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CCNMTL Partners with Earth Institute on New Master's Degree

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October 23, 2008.The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has awarded the Earth Institute at Columbia University a $3.275 million grant to create a master’s program that will educate future generations of international development practitioners responsible for addressing the complex problems of extreme poverty and sustainable development. The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) will receive a share of the funding to co-develop and support the program’s pedagogical and technological framework.

“The new Master’s in Development Practice will train professionals with the multi-disciplinary knowledge, tools, and management skills they will need to confront the immense and interconnected crises of climate change, extreme poverty, epidemic disease, hunger, rapid population growth, and environmental degradation,” said Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. “CCNMTL’s experience applying technology to education across the full range of academic disciplines makes them a key and enormously creative partner in this endeavor.”

In close collaboration with the newly created “Global Master’s of Development Secretariat,” CCNMTL will develop a repository of teaching and learning tools that will be accessible to partner institutions worldwide. The repository will enable institutions to supplement their own course offerings to meet the requirements of the Master’s in Development Practice (MDP) curriculum. The repository will include taped lectures, case studies, datasets, as well as tools for data analysis and collaboration. CCNMTL will also support the Secretariat’s work to establish an international network of universities and practitioners engaged in cross-border, multi-disciplinary problem solving. Starting in the fall 2009, Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs will be the first of an international consortium of institutions to offer the MDP degree.

In spring 2008, CCNMTL and the Earth Institute piloted what will become one of the MDP’s core courses. The course “Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Development Practice” connected students at 12 universities around the world in a weekly videoconference with international experts to discuss lectures that students viewed prior to class.

“The Master’s of Development Practice (MDP) degree will advance global understanding of the world’s problems and their solutions to shape a habitable and just world for all. It is our hope that the educational and collaborative tools created for the master’s degree will facilitate this effort,” said Frank A. Moretti, CCNMTL’s executive director.

CCNMTL’s Global Learning Initiative is a strategic effort that mobilizes the power of new media and technology to expand collaboration among the world’s educational community. Read more about the Global Learning Initiative at http://ccnmtl.columbia.edu/globallearning/.

Related links:
pdf link Download the press release (PDF)

Related news:
Mar-10-2011: CCNMTL Attends the Global MDP Summit 2011
Sep-25-2009: New Master's Program Offers Global Classroom
Jul-14-2009: CCNMTL Partner John McArthur Discusses Master's in Development Practice in The Huffington Post