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Graduate Division Holds Open House

Written by Tim Talley

Willimantic, Conn. - The Graduate Division at Eastern Connecticut State University is hosting an open house from 1 to 3 p .m. on March 12 in the Student Center. The event is designed to share information with potential graduate students on Eastern's master's degree programs.

            Eastern offers a number of Master of Science programs. The Master of Science in Organizational Management (MSOM) program develops a student's capacity to become managers and leaders by learning through practices that take them outside their comfort zone. Professional work experience is a pre-/co requisite for the program. The program focuses on individual behavior, group dynamics, organizational processes and structure, and the interactions of all of these within an organization.

            Stephen Nelson, a technical support specialist in Eastern's Information Technology Services, graduated from the MSOM program. "The immediate implementation of the classroom material to my career is what kept me interested and motivated," said Nelson. "I was able to apply many of the management practices and theories discussed in the classroom to my daily responsibility in my professional life. The Master of Science degree in Organizational Management has enhanced my professional life by positioning me to be able to provide leadership and management skill within my current career, and also provided me with the educational requirements needed to advance."

            Eastern also offers several Master's degrees in Education, including early childhood, elementary, and secondary education, as well as Educational Technology and Reading and Language Arts.

            Cat Carter, a graduate assistant in the Child and Family Development Resource Center (CFDRC), appreciates the knowledge she has gained from her program. "My program gave me hands-on experiences and practical skills that I have been able to apply to my current positions, and can use as I market myself for the future," said Carter. "The program more than adequately prepared me for the next professional step in my life and gave me the necessary confidence to pursue my goals.

            "One of my favorite professors at Eastern was Leslie Ricklin, professor of Education," Carter continued.  "She saw potential in my work and recommended that I submit a project for publication. Not only was she incredibly supportive throughout the very stressful process involved with writing an article, but after it was accepted, the sincere joy and genuine happiness that she expressed for me felt more rewarding than the initial acceptance letter I received from the publisher. Her concern for student success is invaluable."

            Kelly Zimmermann, also a graduate assistant for the Center for Early Childhood Education (CECE), and a full-time graduate student in the Early Childhood Education Master's and Certification program, is pleased with how well the program enhanced her professional development. "I am able to work directly with my professors and gain first-hand insight and knowledge, understanding why and how the pedagogy being taught in my classes is directly applied within a classroom," said Zimmermann.  "My master's program has been a wonderful experience.  I have been encouraged and provided opportunities to challenge my own beliefs, learn new theories and practices, and have constructive in-depth discussions in all of my classes regarding the practical implementation of these constructs in the 'real-world.'  I will be a far more successful, understanding, and patient teacher because of my experiences in this program."

            Zimmermann is currently working on two grant projects, and is involved with using Eastern's advanced media technology in order to record video footage of the classrooms at the CDFRC. This footage is then edited and coded by Zimmermann and faculty and students.

            The Master of Science in Reading and Language Arts helps certified teachers to strengthen their knowledge about literature and reading. The literature program is designed to help students better understand children's literature and its use in the classroom.

            For more information on the Graduate Division's open house, call (860) 465-5292 or visit


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