Why MIT?

Why choose UNCW's Instructional Technology program?

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What our graduates say about the MIT Program

  • " I took the job description for the job and made a matrix with the skills and experiences I've had since graduating and those I got in the MIT program and used it during my phone interviews and reviewed it before my in person interview. It really helped me be thorough in my preparation so that I would have an example for each job requirement."
  • "I am proud to be associated with a program of such high caliber. It has allowed me to meet the demanding and constantly changing needs of my job as a computer resource teacher. " "MIT has given me experiences that make lesson planning a breeze! My students respond in better ways than I ever imagined."
  • "I believe that MIT offers solutions to many problems that I encountered as a classroom teacher. During each course that I have taken so far, I wished that I had this type of training while I was still in the classroom!"
  • "I gained so much from this program. UNCW's outstanding professors helped combine the theory, application, and real world experience in a way that I felt completely confident with my instructional design skills and have become a successful instructional designer."
  • "The Master of Instructional Technology program is providing me with an amazing foundation in the instructional design process, project management, and evaluation of instruction. I am already applying the fundamentals from our coursework in my graduate assistantship. The MIT faculty brings an impressive amount of experience to our program and are eager to share their knowledge with us.
  • ". . . As I went through the program, I became exposed to numerous forms of technology (including web design, Macromedia programs such as Flash and Dreamweaver, Video production and editing, photo/graphics editing software, etc.), I began strengthening my understandings of consulting, I increased my experience and confidence in many areas, and became exposed to unlimited career opportunities available from the MIT program. As you know, the MIT program can steer you into an area in Education, Government, Corporate/Business, or even your own private practice as an instructional designer or other areas of consulting. Because of the MIT program, I was able to obtain a 3-month, PAID Internship with Regions Bank in Birmingham, Alabama where I served as an Instructional Designer for the bank (one other UNCW MIT student accepted the Internship as well). That experience was the nail in the coffin when it came time to begin applying for jobs (So choose your Internships wisely, they make a huge difference). The internships, colloquiums, and numerous organizations all add a great touch to the MIT experience because they take the program beyond the classroom and textbooks, and allow you to really determine what suits you best. You will find that all the courses are aligned with one another, yet offer an additional taste of knowledge that will help you grow. "

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What MIT Students Say about the Strengths of the Program

Cathi Phillips presenting MIT program site" I would also like to mention how valuable my portfolio was during my job search. It really helped me review needed information without having to go out and find it all over again or sort through my many notebooks! I also reused the idea of the job & skill matrix to prepare myself for the multiple interviews for my new position. So, I wanted to say thank you for the portfolio option at the end of the program - it has been incredibly valuable! "

"Project-based assignments allowed students to use needed skills in practice"

"The dedication and expertise of the faculty, including their personal interest in students and willingness to spend whatever time takes to help their students succeed"

"Increasing respect of the MIT program by other individuals/schools at UNCW. The knowledge and expertise offered by the program professors and students to other areas of UNCW is obviously appreciated. A second strength is the faculty-I am impressed with the backgrounds and knowledge, as well as their desire to import their passion about the IT field to students. Third, the selected Core and Focus courses offer an abundance of topics in the field. It is almost too difficult to choose only 5 focus courses to take."

"The dedication and high expectations of the faculty, the variety of skills covered, the willingness to make changes in the program as needs arise"

"Faculty. I feel as though there is an open door community. I feel a part of a family. Projects. There are GREAT opportunities presented when people know you are in the program."

"Outstanding professors who show a lot of compassion for the field and for the students. The program is compatible for the working class and the professors are very flexible whenever necessary. The courses are set up to be taken in a certain pattern and that show the organized structure devised by those created the program."

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Where our students work

These are places where are alumni are currently working (these are a few of many just to give you an idea of how far our alumni network spreads):


Cisco System
Lockheed Martin
Booz Allen Hamilton
Bank of America
Cone Health
Kindred Healthcare
DST Health Solutions
Proficient Learning
US Bank
Exxon Mobile
SunTrust banks
Fuji Film
3D Robotics
GAP/Old Navy/Banana Republic Corporate
American Institute for Certified Public Accountants
American Express
New Hanover Regional Medical Center
*Many branches of the military and government
*We also have alumni working internationally


Duke University
Burlington School District VT
New Hanover County Schools
Pender County Schools
Brunswick County Schools
NC State University
University of Louisville
Warner University
University of VA
Penn State University
Raleigh-Durham Schools
Charlotte Schools
North Carolina Virtual Public School
*Many more school districts and universities throughout the US

MIT Program's Unique Approach

The instructional approach used in the MIT program is fundamental to the success of the program and its students and to the accomplishment of the mission and vision of the Donald Watson School of Education. The approach is a powerful combination of using data-driven decision making processes by applying instructional design principles and theories, learning theories and core instructional values and by meeting the needs of diverse learners in various learning contexts. Some of the distinctive elements of the approach in the MIT program include a focus upon:

Project-based and problem-based learning-learning is organized around projects and/or problems that provide a real-world context and framework for learning. Just as teachers and trainers would encounter complicated tasks in workplace, in a project-based learning environment, student teams are presented with complex problems that focus and act as catalysts for what they need to learn. The MIT program has built its curriculum around robust, challenging projects that extend across semesters, synthesizing learning from multiple domains.

Experiential learning-learners are actively engaged in creating their own knowledge; experience is the teacher. Students learn by doing-rather than by listening-in a hands-on, meaningful and highly applied environment. Experiential learning explores the cyclical pattern of all learning from experience through reflection and conceptualizing to action and on to further experience.

Collaboration-because collaboration, interpersonal and communication skills are highly valued in today's workplace, the MIT program emphasizes the instructional approach that immerses students in a series of increasingly difficult projects while working in teams.

Competency-based learning-well-defined competencies are used to determine what is taught and how it is assessed. They communicate what knowledge and skills students must attend to, and they indicate to potential employers the concrete skills that the graduates posses.

Integration-content, projects and courses are tightly woven together. What students learn in class feeds into what they are doing on their projects, thereby increasing the relevancy of the work.

Learner-centered environment-the instruction in the MIT program and its courses is not designed around faculty interests and teaching styles; rather, it is designed around student needs, interests, career goals, and learning styles. Within this learner-centered environment, student needs drive the educational process.

Communities of learning-the MIT program's instructional approach encompasses multiple learning communities. Students not only interface and interact with their peers, but also with instructors, mentors, and school and business communities through various projects.

Cognitive apprenticeship- experienced faculty and mentors coach students throughout the program. In such an apprentice-style environment, students not only learn to work, but more importantly, also learn to think like professionals.

Technologically advanced learning environment-advancements in information technology and communications technology have made possible new approaches to teaching, learning, and research and have revolutionized delivery systems for higher education. Having the potential to enrich traditional classroom settings and to extend the boundaries for teaching and learning in higher education, the possible applications prompted us to provide expanded access and to tailor learning to the needs of our learners with different cognitive styles and levels of preparation. As a result, all instruction in the MIT courses is technologically enhanced. The courses are offered either completely online using advanced technology or web-enhanced to provide appropriate face-to-face contact hours if needed. Individual differences and their needs and learning styles are addressed within technologically enhanced learning environments.

MIT program was designed, developed and modeled after high quality programs

The MIT program was designed, developed and modeled after high quality programs. The following programs were examined in preparation of the MIT program and its courses: Arizona University, Florida State University, Indiana University, San Diego University, Syracuse University, University of Northern Colorado, University of Pittsburgh, Utah State University, Wayne state University and Pennsylvania State University.