New master’s program addressing need for innovation in education

The Master of Arts in Educational Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship program helps students develop and bring innovations to the education marketplace.

A professor sits on the floor with students who are drawing.
UNC professor, Keith Swayer, works with students using toy robots following colored paths to help illustrate computational thinking for primary school children. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

A new master’s program at Carolina’s School of Education is preparing students to transform education outside of traditional school-based careers.

The Master of Arts in Educational Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (MEITE) is among the first degree programs of its kind in the United States.

Now in its third year, the program explores educational technologies, the science of learning and entrepreneurship. The curriculum includes training to help students develop and bring innovations to the education marketplace. Using a personalized studies model, coursework is customized to each student’s interests within these areas.

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

“The program takes advantage of expertise in these other campus units that can help our students when they seek to create innovations that can be developed and brought to the educational marketplace,” said Kelly Ryoo, an associate professor in the School of Education and director of the MEITE program.

The School of Education implemented the program due to a need for effective, evidence-based products for the educational marketplace.

“We recognized that many products being developed for the educational marketplace had insufficient basis in what we know really helps students learn,” said Ryoo. “We wanted to create a program that help educational entrepreneurs develop products or services that are effective.”

A key component of the program is an internship in an innovative educational organization or business in the Research Triangle region, one of the leading hubs of technology entrepreneurship in the U.S. Through this hands-on experience, students extend their academic experiences into the community to gain understanding of the challenges of kick-starting innovation in the real world.

Students end their time in the MEITE program by completing a final thesis project in which they apply what they have learned to an innovative educational venture of their own design. Graduates of the program will be prepared to found new ventures or pursue careers in existing startups and large organizations.