A technology mentor leads a group of professionals around a table using a computer and tablet.

All About Point Park University’s Instructional Technology Specialist Certification Program

What does the Instructional Technology Specialist Certification Program encompass?

Point Park University’s Instructional Technology Specialist Certification Program presents students with 15 credits which address the competencies required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to enter professional positions in K-12 school districts. While in the program, students demonstrate their understanding of a wide range of concepts related to instructional technology planning and apply their knowledge within K-12 school settings.

Graduate course-work content includes:

  • Learning technologies for educators
  • Instructional methods for digital teaching and learning
  • Online teaching design and delivery
  • Instructional technology administration
  • Management and leadership
  • Practicum in K-12 schools in learning, design and technology.

Students can complete this program in approximately ten months. New cohorts start in the fall and spring semesters. The courses are online, where students have opportunities to engage with other educators. While in the program, students complete fieldwork hours as part of their courses. Students complete their requirements with a final practicum course.

Most students elect to complete their practicum experience in their current school districts. During the practicum, the student will demonstrate their understanding of knowledge, apply best practices in K-12 schools, and work with an onsite school district supervisor who will guide and mentor the student.

One unique aspect of this Instructional Technology Specialist Certification program is that applicants do not have to be certified to enter these school district professional positions. This program is part of the M.Ed. in Learning, Design and Technology. Students may want to consider additional coursework that would lead to the M.Ed. degree and includes the Instructional Technology Specialist Certification and the Online Instructional Endorsement.

What differentiates Point Park University’s Instructional Technology Specialist Certification Program from other schools that offer similar programs?

One of the unique aspects of a Point Park University education is the philosophy of theory and direct application. Faculty serve as facilitators of student learning; they give students opportunities to apply new knowledge by completing assignments and projects related to the course content.

Students demonstrate and apply learning to areas of interest related to their specific career interests and goals. This is one of the hallmarks of a Point Park University education and has been a key to the success of our graduates who are career-ready for new professional opportunities when they complete our programs.

Another strength of our program is that it was developed by professionals for professionals and embeds best practices throughout the curriculum. Our faculty are seasoned professionals, recognized experts in the field, and prepared to provide our students with excellent opportunities for learning to enhance and advance the careers of our students.

How will this program help educators during this time of COVID and post-COVID teaching? How will it better prepare them for today’s education challenges?

The pandemic has dramatically changed the landscape of classroom education and teaching in K-12 schools. There are new demands on teachers, administrators, and school districts to deliver content in innovative ways due to the many changing environmental variables. Graduates of this program are prepared to pivot as necessary to keep students learning seamlessly without interruptions.

Graduates are prepared to address the emerging needs of students and school districts during times of challenge and change. Graduates are prepared to lead the way in finding solutions for new educational challenges certain to emerge in the years ahead.

What career opportunities are available to students who graduate from the program?

There is a wide range of career opportunities for those with specialized skills in educational technology.  These positions exist in K-12 public and private schools, charter schools, and virtual schools.

Professional career options include positions in roles such as:

  • Technology coordinator
  • Online learning specialist
  • Technology integration specialist
  • Instructional designer
  • Faculty technology coach
  • Course developer and designer
  • Online teacher mentor and trainer
  • Distance learning director
  • Educational software consultant

Why should a prospective student choose this program? Why should they choose Point Park University?

This program is specifically designed for students seeking opportunities to advance their careers and broaden their knowledge and skills in one of the fastest growing areas in education today. Learning technology will be an essential aspect of every teacher’s tool kit for decades to come. In addition, K-12 administrators rely more and more on technology to assess learning for an increasingly diverse learning population of students. This field will continue to impact every aspect of K-12 teaching and learning for the foreseeable future.

Point Park University faculty focuses on a career-oriented curriculum with assignments customized to student needs and personal career interests. Graduates of Point Park University are career-ready for the challenges and opportunities in K-12 schools to meet the meets of students, teachers, and community stakeholders.

For more information, reach out to Dr. Revilla-Beltrán at vrevilla@pointpark.edu.