18 Branson Public School teachers earn their master's through an Evangel cohort-based program
On May 3, 18 Branson Public School teachers graduated with their Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Leadership Instruction from Evangel University through a partnership between the two institutions.
The partnership between Branson Public Schools and Evangel to offer a chance for teachers to earn their master's degrees began four years ago. This year's graduates were the second group of teachers to complete the program.
Brad Swofford, superintendent of Branson Public schools, said this graduate program is different because it’s taught onsite by Evangel adjunct professors who also work for Branson Public Schools.
“What we are able to accomplish, even though there are guidelines and parameters that meet a master's degree, we’re able to tailor it to things we want covered for Branson Schools," said Swofford.
The Evangel cohort-based program is fully funded by the district, according to Swofford, and teachers who earn an advanced degree receive raises. Although it’s an added perk, Swofford said the program means much more than that to the district and its teachers.
“It’s a great benefit to have that opportunity to learn from one another," he said, "and, also, to learn more about what's happening within our district. So, I believe it brings together a more cohesive group.”
Evangel University is a private Christian University, but Swofford said religion is not a component of the course work. He said it’s one of the cheaper master’s degree options for the district compared to other universities.