SOE News

School of Education launches new master’s degree in educational innovation

Students who want to prepare for engaging in work transforming education outside of traditional school-based careers have a new option: a master’s program at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education.

The School of Education has launched a new Master of Arts in Educational Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship – the first degree of its kind in the United States.

Graduates of the program will be prepared to identify opportunities and develop innovative ideas; to ground their innovations in cutting-edge technology and learning sciences research; and to create value by founding and managing new entrepreneurial ventures.

The first students will start the program in the Fall of 2016. Applications are due Jan. 12.

“The new program is designed to respond to a broad variety of changes impacting schools and other educational institutions,” said Professor Keith Sawyer, the director of the program. Many of these changes are driven by new technologies, including the Web, smartphones, social media, maker spaces, and tablet computers. “But educational innovations are also occurring in the nonprofit sector and through social entrepreneurship ventures,” said Sawyer, with the potential to improve education for K-12 and college students, adults, and on-the-job training.

The new program will prepare students to make significant impact in the education sector, through professional expertise and preparation. A key component of the program is an internship in an innovative educational organization in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina — one of the leading hubs of entrepreneurship in the U.S.

While the program is housed in Carolina’s School of Education, students will also take courses in the Kenan-Flagler Business School, the School of Information and Library Science, and the Department of Computer Science.

Students will benefit from a strong network of mentors, advisors, and coaches through the Innovation and Entrepreneurship ecosystem at the University of North Carolina, and links to entrepreneurial networks at nearby institutions including Duke University, North Carolina State University, and Research Triangle Park.