Marlboro Offers First Master's in Teaching with Internet Degree Program

Starting in January of 1998, Marlboro College will offer a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with Internet Technologies and Master of Science (MS) in Internet Strategy Management. The programs are first-of-a-kind in the nation in that they are designed to train educators and other professionals to take the lead in incorporating technological and theoretical knowledge into their schools, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

For a liberal arts college that was founded on the belief that all that is needed to learn is "a student, a teacher, a book, and a log to sit on," these programs may seem an unlikely prodigy. But Marlboro President Paul LeBlanc, 39, contests that at the core of the tiny, self-governing college, built by G.I.'s following World War II, has always been innovation. "Technology is fundamentally changing the way knowledge is created, stored, shared, and consumed in our culture," said LeBlanc. "We see the dramatic impact of those changes in education. Our new graduate programs will help us understand and redefine knowledge for the information age into which we now send our graduates. . . .The programs will bridge the gap between tangible technological skills and the more abstract theoretical knowledge within a range of academic disciplines. This makes these programs first-of-a-kind in the nation," said LeBlanc, who serves as Director of both programs.

The three-semester MAT with Internet Technologies program will be oriented to teachers and school administrators who seek to integrate and enhance their use of the World Wide Web, computer software, CD ROMS, electronic media, and other media technologies within their classrooms and throughout their educational institutions. The program aims to create leaders in educational initiatives to integrate the Internet and other new media technologies into schools across the country. Courses will address the web of complex issues facing educators as we move into an electronic age that will provide computer access to every student in every classroom in America. LeBlanc adds, "We are very excited about the new graduate programs. While there are many other educational technlogy programs and information technology programs, we have found none that focus solely on the question of 'What happens when a classroom or a usiness gets connected to the Net?'"

LeBlanc also stresses that no existing program trains teachers for the multi-disciplinary demands of schools being on-line the way the Marlboro will. He points out the tremendous need for teachers who are broadly trained to lead the Internet and on-line strategies of their educational institutions: "The other exciting aspect of both programs is our abilty to make them cross-disciplinary, reflecting the cross-disciplinary nature of what it means to work, teach, and learn online. For example, the MAT program includes a course in network systems, as well as legal and ethical issues, as well as curriculum design. It's a very rich mix."

Of all college presidents in the country, LeBlanc is no doubt the most likely candidate to head the Marlboro's new Graduate Center, the headquarters for both programs. His passions lie in both worlds, and he has distinguished himself as both serious scholar and savvy entrepreneur. A former Chair of the Humanities Department and tenured English professor (for Springfield College), he has also worn the hat of Vice President at Houghton Mifflin Company, heading up its higher education technology start-up group, Sixth Floor Media. A published expert on the integration of technology into the liberal arts, LeBlanc's books and articles clearly connect the two worlds. Among his works are Computers and Writing: A History, Writing Teachers Writing Software: Creating Our Place in the Electronic Age, and Re-Imaging Computers and Composition: Teaching and Research in the Virtual Age. LeBlanc was also featured in a Kairos InterMOO last spring.

For more information on the Graduate Center graduate programs or training facility, please contact the Marlboro Graduate Center Admissions at 257-4333, fax 257-4154, visit the website, or e-mail gradcenter@marlboro.edu.

KAIROS Kairos: A Journal for Teachers of Writing in Webbed Environments.
Vol. 2 No. 2 Fall 1997