GDI Master of Education Students Hold Graduation BBQ
By James Oloo
On Thursday July 27, 2017, over 40 people attended the Gabriel Dumont Institute-University of Regina Master of Education graduation BBQ at Kachur Golf Club in Prince Albert. The warm summer day event included conversations, laughter, and reflections in celebration of the graduation by the second cohort of the Master of Education program.
The Class of 2017 had 21 graduates including Chris Kelly, Christian Hudon, Dianne Broome, Chantale Fetch, Ashley Grimard, Jamie Subchyshyn, Janelle Hudon, Jean-Marc Belliveau, Katherine Burak, and Charmain Laroque. Others included Lauriane Hudon, Marti White, Matt Gray, Chantal Ntbategera, Renae Semkiw, Renee Kurbis, Rylan Michalchuk, Sandra Lawless, Steven Korecki, Trevor Rutz, and Victor Thunderchild.
According to Christian Hudon, “The program has been wonderful. I love it. Joining the program was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my professional life.” Charmain Laroque described the master of education program as “Absolutely great program,” and Chantal Ntbategera called it “Nice program.”
Marti White Stavely, a teacher at the Saskatchewan Rivers Public Schools, stated that: “I absolutely loved the program. It is the best professional development experience ever.” She continued, “I recommended the program to a few people; some of them got admission and have started their master of education studies this summer.”
Dianne Broome called the program “excellent.” Dianne noted that “The MEd program made a huge difference in my personal and professional growth. The content delivery was amazing. The cohort system that encouraged collaboration among students has been fantastic. I learned just as much from the professors as I did from my classmates.” Dianne who is a teacher in Prince Albert said that she had always wanted to enroll in masters of education program ever since she graduated from SUNTEP Prince Albert in 2007. So, “When GDI started offering the program in Prince Albert and my friends and fellow teachers who had enrolled in the first cohort told me great things about it, I knew it was time for me to do my masters. My friends have families and they work full time, but they earned their master of education degrees. It was possible. And now, I have completed the MEd degree!”
One of graduates commented on how tightly-knit the group of students is, bound by ties of teaching in the Prince Albert and Area schools, family relations among students or between students and staff, as well as the fact that many of the students are SUNTEP graduates.
There was laughter when students, nominated by their colleagues, received such awards as “Award for My School is Better than Yours,” Award for Great Voice of Reason,” “Award for Where The Hell are My Glasses,” and “Fashionista Award.”
The master of education program coordinator Michael Relland received a standing ovation from the graduates who thanked him for his work. Cory McDougall, the GDI Director of Finance, described how Relland has been involved with the master of education program “from day one” and thanked him for his hard work dedication.
In his speech, Michael Relland noted that “Teachers are good human beings. We strive to do the right thing. But sometimes, we do not know what the right thing is or how to do it. I hope the Master of Education program has enabled you to learn what that right thing is and how to do it.”
Many graduates also thanked GDI and the University of Regina for bringing the program to Prince Albert. This made it easier for them to enroll in the program without having to relocate or drive long distance.
The GDI-University of Regina Community-Based Master of is a two-year cohort-based program offered at the Gabriel Dumont Institute Centre in Prince Albert. The program’s content themes are tailored to anticipate and respond to community and student needs including: educational leadership, Indigenous education, and curriculum and instruction. It links theory to local educational issues and practice, and employs a flexible course delivery, including weekend sessions, summer institutes, and online distance education. As well, it has a Program Coordinator to offer advice and support to students.
The master of education program admitted its first cohort of 25 students in the summer of 2013. Of the 25, 23 successfully completed the program in the summer of 2015 – a completion rate of 92%. A second cohort of 23 students commenced the master of education program in July 2015, of which 21 (91%) graduated in July 2017. A third cohort of 25 students started classes this month and are expected to graduate in the summer of 2019.
For additional information about the master of education program including application requirements and program outline, please visit https://gdins.org/programs-and-courses/what-we-offer/community-based-masters-program/ or contact Michael Relland at email@example.com