Walden University Partners with Major Educational Professional Associations

Minneapolis—August 6, 2008—In urban and rural districts across the country, there is a growing demand for qualified teachers and administrators, particularly in the fields of special education, mathematics and science. Walden University is now partnering with three education associations to help meet this demand. The partnerships between Walden and the New York City Elementary School Principals Association (NYCESPA), the Middle School Principals’ Association of the City of New York (MSPA-NYC), and the School Administrators of Montana (SAM) will give members of these important associations and other professional educators the opportunity to enroll in top flight higher education programs at The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, helping to fill the need for qualified teachers and administrators in New York City and Montana.

The partnerships will provide NYCESPA, MSPA-NYC and SAM members and their staffs with professional development opportunities by facilitating their access to Walden’s master’s and doctoral programs as well as its B.S. in Child Development program, state-approved teacher preparation programs and state-approved special education endorsement programs.

“Walden University is proud to support these initiatives that address the critical need for more educators and administrators in New York City and Montana. Also, because Walden has a legacy of providing quality professional education, we are committed to helping ensure the learning, achievement and success of students in these regions by preparing outstanding leaders in education,” said Victoria Reid, vice president of the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership.

“New York City has a shortage of qualified teachers, especially in the hard-to-fill areas of special education, mathematics and science. In some cases, competition over certified teachers has become so intense that districts are promising incentives such as signing bonuses and subsidized housing. Walden’s online programs address the growing need of educators for higher education options to meet these demands, and offers our members an opportunity to further their education and enhance learning for their students,” said Pierre A. Lehmuller, executive director of NYCESPA.

According to Darrell Rud, executive director of SAM, similar problems exist in Montana. “Teacher shortages are prevalent in Montana, and there is a dire need for qualified educators in special education, math and science. On a recent visit to the Montana Office of Public Instruction, we found more than 50 openings in special education and about 35 in math and science—this in a state that has only 10,500 teachers in total. As leaders in Montana’s educational system, we seek out high-quality options for the professional development of our members and the school and district staffs they lead, such as our partnership with Walden, which will improve education in our state.”

Walden’s programs support the needs of educators at all levels, from preschool through higher education. They also serve educators at various stages of their profession, including new and veteran classroom teachers, experienced faculty members and administrators, and career-changers interested in teaching in two areas of the teacher shortage: early childhood education and special education (with a focus on learning disabilities and emotional/behavioral disorders). Walden’s Riley College of Education and Leadership, named in honor of Richard W. Riley, the former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education and a leading advocate in advancing education as a national priority, was ranked for a second time by U.S. News & World Report as having the largest online graduate program in education.

For more information about the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, visit www.WaldenU.edu.

About Walden University

Since 1970, Walden University has offered working professionals the opportunity to earn advanced degrees through distance learning. Today, this comprehensive, accredited online university offers master’s and doctoral degrees in education, psychology, management, public policy and administration, and health and human services, as well as master’s programs in engineering and IT and bachelor’s programs in business administration, psychology, child development, and computer information systems. Walden University is a member of Laureate International Universities, a leading global network of accredited campus-based and online universities. For more information, visit www.WaldenU.edu.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, www.ncahlc.org; 1-312-263-0456.

About the New York City Elementary School Principals Association (NYCESPA)

When NYCESPA speaks, it speaks with a strength that is greater than the sum of its active membership. NYCESPA's voice at Department of Education meetings, CSA and conferences with other associations as well as with the media is stronger than the voice of an individual. Members contribute to and draw upon the strength of the association’s total membership, the largest of any independent educational professional association in New York City. Principals, experienced and less experienced, confront similar challenges, and the association offers an end to the isolation principals sometimes face. The association offers a forum for discussing and solving problems in a spirit of collegiality. Independently, and within CSA, the association works to interpret and address the needs and concerns of New York City’s elementary schools and their principals.

About the Middle School Principals’ Association of New York City (MSPA-NYC)

The MSPA-NYC is a group of professional educators who recognize and value the educational, social and emotional needs of young adolescents. Its mission is to provide vital support, collaboration, teamwork and professional growth, as well as advocate for middle school education as a distinct entity for young adolescents in New York City. The association realizes this vision by facilitating best practices and supporting the administration and supervision of middle-level educational programs. In addition, the association provides opportunities and resources that assist in the professional development and continuous improvement of the attitudes, performances and practices of middle school educators.

About School Administrators of Montana (SAM)

The School Administrators of Montana (SAM) has existed as an educational organization since 1976. The objectives of SAM are to provide an opportunity for a continuous study of the mutual professional problems facing school administrators; to make its members aware of public education issues; to provide a forum for the discussion of such issues; to formulate positions on such issues; to establish close and continuous communication and cooperation in matters of mutual concern to all levels of school administrators; and to cooperate with other organizations and the general public in the promotion of effective public education.