Youngstown State University’s Beeghly College of Education will offer its superintendent licensure program in hybrid format this fall – partly face-to-face and partly online.
“We believe this approach provides a unique, time-effective opportunity for individuals who are interested in advancing into leadership roles in area school districts,” said Charles Howell, dean of the YSU Beeghly College of Education.
Earlier this summer, the Ohio Board of Regents approved the hybrid format for the program, which has a strong track record in the region. Dozens of superintendents and other school leaders throughout the Youngstown region have completed the program.
Professor Charles Vergon and Assistant Professor Charles Jeffords, both of the Department of Educational Foundations, Research, Technology and Leadership, said the hybrid delivery format harnesses the power of technology, providing students round-the-clock access to online content and communications functions, while maintaining the intimacy and sense of community of face-to-face classroom learning.
Paired with a cohort instructional model, in which a group of students progresses through the program together, sharing learning experiences and developing a strong peer network to support professional growth, hybrid delivery is a preferred learning method for working professionals, Vergon and Jeffords said. Under the hybrid format, the number of class meetings will be reduced from 16 to 5 per semester.
Charles Howell, dean of the YSU Beeghly College of Education, said that YSU faculty members responsible for the program have extensive training and experience in online learning modalities. The four principal instructors each have between three to eight years’ experience teaching in a hybrid format. They will be supported by an extensive infrastructure that YSU is developing to enhance distance learning, with an array of resources ranging from specially-equipped classrooms to training courses to live technology support that will be available not only during working hours but on nights and weekends as well.
The program will provide a unique, time-effective opportunity for current school building leaders who want to prepare for district-level leadership roles.
Vergon said the College also recently brought together a group of area superintendents to advise on what they considered important features of a superintendent preparation program. Included in the focus group were the following superintendents: Connie Hathorn of Youngstown City, Debra Mettee of Springfield Local, Frank Lazzeri of Boardman, Jack Thompson of Perry Local, Loree Richardson of Warren City (associate superintendent), Kathy Nogay of Slippery Rock and Robert Marino of the Trumbull County Educational Service Center.