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Celebrating Fort Lewis College’s first graduate program

FLC Teacher Education students instruct during a trip on the Durango train.
FLC Teacher Education students instruct during a trip on the Durango train.

The final hurdle has been cleared for Fort Lewis College’s first graduate program in the school’s 102-year history as a public educational institution. On Wednesday, January 16 the Higher Learning Commission informed the College that its Master of Arts in Education, Teacher Leadership Option had been approved. FLC is now free to begin offering the program beginning in the fall.

The community is invited to a reception at 4 p.m., Wednesday, January 30 in the Student Union Ballroom to mark this historic occasion in FLC's evolution as a higher education institution, learn more about the new Teacher Leadership program, and find out about additional graduate studies programs currently being planned. The event’s theme is “100 Years of Teaching Teachers:  The Next Chapter” to signify FLC’s long commitment to training educators. The reception is free and open to everyone.

“Teacher leaders are an emerging branch of the profession who offer mentoring for new teachers, act as a voice for all teachers in curriculum implementation, refine instructional techniques, are designers of new 21st century assessments that allow students to demonstrate their content and collaborative skills across a wide audience, and facilitate change in the school culture through effective leadership,” explains Dr. Richard Fulton, director of the FLC Teacher Education Department.

Today, maybe more than ever, teachers in the U.S. are expected to do more with less and are scrutinized more closely.

One example that hits close to home is Colorado Senate Bill 10-191, which changes the way Colorado teachers and principals are evaluated. The bill requires that educators be evaluated through a combination of classroom observations and test scores. This will mean more work for teachers and school administrators, but it also presents an opportunity. SB 10-191 says that principals must perform the teacher evaluations, which means a lot more work for them, or the principal can designate another teacher to help in the evaluations if that teacher has the appropriate education. The new FLC master’s degree can help give teachers the training they need to be a part of this new evaluation process, among many other valuable skills.

“More and more elementary and secondary schools are hiring teachers to become instructional leaders or instructional coaches to help with this overall shift in education and our Teacher Leadership program is supporting this movement to provide skills in instructional feedback, meeting facilitation, distributive leadership, student achievement analysis, assessment development, and interventions for struggling students,” says Dr. Fulton.

To learn more about the Master of Arts in Education, Teacher Leadership program, visit


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