Graduate Program FAQ

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions. If you do not see an answer or would like more information, let us know.

If I have other questions, or just want to talk about my goals in the program, whom should I contact?

Please contact our Director of Education, Mary Pat Champeau at marypat@humaneeducation.org or call her direct line at 207-667-1172.

How do I apply?

The easiest way to apply is online. Please visit the Valparaiso University Humane Education webpage to apply. You will be asked to submit your application, a 500-word personal statement essay, your undergraduate transcripts, a $35 application fee, and two letters of recommendation. This can all be submitted electronically.

An interview is part of the application process. Once your application has been received at Valparaiso, it will be forwarded to the director of education at IHE who will contact you to set up an interview.

As an online student, do I still receive typical university services, such as access to the university library and career services, a student ID, IT help, financial aid counselors, accommodation and support for my disability, etc.?

Yes, you do. We will help you access these services as an online student.

Will I be licensed to teach after I complete the M.Ed. degree?

No, you will not be licensed to teach. Each state has its own regulations and requirements for licensure. If you are interested in becoming licensed to teach in your state’s public school system, you must contact the department of education in your state to find out what the requirements and criteria for licensure are.

I started a degree elsewhere and want to switch; will Valparaiso accept transferred credits?

Valparaiso University will accept up to nine (9) transferred graduate credits from an accredited university or college. These credits will count as electives in your humane education degree program.

Is there a Ph.D. program in humane education?

Yes. Through a three-way partnership with Saybrook University, Valparaiso University, and IHE, there is a specialization in Humane Education Leadership within Saybrook University’s Ph.D. in Organizational Systems. More information is available here.

How many graduate students are in the program?

In any given semester there are approximately 35-50 students in the humane education graduate programs.

How long has the program been in existence?

IHE’s graduate programs in humane education have been offered since 2001 — first through a partnership with Cambridge College, and since 2011, through our current partnership with Valparaiso University. In 2014, IHE and Valparaiso University partnered with Saybrook University to offer a Ph.D. program with a humane education specialization.

What kind of job can I get with this degree?

Humane education is a new and pioneering field. We work with each student to determine professional goals and plan practicum and thesis work to support these goals.

Graduates work in many different fields, including education, the arts, business, technology, non-profit management, health and human services, animal protection, environmental preservation, and social entrepreneurship. Profiles of our graduate students and alumni are available here: student and alumni profiles

 

 

What is the difference between these programs?

All degree programs in humane education share five core courses:

  • Introduction to Humane Education;
  • Environmental Ethics;
  • Animal Protection;
  • Human Rights;
  • Culture & Change.

Assignments and booklists within the courses are differentiated. The M.Ed. program is designed for classroom educators; other programs are designed for non-classroom educators. Program and course descriptions are available here.

Can I take as many classes as I’d like each semester?

Courses are rigorous.  Students are encouraged to take no more than two courses per semester (6 credits), though you may take up to 3 courses (9 credits) if you wish.

 

 

Do I have to travel to Valparaiso University at any time?

No, though students are welcome to visit, participate in commencement ceremonies, and attend other activities offered on the Valparaiso campus.

What if I’ve never taken an online class before?

Students come into the program with varying levels of technology experience. Beginning with your very first course, there is plenty of support available for those who’ve never participated in online courses before. In addition to unlimited help from the IHE program director, an online orientation to Blackboard and user-friendly “tip sheets” are available to all students, anytime. You can also obtain help from the Valparaiso University IT desk.

How can I get to know my classmates?

 

Community is very important to us. We have designed the courses to include lots of opportunities for communication and collaboration among students.

  • In each course, students have a chance to get to know their classmates through personal introductions, discussion boards, video conferencing, and a virtual student lounge.
  • A “Humane Education Student Union” on Blackboard enables students across all courses to communicate with each other and discuss topics of interest.
  • Our M.Ed. and M.A. students, experience additional community building by spending five days together at our one-week Summer Residency in beautiful Maine.

 

 

Do I have to log in at a certain time?

No. Courses are delivered via Valparaiso University’s Blackboard system. Students receive their course syllabi at the start of each semester, along with instructions on how to access the discussion boards, participate in video salons, post responses to film festivals, and submit assignments.

While some assignments (film festivals and video salons) have deadlines, most other coursework and assignment submissions can be done according to the student’s schedule and preference.

Are the graduate programs completely online?

Yes, with the exception of a one-week residency in Maine that is required in the M.Ed. and M.A. programs.

 

 

What degrees are offered?

We offer:

  • M.Ed. in Humane Education;
  • M.A. in Humane Education;
  • Graduate Certificate in Humane Education;
  • M.A. in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Humane Education;
  • M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership with a concentration in Humane Education;
  • Ph.D. in Organizational Systems: Humane Education Specialization.
Are these programs accredited?

Yes. IHE’s graduate programs in humane education are offered through a partnership between IHE and Valparaiso University, which is a fully accredited university in Indiana: valpo.edu/about. Specific information about accreditation can be found here. The doctoral program is offered through Saybrook University, which is an accredited university in California: saybrook.edu/academics/accreditation