School of Education announces master’s program scholarship to address inequities

MADISON-Graduate students committed to tackling education achievement gaps can apply for the Committed Scholars Program to earn their master’s in educational psychology with a concentration in the growing field of learning analytics.

The Master of Science in Educational Psychology: Learning Analytics program empowers graduates to impact teaching, learning and policy by harnessing vast amounts of educational data that will help guide decisions and improvements in education to bridge the equity gap.

“Learning analytics is becoming the new gold standard for educational policy and practice,” says David Williamson Shaffer, faculty director of the learning analytics program. “In the years ahead, anyone who wants to fight for equity, improve learning outcomes, change classroom practices or impact education policy will need to be able to speak this language and use these tools.”

The learning analytics program’s Commitment to Equity initiative, which includes coursework designed to illuminate opportunities for improving learning outcomes in historically underrepresented populations, is aligned with the School of Education’s pledge to improving learning outcomes.

“We recognize the power in data analysis, and many students want to use that power for the greater good,” says Julia Rutledge, program director. “We have opportunities within the curriculum to grapple with educational equity challenges, and the Committed Scholars Program aims to further advance these goals while alleviating the financial burden of students.”

Benefits of this Department of Educational Psychology program include a one-year renewable scholarship that covers 3 credits each in the fall and spring (up to $12,000 over two years) and a community of academic support, including mentorship from a faculty member pursuing an equity-based research agenda. Applications open February 9 and are due May 1.

The program will consider students with demonstrated interest in working towards bridging achievement gaps in education. Wisconsin residents and non-residents are eligible. Scholarships are renewable for students who maintain good academic standing and effectively matriculate through their learning analytics master’s program curriculum.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion are at the forefront of educational leaders’, policy makers’ and practitioners’ minds,” says School of Education Associate Dean LaVar Charleston. “The Committed Scholars Program will not only diversify and expand the pool of participants going into learning analytics, but it will also address critical questions related to increasing learning outcomes and successes of historically marginalized populations.”