By Steven Krolak
(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)–Dr. Donna Albrecht, associate professor of education, has been named the new Director of Graduate Programs in the School of Education.
She succeeds Dr. Lisa Hoffman, who has assumed the role of IU Southeast’s Dean of Research and Graduate Programs.
Albrecht, most recently recognized as Faculty Innovator of the Year by the IU Southeast Institute for Learning and Teaching Excellence, also directs the New Neighbors Center. She brings to the new role her 35 years of experience in education, expertise in teaching and research, an inclusive mindset and a commitment to diversity.
The selection process for the graduate program directorship includes nomination and voting by program faculty, according to Dr. Faye Camahalan, dean of the School of Education.
“Donna stood out for her reputable record in leadership, community engagement, and camaraderie with colleagues and K-12 school community,” Camahalan said.
Pursuing graduate education brings numerous advantages, according to Albrecht.
From expanded dual-credit programs in high schools to salary increases for holders of a Masters Degree, the marketplace is full of incentives for teachers who wish to deepen and diversify their skill set.
The same holds true for licensing programs that enable teachers to add areas of specialization to their existing or envisioned degree.
Albrecht is a strong advocate for programs already offered at IU Southeast.
“Our Master of Science in Elementary or Secondary Education programs are unique in that all the licensing areas can also serve as areas of concentration,” Albrecht said. “This means that the educator not only can earn a Masters Degree, but also an area of specialization, and are eligible for an additional license.
While committed to promoting and overseeing already successful programs, Albrecht would like to see this momentum result one day in graduate certificates that could build on existing strengths and research, as well as opening doors in other areas such as combinations of special education, ENL/ESL and gifted and talented.,
Albrecht sees great potential for collaboration within these and other School of Education programs and more broadly with other schools at IU Southeast.
Albrecht will continue to serve as Director of the New Neighbors Center.
“The Center has been a great way to connect with the community and bring people together for common goals,” Albrecht said. “As we serve a population that is growing in diversity I believe the dual directorships of the New Neighbors Center and Graduate Studies will provide unique opportunities to bridge populations and needs in our community,” Albrecht said.