In 2002, the K-12 Teachers Alliance (KTA) sat down for a simple discussion with Concordia University Chicago about offering its graduate and certificate programs to the KTA membership and community. Little did they know that this conversation would lead to more that nineteen years of collaboration and to CUC becoming the leading graduate program provider to Illinois educators.
It is with great pleasure that KTA renews their partnership with Concordia University Chicago, their exclusive university partner for the state of Illinois, for a 19th year.
With the K-12 Teachers Alliance membership serving as a consistent and predictable enrollment source, CUC’s CAEP accredited College of Graduate and Innovative Programs grew tremendously and continues to do so. This growth began at a pace that ensured the College of Graduate and Innovative Programs would maintain its academic excellence. From there, CUC expanded their capacity to serve the needs of KTA’s growing membership.
Dr. Thomas Jandris, Dean of the College of Graduate and Innovative Programs, shares his first-hand perspective on this adventure.
“We are incredibly proud of our achievements and the work we’ve done with the K-12 Teachers Alliance,” said Dr. Jandris. “The beauty of the partnership is that KTA took care of all logistical challenges and provided decision-ready applicants. They let us focus on what we do best: developing and administering superior quality education to licensed K-12 educators.”
In service of their constituency of educators, the K-12 Teachers Alliance partners with hand-picked, non-profit universities to offer their graduate education programs to their teachers.
KTA provides community outreach and student communications during the enrollment process, and logistics support for handling the influx of new students. CUC and other partner institutions maintain 100% control over the program academics, professors, admission requirements, and financial aid services.
“In many ways, KTA acts as an ambassador for our university to their local community of K-12 educators,” Dr. Jandris continued. “They’ve represented us well to an expanded audience and made it a risk-free endeavor. We have always had freedom in this partnership because we use one-year contracts and incur zero financial obligations until programs begin with KTA students sitting in class.”
Since KTA is not an institution of learning, they rely entirely on the academic expertise of their partner universities and the feedback from their membership. Therefore, KTA will only partner with institutions that share their dedication to excellence.
Founded in 1864, Concordia University Chicago earned its designation as the K-12 Teachers Alliance’s exclusive program provider in Illinois through a demonstration of academic excellence and an unwavering commitment to serving students. They also maintained KTA’s mission to respond to expressed needs of K-12 educators by creating strong relationships from the bottom up.
“Because of their relationship with individual educators, KTA is able to forecast the future needs of potential students,” Dr. Jandris added. “We’re able to efficiently and effectively plan our graduate program offerings a year in advance and achieve incredible success.”
As CUC has rolled out more and more online graduate degree offerings, they have grown to further appreciate the strength of KTA’s membership because they haven’t had to worry about enrollment growth in this ever-competitive arena.
CUC and KTA have led the way in traditional as well as innovative program offerings in order to best serve Illinois educators. In the process, they have also ensured the financial stability of their non-profit university without sacrificing educational quality.
“Before partnering with KTA in 2002, we were facing significant financial challenges,” said Tom Hallett, CUC’s Chief Financial Officer. “The consistent and predictable enrollment of KTA’s Illinois members was a life saver, especially given the current economic climate.”
This same kind of success has spread to KTA’s other university partners, who have become true allies with KTA. These partnerships allow KTA to serve educators throughout the country.
KTA partner universities include:
- Concordia University Irvine, serving KTA educators throughout California
- University of St. Thomas, serving KTA educators throughout Houston, Texas
- University of St. Joseph, serving KTA educators throughout Connecticut
- Belhaven University, serving KTA educators throughout Mississippi
- Gardner-Webb University, serving KTA educators throughout North Carolina
just to name a few.
American International College, another KTA partner and one of America’s oldest non-profit private colleges, even honored KTA Chairman Spencer A. Barnard Jr. with an honorary Ed.D. and seat on the Board of Trustees for his work with Massachusetts educators.
KTA is happy to share the benefits of their successful partnerships and programs with their constituency. In fact, they have provided more than $20,000 in scholarships to Concordia University Chicago students.
“The K-12 Teachers Alliance is certainly unlike any other organization or company I’ve worked with,” Dr. Jandris said. “I can’t say enough about what they’ve done for CUC, our students and all K-12 educators.”
As KTA and CUC look to the future, they intend to continue their innovative approach to graduate programming for teachers. Online programs are growing in popularity and enrollment thanks to CUC’s commitment to program quality and the strength of KTA and their membership.
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