School of Education Partners with IVMF and University College to Offer Online Degree to U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy Fellows

Sergeants Majors at Fort Bliss pose with a cutout of Otto The Orange in their Syracuse-themed remote distance education classroomAs thousands of students began classes at Syracuse University this week, 10 sergeants majors stationed at the academy at Fort Bliss, Texas, also joined the Orange Family. They are part of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy Fellowship Program, and through a partnership with Syracuse University, the fellows will complete master’s degrees in instructional design, development and evaluation (IDD&E), offered fully online through the School of Education. The fellows, who are assigned to Fort Bliss for three years, will finish their degrees within a year and go on to design and instruct the academy’s Sergeants Major Course, which educates the military’s enlisted personnel to operate on all levels of leadership.

For this inaugural cohort, the fellows were welcomed to Syracuse University when seven members of the University’s senior leadership, faculty and staff visited Fort Bliss for a program orientation in the middle of August. In the future, the fellows may have opportunities to visit the Syracuse University campus. Syracuse was selected as an educational partner for the Fellowship Program not only because of the high quality of the IDD&E master’s program, but the support and partnership of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and the Center for Online and Digital Learning (CODL) at University College.

The online master’s degree in instructional design, development and evaluation consists of 30 graduate credits with the goal of developing expertise to design, create, implement and evaluate non-technology and technology-supported instructional solutions for a variety of educational and professional settings. Students participate in coursework areas such as  principles of instruction and learning, techniques in educational evaluation,  technologies for instructional settings, and strategies in educational project management.

The online program has also enrolled non-military students into the inaugural cohort, Koszalka says. The numbers of distance learners are expected to grow over the next few years as Fort Bliss has projected 15 students for next year, and IDD&E has been seeing an uptick in inquiries for the new master’s program as well as the department’s certificate of advanced study in designing digital instruction.

“We are very pleased with our partnership with USASMA and excited to see a fully online MS in IDDE program,” says Joanna Masingila, dean of the School of Education. “Our collaboration with University College and CODL is very important to us, and we see a great potential for growth for School of Education courses and programs that serve both military personnel and civilians in an online format.”

Read more about the partnership and IDD&E program on SU News
A version of this article also appeared in the 2019 issue of Education Exchange Magazine