The Fort Lewis College Board of Trustees voted Friday to approve an online degree program to license principals.
The Master of Arts in Education: Principal Leadership degree is expected to start in the fall and accept new students every two years.
The program was developed with help from regional principals and superintendents and will expose students to the best practices used to lead schools across the region, said Richard Fulton, dean of the School of Education.
“An important part of attracting and retaining teachers is having educators that understand our culturally distinct region,” he said in a news release.
The college is developing videos for each course that will feature how districts and schools across the region deal with challenges, such as developing new strategic plans and integrating language and culture into schools, he said.
FLC expects to feature how Navajo, Ute and Spanish cultures have been integrated into regional schools, he said. The new master’s program will also have in-person events each semester to discuss educational challenges with regional experts and provide opportunities to network, he said.
Since FLC hasn’t been offering a principal licensure program, regional educators have been turning to other state colleges, such as Adams State and the Western Colorado universities, Fulton said.
“People would rather take an online program from a college or university that’s closest to them,” he said.
The two-year program is expected to draw about 20 students in its first year, he said. Students can earn their principal licensure in the first year and their master’s degree in the second year.
[email protected] This story has been updated to correct the name of the degree program. Incorrect information was provided to The Herald.