Inside Higher Ed reports a new master teacher education program has unexpectedly high enrollment from a diverse, highly-qualified cohort of students. The program just launched in fall 2009, so metrics like teacher placement, completion rates, and certification exams won't be available for several years.
Several aspects of this venture, called MAT@USC, are interesting. The USC Rossier School of Education is a top-tier, highly regarded program. Often, faculty or administrators express concern that online programs might, as IHE notes, "dilute the brand" of the larger program or school.
In addition, teacher education has been one of the subject areas many schools think would not translate well to an online platform. That ties in to another interesting aspect the MAT@USC program; their partnership with 2Tor, a for-profit company that partners with institutions of higher education to build and deliver online programs. 2Tor is providing some of the technology infrastructure that helps ensure high student-to-student contact and student-to-faculty contact, hallmarks of most excellent teacher education programs.
It will be interesting to see the comparisons on data points like teacher placement and certification exams between the online program and the on-campus program in a few years.