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Faculties of Education in North America are experiencing an increase in demand for professional graduate programs that provide flexible and accessible research pathways for working professionals. Our School of Education offers high quality professional graduate programs that increase access and respond directly to complex needs and problems of practice in education. We describe the design and design thinking approach our faculty collectively undertook to redesign our professional graduate programs. The design was guided by a commitment to research informed and research active learning experiences that enable professionals to develop expertise, draw upon evidence, and act with integrity as they lead innovation and change in educational organizations. The program design provides professionals with opportunities to complete their graduate program in both blended and online formats. Degree programs are cohort based, discipline focused, and coherently structured. Many of our specialized topics are developed in partnership with the professions we serve, and each of our graduate programs is grounded in current research and engages students in active research-based learning. Participatory, collaborative, and interdisciplinary learning experiences are characterized by signature pedagogies. Our professional graduate programs create scholars of the profession through strong connections with the disciplines, communities, and professions we serve. Results of the redesign include improved results in student satisfaction, time to completion, increased retention, and have yielded high completion rates. Design knowledge and insights gained after eight years of evaluation document the strength and quality of our graduates and an increased proportion of international students in all of our graduate program areas.
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