Instructional Assistant program students at Moraine Park Technical College are now able to transfer their associate of applied science degree to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh's special education bachelor of science degree.
An articulation agreement has been signed between the Wisconsin Technical College System’s (WTCS) Instructional Assistant (IA) associate of applied science degree program and UW–Oshkosh’s bachelor of science degree in Education (Special Education). Technical colleges that offer the IA degree include Moraine Park, Gateway, Northeast Wisconsin, Waukesha County and Western.
According to Gretchen Gall, Moraine Park Instructional Assistant program instructor, UW–Oshkosh sought the articulation with technical colleges offering the IA degree due to a shortage of special education teachers in the Fox River Valley. Moraine Park’s program offers a flexible online format that allows students to complete the program while fulfilling family and work responsibilities. The curriculum provides multiple opportunities to apply learned skills to real-life classroom settings, including one full semester of field experience working as an instructional assistant/paraeducator under the direct supervision of a licensed classroom instructor. Students develop the skills to assist children with math, reading and writing assignments, as well as handle classroom management, clerical and other tasks related to instruction.
“The IA program offers a fantastic way to test the waters to see if a career in education may be for you,” said Gall.
“The Instructional Assistant online program has taught me to think critically and creatively, and to analyze information in an intelligent way, skills which prove invaluable in the workplace,” said Sara Doege of Neosho, who will graduate in May. “The program allows me to attend class at times and places that fit my schedule. The online format creates more opportunities for more direct communication with teachers and classmates, through online chats, email and in newsgroup discussions and enhances my learning experience by allowing me to work with peers from around the state and across the nation. The Instructional Assistant program course material is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, giving me the ability to read and re-read lectures, discussions, explanations and comments.”
The new articulation agreement allows students to transfer 48 credits from the IA program transfer directly into the UWO special education teaching degree. Transfer students from the WTCS should be able to complete their special education degree with an additional three years of full-time coursework at UWO. “Given that most special education teaching degree programs take students five years to complete, this is a great ‘bang for the buck’ – money-wise and time-wise,” said Gall.
Moraine Park IA program credits also transfer to Alverno College’s elementary education teaching degree and UW-Stout’s special education teaching degree.
"Lately, I have been receiving job-related compliments from the teachers I work with,” said Maria Kubota-Abgoon, current IA program student and a paraprofessional with the Beaver Dam School District. “They state that they feel I have grown a lot professionally. I believe that this growth comes from the Instructional Assistant courses that I have taken and am currently taking."
To enroll in Moraine Park’s Instructional Assistant associate of applied science degree or for more information, call 1-800-472-4554 or visit www.morainepark.edu and click on Academics. A program video is available on the Web site. Program Instructor Gretchen Gall can be reached at 920-887-1468 (office) or 920-602-6897 (cell).