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Diabetes Education and Management
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Diabetes Education and Management
In the Department of Health and Behavior Studies

About the Program > Program Testimonials

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Program Testimonials

brooke kneteman
Brooke Kneteman ‘13

The Master of Science in Diabetes Education and Management is a distinctive program in both the content and how it is presented. At the center of nearly every conversation is the patient. Everyone shares their experiences and relates these experiences to the course discussions and literature, leading to extremely rich and thoughtful discussions.

I found that the online format allowed for flexibility and created a far more involved and participatory student body versus the more traditional classroom that most frequently focuses on professor-led lectures. I often got to know the students in my online courses much better than the students I sat next to in the classroom!

Finally, the strength of the program includes fantastic mentors, student advisors and course facilitators. Their passion and expertise are inspirational. I am excited to take what I have learned in this program and apply it in my career.

chris anderson
Chris Anderson ‘15

Working as a nurse volunteer diabetes self-management educator (DSME) among low-income, uninsured patients, I sought education to be the best diabetes educator possible and receive credentialing as a certified diabetes educator. I decided that the best pathway to my goal was an academic degree in the specialty. After researching three online diabetes education masters programs, I chose the DEDM program at Teachers College, Columbia University because TC offered the only program with asynchronous, online courses as well as opportunity to interface with diabetes educators from multiple disciplines.

At TC, the online discussions are robust and educational, providing insights and experiential, evidence-based input from diabetes educators internationally. After just one semester, I already had new knowledge and tools to begin to transform the DSM education available to patients in my area who can often become invisible to our healthcare system. The DEDM program also encourages and enables formation of friendships and camaraderie with fellow students. It is a great privilege to recommend the DEDM program to anyone wishing to be the best diabetes educator possible.

karen shidler
Karen Shidler ‘13

I had been a CDE for 15 years when I started the Masters in Diabetes Education and Management program at Teachers College. I had been looking for an advanced degree that focused on my specialty, since I loved diabetes education and planned to continue in it for the rest of my career.  When I was reading the course requirements for this program, I was excited because they were all so pertinent to me and my role.

I started with the first class in the fall of 2011 and have not been disappointed! Even though I've had experience as a diabetes educator, I have expanded my knowledge beyond what I could have expected. Obviously the course readings and research have contributed to that but it is the interaction with the professors and other students that have greatly enriched my learning.

The online format, although foreign to me initially, has been wonderful because of the flexibility to work about career and family obligations. Living in rural Indiana, I can still obtain a degree from a prestigious university and gain close friends/colleagues from across the United States and beyond!

kathleen graham
Kathleen Graham ‘14

When I applied for the Diabetes Education and Management program I was nervous because it had been fifteen years since I’d set foot in a classroom and I had never taken any master’s level courses. I hadn’t found a graduate degree program that “spoke” to me, until I read about the Teachers College Diabetes Education and Management program.

Program faculty have been very supportive and encouraging. They have pointed me to resources to complete assignments and prepare for future classes. The online format works very well for me: I’m married, have two school-aged children and work full time, so attending in-person classes would be impossible. I’ve also built close friendships with my classmates and feel I know them better than I’ve known people with whom I’ve taken in-person classes!

The program at Teachers College gave me the foundation to expand my role within my agency, and then achieve a new position at a different agency. I am recognized by my peers and administration as the diabetes expert on staff. I plan to continue to get my CDE and hope to develop and run a diabetes education and management program for a home care agency.

rena goldhahn
Rena Goldhahn ‘15

I earned my first nursing degree from the oldest hospital-based nursing school in the United States and then got my bachelor’s degree several years later (at the age of 61!). As I practiced nursing I became more interested in diabetes. I had been diagnosed with diabetes years earlier, and I had also learned that diabetes was the cause of my mother’s early death. Then I learned about this wonderful program at Teachers College Columbia University. I decided to advance my education once more, and I am honored to be a part of this Master of Science in Diabetes Education and Management program. I will graduate when I am 73 years old because we are never too old to learn or to achieve our dreams.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to take a course on how to start my own diabetes program. Through hands-on assignments we learned how to accomplish this task. I recently had the opportunity to put what we learned into practice because our coordinator left and I became the interim coordinator. Our assessment course helped me to become more aware of how culture affects diabetes management. The courses I have taken at Teachers College are helping me to become the best Diabetes Educator I could ever be and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the first class.

pj pugh
PJ Pugh ‘14

The Diabetes Education and Management Masters program is exactly what I was looking for to advance my knowledge in diabetes education and management. The courses offered in this program cover a broad range of topics designed to gain competencies in the field of diabetes education and promote understanding of the complex nature of diabetes and support those living with diabetes. The program is providing me advanced studies in behavioral change theories and principles, competencies for working with diverse populations, how to critically understand and apply research to my practice, adult learning strategies and advocacy towards reducing health disparities.

joanne duncan-carnesciali
Joanne Duncan-Carnesciali ‘14

Words can’t describe how excited I was to learn about the Master’s degree program in Diabetes Education and Diabetes Management (DEDM) at Teachers College, Columbia University. As a clinical exercise physiologist, my client base consists of people diagnosed with diabetes. Over the years, the number of individuals diagnosed with diabetes, who I took on as clients, progressively increased. The DEDM Master’s degree program at Teachers College addresses the needs of the diabetes population not only from a clinical perspective, but also from the perspective of disease management through the lens of the person with diabetes and through the lens of stakeholders in the realm of diabetes disease management. The program addresses diabetes disease management in the areas of pathophysiology, patient/client assessment, prevention and intervention, program development, program management and evaluation, advocacy, and cultural aspects pertaining to diabetes education and management, which are pivotal to the success of diabetes self-management education programs.  The professors, courses and format in which the program is delivered are FIRST CLASS!

Diabetes is a global epidemic and the DEDM program is way ahead of the curve in terms of producing knowledgeable and skillful practitioners of diabetes education across several clinical disciplines.  This program has not only solidified my knowledge base of diabetes, it has greatly increased my understanding of the disease process as it relates to human organ systems, it has improved how I deliver diabetes self-education and management to my current client base and it has given me valuable insight into the professional worlds of other clinicians who provide diabetes self-management education.  The program definitely raises the knowledge and competency bar in the diabetes self-management education arena.

john mcdonald
John McDonald ‘15

The online master’s program in diabetes education and management program at Teachers College, Columbia University allows me access to a nationally recognized institution in graduate study that would be impossible if taught as a traditional brick and mortar classroom experience.  Online classes provide the independence to integrate scheduling of study, assignments and the demands of my clinical optometric practice.

I also prefer the interactions of the online experience because there are three sources of learning: the professor, individual study and experience from fellow classmates. My classes have in common a student diversity of geographic locations, professions and ages.

The program itself is geared for an interdisciplinary educational experience. My fellow students (to this point) have included a pharmacist, physician, dentist, exercise physiologist, dieticians, and nurses. The program encourages graduate students to contribute knowledge and experience from their particular discipline or profession into the classroom experience.

Lastly it is inspiring to participate in classes directed by professors with exceptional academic qualifications and with a commitment to challenge and motivate my achievement. They are excited to teach and show a genuine interest in their students. I would whole-heartily encourage anyone interested in diabetes education and self-management to inquire about this program.

juliet jordan joseph
Juliet Jordan Joseph ‘15

I am a clinical pharmacist in the United States Public Health Service.  I am stationed at the Federal Medical Center at Devens, which is a prison hospital in western Massachusetts.  In 2012, I had the privilege of starting my own diabetes clinic, in which I manage the diabetes therapy for inmates who have an A1C of 9.5% or above. The clinic has been rewarding, but challenging in some aspects.   To overcome these challenges, I felt that I needed to broaden my knowledge base so that I could be more clinically effective.

While surfing the Web, I found the Master of Science in Diabetes Education and Management Program at Teachers College, Columbia University.  I was elated to discover that the program is offered completely online, which would give me the flexibility to juggle work, school and home life.  I started the program in May, 2013, and it has been a phenomenal experience. The rich discussions among classmates and the thought provoking questions and assignments from instructors have enhanced my learning and have provided me with the necessary tools to improve my practice.  I am hoping to complete the program in May, 2015. I highly recommend this program to anyone who is interested in expanding their knowledge about diabetes and gaining insight into becoming an outstanding diabetes educator.

kelly cuffe
Kelly Cuffe ‘15

I am a registered dietitian currently enrolled in the Master of Science in Diabetes Education and Management Program at Teachers College at Columbia University.  What initially drew me toward this program is that it was specific to diabetes management. I have a passion for diabetes and helping those with diabetes succeed at self-management. Currently, I am the Manager and Program Coordinator of a hospital-based, outpatient, ADA recognized, Diabetes Self-Management Program, in a far south suburb of Chicago.

One of my long-term goals, as part of my professional portfolio for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, was to pursue my masters and eventually sit for the BC-ADM.  This program has been a perfect fit for me.

First, the rolling admissions allowed me to enroll in the program at a time that was convenient.  Next, the ability to learn online, while unchartered waters for me at the time, has been an awesome experience.  Sure there was a slight learning curve, but the support team at TC has been extremely helpful when needed.  Finally, being able to learn and participate, on my time, has been crucial to my success in the program.  Working full-time, keeping a house, taking care of family, and finding some me time, has all been possible with the flexibility of this learning platform.

While I am nearing the end of my time at TC, I am grateful for those that have taken a chance and devoted their time to this program.  I am privileged to have had the opportunity to participate in such a unique experience and will continue to encourage others in the field to consider this program for their professional growth and development.

lisa shapiro
Lisa Shapiro '16

As a registered dietitian enrolled in this program for one year, I have only great things to say about it.  The professors are expert in their field; extremely knowledgeable and incredibly accessible.  The courses are thorough and give one a strong foundation in diabetes education.  My favorite course so far has been Pathophysiology of Diabetes.  I love that this program is online, allowing me to work full time and still pursue my degree.

I cannot say enough about this program, and highly recommend it to anyone interested in diabetes education.

About the Program