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.

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

Comments (2)
  1. I was able to finish a Masters in Education program online. I can tell you from personal experience that there are two things to consider if you are thinking of doing it. First, find a school that has a traditional campus that also offers an online program. That way in the future when you send your resume out those that are still closed minded about online education will not be able to determine just from your resume how you got a degree. Second, if you are not a strong self starter do not do an online program. When you are at home and have all the distractions of your normal life available to you it can be hard to sit there and read four chapters, or to write a paper. It is great to see Grand Valley finding ways to provide resources to a larger group of people.

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