Program Testimonials / Endorsements

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I am currently pursuing and an Educational Specialist Degree (Ed.S.) with Specialization in Culture, Cognition, and the Learning Process at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and enjoying the academic journey. I chose MTSU’s online Ed.S. Degree program after exploring various other degree programs at various colleges because I knew it would help me grow as an instructional librarian. This degree met all of my requirements:  a completely online program, a focus on emerging research regarding cognition and brain-based learning strategies, and an ability to be applicable to my current role which includes instruction – not held necessarily in a K12 classroom.

My experience in this program has exceeded all of my expectations. The classes are interactive and engaging, with well-chosen texts and rigorous assignments that are applicable to anyone who teaches or works in education or many other settings. The courses focus on diversity issues and newly-emerging research findings in cognitive science and educational psychology.  I happy to say I have readily been able to apply course content to my teaching situations and interactions with my students.

As a result of my studies, I have improved a professional development session I conduct by integrating newly-learned cognitive concepts into my presentation. I love learning new ideas, but learning how to apply these ideas effectively is even more important! During every course, I find myself applying newly-acquired theories and concepts into my lesson planning and everyday instruction. The reflection activities in each class also help me grow as an instructor and as a person.

One of the most impressive aspects of the program is the readily-available support from professors. Dr. Young and my other professors communicate clearly and concisely in a prompt manner, responding to questions and course emails quickly and regularly engaging with us on interactive electronic discussion boards. Assignment feedback is extensive and elicits further thinking and reflection.  I have appreciated such helpful and encouraging graduate school professors as it has made my online learning experience even better than I imagined.

Julie Lewis
Graduate Student / Ed.S. / MTSU
Walters State Community College, TN

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For years I had been considering going back to school and  had been searching for a program which allowed me to pursue an advanced degree but also combined  my passions and fit my schedule. When I found the Education Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction with the Specialization in Culture, Cognition and the Learning Process,  I knew I had finally found the program I was seeking.

As a music therapist with a background in neurologic music therapy working full time in the special education department of a  highly diverse school system, this program has guided me as I dug deeper into the neurologic and cultural factors that impact the learning process and the students I serve.  The understanding  that I have gained also provides additional insight for me as I work on a contract basis with a major publisher on their preschool curriculum.  The education I am receiving is preparing me for potential new avenues in the future while also guiding me to cutting edge research to use in my daily work.

While the program has been very challenging to complete as a busy, middle aged working adult, I have found that Dr. Young and my classmates have been very supportive. Although it is an online program,  I have developed friendships with some wonderful people and gained great insight while participating in online discussions due to the diverse backgrounds, experiences and age groups represented.

The classes have challenged me to dive deeper as online discussions and questions from Dr. Young and my classmates  have brought new points to light. Not only are we provided with historical and theoretical background, but also, we are challenged to apply our new knowledge to situations in our daily work.  This unique concentration has provided rigor, but also flexibility to meet my personal interests and needs.

Ann Jones
Graduate Student / Ed.S. / MTSU
Music Therapist-Board Certified
Nashville, TN

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The Education Specialist  Degree Program at MTSU with Specialization in Culture, Cognition, and the Learning Process was the perfect opportunity for me to expand my knowledge and understanding while being able to continue in my professional role in education as a School Social Worker and College Access Advisor. The population of students in our schools is becoming increasingly diverse, and I found that the course work in this specific graduate program opened my eyes to the challenges that our students face and gave me the practical tools to walk alongside my students and empower them to overcome challenges and reach their goals. This program also inspired me to take a deep look inside myself and the educational system around me to evaluate cultural bias in order to be a change agent in creating a space where all children can succeed. I also came away with a deeper understanding of the brain and how to create an optimal learning environment for my students to flourish.

I felt that the online format was not only perfect for fitting into my busy schedule of a working mother, but also afforded me the opportunity to make my learning relevant. The topics we were studying applied directly to my practice with students, and I was able to implement my learning immediately. Also, Dr. Young’s curriculum design for online class format was surprisingly interactive. I felt that I really got to know my classmates and Dr. Young through online discussion and frequent and specific feedback.

The course work was challenging and required a high level of self-determination and organization, but the insights and practical skills I gained were so worth the late nights working on course work after the kids went to bed! I have already recommended this program to many colleagues and feel confident that the experiences I’ve had in this program will serve to make me a more effective educator.

Jennifer Tedder
Graduate Student / Ed.S. / MTSU
College  and Career Access Advisor
The Howard School
Chattanooga, TN

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As a graduate student at Middle Tennessee State University currently enrolled in the Educational Specialist Online Degree Program, Specialization in Culture, Cognition, and the Learning Process, I was able to study culture and cognition in a variety of classes which have propelled my desire to research education trends. In particular, my research has evolved to focus on the impact of social media and technology on bullying.

Although the work has been challenging, my desire for knowledge inspires me nightly to continue my studies and research further into entering a doctoral program. The experiences within the EdS online classes at MTSU provided me with a solid foundation and opportunity to enhance my understanding of higher education, not only in an elementary, middle and high school administrator setting, but also in a collegial one.

This program has been especially beneficial with my work as headmaster in an extremely diverse boarding school environment. The diversity classes allowed me to develop a new empathy and deeper relationships with my students. Furthermore, Dr. Young created a program that allowed me to improve in my daily work.

She has been extremely diligent and timely in all her correspondence within the classes and as an academic advisor. I gained a tremendous amount of information from the program. I found various courses’ content and supplemental readings beneficial with regard not only to theory but also to application in my daily practice as an administrator and teacher.

Tabetha Sullens
Graduate Student / Ed.S. / MTSU
Middle School Headmaster / Instructor
The Webb School
Bell Buckle, TN 37020
Common Sense Certified Educator: Digital Citizenship

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Teachers today walk into classrooms that parallel the demographic and cultural changes found in the world at large. In today’s educational mirror, each moment in our day is filled with reflections of new theories and norms much different from our younger surroundings.  Our classrooms are filled with a bright array of languages and expectations from many cultures. This Educational Specialist Degree with Specialization in Culture, Cognition, and the Learning Process has given me a perfect view from the past to our future. For me, this Ed.S. degree celebrates each human being where she/he is, combining teaching methods with social and cognitive applications of how we learn. I found each course truly inspiring. I especially appreciated the Brain-Based Learning, Multicultural Education, and Human Learning curriculum emphasis of the Culture, Cognition, and Learning Process Specialization. Each of Dr. Young’s classes helped me to see with fresh eyes. The program’s in-depth class offerings have given me tools to further my research toward equality and individual inclusion. I believe this program to be a lens, showing me many mindful opportunities to share and learn from my life’s journeys.

Rita Jane Jones
Graduate Student / Ed.S. / MTSU

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