Flexibility is the watchword for SUNY Oswego’s newly approved path to professional certification for graduate students teaching K-12 health education and physical education—many of whom also coach sports or have other career commitments.
The new specialist track for teachers pursuing a SUNY Oswego master’s degree in curriculum and instruction recently earned SUNY and state Education Department approvals. In New York, teachers must obtain a master’s degree in education within five years of their initial certification, which means their early career often includes classrooms in graduate school, as well as in elementary, middle or high schools.
Oswego’s program, though, offers an option of online or face-to-face classes.
“Many of the courses for professional certification [in health or physical education]—including all of the health courses—are offered online,” said Sandra Bargainnier, chair of health promotion and wellness in the School of Education.
Graduate student Morgan Nandin M’17, assistant coach of the college’s softball team, expressed delight at the timing of the state’s approval for the new specialist track. She earned her master’s degree in education this summer.
“My goal with graduate school was to work toward my professional certification in physical education,” Nandin said. “Once I graduated from Oswego, I was going to have to apply to the state to see if (the coursework) would count. I’m so glad this went through.”
—Jeff Rea ’71
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