San José State’s Connie L. Lurie College of Education is accepting applications for the first cohort of its fully online bachelor of art’s degree program in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on educational and community leadership.
The curriculum brings together education and the social sciences and emphasizes leadership and social justice to support career advancement. The deadline to apply for fall admission is July 1.
“The primary focus of this program is to develop the teacher pipeline, especially for folks who are already working in schools as aides or paraeducators, or for early childhood educators who want to be master teachers or site supervisors,” said SJSU Child and Adolescent Development Lecturer John Jabagchourian, coordinator of the online program.
Though the college began exploring online education options prior to 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic underscored the value of providing SJSU curriculum in online formats.
“This program is designed to provide a high-quality SJSU education to students who wouldn’t typically be able to access the strength of our faculty and programs because of work schedules, childcare requirements and the logistics of getting to campus,” said Heather Lattimer, dean of the Lurie College. “These students bring tremendous strength to the university, and this program is intentionally designed to recognize and value that strength.”
When offering information sessions with prospective students, Jabagchourian met with paraeducators and teaching assistants who are motivated to complete their degrees and need the flexibility of an online program to balance family, school and work responsibilities.
To kick off the new program, the Lurie College is offering scholarships of up to $3,600 over the first year ($1,200 per term) for the first 25 applicants who are admitted. Applicants can also apply for Federal Pell Grants, and those who enroll this fall can apply in spring 2022 for SJSU Lurie College of Education scholarships for the 2022-2023 academic year.
Jabagchourian hopes that these scholarships, coupled with the relative ease of accessing online courses, will encourage students who have already completed their associate’s degrees or general education credits to earn their bachelor’s degrees and move up in their careers.
“This program aligns with our college’s goal of having a more diverse workforce in education and teaching, especially in the Bay Area, where teachers tend not to be as diverse as the communities they serve,” he said. “We hope to be part of the solution.”
Learn more about the new interdisciplinary studies online program.