"This truly has made me a better teacher," says Germantown, Md., algebra teacher Adam Ritchie, who finished the Maryland evening and summer program in December. "I was able to apply [course work] right off the bat in the classroom."
Besides studies that encouraged exploratory and inquiry-based learning and gave him the know-how to better challenge all kids regardless of ability, Ritchie took algebra, geometry and statistics, and now feels much more ready for the Common Core in math, which gets rolled out in county middle schools next year.
The other welcome payoff: a 20 percent bump in salary.
This story is excerpted from the U.S. News Best Graduate Schools 2014 guidebook, which features in-depth articles, rankings, and data.