Jessie Grant, 33, lives and works in Nixa, Missouri, a suburb of Springfield, where she and her husband are raising their two children.
In the Nixa Public School System where she teaches, Grant’s full-time job is focused on improving the reading skills of struggling elementary-age students, using the tools she has acquired as a student enrolled in UALR’s Master of Education in reading accelerated online program.
She was first exposed to the program after her school district adopted the Comprehensive Intervention Model into its curriculum and through her work with Reading Recovery.
“Teachers are always looking to improve, and I knew obtaining my M.Ed. in reading would be beneficial,” Grant said.
The school district caps the salaries of teachers who only have a bachelor’s degree, but financial incentives exists for teachers like Grant who pursue advanced degrees.
Grant said she chose UALR because of its reputation–the program is nationally recognized by CAEP and the International Reading Association. The courses are also aligned with Quality Matters for online teaching.
In addition, because she teaches in a Title I school, Grant is eligible for a federal grant to help offset her tuition expenses. The best part, though, is that the online format provides built-in flexibility.
“I can pace myself and still enjoy my family on the weekends,” Grant said.