Mastering Health Sciences Education

    New degree program allows students from across disciplines to embrace a collaborative educational experience

    April 26, 2012

    New degree program allows students from across disciplines to embrace a collaborative educational experience

    The word “cohort” often refers to a group seeking a common goal or following the same path. The U of A is using this cohort model to create shared student experiences in undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programs, such as the new Masters of Education in Health Sciences Education (MEd in HSE), where students from across disciplines can embrace a new collaborative educational experience.

    The new MEd in HSE is a partnership between the Faculty of Education and the Health Sciences Council where the cohort – limited to 14 students – form a collaborative study team for the duration of their part-time program. This makes it easier for students to establish friendships, form small study support groups, navigate teamwork and create professional relationships. Although the course work is delivered primarily online and uses a variety of social networking applications, students also take two campus sessions over six semesters, effectively creating a synergy that supports their studies over the long term.

    “So far this experience has been very valuable,” says cohort member Jackie Middleton, ’92 BA. “While we’re all working in the health care industry, we each bring different perspectives. This exposure to different ways of seeing and thinking about health care delivery is, in itself, huge.”

    “For people like me,” says fellow student Ann Lee, ’00 BSc(Eng), “with a full-time job and family responsibilities, accessibility is very important. I could not do this any other way.”

    Faculty of Education dean Fern Snart says, “The students in this program are developing teaching, leadership and education research skills that will arm them to become agents of change in the world of health education. The program reflects our view that education must be transformative in nature and promote critical thinking, creativity, curiosity and caring. I’m very excited about the future that these scholars, teachers and practitioners can build.”

    For more information on the MEd in HSE go to www.hserc.ualberta.ca.

    - Anne Pratt