Georgia State student petitions to get Master’s

Julia Webb discusses how her class credit transfer for her Master’s program did not translate and how it creates discriminatory policies for students. Photo by Unique Rodriguez | The Signal

One of Georgia State’s graduate students is a mother battling competing claims of whether or not the courses she took will be counted for credit.

Julia Webb was hired for a reading recovery program within Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS), which teaches children how to read. While with GCPS, she was able to take training courses that coincided with potential credits for a Master’s degree.

“At the initial meeting, it was discussed that because the program was a GSU program, credits could be counted towards a Master’s or Specialist degree and to follow up with the university,” she said.

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Because she was involved in the reading recovery program, Webb said she was unable to take traditional classes at the same time, per the program’s rules. Instead, some of her training would count towards her degree with the Reading, Language and Literacy Education Online program.

“I followed up originally when I was sending all of my entry paperwork to the Reading Recovery department to see if I would need to take certain exams to go into a MEd program after the training,” she said.

According to Webb, a faculty member said she wouldn’t need to take any.

Dr. Jayoung Choi, in the College of Education and Human Development, told her that her training, which involved interacting with kids and using two-way mirrors, was potentially transferable to the Master’s program.

“You could potentially transfer in some of the reading recovery courses to some of our literacy courses [EDRD 7600, 7630, 7650],” Choi said.

Webb was accepted into the online Master’s program, but she said she was told by Dr. Angay-Crowder that she would have to petition to get the credits gained in the reading recovery program transferred to her Master’s.

After petitioning, she was told that only one of her classes would be counted for credit. To Webb, this was a discriminatory policy because she felt as though she wasn’t given the credit she deserved based on the fact that she was unable to attend the classes in person on campus like other students.

Webb said she couldn’t attend classes for reading recovery on the downtown campus because she takes care of her disabled son. She notified the department about this in her petition and believes this is why she didn’t get the credits.

“It would be nice to come to the [downtown] campus and do an in-person program but because I have a child with disabilities I wasn’t able to do that. So I was taking the online classes and was told that these three would potentially be counted,” Webb said she told the College of Education.

She then sent two petitions up the chain of command, one to the provost and one to Georgia State University President Mark Becker’s office.

After that, Webb said she contacted the state’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to appeal for credit for the courses she took within the reading recovery program on the basis that she was being wrongly discriminated against.

She cited Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act which states that “a public entity shall not … deny equal services … to an individual or entity because of the known disability of an individual with whom the individual or entity is known to have a relationship or association.”

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