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College of Ed meets online program demands, upholds quality, standards of campus delivery

February 5, 2013
Todd Latham

Todd Latham

by Todd Latham

Education and the ways teachers learn and then lead their own classrooms is in a constant state of change.

Technology is transforming the way we teach and learn more rapidly than ever before, and NIU’s College of Education is at the forefront of preparing our students to embrace evolving classroom technologies.

But enabling our students to master technology is only half the challenge. We have also adapted our own methods of delivering education in order to meet student demands across a variety of platforms.

The recent U.S. News and World Report top ranking of our online graduate programs confirms the CoE’s efforts to deliver a top notch education, even in an online format.

We are proud that our faculty and staff in these departments succeeded in meeting the demand for online degree programs without compromising quality and standards available in our traditional on campus formats.

Consider, for example, our online program for preparing school business managers.

NIU has a long history of equipping people with the skills and experiences to serve as fiscal administrators of Illinois school districts.

As far back as the late 1970s, NIU created a core of education classes focused on purchasing, supply management, business trends in education and internship opportunities.

U.S. News & World Report official badge: Best Online Programs-Grad Education 2013Along the way, NIU formed a longstanding partnership with the Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO), pairing theory and practice with hands-on experience-based learning. This partnership continues today as professors, instructors, business managers and administrators collaborate in improving a profession dedicated to enriching the lives of students through sound fiscal practices.

Today’s program includes courses focused on planning, forecasting, budgeting, facility management, safety and technology.

Northern Illinois University has the ability to serve students across the state in obtaining online education, one-to-one mentoring and licensure as chief school business officials. Every school district has an education side and a business side, and NIU’s School Business Management Program is positioned to support both areas of school administration. The program has evolved into the strongest online school business preparation program in the nation.

Its success is predicated on strong partnerships, one-on-one mentoring, real-world curriculum affordable and accessible instruction and student-focused learning, all in alignment with state, national and international standards of the profession.

This is accomplished through its rigorous classes, highly educated faculty, student-oriented program administration, partnerships and effective use of technology, delivery support and development.

The combination of its partnership with IASBO, its world-class faculty and instructors and its technology support make it stand out.

The Voices section of NIU Today features opinions and perspectives from across campus.

Todd Latham, assistant to the chair in the Department of Leadership, Educational Pyschology and Foundations, oversees the online program for school business managers. Latham works closely with lead instructor and mentor Brad Hawk, lead instructor and course developer Jason Underwood.