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BHSU online master’s in secondary education recognized as one of the best in nation

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, March 7, 2019/Categories: Students, Academic Affairs, Alumni, Awards, College of Business and Natural Sciences, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, Community, Faculty, 2019

The Master of Science in Secondary Education degree through Black Hills State University, offered completely online, was recognized by as one of the best in the nation. BHSU was noted in the ranking of 46 universities as “Best in Active Learning Experiences.”

Dean of Graduate Studies at BHSU, Dr. Amy Fuqua, said the plan of study for the master’s in secondary education is flexible and can be completed in a one- or two-year timeframe.

“We call this program ‘Project SECOND’ as it was created for students who already have a baccalaureate degree but are ready for a new career path as an educator,” said Fuqua. “At BHSU, we are glad to offer this quality program to instruct the next generation of teachers, curriculum developers, and administrators – all career paths you can follow with this degree.”

According to the listing, teachers with a master’s degree are more likely to fill specialized roles and earn a higher salary.

To determine the rankings, analyzed every master’s in secondary education program in the U.S. Areas of analysis included academic quality, student success, and affordability.

The quality characteristics of Project SECOND have also been acknowledged by those interested in teaching, with enrollment numbers more than doubling in the last two years.

Each of the 46 ranked schools were given a unique designation; “Best in Active Learning Experiences” was awarded to BHSU.

“Current Project SECOND candidates are completing this online program from 11 different states and ranging demographics; however, there is a sense of community with each graduating cohort,” Dr. Ryan Amys, director of Project SECOND, said. “The distinct perspectives that make up Project SECOND give helpful insight into the diverse students these future teachers will be instructing.”

“Black Hills State University provides active learning experiences for students in the master’s in secondary education program. These active learning experiences allow students to put theory into practice and to develop the competencies to succeed as teachers in their schools,” according to

Recent Project SECOND graduates and their places of employment:
  • Tiffani Darby, Class of 2018, Wolf Point Junior High/High School, Wolf Point, Mont.
  • Mackenzie Ivie, ’18, North Sevier High School, Salina, Utah
  • Jennifer Jungwirth, ’18, Sundance Secondary School in Sundance, Wyo.
  • Aaron Odegaard, ’17, Stagebarn Middle School, Summerset
  • Darian Samuelson, ’18, Upton High School, Upton, Wyo.
  • Alyssa Walters, ’17, Spearfish High School, Spearfish
Online master’s degrees offered by BHSU (learn more at

Master of Science:
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Curriculum & Instruction
  • Secondary Education
  • Sustainability
Master of Education:
  • Reading
About the School of Education at BHSU
Black Hills State University offers 19 undergraduate and three graduate degree programs in education with unique and significant field experiences. The university is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the South Dakota Department of Education (SD DOE). BHSU has the largest teacher preparation program in the state of South Dakota, and the elementary education degree can be completed entirely onsite at BHSU-Rapid City. BHSU graduates have a more than 90 percent pass rate on licensure exams. A high percentage of graduates from the BHSU education program are hired immediately in classrooms throughout the world. Nearly 50 school districts attend the annual Teacher Fair at BHSU to recruit education students.

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