UB’s Graduate Education Program Creates Teachers and Scholars

An Educational Leadership EdD candidate

The students and faculty of the School of Education continue to engage in vital research and scholarship in Spring 2021.

The graduate Education program at UB is designed for those who want to develop the techniques and experience to improve the physical, cognitive, intellectual, and organizational learning of students. Candidates for the M.Ed. and Ed.D. learn to apply the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework to create capacity-building learning experiences. They learn through classroom instruction, through direct experience teaching, and through the process of research and scholarly publication.

Professors in the program model this through their own practice. Assistant Professor of Education Patricia Buxton, Ed.D., just published an article in the Journal of Research in Education entitled "The Retrospective Record Review: A Methodological Option for Educational Research" which focuses on how the unobtrusive nature of the retrospective record review method of research yields insight into the behavioral patterns of children with emotional and trauma-related behavioral difficulties.

"The Online/Hybrid Educational Leadership Graduate Program is great because it caters to the many busy professionals juggling work, family, and school," says Buxton. "Opportunity for research and the publication of peer-reviewed critical thought is the hallmark of quality and what makes the Graduate School of Education at the University of Bridgeport the school of choice for so many educational leaders."

One of those leaders is Alana Sejdic, who has a master's in education and currently attends the Doctoral program at UB. Her current research focuses on secondary transition planning for college bound students with disabilities. She plans to investigate the knowledge and awareness that secondary school staff involved with transition planning have of the processes for accessing accommodations in post-secondary institutions.

"The graduate education program at UB is challenging and rewarding. The faculty are very knowledgeable, dedicated and responsive. The courses and assignments that the faculty have developed are extremely engaging and really connect with the real life/work experiences of the students." - Alana Sejdic

Sejdic has earned three publications in the past year, beginning with "Advocate for UDL to boost learning for many students" and "Be clear about the difference between service animals, ESAs," in two issues of Disability Compliance for Higher Education. Her article "How Do We Know the Needs of the Students?" was just published in Faculty Focus and helps those who want to better understand student characteristics and situational factors needed to design courses that result in significant student learning.

Doctoral candidate Le'Tanya Lawrence is a Perkins Scholar, and recently was awarded the Trail Blazer award by the Today's Students Tomorrow's Teachers program. She conducted a study entitled "Mosaic of Thought: A Qualitative Case Study on the Individual Induction Experiences of Black Women Educators (BWEs) in Connecticut Urban Public Schools." The research looked at the experiences of BWEs from their individual perspectives as opposed to the historical programmatic lens of induction.

"The Ed.D. Hybrid Educational leadership program at UB has always been an innovative e-learning environment long before the COVID-19 Pandemic," says Lawrence. "While in the program, I interacted with my classmates across the country as well as the international contexts using our digital tools. I was able to defend my proposal and oral defense virtually and remain connected to my professors throughout the process as well."

Research and publication not only help students build strong resumes, but they also help the discipline of education itself develop and grow. In that way, graduates of UB become both scholars and teachers, building their own careers while improving the world.