DEMNARK, S.C. (courtesy voorhees.edu) — The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has approved a Voorhees College master’s program. The Master of Education in Teaching and Learning degree, approved at the SACSCOC annual meeting in December, will launch in January 2022. Classes for the program are scheduled to begin in March.
“As we prepare to become Voorhees University, I am excited about the SACSCOC approval of the Master of Education in Teaching and Learning degree. It is our first master’s degree program and a stellar example of how we are taking Voorhees to the next level of excellence,” said Dr. Ronnie Hopkins, president of Voorhees College.
The Master of Education in Teaching and Learning degree has two concentration options: education systems improvement or PK-12 education. The 12-month degree program is designed to prepare educators in a range of education settings to leverage deliberative teaching strategies and educational practices. It is designed to eliminate persistent achievement disparities through a culturally-responsive curriculum.
Dr. Gwenda Richburg Greene, founding dean of graduate studies, shared her enthusiasm about providing this level of quality education for Voorhees and the Denmark community. “This is my birth community. I have fond memories of stellar educators who have traversed in this area. I am more than proud to be on the cutting edge of our institution building on those legacies,” she said.
According to Greene, the master’s degree program will prepare educators to become scholar practitioners with the critical consciousness and cultural dexterity to effectively employ content knowledge, pedagogy, and disciplined inquiry. It also will prepare educators to apply the principles of improvement science in schools, districts, and education organizations in response to clearly defined problems of practice in diverse settings.
Dr. Damara Hightower Mitchell, Voorhees provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the program will continue to honor the legacy of Elizabeth Evelyn Wright, who founded Voorhees College in 1897.
“Establishing the first graduate program in education at Voorhees has particular significance for me because it is in complete alignment with the intent of our founder. Offering an advanced degree that will prepare educators to effectively teach all learners and address educational inequities is an opportunity to honor our historical legacy and commitment to uplift our community through the success of the educators we will prepare as well as the students and families they will serve,” Hightower Mitchell said.