With an eye toward matching the needs of students with the employment marketplace, and to make the programs more affordable for future students, the Middlebury Institute has redesigned three of its master’s programs to enable students to complete them in as little as 12 consecutive months if they choose.
“We are excited for the advantages these excellent programs will provide to our students,” said Institute Vice President Jeffrey Dayton-Johnson. “Our goal was to preserve academic rigor while creating programs that students could complete in a shorter time frame, allowing them to return to the workforce sooner and spend less on residency in Monterey. Our faculty have delivered excellent new opportunities with these program updates.”
The IPD and MPA degrees have been shortened from 60 credits to 42 credits. The ITED degree has been shortened from 48 credits to 42 credits. All three degree programs can be completed in 12 consecutive months or 16 months (three semesters with a summer break for an internship).
The benefits of the changes also extend to students in related joint master’s degree programs who will be able to obtain both degrees in 60 credits over four semesters. The joint degrees currently include MPA/ITED, IPD/ITED, and MPA/IEM (International Education Management).
“In general, the program changes were designed to be flexible for students who wish to extend their learning at MIIS by adding more courses, certificates, and/or a joint degree,” said Professor Mahabat Baimyrzaeva, chair of the three degree programs.
While the Institute has always emphasized immersive and experiential learning, languages, intercultural competence, and interdisciplinary programs, Baimyrzaeva says the revised programs will build on many of these strengths. She says, in particular, new pedagogical approaches and tools faculty experimented with during the pandemic will further enhance students’ experience. “One silver lining of the pandemic teaching has been an opportunity to explore and discover more effective methods to make the best of classroom teaching and learning,” said Baimyrzaeva. “As a result, our faculty engage students more deeply, enabling students to apply academic knowledge, theories, and principles to practical challenges. This makes our students more attractive to future employers who seek well-rounded professionals with both in-depth knowledge and hands-on practical skills.”
The new, more streamlined and affordable joint degrees offer prospective students significant advantages. Students can pursue unique combinations of degrees aligned with their interests, which can give them a leg up in the job market and in their career advancement. Students focusing on a policy area like trade or education management could add the MPA degree to gain more hard skills in project design, management, and financial operations. A development policy student interested in the nexus of trade and development could pursue the ITED-IPD degree and work with any of the many international NGOs funded by USAID or USDA working in that area.
In response to student, alumni, and employer feedback, we are in the process of revamping three of our master’s degree programs to make them more flexible, affordable, and aligned with the key competencies desired in the market.