BRANSON, Mo. — The Branson School District has teamed up with Evangel University in Springfield, to make it easier for their teachers to advance their education.
It’s been a year in the making. Teachers in Branson will be able to obtain a master’s degree for less money and more convenience.
“It will allow them to stay on campus — but also have the, for a better lack of terms, the Branson flavor to it,” said Dr. Brad Swofford, Superintendent for Branson Schools.
Qualified instructors from Branson schools will teach the classes, using Evangel University’s curriculum — at $240 per credit hour. That’s $60 less than the usual rate.
Dr. Swofford explained how their partnership with Evangel works.
“We are able to work with Evangel and create courses that align to the credentials to meet a Master’s at Evangel, but also incorporate professional development that aligns to the curriculum of Branson Schools and also our show me Missouri standards,” Swofford said.
“The district will really focus on their own issues, their own goals, their own student issues…they’ll be their own teachers in the classroom, talking together,” said Professor of Education Leadership at Evangel, Dr. Gordon Pace.
“This allows them to use that state money, which they already have to spend, for professional development that can lead to, or will lead to in this case..a graduate credit for their teachers,” Pace said, “Better teachers make more effective instructors in the classroom.”
Dr. Swofford says, this new partnership with Evangel, could also be the springboard for other opportunities in the district.”
“And certainly hope to, as this moves forward and we see success out of it that, we may expand it. Whether that be with Evangel, or maybe even other universities, said Dr. Swofford, “We hope we have that opportunity to do so.”
They’re hoping to start classes this coming fall semester — with 15 teachers interested in pursuing their master’s.