Based on changes to the UMUC MDE web page websites including in the original post have been updated
MDE Certificates- How do they fit in?
As I considered possible topics for this post, I wanted to be sure that whatever topic covered touched on the following aspects of the mentor-mentee relationship:
· Will it pass on a lesson learned during the MDE program that may contribute value to another mentor or mentee?
· Will it contribute to the two-way interaction within this virtual mentor-mentee context?
· Does it share a relevant personal experience that will result in enrichment?
· Will it assist in the development of skills and career planning goals which characterizes a mentor-mentee relationship?
I feel the topic of the MDE Certificates meets all the above selection criteria. Whether readers are seasoned MDE students or just getting started the experience with the MDE Certificates will vary. Some may have began their journey toward the MDE with a certificate program, others may have signed up somewhere along the way. Over the last several years, discussion I have encountered concerning the MDE Certificates has been mixed.
One school of thought considers all that the certificates are to be is inclusive to the MDE masters definitions (both pre specifications and post). This school of thought is certainly correct. Another school of thought expresses that obtaining the certificates throughout the program will assist the graduate in explaining specific areas of ability. Such clarification may be important during the job seeking process if specific employers lack clear understanding of the program and are seeking for a specific skill set. Again, this school of thought is also very valid. Whichever school of thought you subscribe to, understanding where the MDE certificates fit in will be of value to your lifelong learning endeavor.
Personally, I adopted the previous school of thought until a recent conflict. Prior to this conflict I had found myself wishing I could achieve all the specifications when they became available in 2007. I am interested in every aspect of DE, but chose the teaching and training specification because it closely aligns with former education, training and experience. I found myself hoping that I could “pick up” the other specification knowledge through a future doctorate program if one materialized.
The recent conflict came as I finished up my selective courses for the MDE portion of my dual degree. The rules state that you may not enroll in any classes toward the second degree until all courses (including the capstone) of the previous degree are completed. As a student who relies on financial aid this presented a serious issue for the upcoming semester when I could only enroll in the MDE capstone.
I needed to be enrolled in 6 credits to participate in financial aid. I contacted my advisor and asked if I was allowed to sign up for a course outside my specification to get me to the magic number 6. She said no. So I resolved to finding a summer job to pay my tuition [how’s that for a flashback??? I am 43 and needed a summer job to help with school ;o)]. Well I tried, but in the small rural town I live in, surrounded by cornfields, I am too qualified for anything locally. The nearest option is about an hour or more away. So I re-contacted my advisor to ask if she could think of anyway…
About 3 weeks later she e-mailed me and suggested that many MDE students accent their MDE master’s with the certificate programs. I quickly became interested and looked the certificates over. To my delight, I found out that I qualified for two just with the courses I had already taken. The rest were within one course or two.
The course offerings limited my selection for the upcoming term, but I am now excited to have a great selection of “options” open in case of future dilemmas. I have finally found a way to gather the knowledge of the other two specifications – in bite size quantities. It may have seemed obvious to many of you, but the aha moment alluded me.
This will certainly assist me in continuing my lifelong learning effort once I complete the dual degree. Below you will find a brief synopsis of the courses required for each certificate. Several coincide with the specifications and you may discover that you are already on your way to achieving a certificate. You will also find the URLs for each certificate for more information.
If you would like to add a certificate (or two..) simply contact your advisor and request that the certificate be added to your record. Additionally, if you desire to participate in the joint certificate E-Learning and Instructional Design from UMUC/UMBC you will need to contact your advisor and explain you want to add that certificate to your record and obtain an “inter-institutional form” that will enable you to take the UMBC courses although UMUC is your home institution.
As you finish reading this post, I respectfully request your reply to the following inquiries:
1. Do you currently participate in the MDE certificate program? If so which ones?
2. Has your specific specialization dictated which certificates you are interested in? If so how?
3. What general experiences have you encountered with the certificates? Are the courses for your selection readily available?
4. If you have previously not participated in the MDE Certificates option, has this post changed your mind? How? And which certificates are you interested in pursuing as a result?
Certificates Home Page: