Program Chair: Jim Lane, Ph.D
Over the past decade, the term “at-risk” has become more prevalent in the education realm, and more attention has been concentrated on this group of underachieving students who are not succeeding in the public school system. Recent studies indicate that students who have been identified as at-risk and do not qualify for special services are generally considered to be those who are disadvantaged and are from single parent families, low socioeconomic backgrounds, or various minority groups. However, significant numbers of at-risk students who are highly intelligent and capable of becoming productive, influential young adults are not reaping the benefits of special resources. These underachieving students are divergent learners and are at-risk in the present educational system because of specific personality traits and learning styles, which are not being adequately addressed in the classroom.
The Master of Education in Divergent Learning is designed to develop a more in-depth comprehension of divergent learners and to present alternative methods and strategies to meet the needs of this population. This program will present a new focus for educators, new methods for delivery of instruction in the classroom, use of technology and Internet research, program designs by students, peer support groups, and applied learning experiences. This graduate degree program is offered in a limited residency, weekend-based format that combines classroom instruction with distance learning via the Internet.
Divergent Learning graduate students who are not currently teaching in a school might have the opportunity to support their graduate learning by teaching within the state through a cooperative agreement between the College and outside organizations.
The Divergent Learning program offers a certificate for students who are seeking specialized knowledge in non-traditional teaching and learning.
Policy on Writing Standards
Columbia College takes seriously its commitments to academic integrity and to academic excellence. The Graduate School is especially mindful of the need for its students to demonstrate high standards of scholarship and to possess accurate, articulate communication skills. To this end, the Divergent Learning faculty closely monitor each student’s writing skills during the first semester while the student is enrolled and continues to monitor those skills throughout the program. Any deficiencies that arise are addressed with individual students.