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Programs / Educational Specialist

The Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree is a post-master's program for professionals who seek advanced preparation to broaden their understanding of complex professional issues, strengthen their ability to conduct systematic inquiry on their practice, and provide leadership for their institutions. The Ed.S. Can be completed online through the ITMA program.

Admissions to advanced graduate study in the School of Education requires acceptance by both the Instructional Design and Technology Program area, the department and the University's Graduate School.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree
  • A Quality Credit Average (QCA) of at least 3.3 (on a 4.0 = A scale) in prior graduate level work.
  • Evidence of strong academic potential and professional experience.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores of at least 550 for international students who did not receive a previous degree from an American, Canadian or British university.

Evidence that the applicant meets these requirements will be obtained from the following documents required for admission.

  • Application for Admission (form provided by Graduate School). Select Curriculum & Instruction major.
  • TOEFL scores (if applicable)
  • Two official copies of transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate programs attended.

Admission materials and completed forms should be sent to:

Graduate Admissions (0325)
Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown
Graduate School, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061

It is the applicant's responsibility to have transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended and TOEFL scores, if applicable, sent to the Graduate School at the address shown above.

Materials that should be sent to the department should be mailed to :

School of Education Office of Academic Programs
105 War Memorial Hall (MC 0313)
Virginia Tech
370 Drillfield Dr.
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Attn: Nancy Nolen

For additional information concerning admission to Instructional Design and Technology, contact:

Dr. Barbara Lockee, Program Area Leader
(540) -231-9193
lockeebb@vt.edu

Review of Applications

Applications to the Instructional Design and Technology Master's program will be reviewed as received. Applications that are incomplete will not be reviewed.

The Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree is a post-master's program for professionals who seek advanced preparation to broaden their understanding of complex professional issues, strengthen their ability to conduct systematic inquiry on their practice, and provide leadership for their institutions. In this program, candidates are expected to attain 1) a broad and systematic understanding of professional education, 2) a definitive knowledge of a particular field of specialization, and 3) ability to integrate and apply theoretical concepts of education in an actual educational context. This program is designed for the accomplished, experienced practitioner with specific professional aspirations. It is not designed for those who which to pursue a research emphasis as a prelude to doctoral study.

The on-campus IDT program can prepare students for a variety of career options. Typical career paths include:

Instructional designer/trainer

The instructional designer/trainer career option targets courses aimed at developing your skills as an instructional design/training professional who will likely seek employment in business/industry, although other work settings (education, government) are certainly possible too. As an instructional designer/trainer, it is important to develop knowledge and skills in certain core areas including the following: instructional design, learning theory, use of media for instructional purposes, communications, evaluation, and project management.

Below, you will find recommended courses for this option.In order to keep course offerings up-to-date, the actual courses offered during your masters program may vary. You may select different courses with approval of your advisor. You should consult with your advisor regarding the suitability of any course, particularly one outside of IDT, for your program of study and professional goals.

Foundations: The following courses are required for all IDT Masters students

  • EDIT 5164: Principles of Instructional Design
  • EDIT 5564: Fundamentals of Technology Tools
  • EDIT 5774: Learning Theories for ID
  • EDIT 5774 Portfolio Evaluation

Research: The following research course is required for all IDT Masters students

  • EDIT 5584: Program and Product Evaluation

Concentration: Select 12-18 hours from the following courses For course descriptions, please see Course Description section of this Website.

Courses strongly recommended for this option

  • EDIT 5644: Trends and Applied Theories in Professional Development
  • EDIT 5784: Improving Performance through Systemic Change
  • EDIT 6134: Topics in ID: ID for Distance Education
  • EDIT 6134: Topics on ID: Advanced ID
  • EDIT 6134: Topics in ID: Project Management

Additional courses of interest to this career include:

  • EDIT 5534: Applied ID Theories
  • EDIT 5564: Topics In Instructional Technology Tools & Methods ( A variety of courses are offered on topics such as Digital Video, Instructional Uses of Databases, Emerging Technologies, and so forth. Specific courses are listed in the Courses part of this Web site)
  • EDIT 5604: Distance Education
  • EDIT 5634: Principles of Media Product Design

Cognate Courses: Select up to 6 hours from the following courses offered outside the IDT program but related to and supportive of your area of studies. For course descriptions, please see the Graduate Catalog, available at the Graduate School Website.

  • ALHR 5504: Foundations Of Adult Lifelong Learning
  • ALHR 5514: Adult Learning
  • ALHR 5524: The Programming Process In Adult Learning
  • ALHR 5534: Designing & Conducting Adult Learning Experiences
  • ALHR 5544: Small Groups In Adult Learning
  • COMM 5224: Publication Design For Electronic Media
  • COMM 5014: Communication Theory
  • COMM 5124: Organizational Communication
  • CS 5714 (ISE 5714): Usability Engineering
  • CS 5724: Models And Theories Of Human-Computer Interaction
  • CS 5734: Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
  • CS 5774: User Interface Software
  • ISE 5605,5606: Human Factors System Design
  • ISE 5604: Human Information Processing
  • ISE 5615-5616: Human Factors Research Design
  • ISE 5634: Training System Design
  • ISE 5634: Training System Design
  • ISE 5644: Human Audition & Auditory Display Design
  • ISE 5654: Human Factors Engineering For The Disabled And Aging
  • ISE 5714 (CS 5714): Usability Engineering
  • ISE 6614: Human Computer Systems
  • PSYC 5344: Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC 5354: Information Processing
  • PSYC 5534: Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC 5544: Cognitive Development
Distance education/ e-learning specialist

The distance and e-learning career option is a curriculum developed for corporate and educational professionals who are charged with the design and development of distance-delivered courses and programs. Participants will acquire practical skills based on sound educational theory to create effective learning experiences across a variety of contexts.

Below, you will find recommended courses for this option. In order to keep our course offerings up-to-date, the actual courses offered during your masters program may vary. You may select different courses with approval of your advisor. You should consult with your advisor regarding the suitability of any course, particularly one outside of IDT, for your program of study and professional goals.

Foundations: The following courses are required for all IDT Masters students

  • EDIT 5164: Principles of Instructional Design
  • EDIT 5564: Fundamentals of Technology Tools
  • EDIT 5774: Learning Theories for ID
  • EDIT 5774 Portfolio Evaluation

Research: The following research course is required for all IDT Masters students

  • EDIT 5584: Program and Product Evaluation

Concentration: Select 12-18 hours from the following courses. For course descriptions, please see Course Description section of this Website.

Courses strongly recommended for this option

  • EDIT 5544: Instructional Technology Policy Issues, Planning And Management
  • EDIT 5604: Distance Education
  • EDIT 5634: Collaborative Learning with Technology
  • EDIT 6134: Topics in ID: Project Management
  • EDIT 6134: Topics in ID: ID For Distance Ed.

Additional courses of interest to this career include:

  • EDIT 5534: Applied ID Theories
  • EDIT 5634: Principles of Media Product Design
  • EDIT 5564: Topics In Instructional Technology Tools & Methods ( A variety of courses are offered on topics such as Digital Video, Instructional Uses of Databases, Emerging Technologies, and so forth. Specific courses are listed in the Courses part of this Web site)

Cognate Courses: Select up to 6 hours from the following courses offered outside the IDT program but related to and supportive of your area of studies. For course descriptions, please see the Graduate Catalog, available at the Graduate School Website.

  • CS 5734 Computer Supported Cooperative Work
  • CS 5744 Software Design and Quality
Multimedia developer

While many graduates focus on the design and development of instruction, others prefer to work more closely with technologies that support instruction. Graduates of our multimedia developer career option integrate technology into the learning process by creating user interfaces, developing interactive demonstrations and simulations, and programming dynamic web sites that promote effective instruction.

Below, you will find recommended courses for this option. In order to keep our course offerings up-to-date, the actual courses offered during your masters program may vary. You may select different courses with approval of your advisor. You should consult with your advisor regarding the suitability of any course, particularly one outside of IDT, for your program of study and professional goals.

Foundations: The following courses are required for all IDT Masters students

  • EDIT 5164: Principles of Instructional Design
  • EDIT 5564: Fundamentals of Technology Tools
  • EDIT 5774: Learning Theories for ID
  • EDIT 5774 Portfolio Evaluation

Research: The following research course is required for all IDT Masters students

  • EDIT 5584: Program and Product Evaluation

Concentration: Select 12-18 hours from the following courses. For course descriptions, please see Course Description section of this Website.

Courses strongly recommended for this option:

  • EDIT 5634 Principles of Media Product Design
  • EDIT 5564: Topics In Instructional Technology Tools & Methods-- Numerous courses are offered on topics such as
    • Digital Video
    • Digital Audio
    • Educational Applications of Databases
    • Instructional Video
    • Emerging Technologies

Additional courses of interest to this career include:

  • EDIT 5564: Digital Video (1 hour virtual campus course)
  • EDIT 5564: Digital Audio (1 hour virtual campus course)
  • EDIT 5774 Multimedia Authoring (virtual campus)
  • EDIT 6134: Topics in ID: ID for Distance Education
  • EDIT 6134: Topics on ID: Advanced ID
  • EDIT 6134: Topics in ID: Project Management

Cognate Courses: Select up to 6 hours from the following courses offered outside the IDT program but related to and supportive of your area of studies. For course descriptions, please see the Graduate Catalog, available at the Graduate School Website.

  • COMM 5224: Publication Design For Electronic Media
  • CS 5714 (ISE 5714): Usability Engineering
  • CS 5724: Models And Theories Of Human-Computer Interaction
  • CS 5734: Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
  • CS 5754 Virtual Environment
  • CS 5774: User Interface Software
  • ISE 5605,5606: Human Factors System Design
  • ISE 5604: Human Information Processing
  • ISE 5615-5616: Human Factors Research Design
  • ISE 5634: Training System Design
  • ISE 5644: Human Audition & Auditory Display Design
  • ISE 5714 (CS 5714): Usability Engineering
  • ISE 6614: Human Computer Systems
School technology specialist

The school technology specialist option prepares you to assume leadership roles in implementing technology in the K-12 environment. Graduates will develop proficiency in implementing and managing technology resources in schools. Although we do not offer teaching certification, many students who choose this option are teachers who want to integrate technology effectively in their curriculum. Other career possibilities include school district technology coordinator, staff development specialist, and Information Technology Resource Teachers.

Below, you will find recommended courses for this option.In order to keep our course offerings up-to-date, the actual courses offered during your masters program may vary. You may select different courses with approval of your advisor. You should consult with your advisor regarding the suitability of any course, particularly one outside of IDT, for your program of study and professional goals.

Foundations: The following courses are required for all IDT Masters students

  • EDIT 5164: Principles of Instructional Design
  • EDIT 5564: Fundamentals of Technology Tools
  • EDIT 5774: Learning Theories for ID
  • EDIT 5774 Portfolio Evaluation

Research: The following research course is required for all IDT Masters students

  • EDIT 5584: Program and Product Evaluation

Concentration: Select 12-18 hours from the following courses. For course descriptions, please see Course Description section of this Website.

Courses strongly recommended for this option:

  • EDIT 5644: Trends And Applied Theories In Professional Development
  • EDIT 6134: Topics in ID: Project Management
  • EDIT 5784: Improving Performance through Systemic Change

Additional courses of interest to this career include:

  • EDIT 5634: Collaborative Learning with Technology
  • EDIT 5634: Principles of Media Product Design
  • EDIT 5544: Instructional Technology Policy Issues, Planning & Management
  • EDIT 5564: Topics In Instructional Technology Tools & Methods ( A variety of courses are offered on topics such as Digital Video, Instructional Uses of Databases, Emerging Technologies, and so forth. Specific courses are listed in the Courses part of this Web site)

Cognate Courses: Select up to 6 hours from the following courses offered outside the IDT program but related to and supportive of your area of studies. For course descriptions, please see the Graduate Catalog, available at the Graduate School Website.

  • EDIT 5354: Literacies And Technology
  • EDIT 5114: Advanced Educational Psychology
  • EDIT 6614: Models Of Teaching
  • EDTE 4444: Communication Technology
Preparation for doctoral program

Students opting for the doctoral degree preparation option will select courses that provide an introduction to a broad range of theories and problems relevant to human learning and performance. Learning and instructional design theories will be examined and applied in the context of education and training. Students will be prepared for advanced study and research at the doctoral level. The focus is on analysis, critical thinking, and scholarship.

Below, you will find recommended courses for this option.In order to keep our course offerings up-to-date, the actual courses offered during your masters program may vary. You may select different courses with approval of your advisor. You should consult with your advisor regarding the suitability of any course, particularly one outside of IDT, for your program of study and professional goals.

Foundations: The following courses are required for all IDT Masters students

  • EDIT 5164: Principles of Instructional Design
  • EDIT 5564: Fundamentals of Technology Tools
  • EDIT 5774: Learning Theories for ID
  • EDIT 5774 Portfolio Evaluation

Research: The following research course is required for all IDT Masters students

  • EDIT 5584: Program and Product Evaluation

Concentration: Select 12-18 hours from the following courses. For course descriptions, please see Course Description section of this Website.

Courses strongly recommended for this option:

  • EDIT 5604: Distance Ed
  • EDIT 5534: Applied ID Theories
  • EDRE 5404 Foundations of Educational Research and Evaluation

Additional courses of interest to this career include:

  • EDIT 5634: Collaborative Learning with Technology
  • EDIT 5634: Principles of Media Product Design
  • EDIT 5544: Instructional Technology Policy Issues, Planning & Management
  • EDIT 5644: Trends & Applied Theories in Professional Development
  • EDIT 5564: Topics In Instructional Technology Tools & Methods ( A variety of courses are offered on topics such as Digital Video, Instructional Uses of Databases, Emerging Technologies, and so forth. Specific courses are listed in the Courses part of this Web site)
  • EDIT 5784: Improving Performance through Systemic Change
  • EDIT 6134: Topics in ID: Project Management

Cognate Courses: Select up to 6 hours from the following courses offered outside the IDT program but related to and supportive of your area of studies. For course descriptions, please see the Graduate Catalog, available at the Graduate School Website.

Within the School of Education

  • EDEP 5114: Advanced Educational Psychology
  • EDEP 5784: Constructivism And Education
  • EDEP 6114: Cognitive Processes & Educational Practice
  • EDEP 6614: Models of Teaching
  • EDEP 6644 College Teaching

Outside the School of Education

  • ENG 4824: Science Writing
  • COMM 5014: Communication Theory
  • COMM 5024: Communication Research Methods
  • COMM 5114: Interpersonal Communication
  • COMM 5124: Organizational Communication
  • PSYC 5344: Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC 5354: Information Processing
  • PSYC 5534: Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC 5544: Cognitive Development

 

Although the IDT program provides a list of recommended courses for career options listed above, the specific courses that students take are up to the student and his or her advisor. Additional program options can be developed in consultation with your advisor.

The Ed.S. Degree in Instructional Technology includes the following general requirements:

  • Completion of a 60 credit-hour graduate program, which may include 30 credits earned at the master's degree level if approved by the student's committee.
  • Completion of 21 credits of course work from Virginia Tech after acceptance into the Ed.S. program.
  • Successful completion of a project approved by the students' advisory committee.
  • Successful completion of checklist of AECT indicators.
  • Successful completion of a final examination at the end of the course work. Typically, Instructional Design and Technology Ed.S. students choose to prepare and defend a portfolio of professional work instead of a final exam.

Master's coursework

Students may apply a maximum of 30 hours of credit earned as a Master's student toward an Education Specialist degree, depending on the area in which the degree was awarded. Check with your advisor to determine how many credit hours from your Masters can be applied to your plan of study.

  • Students with Master's degrees in Instructional Design and Technology or a closely related field can generally apply the maximum of 30 hours toward their doctoral degrees.
  • Students with Master's degrees in other areas (for example, music, English, nursing, etc.) may choose to satisfy the cognate requirement with coursework taken as a master's student; generally, up to 12 hours of unrelated coursework can be applied to the plan of study as a cognate.

Time Limit and Revalidation

  • Coursework more than 5 years old at the time of approval of Program of Study (POS) must be revalidated.
  • Coursework must be completed within 7 years after approval of POS.
  • Coursework accepted and taken as a part of the master's degree need not be revalidated.

Additional restrictions on coursework earned at another university may apply. See the Graduate catalog, and check with your advisor.

This checklist is intended to serve as a guide during the period of study for Ed.S degree in Instructional Technology. It is the responsibility of the student to see that each of these steps is completed as scheduled. For further details, consult the Post Masters Manual. See http://www.soe.vt.edu/oap/graduateforms.html for handbook and forms. If you have questions, please contact the Graduate Coordinator or your faculty advisor.

Plan Program of Study

1. Confer with the temporary advisor assigned to you in your admission letter. An early conference will be of help to you in planning your tentative program of study.

2. Select an advisory committee. Your temporary advisor will serve as your major professor unless you request a change of advisor through submitting the appropriate form. As your advisory committee must include three members, select two additional members for your advisory committee after consulting with your advisor. A typical committee consists of:

  • Advisor from Instructional Design and Technology
  • One or two additional members from Instructional Design and Technology
  • No more than one member from outside of the Instructional Design and Technology program area, with advisor's approval. These outside members may be experts in the student's area of concentration, cognate area, or research methodology.

3. Meet with potential committee members to determine if they are willing to serve on your committee.

4. Finalize Plan of Study with your major professor. (See http://www.soe.vt.edu/oap/graduateforms.html for form.) You must submit your Plan of Study to the School of Education Office of Academic Programs before completing 12 credit hours at Virginia Tech toward the degree. The plan of study must be approved by your advisor, the Department Chair for Learning Sciences and Technologies, and the Dean of the Graduate School.

5. Began preparation of your Professional Development Portfolio.

Application for Degree

6. Once you and your advisor have determined that all the degree requirements for the Ed. S. will be completed during a specific semester, complete an "Application for Degree" card from the Graduate School. The specific deadline for submitting the card is established each year by the Graduate School but is usually no later than the beginning of the semester in which the degree requirements will be completed.

Final Defense

7. Complete your checklist of AECT indicators and Professional Development Portfolio (or other exam requirements as negotiated with your committee.)

8. Based on discussion with your major professor, schedule a Portfolio Defense. Oral exams can be scheduled during one of three "exam weeks" scheduled during the semester. Typically, there is one exam week scheduled near the beginning, middle, and end of the semester.

9. Complete Request to Admit Candidate to Final Exam. Submit to the Graduate School at least two weeks before your scheduled exam time. (See http://www.soe.vt.edu/oap/graduateforms.html for form.)

10. Immediately after the exam: 1 ) Make a copy of the signed Final Exam card. 2) Submit the copy to the School of Education Academic Office. 3) Return signed Final Defense Exam card to the Graduate School.

11. Revise portfolio and resubmit for approval as required by your advisory committee.