The University of Iowa College of Education

Education at Iowa

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Remarkable Connections

Celebrating Over 100 Years of Continuing Education

College of Education faculty and graduates have both a proud history and exciting current status as pioneers in providing learning opportunities to those with geographic or other barriers keeping them from The University of Iowa campus. In fact, the entire Educational Administration master’s degree and principal licensure programs are now available online in real-time with two-way video and audio participation.

The vision started with Joseph Jasper McConnell. In 1901, McConnell became the first director of a successful summer session program to allow Iowa’s teachers to come to campus and continue their education during their summer break.

Although his initial concept was that the summer sessions should serve teachers, the summer sessions soon became popular in other disciplines as well. McConnell also formalized a University Extension service providing speakers to share their expertise with groups and organizations throughout Iowa. That program evolved into the Division of Continuing Education in 1913. Still, a College of Education faculty member administered the summer session program until the late 1970s, when those duties were transferred to central administration.

Today, the Division of Continuing Education staff includes seven College of Education graduates: Susan Beadle (MA ’82), associate director of the Center for Credit Programs; Ron Kral (MA ’89), Web services manager; Maureen McCormick, (SE ‘80/MA ’90), director of marketing; Judy Rowles (BS ’78/MS ‘88), program associate; David Rubright (BFA ‘87/MA ‘90/MFA ‘92/MA ‘94), applications development and technical support; and Anne Whitehead Zalenski, (MA ‘85/PhD ’01), associate director for the Center for Credit Programs.

Prof. Susan Lagos Lavenz teaches Educational Administration conurses using Elluniate software, connecting UI classroom with distance learners.
Prof. Susan Lagos Lavenz teaches Educational Administration courses using Elluminate software, connecting UI classroom with distance learners.

The Division, led by Higher Education Professor Chet Rzonca who serves as associate provost and dean, provides high-quality credit and non-credit courses, workshops, and programs to both traditional and non-traditional learners using a variety of locations, schedules, and technologies.

This fall 2,035 students registered for Web, Iowa Communications Network (ICN), and Extension courses. Another 1,129 signed up for Guided Independent Study web-based courses, which students complete at their own pace.

“Students are looking for a way to do something that they couldn’t otherwise do, or to enhance what they are already doing,” Zalenski said, noting that even some Iowa City-based students choose to complete courses through Continuing Education means.

Clinical Associate Professor Marcus Haack, coordinator for the Educational Administration program, said working with the Division of Continuing Education has been exciting.

“Through this joint effort, the Educational Administration Program serves students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to earn their degrees at The University of Iowa. This semester, for example, I’m teaching a class that has students from various communities in Iowa, from other parts of the country, and even one student from Colombia, South America!” he said. “This is a fantastic opportunity to bring students together just as though they were sitting in a classroom here on campus. It’s definitely the wave of the future.”

The University of Iowa
Spring 2008

Discover the Difference
Distance Education Can Make for You


Talented and Gifted Endorsement
Offered by the Connie Belin & Jaqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development

Master of Arts in Educational Administration & Principal Licensure
Offers two-way, interactive audio and video from a live classroom to your desktop. Complete the entire program from the convenience of home.

Other Opportunities

Foundations of Special Education, Introduction to Assistive Technology, and the nationally recognized Web-based ePortfolio™

Spring Semester begins January 22,2008
Register online after November 25, 2007 at
For more information: or call 800-272-6430 or 319-335-2575



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