Program White Paper: Education Entrepreneurship

MS in Education Entrepreneurship

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: the MS in Education Entrepreneurship is designed to provide training and support to those seeking to become edtech leaders and innovators. Combining courses in management, teaching and learning, business, marketing, and instructional design, the MS in Education Entrepreneurship provides students with the skills and tools necessary to create and lead educational ventures seeking to transform society.

THE LANDSCAPE: The United States is experiencing what Forbes describes as a “renaissance in edtech,” and Chicago is home to one of the most dynamic edtech communities in the nation. Indeed, EdTechTimes named Chicago one of the top five cities in the country for educational startups, and in its 2017 Global Technology Innovation Report, KPMG ranked Chicago 6th in the world for technological innovation—particularly with respect to educational applications.

Yet the region offers few opportunities for formal training in education entrepreneurship. Indeed, while coding camps, Meetup groups, and a number of online networking sites have emerged to support the Chicago edtech community, no colleges or universities currently offer coursework explicitly in this area. In fact, nationally there are only two graduate programs focused on education entrepreneurship: the University of North Carolina’s MA in Educational Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship and the University of Pennsylvania’s MSEd in Education Entrepreneurship.

The MS in Education Entrepreneurship not only has the potential to become a truly transformative program for Northwestern, but would certainly enhance the reputation of SPS as an educational innovator.

STRATEGIC ADVANTAGES: Education entrepreneurship exists at the nexus of several disciplinary fields. Northwestern already enjoys world-class reputations in business, education and social policy, educational technology, and marketing. The MS in Education Entrepreneurship would benefit from these strengths while offering courses that do not directly compete with current offerings. Further, such a program would build on and enhance several recent SPS initiatives, including the MS in Information Design and Strategy, as well as the Northwestern Coding Boot Camp.

TARGET AUDIENCES: the Education Entrepreneurship program would have strong internal and external audiences.  Several courses in the program are likely to appeal to current Northwestern graduate students in education, business, and marketing, such that one future option might be to develop a certificate program similar to the Graduate Minor in Entrepreneurship currently offered through the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The program is also likely to appeal to those seeking careers in edtech, as well as professionals currently working in the field seeking to expand their skills or jump start specific ventures.

POSSIBLE COURSES: a number of new courses could be developed for the program, with possibilities for cross-listing across many other disciplines as well, including:

  • Foundations of Education
  • Learning Theory and Design
  • Collaborative Research and Design
  • Social Entrepreneurship in Education
  • Marketing for Entrepreneurs
  • Digitally Mediated Learning
  • Teaching, Learning, & Curriculum Development
  • Technology Strategy
  • Feasibility, Planning, and Budgeting