Otterbein Launches New Master's Degrees
Otterbein scored this fall with programs and enrollment growth of 20 new students thanks to two new master’s degrees. Otterbein now offers a Master of Science in Allied Health and a Master of Arts in Educational Mathematics. Both degrees were approved last spring by the Ohio Board of Regents and the Higher Learning Commission.
The Allied Health Master’s degree offers three tracks – Health and Wellness, Post Professional Athletic Training, and Athletic Health Care Administration. The program was designed to meet an increasing need in health care. It is one of Otterbein’s expanding number of programs with a pathway from the associate degree to the bachelor’s degree to the master’s degree.
“This degree helps develop leaders and managers in the growing health care industry,” said Joan Rocks, program director. “We were pleased to welcome our 12 new students.
“The program is flexible in many ways,” she continued. “Students can begin any term, can meet multiple credentialing bodies’ continuing education requirements, and it is designed to welcome students from multiple and diverse backgrounds (including both health and non-health related fields).”
Some of the new students are graduate assistants and part of the coaching staff at Otterbein. Others are Otterbein graduates like Brianna Burke.
Burke, Otterbein (‘12) stayed on campus because “I have loved Otterbein ever since I enrolled here and to me, there was no question of anywhere else I would want to go to obtain my Master's degree. I know I will get the knowledge and skills that will enable me to receive any job in the science field I apply for, because of my degrees from Otterbein.”
She continued, “This degree with help me obtain my Health Fitness Specialist Certification, where I will administer care to patients with chronic diseases, and I will obtain more experience so one day I may become an Exercise Physiologist!”
Meeting math teachers’ desires to increase their understanding and improve their teaching is a main goal of the new Masters of Arts in Educational Mathematics.
“Otterbein has created a unique program that truly attends to the needs of math teachers, providing the types of opportunities endorsed by leaders in the field of education, “said Jeffrey Smith, associate professor of mathematics who designed the program.
“Recognizing that pedagogical content knowledge is at the forefront of professional development, courses provide practical, hands-on information and experiences that can be used in the mathematics classroom. A degree in the content area helps teachers to create a connected, comprehensive, and detailed view of mathematics, enabling them to make instructional decisions based - not simply on good practice - but according to fundamental principles that guide all of mathematics,” he added.
MAEM students are usually either high school or community college teachers – – who want more applied knowledge in math. Among the courses are those in probability and statistics, number theory, advanced calculus and advanced geometry, and game theory.
Like Burke, Cameron Kishel (‘98), wanted to return to his alma matter. As a faculty member at Columbus State Community College, he sought a program to help him meet the Ohio Board of Regent’s requirement that community college faculty hold a master’s degree or higher in the discipline in which they teach. Otterbein’s Educational Mathematics program is the only program in the state that meets this need. The program fit Kishel’s scheduling needs, and he finds it challenging, yet doable. “I am surprised how quickly some of the math content I have not seen in nearly a decade is coming back to me,” said Kishel.
He is inspired by his professor, Dr. Zengxiang Tong. “He is encouraging, fair, and has a way of setting high expectations that I want to work hard and meet.”