Imagine New Possibilities for Education and Learning

"Try. Experiment, Fail. Try Again. Change the World." - Simon Sinek, author


Be the Change

We believe we can be true change-makers, working WITH each other to imagine and create new possibilities for learning and education, keeping our learners at the center of what we do. Join us as we study, apply, and design revolutionary learning models, environments, and experiences to most effectively meet the needs of each learner - in k12, higher education, business, and the community.

Our Program

Built on the principles of learning theory as well as Design Thinking and Liberatory Design, this program is designed for those wanting to transform practice, develop leadership skills for innovation and design, and reimagine possibilities for learning in a variety of sectors, including:

  • Schools and nonprofit organizations
  • Coaching and consulting
  • Learning and Instructional Design


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Please visit the GradCAS website for more information and to apply.

Early Admission
Jan 31

Priority Admission
May 31

Application Deadline
Aug 1

Semester Courses Units
Fall 2023

EDUC 209D. Principles of Design in Education. 3 Units. Explore design thinking processes and mindsets to innovate and create in the educational setting.  Apply design thinking to learner experiences and create systems for learners to apply design thinking in the classroom and beyond.

-Potential Course Instructor: Karen Sarafian or Brett Taylor. 

EDUC 204. Education for a Diverse Democracy. 3 Units. This course is a multidisciplinary exploration of the intersections of education, diversity, and democracy. It introduces foundational and emerging theories and perspectives to examine the interplay of race, class, gender, ability, national origin, and other forms of difference in shaping educational policy, practice and experience, and considers fundamental questions including, "What is education?" and "What is education for? (ETHC)

-Potential Course Instructor: Meg Honey or Toniesha Webb.




Spring 2024

EDUC 215. Creativity and Ideation. 3 Units. This course engages students in processes to foster creativity and develop original ideas. Students develop skills in creativity and ideation processes to develop solutions that will be launched later in the program.  

-Potential Course Instructor: Brett Taylor or Rachel Hallquist 

EDUC 209M Models of Learning. 3 Units. Explore and analyze multiple learning models including experiential and project-based, competency-based and personalized learning, and more. Design plans to implement specific models in real educational settings.
- Potential Course Instructor: Rachel Hallquist





Summer 2024

EDUC 290. Digital and Blended Learning. 3 Units. Explore and identify impactful digital and blending learning models for technology-enhanced learning.  Merge curricular and instructional design to implement motivating and accessible synchronous, asynchronous, and blended learning experiences.
- Potential Course Instructor: Jeanne Koehler

EDUC 216. Nature and Conditions of Learning. 3 Units. Students study both cognitive and traditional learning theories, their applications to instruction and the development of effective teaching strategies. In addition, information processing models are explored and their implications for instruction are addressed.
- Potential Course Instructor:  Jonathan Toccoli 




Fall 2024 EDUC 279. Innovation in Education. 3 Units. This course explores innovation in the educational and social sectors. Provides knowledge and skills necessary to create change within these sectors.

- Potential Course Instructor: Jeanne Koehler or Brett Taylor

EDUC 295M. Seminar: Learning Design. 3 Units. This course provides understanding and application in the design, development, and evaluation of learning experiences in various sectors, with a particular emphasis on creating innovative and immersive learning experiences.

-Potential Course Instructor: Karen Sarafian and/or Jonathon Toccoli/Rebecca Lachona




Spring 2025

EDUC 274. Action Research. 3 Units. This course focuses on methods of designing and conducting action research in education. Topics include: characteristics of action research, data collection and analysis, determining trustworthiness, and ethical issues related to action research. Students will engage in action research to learn how to develop actionable knowledge. This course is a component in the set of research courses required for master and doctoral students.
- Potential Course Instructor: Rachel Hallquist

EDUC 295I. Innovative Learning Environments. 3 Units. Understand and investigate learning theory as it relates to designing innovative physical, digital, social, and collaborative learning environments.  Create and implement a plan for impactful environmental design.
- Potential Course Instructor: Brett Taylor





Summer 2025

EDUC 296T Integrative Capstone in Innovative Teaching and Learning  1 course over 10 weeks.

-Potential Instructor: Karen Sarafian 

Total Units Required for Graduation 32




Certificate Pathway

The Design for Innovation in Education certificate is a four-course, 12-unit for-credit certificate designed for professionals interested in learning how to be a more creative educator and trainer. The certificate can be taken as a standalone accelerated pathway for those who want to enhance their knowledge of the principles of learning and their ability to create dynamic and personalized learning.

For students who wish to continue their academic journey, all 12 units can be stacked into Benerd’s Master of Arts in Education, Learning, Innovation and Design.


Course Sequence over 1 year starting fall
EDUC 209D - Design in Education (fall)
EDUC 204 - Education for a Diverse Democracy (fall)
EDUC 215 - Creativity and Ideation (spring)
EDUC 209M - Models of Learning (spring)


The Teaching, Innovation and Design certificate is a four-course, 12-unit for-credit certificate designed to teach professionals how to apply design thinking to create innovative approaches to teaching. Students will evaluate existing innovations, create lessons that apply appropriate learning principles and create systems for multiple modality learning.

The certificate can be taken as a standalone program or for those who wish to continue their education, all 12 units can be stacked into Benerd’s Master of Arts in Education, Health Professions Education or Master of Arts in Education, Learning, Innovation and Design. Classes are full online.

Course Sequence over 1 year starting summer 1
EDUC 290 - Digital and Blended Learning (summer 1)
EDUC 216 - Nature and Conditions of Learning (summer 1)
EDUC 279 - Innovation in Education (fall)
EDUC 295M - Learning Design (fall)


Take the Next Step

We take a hands on approach with our students. This means we want to get to know you throughout your discovery and application process. Help us connect with you by taking the next step.

education professor with student in classroom looking at laptop

As Benerd College’s graduate programs are hybrid, distance learning opportunities, University of the Pacific cannot issue Forms I-20 or DS-2019 for prospective students seeking sponsorship via F or J visas.  Should you have any follow-up questions, please contact the Office of International Programs and Services at


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Benerd College Education Programs

3601 Pacific Ave., Stockton, CA  95211

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