The unique opportunity also includes a reimbursement of the Graduate Application Fee and a waiver of the GRE General Test.
“In ETRA, we are always looking for opportunities to expose prospective students to our disciplines and programs,” says Todd Reeves, an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment.
“While much of our outreach focuses on those working in K-12 schools and districts regionally, this agreement allows us to access a group of talented students who are already at NIU but who might not know what we do here.”
Honors Program Director Todd Gilson was happy to work with Reeves to grow the number of direct-admissions relationships across campus to 14; that number also includes one with the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education.
“Building the repertoire of programs is a really good thing,” Gilson says. “Now our students have choices beyond their undergraduate degrees, and the types of partnerships we’re forming, like the M.S.-ERE, are great for a lot of majors with strong foundational content knowledge.”
Educational Research and Evaluation prepares professionals to make the most of data through educational assessment, evaluation, and qualitative and quantitative research.
Graduates plan and design educational evaluations; implement and interpret qualitative and statistical data analytic procedures; and relate the findings to educational and social science policy.
Certificates are available in Advanced Qualitative Methodology in Education and Advanced Quantitative Methodology in Education.
“Undergraduate students in the Honors Program understand that a master’s degree in Educational Research and Evaluation can equip them for research and assessment careers in government settings, non-profit settings and, of course, school settings,” Gilson adds.
“Like many fields, education is increasingly evidence-driven,” Reeves confirms.
“Teachers, administrators and others are expected to use evidence to ground day-to-day decision making, and evidence figures prominently within accountability policies at various levels,” he adds. “With such a strong focus on evidence within the education system, individuals with expertise in domains such as research design, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, and assessment, are critical.”
Faculty in the Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment are eager to welcome Honors students into the M.S.-ERE program; Department Chair Wei-Chen Hung already has had undergraduates approach him with interest in the degree.
“This model not only facilitates transitions of University Honors students into graduate school,” Reeves says, “it potentiates opportunities for our faculty to work with a fine group of students from diverse backgrounds.”
Only two other U.S. universities that benchmark with NIU offer similar initiatives, Gilson says, and those “are very narrowly focused. One has a partnership with engineering programs, and the other has a partnership with a Doctor of Physical Therapy program. This is quite an advantage for our NIU students, and it appeals to students when they’re considering a university.”