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FAQ (Learning Community)

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Learning Community Program?

    The Graduate Education Department offers the Master of Science (MS)  in education and a specialization in Teaching, Learning, and Leadership, English, Math, Reading. TESL, and TECH. This off-campus, graduate program provides Midwest educators an opportunity to pursue graduate study while building valuable professional relationships with fellow educators. Each Learning Community studies together for two academic years, meeting an equivalent of twenty times, or ten weekend meetings each year. Meeting dates are determined by the members of the Learning Community and usually are scheduled during the academic year, August through June.

    The curriculum of the program provides educators with an in-depth understanding of educational issues pertinent to quality instruction and school renewal. Collaborative study and research, reflective teaching, action-based research projects, and active leadership provide the foundation for professional growth.

  2. Is there a Learning Community in my area?

    The Graduate Education faculty at Southwest Minnesota State University collaborates with regional educator practitioners to establish learning communities throughout the Midwest region. Learning Communities are conveniently located at off-campus sites in locations close to where educators live and work. Communities beginning next fall are identified in the Learning Community Sites. If you interested in bringing a learning community to your area, please contact Cori Ann Dahlager at

  3. How do I apply?

    In order to be admitted to the program, certain Admission Requirements must be met. Once you understand the requirements and are ready to join the program, you may begin the application process. To make this process easier to understand, we've developed an Admission Checklist, which highlights all the admission materials that need to be submitted. Submitting all the admission and registration materials by the appropriate dates will ensure a smooth transition into the program.

  4. What if I have credits I'd like to transfer into the program?

    You may transfer up to 9 semester credits of previous graduate coursework in Education (less than 5 years old) to fulfill the requirements for a Masters of Science in Education Degree. Check with the Transfer Credit Policies and Procedures to find additional information regarding the transfer of credits.

  5. How much is tuition?

    The total cost of tuition and fees for students entering Fall 2022 for the entire two-year program will be approximately $13,379 if students transfer in 9 semester graduate credits. The cost is approximately $4,800.00 higher without transfer credits.

  6. Is financial aid available?

    Financial aid is available to students who need it. You can find information on applying for financial aid at the SMSU Financial Aid website. In addition, Graduate School is a tax deductible expense for most teachers. If you are interested in receiving a grant, look over the TEACH Grant and Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program information sheets and apply if you qualify.

  7. Whom should I contact if I have further questions?

    The School of Graduate Studies is always happy to assist you with any questions you may have. You can reach them either by phone at: (507)537-6819 or by email at: . To contact a particular facilitator or staff member, see the faculty/staff page. The Resource Directory lists people you may wish to contact during the application/registration process.

Last Modified: 4/13/23 2:24 PM | Website Feedback