The School of Education welcomed 403 new students in Fall 2021, bringing its total enrollment among graduate students to 814 — a record in recent years. Despite declining enrollment nationally among schools of education, W&M saw a 69% increase in applications and a 27% increase in enrollment in its graduate programs in education in 2021. Enrollment remained strong across the school’s programs, with notable increases due to expanded online offerings and several innovative new programs.
“We’re evolving our programs to meet the needs of students and the Commonwealth,” said Dean Rob Knoeppel. “We’ve expanded our slate of fully online programs and opportunities for part-time study to make it easier for students to work and learn at the same time. This is an exceptionally strong, diverse class and we’re thrilled to welcome them to the School of Education.”
The newest enrolling class is diverse, both in experience and background, with 29% of students identifying as a race other than white vs 25% last year. The median age of the class is 33, with 81% of students pursuing master’s degrees, 14% pursuing doctoral degrees and 2% pursuing educational specialist degrees.
New and growing programs
The school’s online counseling programs, first launched in 2018, continue to expand with applications more than doubling over last year. The master’s degree program in clinical mental health counseling offers optional concentrations in school counseling and military & veterans counseling, and can be completed part-time in just three years.
The Executive Ed.D. program, which pioneered online learning for the School of Education, is expanding this year with a new concentration in International School Leadership. The program is designed to prepare leaders to shape effective organizations and lead institutional change in global contexts, including international schools, university centers for international education and non-profit organizations focused on education.
The International School Leadership concentration is fully online, allowing educators working across the globe to participate and earn their doctorate in educational leadership.
Another new program, the Online Certificate in Educational Leadership, is specifically designed to help teachers enter school leadership positions. The one-year, online program is for teachers and other educators who already hold a master’s degree and wish to gain administrative licensure. Previously offered only through a cohort model in partnership with specific school divisions, the program will expand in Fall 2022 to accept applications from any interested applicants. The program is aligned with the leadership needs associated with Virginia’s Profile of a Graduate initiative and exposes students to the leadership skills needed to develop schools that meet the needs of 21st century learners.