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Grand Valley offers first online master's degree

Posted on March 31, 2011

 Grand Valley State University will offer its first completely online program — a master’s degree in educational technology through the College of Education. Through this program, educators at all levels will learn how to integrate and maximize technology use in instructional settings.

“We created this online program to reach students who might not benefit from existing Grand Valley offerings, due to living at a distance from our campus,” said Andrew Topper, associate professor of education. “When we designed this new program, we started by building on the high quality of our existing degree.

The master’s degree is meant for those living outside of Kent, Ottawa, and Muskegon counties. The program is also offered as a hybrid (online and face-to-face) option for those who reside in or close to the Grand Rapids area. The program will allow teachers to access cutting-edge information and build ongoing learning communities and networks.

“I create community in my online classes,” said Sean Lancaster, associate professor of education. “That social component contributes to a positive online learning experience. The anytime-anywhere learning aspect of our online program also allows for the kinds of flexibility that busy adults need.”

The program prepares teachers and leaders to enhance the academic and personal potential of their students and to evaluate the social and ethical implications of educational policies and practices. Content covers the educational application of technology, such as computers and the Internet, for professional and instructional purposes.

Elaine Collins, dean of the College of Education, said the state requires all high school students to have online learning experiences and take a course in an online format and many teachers need greater preparation to develop strategies for instruction.

For more information contact Andrew Topper in Grand Valley’s College of Education at (616) 331-7273 or visit Students can get more information at

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