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SBU adds new Education Specialist degree 

BOLIVAR, Mo. — Southwest Baptist University is adding a new graduate-level degree for educators. Applications are being accepted now, with courses beginning Spring 2021, for the Education Specialist in Curriculum and Instructional Leadership degree.

“We are filling a need to provide continuing educational and leadership opportunities for classroom teachers who desire to become better teachers and leaders within their educational setting, but not administrators,” said Dr. Kevin Patterson, chair of the Department of Graduate Education. “Graduates with this degree will be able to fill instructional leadership roles that do not require administrative certification.”

Graduates of the specialist degree could hold positions such as district leaders for curriculum, teacher trainers, department heads, and any other leadership position that does not require an administrative certification.

“We believe in the leadership capacity of classroom teachers and are excited to provide this new opportunity for educational growth and advancement,” said Dr. Nancy Colbaugh, associate professor of education. “This program is designed to provide a comprehensive and thorough study of the current issues that face our teachers and provide a path to enable the creation of aligned learning environments that support students both today and tomorrow.”

A master’s degree in education is required to enter the new Education Specialist program. The program is 33 hours with students required to maintain continuous enrollment until the completion of the field study.

SBU’s Department of Graduate Education provides six master’s degree options, two specialist degrees and a doctoral degree for visionary teachers and aspiring leaders.

For more information about the new degree or other graduate degrees in education, contact Nicki Harmon, associate director of graduate admissions, at (417) 912-5303 or

*Published: 6-11-2020