January 9, 2024: This year at USDLA is going to be action-packed!

Hello friends — We are so excited to share with you the events and activities we have planned for 2024.

  • USDLA EVENTS: Our first annual Public Policy Week (PPW), Jan. 16-19. Scroll down for details, and click here to register: usdla.org/2024-ppw
  • USDLA SPONSORS: Each week, we shine a light on one of our wonderful sponsors. Today, scroll down to learn more about the work being done at Waldorf University.
  • INDUSTRY NEWS: Longtime USDLA member and Board Member Errol Craig Sull shares an essay with us, Be Proud to Teach Online. Scroll down for details.

Best of all: Registration is open for our 2024 National ConferenceJune 17-20 at the Marriott St. Louis Grand. Come for the conference, stay for the community. Register today: usdla.org/2024-conference-registration

We’ll reach out again on Thursday with our USDLA Brief. Until then, have a beautiful week!Hope Katz Gibbs, USDLA Communications Director

USDLA EVENTS: January 2024

Our first annual Public Policy Week is just a week away: Jan. 16-19.

Click here to register and meet our prestigious presenters: usdla.org/2024-ppw

Learn more about the event: Click here to read our Q&A with our Public Policy Chairwoman, Alexandra Salas.

Questions? Send Alex and email: asalas@usdla.org

USDLA SPONSORS: Waldorf University

This week’s Sponsor Shout-Out goes to Waldorf University and its President, Dr. Robert Alsop

Waldorf University has become a pioneer in online education for educators, offering four individual Master of Education programs for teachers and administrators who want to grow personally and professionally. Programs are fully online and have no set course times, so our students achieve their degrees on schedule.

Waldorf partners with world-renowned educator and founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation, Erin Gruwell, to develop our M. Ed in Social Emotional Learning. The school provides all the original Freedom Writers students from Erin’s classroom with a full scholarship to our M. Ed program. It continues to support those educators who go through the Freedom Writers Foundation Institute with Waldorf University credit and a discount on tuition for those who wish to apply those credits towards their M. Ed in Social Emotional Learning.

New at Waldorf:

  • This month, Waldorf will commence its first on-base, in-person classes at Eielson Air Force Base, expanding access to higher education for service members and their families.
  • Waldorf’s Hero Behind the Hero scholarship is accepting applications for the first award period in 2024. It is available to a spouse or dependent of an active duty military service member or public safety professional and covers up to 60 credit hours towards one online degree program at any level.
  • Waldorf is working with high schools nationwide to provide dual enrollment credit to their students who participate in the Start Point program. The university is also focused on creating programs for the perpetual learner and is evaluating opportunities for certificates in various upcoming technologies.

Learn more about Waldorf:

INDUSTRY NEWS: “Be Proud to Teach Online”

By Errol Craig Sull

To tweak a quote from Michael Douglas’ character Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street, “Online teaching is good”!

Nearly all of us who teach online are proud of it, and truly enjoy it. But there are two nagging problems besetting those who teach online: the need for some to feel apologetic for teaching online (“I’m teaching online, but only … [you fill in the excuse]” or “I’m teaching online, but my full time job is …[take your pick]”) and for many in our society to still diss the value of online education (they are shrinking, thank goodness, but they remain a force). I’m tired of this: tired of running into the apologetic online instructors and tired of hearing from folks in the business and private sector who could give two spittoons worth of value to online learning.

Peek online: you won’t find a whit of an article, essay, or story on why folks who teach online should be proud of it, should puff out their chests and defend it. This ends here. I, like you, have a passion for teaching, and we have embraced the online learning environment because we know what it can do, what it can accomplish. And not only are we part of a teaching sector of society that brings and presents new opportunities to students through online teaching, but we also can boldly proclaim to accomplish the same bright spots touted for brick-and-mortar schools.

Click here to read the entire article.