Relay Grad School of Ed Operation Rejected in Pennsylvania
Since February 2014, corporate reform entity, Relay Graduate School of Education, has been trying to gain approval to operate as a masters-degree-granting entity in Pennsylvania.
Relay is not seeking for authorization in Pennsylvania; Relay wanted to establish a physical presence in Pennsylvania to offer its New York-approved Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT).
On July 26, 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) denied Relay’s application.
In sum, PDE details its reasons for Relay-PA rejection as follows:
- Relay was unable “to differentiate between the requirements for approval to offer courses… that would lead to a MAT degree and the requirements… to offer a post-baccalaureate teacher preparation program” (page 8). In other words, Relay apparently saw earning a masters degree as equal to attaining a BA/BS, tag-on teacher certification.
- Relay proposed that 13 individuals would serve as administrative personnel– but only 2 would be physically stationed in PA. The other 11 would remain in NY and be available “off site” on a part time basis. Moreover, regarding the 2 located in PA, Relay “failed to provide sufficient evidence” that these 2 would be “appropriately qualified to operate the education enterprise” and that only 2 individuals would be an adequate number to run the PA site (page 8).
- Relay proposed a 3-member advisory committee without “a background in higher education administration or in the assessment of higher education program quality” (page 9). In addition, 2 of the 3 proposed advisors are “employed at Mastery Charter school, which is the proposed site for the operation of the Relay education enterprise” (page 9). Whereas the advisors could be appointed to the Relay advisory board since they are not employed by Relay, the fact that these 2 advisors work at the proposed Relay site “does create concerns about their independent advisory capacity especially because, as noted above, they lack a background in higher education administration and in assessing the quality of a higher education program” (page 9). In other words, these two proposed advisors appear to be advisors chosen for convenience and not for professional qualification.
- Relay’s MAT has no masters-level research component. Relay tried to pass classroom assessment techniques as the masters-level research component. PDE didn’t buy it: “Student assessment is a skill required for classroom teachers, but it is not form of academic research, which requires the review and citation of academic literature and the application of quantitative and qualitative analysis” (page 9). Relay also contradicted itself regarding a “masters defense seminar” as a “cornerstone” research component when Relay’s own literature described the seminar as an elective. PDE concludes, “Relay not only provided Relay Grad School of Ed Operation Rejected in Pennsylvania | deutsch29: