Back-to-school season isn't just for fall - or for kids - as teachers across the country now have new opportunities to further their own education at American InterContinental University (AIU). A leading provider of online higher education offering a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, the university today announced two new specializations in Elementary Education and Secondary Education as a part of its Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree program.

From keeping up with the latest technologies and classroom resources to managing complex and individual needs of students, the demands on today's teachers are growing and diverse, and the new programs are carefully tailored to help meet them. In addition to being designed by an expert team of educators, AIU's Master of Education degrees in Elementary and Secondary Education are among the few M.Ed. programs to integrate adaptive learning throughout the entire curriculum. 1 The programs use the university's proprietary adaptive learning technology, intelli path™, to provide a more personal and efficient learning experience.

"We understand teachers are looking for new programs that allow them to take the next step forward in their personal and professional development path," said Dr. Jeannette Jones, University Dean of Education at AIU. "Not only do the Elementary and Secondary Education specializations in our M.Ed. program address teachers' unique needs, they arm them with knowledge and resources that can ultimately help set up their own students for even greater success."

The new programs follow the Illinois State Board of Education guidelines and are designed to conform to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation/Teacher Education Accreditation Council (CAEP/TEAC) accreditation guidelines. They have been submitted to CAEP/TEAC for review. The National Council for Teacher Education (NCATE) has been incorporated into CAEP, so that the new AIU M.Ed. program specializations are aligned with industry standards to help students successfully further their careers in the K-12 education space.

All students entering the new AIU programs must be certified teachers who can share their own experiences teaching in K-12 classrooms. This allows students to build their skill set, share best practices and take their education to the next level. In addition, AIU students have the opportunity to learn from faculty who bring real-life experiences from working in and with school districts across the country.

Tailored to Teachers' Needs

AIU's flexible online programs allow teachers to complete their degree while juggling the demands of their own students and their busy lives outside of the classroom. A pioneer in adaptive learning technology, AIU understands how to foster academic success. With the intelli path platform, students can spend their time where they need it most, skipping over what they already know and focusing on what they have yet to learn.

"Integrating intelli path into our Master of Education ensures individual student needs are met throughout the program's entirety," said Dr. Robert Manzer, Provost and Chief Academic Officer at AIU. "These new specializations not only deliver a contemporary review of current education practices, but our adaptive learning technology lets students focus their valuable time where they need it and take control of their own progress."

Courses for Today's Classroom

As K-12 classrooms continue to evolve, AIU offers a variety of courses that address the need to prepare educators for today's teaching environment. From how to reduce bullying and encourage diversity to strategies for leveraging social media for learning purposes, the new M.Ed. programs offer a comprehensive mix of informative and hands-on material for the modern-day teacher.

To that end, the curriculum includes such courses as:
  • The Diverse Secondary Classroom - Students will explore a variety of strategies and techniques for working with K-12 students with different social and emotional needs to solve issues such as bullying and encourage embracing those different from them.
  • Managing the Elementary Learning Environment - Using technology tools, students will create plans to maximize efficiency in the classroom and leverage research on behavioral problems to create a behavioral management plan.
  • Researching Resources for the Classroom - This course examines how to utilize a variety of resources for teaching, from identifying and applying for grant opportunities to developing community partnerships.

A hallmark of the program is the capstone experience course, in which students have the opportunity to apply newly learned skills to complete real-world activities that can benefit their own classrooms. For example, students may have to create a lesson plan for their class that uses a brand new technology tool, or find and apply for a small grant that could fund a new project for their own school.

24/7 Resources Every Step of the Way

All students have 24/7 access to tech support and have multiple ways through AIU's online portal to connect with the faculty - seasoned professionals who boast backgrounds in areas such as student counseling, administration and classroom teaching. The AIU Online library offers a variety of resources and services specifically in support of the M.Ed. program, including access to more than 4,000 journals, eBooks, reference books and web resources. Students in the M.Ed. program also have access to dedicated library instruction, program-specific research tutorials, and a staff of librarians to support the learning process from day one through graduation, further positioning educators for success.

The two new specializations allow teachers to complete the program in 12 months and bring total AIU M.Ed. specialization offerings to six, rounding out a comprehensive program that includes focus areas in everything from Adult Education and Training to Instructional Design and Technology.

Enrollment began June 29, 2015, with the first session of online classes beginning July 20, 2015.

To learn more about AIU, visit www.aiuniv.edu.

About American InterContinental University:

Founded in Europe in 1970, American InterContinental University offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in programs such as business, healthcare, IT, criminal justice and education at campuses in Atlanta and Houston and an Internet-based online campus headquartered in suburban Chicago. AIU is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Additional information is available at www.hlcommission.org.

AIU is a member of the Career Education network of universities, colleges and institutes. For more information, visit www.aiuniv.edu. American InterContinental University cannot guarantee employment or salary. Not all programs are available to residents of all states. Transferability of credits is at the sole discretion of the receiving institution. AIU's M.Ed. program does not provide teacher certification. Find employment rates, financial obligations and other disclosures at www.aiuniv.edu/disclosures.

1Eduventures Inc. research, "Adaptive Learning Memo," and American InterContinental University research, "Adaptive Learning Online M.Ed. Competitive Audit," June 2015

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