Beginning in June, 20 Dublin teachers interested in administration will begin a 14-month graduate program offered through a partnership between the school district and Miami University.

Beginning in June, 20 Dublin teachers interested in administration will begin a 14-month graduate program offered through a partnership between the school district and Miami University.

Dublin school board members unanimously approved the partnership Monday night.

Miami officials previously approved the arrangement but are still awaiting further approval from a couple of independent academic bodies, including a regional accreditation council. That is expected within the next month or so, Miami officials said at Monday's school board meeting.

The partnership also includes, beginning in 2011, the opportunity for three seniors attending Dublin's teachers academy to receive scholarships to Miami. The students, one from each of the district's three high schools, would have to seek education degrees at Miami. Scholarships would be offered annually as long as the partnership exists.

"This was a huge step tonight," Superintendent David Axner said after the meeting. "We have a diverse group" of teachers interested in obtaining master's degrees in education administration.

Earlier Monday, 77 teachers who would like to be in the program met with Axner, Miami officials and others at Dublin Scioto High School.

Axner told board members that the teachers represent the district's elementary, middle and high schools and that a cross-section would be selected by Miami to take part in the graduate program.

Kate Rousmaniere, chairwoman of Miami's Educational Leadership Department, told board members the graduate program will include both online and classroom instruction.

"It's a hybrid. We believe very much in face-to-face instruction," she said.

Classes will be held at a Dublin school, officials said. The program will begin in June after school is out for the year.

The selection process includes standardized tests, interviews and reviewing rsums of interested teachers, Rousmaniere said. Those chosen during the next few months will take part in a two-week initiation program in Dublin before beginning their graduate work.

"The master's program (is one) we've offered for about 20 years in different districts (in southwestern Ohio)," Rousmaniere said. "We're tweaking it for Dublin."

The tweaking involves the online component, she told board members. Online instruction is not offered at the other school districts because all of them are close enough to Miami's campus in Oxford for regular classroom instruction.

The graduate program includes 33 credits of coursework. Teachers must pay tuition and fees for the program, although everyone selected will be eligible for the Ohio TEAM Scholarship at Miami that would cover 50 percent of the cost. Currently, a credit at Miami runs about $500, university officials said.

Dublin and Miami officials hope to make this an annual program with another 20 teachers selected in 2011.