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SKC, University of Montana offer master’s degree program

PABLO — A new master’s partnership with a special education endorsement is available for Native American students in education at Salish Kootenai College. 

Dr. Merle Farrier, Ed.d., is coordinating the program through the University of Montana.

Students must apply and be accepted for the partnership. They must also meet the following requirements:

• have a bachelor’s degree or be in their final year

• be a tribal member or a first or second degree descendant from any federally recognized tribe.

• complete his or her master’s degree by the spring of 2012 

Cindy O’Dell, head of the Early Childhood Education Department, wrote a grant to supply funding for 25 Native American students, Farrier said. For a successful applicant to the program, the grant pays all costs associated with whatever option the student chooses. 

Students can opt to earn a master’s degree, which would supplement their teaching credentials with an endorsement in special education, or earn a master’s in curriculum and instruction with a special education option.

Another choice, that of earning a master’s in educational leadership, which would also give a student K-12 principalship licensure, is already filled, according to Farrier.

Anna Barrows, Polson, has been accepted to the program. Barrows received her bachelor’s degree in June of 2010 and has already started work on her master’s in education with a special education endorsement. She expects to finish before 2012 because she’s already started her coursework. 

The program was a good opportunity for Barrows. 

“(The program) is important for me and my family,” Barrows said. 

“It’s right up my alley,” she added, explaining that her daughter has autism.

Barrows sees herself teaching special education because “I think inclusion is important.” 

However, she would teach in any classroom because she loves teaching and children so much. 

For more information on this program, call SKC’s Department of Education at 275-4762. 

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