Graduate Bulletin 2023-2024 
    Jul 25, 2024  
Graduate Bulletin 2023-2024

Innovation and Divergent Learning, M.Ed.

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Program Chair: Jim Lane, Ph.D

Over the past decade, the term “at-risk” has become more prevalent in the education realm, and more attention has been concentrated on this group of underachieving students who are not succeeding in the public school system. Recent studies indicate that students who have been identified as at-risk and do not qualify for special services are generally considered to be those who are disadvantaged and are from single parent families, low socioeconomic backgrounds, or various minority groups. However, significant numbers of at-risk students who are highly intelligent and capable of becoming productive, influential young adults are not reaping the benefits of special resources. These underachieving students are divergent learners and are at-risk in the present educational system because of specific personality traits and learning styles, which are not being adequately addressed in the classroom.

The Master of Education in Innovation and Divergent Learning is designed to develop a more in-depth understanding of today’s students, particularly divergent learners, and presents innovative instructional methods to meet the needs of this population that can be immediately implemented in a classroom. The outcome of the program typically is more engaged and successful students and more fulfilled and confident teachers, as candidates begin to understand their students better. This program will benefit current educators and support personnel who interact with K-12 youth and adult learners. The Master of Education in Innovation and Divergent Learning is designed as a hybrid program which uses a weekend/online blended format across three semesters that will allow students to complete the degree in one year. The program is designed to provide you with a cohort group that you will move through the program with, and you will have the same research professor for both research courses. 


Mission: The mission of the Innovation and Divergent Learning program is to develop a more in-depth comprehension of divergent learners and to present alternative methods and strategies to meet the needs of this population.  


Student Learning Outcomes

  1. The Innovation and Divergent Learning candidate will align instructional objectives, instruction and assessment to create lesson plans that that positively impact divergent students’ learning. 
  2. The Innovation and Divergent Learning candidate will describe the developmental, social, emotional and cognitive factors that tend to render divergent learners at risk in the traditional educational system.  
  3. The Innovation and Divergent Learning candidate will use knowledge of developmental models to make recommendations to address the social, emotional and cognitive needs of a divergent learner. 
  4. The Innovation and Divergent Learning candidate will complete an Applied Learning Experience (ALE) research project by compiling research, collecting and analyzing data, and drawing conclusions from the data.  

Policy on Writing Standards

Columbia College takes seriously its commitments to academic integrity and to academic excellence. The Graduate School is especially mindful of the need for its students to demonstrate high standards of scholarship and to possess accurate, articulate communication skills. To this end, the Innovation and Divergent Learning faculty closely monitor each student’s writing skills during the first semester while the student is enrolled and continues to monitor those skills throughout the program. Any deficiencies that arise are addressed with individual students.

Program Exit Criteria:

Graduate students must successfully complete the following assessment requirements to earn the M.Ed. in Divergent Learning degree:

  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA.
  • Complete 33 semester hours of graduate work.
  • Successfully complete an applied learning experience manuscript.

Total Credit Hours: 30


EDU 723 , EDU 725 , and EDU 755 : courses approved by the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) to satisfy coursework required for state-approved PACE certification participants through the State Department’s Program of Alternative Certification (PACE).

IDL APEC track students are required to adhere to additional procedures outlined in the APEC Handbook to include admission and selection criteria; teacher residency requirements (EDU 736   and EDU 737  ); and specialized coursework for alternative certification.

IDL APEC track Degree Requirements: 37 semester hours. Required courses are EDU 723, 725, 732, 733, 736, 737, 739, 740, 745, 747, 755, 788, and EDAD 705.

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