New Online MA in International Education Management Gives Students Greater Flexibility

The Middlebury Institute has launched its third online diploma for graduates: the online Master of Arts in International Education Management (IEM), an asynchronous online version of the Institute’s personal master’s program designed for maximum flexibility. Applications are open and the first students will begin receiving degrees in the fall of 2022.

“We have rethought the IEM Institute’s degree program to reflect the wave of change we have all witnessed over the past two years,” says IEM Program Chairman David Wick. “Initially, the global pandemic halted the international mobility of students and drew increased attention to the impact of global learning based on travel on climate. The Black Lives Matter movement then raised important questions about the role of international education in social justice. These considerations, which drive professional practice in this area, have contributed to our desire to be more inclusive and responsive to current social challenges. ”

Starting this fall, students will be able to complete an IEM degree entirely online, in person or using a mix of the two. The standard offerings of the fall and spring semesters will be supplemented by January and summer semester opportunities, and students will be able to take the program at their chosen pace, part-time or full-time.

It is expected that the transition to a full range of personal, online and mixed options will have many benefits for students. “One of the benefits of bringing all classes online for 18 months during a pandemic is that it has expanded our student community,” said Professor Catherine Puntney, founder of a program that worked with fellow IEM faculty to help create a new program. “We recognized that creating such flexibility in the program in the future will allow us to reach students who cannot enroll full-time or move to Monterey. We are pleased to be able to offer the IEM online program to working professionals, including those working internationally. ”

Expanding the program’s reach through technology was documented by IEM career and academic education consultant Grace O’Dell: “Our transition to online learning during the pandemic has led to increased diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, age, gender and identity, abilities , location, family structure and professional background of our student cohort ”. Meanwhile, global developments continue to motivate increased interest in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and IEM faculty members cite “interest in discussing DEI careers” as the most common reason they are approached by prospective students. “Our students – future students who have come and gone – want to be part of this social change,” says Vic.

Increased attention to hybrid and online learning also creates opportunities to expand the reach of the classroom itself. “In addition to increasing the diversity of our student population, this new approach allows us to collaborate more widely and attract faculty and professionals who might not be teaching in Monterey,” Vic notes, adding that “we are committed to integrating theory, research and professional practice. through applied projects and mentoring from working professionals ”.

Adding a remote degree option for adaptation

Teachers understand that this new approach will require additional adaptations. “IEM’s past cohorts have been very strong and collaborative, and we know it will take effort to build and sustain vibrant learning communities,” Puntney said, referring to opportunities including interactive, collaborative asynchronous activities, additional synchronous classes, team projects and online social activities, including opportunities to communicate with program graduates working around the world.

Students enrolled in the 48-credit online program will have access to the same personalized career and counseling resources as on-site program students, including access to seminars and training sessions. Most students will receive diplomas from 18 months to three years.

The Middlebury Institute currently offers two other fully online degree programs, an online MSc in TESOL and an online MSc in Translation and Localization Management, and continues to explore new opportunities in this area.

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