The following is a brief description of the special K-12 Teacher Track of the Master of Arts in Chinese Studies Program offered at Valparaiso University:
1. The K-12 Teacher Track is one the three tracks in the Master of Arts in Chinese Studies program offered at Valparaiso University. This track provides a high quality, user-friendly, and affordable program to K-12 teachers who are currently Chinese language teachers or who are planning to add a Chinese language endorsement to their teaching license
2. The program is delivered in a convenient format so as to allow K-12 teachers to earn the master’s degree without giving up their current positions.
3. The goals of the program are to 1) substantially improve Chinese language proficiency for those who are not native Chinese speakers (to be able to pass Level Four of the new HSK Test, for example); 2) build a solid foundation for understanding Chinese culture, literature, society, and current affairs; and 3) enhance the ability to teach Chinese more effectively.
4. This 37-credit program can be completed by most participants in less than three years. The curriculum has three major components:
- Summer immersion programs in Hangzhou, China. Students enroll in either one or two summer programs in China depending on their level of language proficiency. For those who are native Chinese speakers or who are high achievers in Chinese language and can pass new HSK level four or above, one summer of study in China is required. For all others, two summers of study in China are required. The summer program is usually eight weeks in length, carries 8-9 credits, is located in beautiful Hangzhou, China, and is subsidized by scholarships.
- Online courses. The MACS Program offers a variety of online courses (at least one each semester as well as one during each of the University’s summer sessions), and many other graduate courses are open to MACS students that may be counted toward the degree. Students in the K-12 track normally take at least one online course each semester.
Online courses offered through the MACS program include:
- Contemporary China
- China and the West
- Christianity in China
- Nature in Chinese Thought
- Buddhism in China
- Communicative Foreign Language Teaching
- Classic Chinese Literature (to be developed)
- Views of Human Development, Chinese and Western Perspectives
- History of Chinese language (to be developed)
- Teaching of Chinese language at K-12 schools (to be developed)
- Doing an optional residential summer at Valparaiso University or completing a master’s thesis supervised by one of the faculty members of the MACS program at the end of degree program.
Note: If a student in the program is a native Chinese speaker or have near native-level proficiency of Chinese language and has successfully passed HSK Level 6, he/she can apply to waive six credits from the 37 credits required for the degree.
5. All applicants must have valid teaching license at time of application unless their school employer does not require a teaching license. All applicants must also have studied at least one year of Chinese at the college level or its equivalent. Upon receiving the completed applications, a phone interview will be arranged to assess the language skill and academic interest of the applicants. The Program adopts a rolling application process so admitted students can start the Program in fall, spring, or summer.
6. The Program offers generous scholarships for those who qualify. The scholarship is awarded as 20-40% of the normal tuition and is good throughout the program, assuming an awardee maintains good standing (GPA 3.0/4.0) in the program.
7. The Program currently has 12 registered students as of Fall 2011. The Program has the capacity of admitting and maintaining 20-25 students total. Current students are from the following states: New York, Florida, Connecticut, Maryland, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, and California. One student had graduated from the Program in Summer 2010. Two more students are expected to graduate in summer 2012.
8. For an application package and K-12 Teacher Scholarship, please visit (http://www.valpo.edu/grad/apply/index.php). For questions concerning or assistance with the applications, please contact Dustin Jesch (firstname.lastname@example.org). For questions about the Program and how it may fit you career goal, please contact Dr. Zhimin Lin, Program Director (Zhimin.email@example.com).