Growing a Graduate Program using the Cohort Model: Our Journey
As enrollment in higher education continues to decline, faculty and administrators are looking for innovative approaches to stem the tide. Schools of Education have turned to the cohort model as a panacea for reasons ranging from increasing student enrollment and persistence, enhancing university-school partnerships, and supporting school districts' "grow your own programs" to increase the educator workforce. Yet, each program is unique in its structure, challenges, and aspirations. This presentation reflects on developing and implementing a cohort-based program in the Educational Leadership program at IU Southeast, focusing on its impact and student performance. Findings from a survey of the perceptions of multiple program stakeholders- students, residents, and school-based faculty regarding the program, will be shared. The presenters submit that their journey toward the model is evolving and has been fraught with successes and challenging lessons. These experiences will be shared, accompanied by best practices from the literature review. This session provides an opportunity for critical conversation around faculty involvement in recruitment, especially our adjunct colleagues' engagement. It also offers valuable ideas for those contemplating establishing a cohort-based program or those looking for ways to improve an existing cohort.