Enhance Whitworth's Strengths in Graduate and Continuing Studies
The Whitworth Graduate Studies in Education team has achieved remarkable success in recent years: Enrollment has grown 37 percent, from 149 students in fall 2015 to 204 students in fall 2016.
"The growth in our programs is the result of our staff members being student-focused and intentionally attuned to changes in the field, and through innovative outreach strategies we're using to reach prospective candidates," says Roberta Wilburn, associate dean for graduate studies in education and diversity.
Wilburn also credits GSE's growth to its community- based programs, which provide students with valuable practical experience while also meeting the needs of hundreds of area children and their families. These services include:
Marriage & Family Therapy Center: The center has had full cohorts of students (15-18) since it opened in 2014. Graduate students in Whitworth's MFT program use advanced training and feedback technology to provide community members with affordable mental-health counseling. Parents and family members of children diagnosed with autism can also attend counseling sessions, allowing student-interns to gain experience assisting families with special-needs children.
Northwest Autism Center: In 2015 the School of Education partnered with Northwest Autism Center, in Spokane, to open an applied behavior analysis clinic on campus. Candidates in Whitworth's new behavior analysis master's program are employed as paid interns who work one-on-one in intensive therapy sessions with children
up to age six with neurodevelopmental disabilities. The center plans to expand service to older children and to provide social-skills training in an after-school program.
Montessori Program: In partnership with Montessori Northwest, Whitworth's master's and diploma program in Montessori instruction began in 2015 and is taught by certified Association Montessori International trainers. Each summer, the School of Education sets up a model Montessori classroom in which students practice teaching with Montessori materials. Candidates can also pursue teacher certification through a teacher-preparation program at Whitworth.