Why Master of Science in Education and Human Development (MSEHD)
The need for the program
To determine the desirability of the proposed Master of Science Degree Program in Education and Human Development at Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University (PMU), the Graduate Education Committee at PMU conducted a marketing study of the needs and potential demands for graduates of its program.
The purpose of this investigation was to determine the local needs for the proposed program among the school teachers, educators and representatives of the educational sector in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The study aimed at collecting, analyzing and documenting responses to questions related to educators’ beliefs, needs and interests in a proposed Master of Science Degree Program in Education and Human Development at Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University (PMU). Also, the study addressed a genuine concern of the committee members regarding the degree to which PMU as an emerging university is prepared to respond to the demands of a proposed Master of Science Degree for educators.
For this purpose, a marketing research survey of a random sample of 10,000 school teachers and educators and a follow up interview with 50 potential candidates who responded positively to the survey were conducted. Also, an in-depth interview was conducted with educators and local school principles to spotlight the concerns and problems that face the educational sector in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom.
Authentic voices from the study indicated that those who enter the teaching field are the ones with a bachelor's degree in the content area, but with no or limited background in education.
The educators and school principals that the Graduate Committee members interviewed evidently indicated that based on their observation during the last 20 years or so, a great number of teachers with a bachelor's degree in the content area receive insufficient training and demonstrate:
- Lack of methodology
- Lack of knowledge about educational psychology and technology integration.
- Unawareness of the paradigm shifts in teaching philosophies.
- Lack of knowledge of classroom management techniques.
- Unawareness of behavior management.
The findings of the study were enlightening. It was perceptible that there is a sever shortage of qualified school teachers who can integrate current theoretical and practical trends in education. Due to the unavailability of highly qualified teacher trainers, a great number of school teachers are teaching out-of-field, which in effect has a negative impact on the overall educational process in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
It was also apparent that there is a significant demand for technology-proficient educators.
Considerably, there is a lack of professional development programs that provide educators with the techniques and skills of technology integration and the effective use of technology in the K–
12 classrooms and in teacher preparation programs.
Yet despite the critical need for teachers and educators with expertise in teaching, teacher education, and technology integration, there is no university in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with a master degree program that encompasses a myriad of concentrations to address those
Addressing the Local Needs
The Master of Science Degree Program in Education and Human Development at Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University (PMU), with its distinguished seven concentrations [Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Instructional Technology, Curriculum and Instruction with a Concentration in Literacy, Teacher Education, Educational Leadership, Human Resource Development, and Special Education] addresses those needs. Considerably, both the survey and interview results indicate that there is a ready market for graduates of the Master of Science Degree Program in Education and Human Development at Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University (PMU).
Conclusively, this study provides insightful and viable evidence for PMU to thoughtfully realize the proved growing interest in the usefulness of the program. After all, though PMU is an emerging university, it has the required infrastructure, library resources, and the necessary faculty and personnel to meet the demands of the targeted market.