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Student Testimonials

“This program renewed my energy and faith in the teaching profession. I feel revitalized and enjoy teaching again.”

“I learned a great deal during the two years of this masters program. The things I learned where easily applicable to my classroom and students. I improved as a teacher and my classroom on an average improved better than any year before. I would recommend this program to anyone who asked.”

“When looking at a graduate program, I really wanted a program that I could bring into my classroom. The Learning Community Program was a perfect fit. The assignments that were given during the month were not too overwhelming considering we still have to teach! I strongly recommend doing the learning community format! The program is something you implement as you go, you get to meet a great group of people, and you get to learn what your strengths really are.”

“When we are at class talking about how we have four times to meet before we present this spring, I am completely baffled! I am so glad that I chose to come down to the Willmar LC. It has been a great experience, and I am going to love not having a literature review to write this summer! I must admit that I am absolutely loving my action research topic, and I am so glad I am implementing it into my classroom. I have absolutely loved this program and would highly recommend it :)”

“I have enjoyed my experience with SMSU. The teachers and facilitators are great! They would do anything to help you. The learning community program is very accommodating to your needs. I am glad I decided to join the program.”

“I have loved the graduate program at SMSU. The coursework has been challenging, and I have learned so much in the short time I have been enrolled. I originally thought I might not be able to handle graduate level online demands, but the staff and instructors have guided me through the technology, logistics, and academic questions I have had. It is a great program that allows anyone willing to do the work to be successful.”

“This program made me a better teacher because I am much more focused on how students learn, and less focused on how much they talk, or if their answers are right or wrong. I used to make my students sit quietly and work on their own, but now I have them work in groups much more and let them figure things out together. Everything I learned in this class about how the brain works and how students learn describes today’s students. They are much more visual and auditory learners than before. We have to let them talk with each other if we expect them to learn anything. That is how they remember things. I recommend this class to any teacher whos main concern is student learning not grades, not right or wrong, not a quiet room, just students learning.”

“Earning a Master’s through SMSUs Learning Community was one of the most positive experiences I have had in my educational career. Through the learning community experience, I had the opportunity to share ideas with other teachers which provided me with a sounding board for new ideas I wanted to try in my classroom along with resources to help make my classroom more successful.”

“Being in this graduate program was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The two years flew by! Although committing to full weekends once a month for two years was time consuming, it was much more do-able than meeting in the evenings after long days at school or having to get on the computer and converse over the internet. Although our learning community was large, it was still effective and I feel a bond with a few of my fellow classmates that went on the educational journey with me!”

“The program that I was in was phenomenal! Lon Richardson is one of the best instructors I have ever taken classes from. Not only did I learn a lot about brain research, but I was able to implement a ton of it into my classes. This was exactly the kind of Masters Program I was searching for. It was one with the use of current research and then being able to apply that research to my classes. Lon should be commended for his outstanding program!”

“It was a wonderful experience being part of a learning community. I loved the weekend connections that I made with other colleagues. I loved the friendships and ideas we shared as educators. The instruction was excellent, and I grew so much as an educator and as a person. Thank you SMSU for a wonderful experience as I got my masters degree. I can honestly say that I miss going to class one weekend a month I miss the homework and I miss all the wonderful people that I met through this class.”

“Getting my masters degree through the SMSU graduate program was the best educational decision I’ve made. I went through the graduate program in a learning community setting. So many times when you go through college courses, the people taking the courses with you change. In the learning community, it was just that...a community! Everyone who started together finished together. I met some great people who started as colleagues, but are now lifelong friends of mine. I would highly recommend the learning community setting to anyone!”

“The Learning Community style was ideal for me. It allowed for flexibility with my busy schedule and provided me with an opportunity to learn and practice new ideas within my field. The group setting made for a friendly and open environment where I felt free to express my thoughts. Not only did we learn from the books and the facilitators, but we also learned from each other. Even better, there were no tests or quizzes!”

“I absolutely loved my learning experience at SMSU! I would highly recommend every teacher to get their Masters through this program. I learned so much about my brain and how to apply it to student learning. I now understand the importance of exercise, having a growth mindset, and the purpose of inquiry based math. After learning how to research, collect and analyze data....I have proof what our students need to be lifelong learners. I am forever changed.”

“A wonderfully refreshing program. Finally coursework that is relevant to what actually happens in the learning brain and a means of application to our individual disciplines in the classroom. Pertinent information that we can actually use in our profession. Way to go Lon and Eve! We need more of this student directed learning coursework as it is valuable on the job training that we can return to our classrooms and apply. The community discussions were not only informative but inspiring--and boy do we need inspiration in education after all the blows delivered by NCLB. Thanks again SMSU for a rewarding masters program--keep up the good work and the good fight for all public and private education venues.”

“The learning community experience offered by SMSU helped me to grow beyond my expectations. I learned so much about meeting the needs of all of my students. I felt motivated and energized after each weekend, and continue to feel that motivation today. The friendships formed with others in my community are a wonderful bonus!”

“This learning community has been the opportunity I was looking for to expand my professional teaching career. As a music teacher, I wanted to learn more on how to improve my classroom, not just reading or math for the MCAs. This program has taught me so much about how my students learn, what I can do to help them learn better, and what they need from me to learn the most they can when they are with me in the classroom. I am excited to finish this Masters of Education program knowing that I will have knowledge that will benefit me, my students and my teaching career.”

“SMSUs learning community masters program has been a wonderful experience! It has allowed me to get my masters degree in a time that fits in my schedule and I have loved every minute if it! The community that I work with is a very close-knit group that has made learning fun and enjoyable! I am learning things that are applicable to my teaching everyday and I feel like I have really grown professionally.”

“The SMSU Graduate Learning Community gave me the chance to earn my Masters Degree while working full-time and raising a family. The education was top-notch, the instructors were friendly and helpful, and I felt I learned more in the two-years I was in it then I did in my entire education career up to that point. I always looked forward to my class weekends. This program is custom designed for busy, working professionals who are looking to further their education. I’m very glad I did it!”

“I loved the Education Learning Community program. I learned more than I ever thought I would and have already become a better teacher and person because of it. This program is realistic, organized, well structured to provide many opportunities to use and practice the things we learned each time we met in our learning community in our classrooms.”

“I experienced great growth through this program. As a veteran teacher, I needed a new perspective on teaching and these classes provided it. I appreciated the chance to interact with fellow teachers sharing ideas and a lot of laughs. We grew together by coming up with new ideas, doing many collaborative projects and we were challenged to think in new ways. One great feature is that many of the assignments could be completed in my classroom as I experimented with the teaching methods we were studying. It was very time efficient in that I could complete my college homework while teaching! My students were the ultimate beneficiaries of the process. They grew right along with me. I would program to any teacher who wants to be challenged in a good way. The course really makes one examine how they teach and why they teach.”

“I loved the program. It gave me the flexibility I needed to be able to pursue furthering my degree while still teaching, coaching, and having time for my family. The knowledge I gained through the program has been invaluable to me as an educator. I would recommend the program to anyone interested in pursuing their master’s degree and becoming not only a better teacher, but a better all around person.”

“The learning community setting was great. I enjoyed collaborating with others and sharing ideas and experiences. Being able to do that really brought the concepts we were learning to life and helped me apply them to my current position. In the weeks and months since participating in the program, I have been able to apply the concepts directly into my classroom and improve my leadership skills in all areas of my life.”

“The learning community environment is wonderful! It allows both my husband & I to both work towards our Masters Degree at the same time, while still keeping up with our teaching, coaching, and young family. It is a strong program that offers flexibility without diluting the content. We are SO glad we enrolled!”

"Words cannot express the benefits I feel I have received from being a part of this program. With two boys under the age of 5, the weekend learning community was not just a great way, but the only way I could have obtained my Masters degree. The best part of the program was far from the flexible scheduling and affordable tuition. The fact is I learned so much more about different teaching practices, leadership styles and current issues in the field of education than I ever thought possible. I certainly feel like I have become a more confident and well rounded educator. The instructors were very supportive and facilitated learning in a project based manner vs. the typical lecture style that I was all too familiar with. It was also great to network and make lifelong friends that I can continue to share resources and ideas with. Five stars, two thumbs up and highly recommended for whatever stage you are in life!!"

“I loved the Learning Community format. It made it so convenient for a full time teacher to continue their education. The collaboration and practical experiences that we were able to share with our classmates was amazing! I was able to bring something back with me each month that I could use in my classroom right away and was able to bounce ideas off of my classmates as well. John was an excellent teacher and helped us become leaders in our school and/or district through the experiences we had in class. I wouldn’t change it for the world!”

Last Modified: 4/13/23 2:25 PM | Website Feedback