Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rio Salado College and The New York Times Knowledge Network Join Resources to Provide National Online Teacher Preparation

Tempe, Ariz. – May 25, 2011 – Rio Salado College (RSC), part of the Maricopa Community College District, and The New York Times Knowledge Network (NYTKN) have joined together to provide a national online post-baccalaureate teacher preparation program. This program is designed for those who have a bachelor’s degree and are seeking teacher certification in elementary, secondary or special education. Details about the program can be found at www.discoverteaching.net.

“Rio Salado College and The New York Times Knowledge Network are both innovators in higher education,” said Dr. Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College. “It is an exciting opportunity to work together to offer students the advantage of Rio Salado’s proven teacher preparation program and the Knowledge Network’s depth of content resources.”

Rio Salado College is part of the Maricopa Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. The courses will be taught by Rio Salado faculty and supported by the EpsilenTM eLearning platform. Students will be able to network with online classmates across the nation.

This is an innovative approach to teacher education, building a community of practitioners who are exceptionally prepared to respond to state and national needs for professionals with 21st Century teaching skills,” said Felice Nudelman, executive director, education, The New York Times Company. “Bringing together Rio Salado and the Maricopa System’s excellent track record of innovation with The New York Times Knowledge Network’s extensive content and resources will create a new learning model for those seeking to enter the teaching profession.”

The online course delivery system offers flexibility for working adults. It also provides opportunity for residents in rural communities with limited educational resources. Enrollment options include 48 start dates throughout the year, which is an added benefit for students who may be changing careers.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, demand for qualified teachers is expected to increase nearly 12 percent over the next five to six years with an even higher need for math, science and bilingual teachers.

“By weaving online course content together with ‘real world’ application, through school observations and hands-on interaction in preK-12 classrooms, teacher preparation students are very prepared to enter their own classrooms upon program completion,” said Janet Johnson, faculty chair of education for Rio Salado College.

Initial outreach efforts will be piloted in Arizona with plans to expand to the national market.

The Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation Program is approved by the Arizona State Board of Education and certification is accepted in many states nationwide. Admittance to the program and state certification are based on state-by-state requirements. It is the responsibility of the student to verify those requirements. More information about the program can be found at discoverteaching.net.

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Rio Salado College was founded in 1978 and serves one of the largest online enrollments nationwide. The college was recently recognized as one of eight highly productive institutions of higher education in the nation by McKinsey & Company. Rio Salado offers general education courses as well as a variety of degree and certificate programs with more than 62,000 students enrolled annually. It is also Arizona’s largest provider of Adult Basic Education.

The Maricopa Community College District is one of the largest community college districts in the nation and serves more than 250,000 students annually. It includes 10 colleges - Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Estrella Mountain Community College, GateWay Community College, Glendale Community College, Mesa Community College, Paradise Valley Community College, Phoenix College, Rio Salado College, Scottsdale Community College and South Mountain Community College. The District also includes the Maricopa Skill Center, SouthWest Skill Center, several satellite campuses and business/industry, technical and customized training institutes.

The New York Times Knowledge Network, which uses the EpsilenTM platform, was launched in September 2007 to deliver lifelong learning programs on timely subjects. Through The New York Times Knowledge Network, extensive resources from The Times and other participating universities and institutions are readily available to students online, whether they are enrolled in an on-campus course or continuing their education through a distance learning program

The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), a leading media company with 2010 revenues of $2.4 billion, includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 15 other daily newspapers and more than 50 Web sites, including NYTimes.com, Boston.com and About.com. The Company’s core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.

Epsilen is an online learning environment with global networking, learning management tools and ePortfolios. Epsilen is majority-owned by The New York Times Company.

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