William Woods to award first online degree to Blair Oaks teacher

Local educators will be December commencement speakers

Emily Libbert will become the first graduate of William Woods to earn her degree online. The Blair Oaks Middle School teacher received her master of education in teaching and technology.

Emily Libbert will become the first graduate of William Woods to earn her degree online. The Blair Oaks Middle School teacher received her master of education in teaching and technology.

When Emily Libbert graduates Dec. 13, she will be the first student to complete an online degree from William Woods University (WWU).

A middle school science teacher for the Blair Oaks School District in Wardsville, Libbert will receive a master of education degree in teaching and technology.

The Meta resident started the WWU online program in January 2013, after hearing about it from a co-worker who was working on a master of education degree in administration. Because she was eMINTS certified, Libbert was exempt from taking three courses, allowing her to graduate in 12 months.

A Missouri initiative to integrate technology into overall school improvement efforts, eMINTS gives students skills in using the computer and multimedia technologies to complement and enhance the teaching and learning process. WWU’s master of education degree in teaching and technology is a 30-credit program completely online. Its aim is to help teachers effectively incorporate technology into the classroom.

“It was nice to have the classes be online. I could do my work from home, on my own time. I hate procrastination, so to be able to get my assignments done early really helped keep the workload manageable,” she said.

William Woods University didn’t have to look far for its December commencement speakers this year. A Fulton native and an Auxvasse resident will be the speakers at ceremonies Dec. 13 and 14. Both ceremonies will be held in Cutlip Auditorium of the McNutt Campus Center on the Fulton campus.

A graduate of Fulton High School and William Woods University, Nicole Ebersole Langston, will speak at the 7 p.m. Friday commencement ceremony. During this ceremony, 347 students will receive master of education, education specialist and doctor of education degrees.

Ed Easterling of Auxvasse, professor of business and economics at WWU, will speak at the 10 a.m. Saturday ceremony. He will address 198 students who are receiving undergraduate or master of business administration degrees.

Langston is principal of Southwest Early Childhood Center, the home of the non-traditional pre-kindergarten and elementary programs for Jefferson City Public Schools. The center serves about 1,200 children each school year.

She earned her bachelor of science degree in early childhood education from Missouri State University, master of education degree in administration at William Woods University and her education specialist degree in education policy and analysis with superintendent certification at the University of Missouri.

A professor at William Woods since 1985, Easterling has been the recipient of the Louis D. Beaumont Dad’s Association Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching four times — more than any other professor.

He received his bachelor of science degree at Clemson University, his master of science degree at Auburn University, and his doctorate at the University of Missouri.

Altogether, 545 graduates will be recognized at this December ceremony. A total of 293 December degrees will be conferred. Another 252 graduates whose degrees were conferred in August are eligible to participate in the winter ceremony. A combined total of 885 students in all disciplines have graduated from WWU in the past 12 months.

Degrees earned by December and August graduates combined are three associate of arts, nine bachelor of arts, one bachelor of fine arts, 78 bachelor of science, 107 master of business administration (MBA), 229 master of education (M.Ed.), 114 education specialist (Ed.S.) and four doctor of education degrees.

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