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16 Summer 2008
Sandra Eddleman, a frst grade teacher at Oak Grove
Elementary School and an Arkansas Teacher of the Year
fnalist, is currently enrolled at WWU, taking her courses
in Senath, Mo.
“The specifc classroom strategies that were taught by the
professors from their own classroom experiences allowed
me to appreciate their exceptional skill, knowledge and
dedication to students,” Eddleman said. “As a mother of
two active sons, I successfully attended all of their sporting
events, along with one night of classes each week.”
Mike Skelton, principal of Baldwin Elementary School, is an
adjunct faculty member for William Woods, teaching classes
in Senath, Mo. “They [WWU] are very diligent in making
sure that students are afforded every opportunity to succeed
and that every staff member has the necessary skills, tools
and personality to work with students in an effective manner,”
Skelton said.
Sean Siebert, vice president
and dean of Graduate & Adult
Studies enrollment services at
WWU, is excited about providing
degree programs in Arkansas.
“The expansion will allow us to
better serve our student population,
”he said. “William Woods University
is a student-centered university—that’s
part of our mission—so it made sense
to go where the demand was.”
He added, “William Woods has a good image and reputa-
tion in Arkansas, and a high volume of teachers who have
graduated or are currently enrolled. In fact, 98 students are
currently driving to Missouri from Arkansas to pursue a
degree from WWU.“
Skelton said he wondered why Paragould School District staff
members were choosing to attend WWU instead of other
degree programs in our area.
“What I soon found out was that the convenience of location
for the program (Senath and now Paragould), the profession-
alism of the WWU staff and administration and the cohort
concept were major selling points.”
Employing a model of accelerated learning
developed especially for the convenience
of the working adult, these 36-credit-hour
educational programs are structured so that a degree can be
completed in as few as 22 months.
William Woods offers degree programs that utilize a cohort
model, emphasizing learning through student-directed study
groups of three to fve students.
Skelton said, “The cohort approach allows students
the opportunity to work alongside the same classmates
throughout the program. This ensures that students become
close-knit and comfortable with speaking freely about
class-related issues. It also creates a networking opportunity
for these same students and teaches them valuable leadership
and management skills.“
“The cohort concept ensures a set schedule of when students will
meet in order to complete the program (one night a week for six
weeks per course). This is extremely benefcial for those students
who have other family or work-related commitments.”
Classes meet once a week in the evening for four hours.
Study groups meet outside of class to prepare projects
and assignments before the upcoming week.
“With the teamwork approach of using study groups and
projects within the cohort model, students can draw on a
greater pool of ideas, and they have the opportunity to learn
quickly that the effectiveness of one person can be greatly
enhanced by utilizing the other members of the group,” said
Sherry McCarthy, WWU vice president and academic dean.
Because of the nature of programming—focusing effort on
one course at a time—90 percent of all students fnish their
program successfully.
“This is a good indicator that not only are WWU students
able to work toward obtaining a degree that will increase
knowledge, enhance their opportunities fnancially and
increase opportunities within their careers,” Skelton said,
“but it also proves that the program is effective in giving
students researched-based knowledge, skills and information.”
McCarthy added, “William Woods University is a leader when
it comes to designing quality programs for nontraditional adult
students. Everything we do is specifcally designed
to help adults succeed in reaching their goals
as effciently as possible.”
More information is available online