Ed tech master’s degree blazes trail

CMU has first program to meet 100% of international organization’s standards

| Author: ​Jeff Johnston

​A Central Michigan University graduate degree has become the first higher education program to meet all of the International Society for Technology in Education's Standards for Educators, demonstrating that the program is preparing leaders in educational technology.

"After a rigorous review and revision process, CMU faculty achieved a curriculum 100% in alignment with the ISTE Standards for Educators," said Carolyn Sykora, senior director of ISTE standards programs. "It's clear that graduates emerge from the Master of Arts degree in learning, design and technology program with the theory, tools and experience they need to lead in schools of the future."

The degree, abbreviated as MALDT, is housed within CMU's teacher education and professional development department and will prepare its graduates to apply for a credential as ISTE-certified educators.

"In addition to the degree itself, ISTE Certification will be helpful when you're trying to distinguish yourself as a candidate for a position as an instructional designer, a technology coach or in another leadership role," said Troy Hicks, director of the MALDT program.

Where to begin

For more information about the MADLT degree or becoming an ISTE-certified educator, contact Troy Hicks at

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for skilled instructional coordinators continues to increase as educational use of technology moves far beyond watching a video and taking a quiz, Hicks said.

The MALDT degree focuses on educational technology leadership in pre-K-12 schools, higher education, businesses, nonprofits, the military, health care and more. Students in the program develop creative experiences that engage their own learners in interactive tech, including apps and devices.

Washington, D.C.-based ISTE is a global nonprofit dedicated to technology in teaching and learning. Its Certification for Educators is the only competency-based certification focused on digital-age teaching practices

"We are very proud that CMU is the first institution to earn this distinction," said Betty Kirby, dean of CMU's College of Education and Human Services. "It is the result of some very visionary educational technology faculty."

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