Shayne Mishler earned his MPA in Educational Administration (WebPlus) in 2018. The program offers certified educators a path toward a School Administrator Certificate. Built with working professionals in mind, the program provides a flexible, part-time format (over two years, 36 credits) that blends online coursework with monthly classes on the UM-Flint campus the second Saturday of each month.
Read on to see what Shayne had to say about his experiences earning a MPA in Educational Administration from UM-Flint.
What was your motivation for enrolling in the WebPlus Program?
The program was recommended to me by administrative colleagues that previously obtained this master’s degree for an administrative position. The WebPlus program was enticing because of the mixed mode style of learning. Being the Athletic Director of a district, the time spent at events can be overwhelming. This program allowed for me to have face to face interaction with professors and peers once a month, and work independently from my office to work on graduate course work.
What has your path been since completing your degree?
I was previously the district Dean of Students for the Montrose Community Schools middle and high schools, but have transitioned to the Assistant Principal/Athletic Director of the Hill McCloy High School. I continue to run athletics for the district, and have also taken on the duties of being the ALICE Trainer for my district, Emergency Operations Administrator and Security Advisor.
What sorts of experiences were the most meaningful for you during your studies?
Meeting each month with our professors and colleagues was far and away the best part of the program. Developing relationships, partnerships, and friendships that have continued after graduation with peers from many different types of educators. Each course offered its own unique view of educational administration. The program evaluation experience has provided the most concrete change in my district. The research, review and modifications to my program review have enhanced and energized the district’s CTE programming. The design and implementation was built upon week by week allowing for small incremental moves that revealed great results by the end of the school year. Sharing our thoughts, feelings and ideas with each other, and supporting one another through tough situations made the course work more than graduate work, but working on life together. Each and every professor gave of themselves in class, on Blackboard, and through emails and phone calls to provide the best advice or answer they could during the process.
Would you recommend that your fellow educators enroll in the WebPlus program?
I would absolutely recommend the WebPlus program for graduate work. Coming into the program, I thought back to my other degrees and the experiences that I had during undergraduate and master’s work previously. The first day of classes, I felt like I was being treated as a professional that was bringing my experiences with me to add to the course. The materials and course work were robust, but not overwhelming. Setting timetables and managing weekly assignments was advised and provided structure. The old saying is, “You will only get out of it what you put into it!”, and that is so true. I absolutely enjoyed every time we got together as an entire group. A wealth of knowledge and experiences being able to share and compare.
Ultimately, this degree is educationally specific, but is diverse enough for me to apply it towards a career beyond my time in education. I was able to take advantage of the library on main campus and celebrate graduation in the “Big House” with the other graduates from the University of Michigan. I was supremely blessed to share this experience with my peers and continue working with the students in my district.
Ready to take the next step? The application is available online. If you’d like to learn more, contact the program director, Dr. Patrick O’Donnell, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 810.766.6628.