Intelligent.com has ranked the University of Central Missouri’s online Master of Science in Educational Technology as number one nationwide.

The ranking comes at an imperative time for educational technology as many schools have begun to implement new technologies and more advanced ways to teach, especially in a year of pandemic.

Based on Intelligent.com’s methodology, which includes reviewing material directly from universities and data from other institutional review sites, Intelligent.com has deemed UCM the best place for an online master’s in educational technology degree. The program was scored highly for its strength, student readiness, return on investment, cost, student engagement and accreditation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

The program aims to reinforce modern educational values with 21st-century technology. The program, for example, reflects current developments in the educational technology field by being offered entirely online. It also teaches important but often forgotten aspects of individuals’ digital lives that are paramount for the educational technology field.

Such concepts include digital citizenship and the importance of promoting healthy examples related to being a digital user. Digital citizenship refers to the responsible and productive use of digital and internet technologies. Students in the program are not only learning about these concepts, but they are engaging in these same positive practices.

“We aim to remain true to the mission of the University of Central Missouri and recognize the importance of creating relevant 21st century curriculum and content,” said Shantia Kerr Sims, associate professor and -Master of Science in Educational Technology program coordinator. “As a program, we have built strong relationships with our global network of alumni and continue to build on those partnerships to expose students to diverse perspectives and solid instructional strategies."

In order to refine their studies, students will participate in activities that, according to the program website, promote excellence and support transformational change throughout the instructional environment while developing and implementing comprehensive integration of technology into the academic experience.

With the current state of education evolving to be more technically advanced, it is vital for educational institutions to hire individuals with knowledge of these technologies. This is one of the reasons why educational technology is a growing industry. The demand for instructional coordinators with specialized knowledge is expected to grow by 6% in under a decade and training specialist positions are projected to grow by 9% in the same time frame. Careers suited to this degree program are not just growing but they are needed and many employers are eager to hire experts in this field.

“The online Educational Technology program works diligently to ensure students are well versed in current trends and research-based practices to effectively integrate technology in a variety of educational settings,” Sims said.  “Our students are leaders in their respective fields and this honor is a reflection of the dedicated work of our students, faculty, and staff."

These same career paths are full of diverse options for graduates which, in turn, creates diverse opportunities for students enrolled in the program. Upon earning their degrees, a program graduate will be qualified for many vastly different and unique careers such as educational technology specialists and instructional coordinators and instructional coordinators. The field of educational technology is as vast as it desired.

The diversity of the program continues to grow, with a new course that will be offered beginning the second half of the fall 2021 semester. The course, Computer Science for Educators, will prepare future educators to teach the lucrative field of computer science. The course will be available to both undergraduate and graduate students and is another opportunity for students to enter a vast field of career options.

For more information about the program, contact Sims at skerr@ucmo.edu or visit the program website at https://www.ucmo.edu/academics/programs/masters-degrees/educational-technology-ms-53-846/index.php.