The Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo has joined a national partnership to bring an exciting Master’s degree program from Miami University in Ohio to the Chicagoland area. The program is part of Project Dragonfly at Miami University and began at Brookfield Zoo in 2010.
The Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) is a conservation-focused, inquiry-driven learning experience that combines web-based graduate courses through Miami University with exciting face-to-face experiential and field study at Brookfield Zoo. Students in this national degree program contribute to social and ecological change in their communities. The opportunity to earn credits from international travel is another exciting part of the program. And the best news of all – it’s affordable!
Enrollment is open to applicants with a Bachelor’s degree regardless of academic major or profession. It is designed for a variety of working professionals and individuals that are interested in conservation and education.
Applicants elect to enroll in either a Master of Arts in Teaching in Biological Sciences or a Master of Arts in Biology from Miami University. MA and MAT candidates go through the AIP together. Note: The MAT program does not confer a teaching license or certification.
AIP Master’s students earn 35 total credit hours. 14 credit hours come from AIP Core Courses that occur on the web. 21 credit hours come from Web+ Courses that combine web-based instruction with experiential learning on-site at Brookfield Zoo. The experiential learning at Brookfield Zoo takes place during 3 or 4 face-to-face class meeting days per course. Students must be available for class meeting days that may take place on week days or Saturdays during the summer and Saturdays during the fall. All class meeting days are provided well in advance.
Students earn 35 credit hours. 7 of those credits may come from an Earth Expeditions global field course (www.earthexpeditions.org). Students also complete a Master’s portfolio in their final course. The AIP can be completed in as little as 2.5 years or as long as 5 years. The program is designed to be part-time, with working professionals in mind.
The AIP curriculum provides real-world experiences that also advance educational standards. MAT students may choose to develop a portfolio adaptable to National Board Certification. AIP Master’s candidates use inquiry not only as a tool for integrated learning, but as a powerful agent for achievement, public engagement, and ecological stewardship.
Download a copy of the Scope and Sequence (Microsoft Excel) to view course offerings in the Advanced Inquiry Program.
Miami offers substantially reduced fees for AIP courses. Costs are roughly 75% less than full Miami fees. AIP Master Institutions may also charge individual course costs, which vary by course and by institution. The Chicago Zoological Society charges an administrative fee based on the graduate hours in each course.
Click on Miami University's Cost page for further information.
With fees reduced as part of Miami University's support for this program, each AIP course is offered at a fraction of actual costs. Applicants to the program should check with their school district or employer to see if professional development funds are available to further offset costs. Additional tips for grants can be found on the AIP grant tips page.
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