OVERLAND PARK — The University of Kansas is adding a master’s degree in educational technology at its Edwards Campus in Overland Park to serve the need of state and local businesses and industries to expand workforce online learning programs.
“Both small businesses and large corporations use online learning to educate workers, and nonprofit organizations are training more of their volunteers online as well,” said David Cook, vice chancellor of the KU Edwards Campus. “This degree prepares professionals who write, design and administer online courses and online support resources for face-to-face training.”
Ann Rhoads, vice president of Employee Experience and HR Relationship Management Marketing and Prepaid at Sprint, said the new degree will enable many companies to improve employee training and smooth the transition from traditional leader-led training to online models for others.
“Workplace online education needs more and better educated administrators and course programmers and designers,” said Rhoads, who also chairs the Workforce Development Advisory Board at the Edwards Campus. “This master’s degree allows current online educators to earn an academic degree commensurate with their skills and experience, helps companies retain institutional knowledge and talent, and ultimately improves business education and businesses in the community.”
Companies in the biotechnology, manufacturing, communications and information technology, among others, are turning to online and eLearning resources to keep employees current. These companies are important to economic growth in Johnson County and Kansas, Cook said.
The new educational technology master’s degree includes courses that concentrate in integration, administration and design of eLearning programs. A U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics study estimates demand for eLearning instructional coordinators, including designers, is growing much faster than the average for all occupations.
The program uses interdisciplinary and educational technology resources uniquely available to Edwards Campus students. KU is an established national leader in developing highly regarded eLearning tools and resources that serve millions of users every week.
The degree will appeal to professionals with demonstrated knowledge of information technology and a background in human resources, organizational development or training. Courses will be offered in the spring semester commencing Jan. 21.
The new degree is offered through the KU School of Education and supported by the Johnson County Education Research Triangle sales tax approved by voters in 2008. Missouri residents may qualify for tuition rates equivalent to in-state rates.
The KU Edwards Campus at 127th Street and Quivira Road in Overland Park brings high-quality academic programs, research and public-service benefits of KU to the greater Kansas City community in order to serve the workforce, economic and community development needs of region.