BROWNWOOD – November 3, 2015 – Gayle White, high school principal for Kerens Independent School District, knew she couldn’t go wrong with choosing Howard Payne University to pursue her master’s degree and principal certification. As a third-generation HPU graduate, White had earned her bachelor’s degree from HPU as well.
“My grandparents met at Howard Payne and my parents met at Howard Payne,” she said. “I met my husband here and my daughter met her husband here.”
With such strong familial connections to the university, she was well aware of HPU’s commitment to Christ-centered, quality education. She soon learned that HPU offered its Master of Education in Instructional Leadership degree program fully online. This flexible format allowed White to intern as an assistant principal at a school in the Rio Grande Valley while pursuing her degree. She graduated from the program in 2012.
Not all online degree programs are created equal, White said.
“Not all programs are going to give you the same type of personalized education as Howard Payne,” she said. “They’re not going to provide the well-roundedness of HPU’s program wrapped up with Christian, global views like Howard Payne. As a Christian believer, that was very important to me.”
According to White, HPU helped her to grow and gave her the tools needed to do her job well.
“At my school this year, I’m working on developing leadership and empowering both teachers and students to be leaders,” she said. “My education from Howard Payne helped me tremendously in that. Empowering others is one of the core values that Dr. Robinson has ingrained in the program.”
Dr. Joe Robinson, director of the master’s degree program and professor of education, described his goals for the program.
“Our program is unique in that it combines aspects of organizational learning, brain-based research, and instructional leadership theory and practice from a Christian worldview,” he said. “What students gain from our program is immeasurable, the most noteworthy being a Christian-based perspective of school administration that enhances one’s potential to positively impact the lives of students, teachers and peers.”
The 30-credit-hour, non-thesis degree program consists of live, interactive lessons. White appreciated the collaborative nature of the program and holds all of her HPU instructors in high regard.
“They are fantastic people who know their subjects well,” she said. “It wasn’t just theory. They have real-world practical experiences from which to draw.”
She believes that’s one factor missing in many degree programs today.
“At other institutions there’s a whole lot of ‘read this book and write a summary,’” she said. “I want to hear from someone who’s already experienced it and knows what can and can’t be done. Again, I can’t say enough about HPU’s Christian worldview. There’s a difference when you lead with Christian principles. It just makes a difference.”
To learn more about HPU’s Master of Education in Instructional Leadership degree program, contact Dr. Joe Robinson at (325) 649-8205 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo cutline: Gayle White graduated in 2012 from HPU’s Master of Education in Instructional Leadership degree program. She is pictured with Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president.