wis—A record number of elementary and secondary school teachers will be attending Viterbo University classes next week and presenting  research as part of their final requirement for graduation which is set for July 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the La Crosse Civic Center.

Four hundred and thirty-five teachers—most from all parts of Wisconsin and Iowa, will receive Master of Arts in Education degrees from Viterbo. The figure, up 13 percent from last year’s record, represents  one of the largest teacher education program in the nation.

This year alone, Viterbo processed over 10,000 individual registrations and nearly 1,800 students are currently pursuing Master of Arts in Education degrees at Viterbo’s  La Crosse campus  and its main branch centers in Des Moines, Iowa and West Allis, Wis. as well as several other smaller satellite sites. This year, teacher enrollment in the graduate program was bolstered by nearly 200 students who were attracted to the new principal licensure program.

According to Shirley Frick, the director of graduate education at Viterbo, the success of the university’s Master of Arts in Education degree program is unprecedented as enrollments have skyrocketed during a very short period of time. The program graduated its first 41 students in 1990 and teacher interest has fueled non-stop growth ever since then. "We are expecting that next year, 500 teachers will be receiving their M.A. in Education degree from Viterbo University.

Frick attributes the growth primarily to the program’s flexibility which has found favor with teachers and administrators. "The strength is definitely in the delivery system. We will work with any superintendent or school district to personalize a program to focus on areas they would like to address."

During the week prior to graduation (July 7-11) Frick indicated teachers will be in La Crosse presenting a number of research projects to their peers on new learning styles,  innovative instructional techniques and well as  approaches to a variety of topics ranging from classroom discipline to technology innovations.

Editor's note: Nola Jo Starling, principal of Horlick High School in Racine, Wisconsin, will be at Viterbo on Friday, July 11 to address the teachers at 9 a.m. in the Fine Arts Center. She will discuss the various challenges and rewards teachers encounter in their profession.

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