Lead the Future of Design Thinking in Education

Are you looking to advance your career as an educator? Do you want to change pedagogy and the way students learn? Is your goal to be a leader in the conversations around the future of education? University of the Pacific's Master of Arts in Education in learning, innovation and design might be for you. In our MAEd in learning, innovation and design program, you will develop leadership skills to reimagine possibilities for learning, and ultimately transform the practice of learning and education.

Please note: This program format cannot support an I-20 for international student visas. 

Be the Change

We believe educators can be true change-makers, creating new possibilities for learning and education. By employing techniques in design thinking for education, our Master of Arts in Education program will show you how to creatively approach problems learners may face and develop original solutions from the ground up.

students at residency
benerd students at residency
Why Study Learning, Innovation and Design?

Through our project-based master's degree program, you will learn new approaches to innovation in education that will enable you to become a better educator, and support positive learning outcomes through equity-minded teaching and learning. Pacific's Master of Arts in Education in learning, innovation and design isn't just for those working as teachers. Graduates will also spur innovation in education in roles with non-profits as coaches or learning consultants. Those in learning and instructional design will also benefit from applying design thinking in education.

100% Online Program

Built on the principles of learning theory and design thinking for education, our cohort-based MAEd program includes both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities–giving you the flexibility to balance coursework with your career.

Karen Sarafian, EdD

"Learning, Innovation and Design is about working WITH each other as change-makers, imagining new possibilities for our educational systems in which each student is invited to learn in the environment where they can create, innovate, and change the world."

Karen Sarafian, EdD

What Can You Do With Your Master of Arts in Education in Learning, Innovation and Design?

Disrupt the status quo and more equitably support deep and meaningful learning with Pacific's MAEd in learning, innovation and design. The learning theory, models and practices explored are designed for K–12 educators, those seeking supplemental teaching credentials, district-level curriculum leaders and instructional coaches and those who work in consultancy, coaching, non-profits and professional development.

Your MAEd in learning, innovation and design may qualify you for a job as one of the following:

  • District instructional coach
  • Teacher on special assignment
  • Curriculum specialist
  • Community college instructor
  • Corporate trainer
  • Educational consultant
  • Instructional designer
benerd student during residency
Career Outlook

A teacher in California with a master's in education earns an average of $7,358 more per year compared to those with a bachelor's degree, according to USC Rossier School of Education. Curriculum designers typically need a master's in education, such as the MAEd in learning, innovation and design, and earn $63,740 a year on average. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Explore Courses for Learning, Innovation and Design

Our two-year, 32-credit curriculum will develop your teaching skills to allow you to most effectively meet the needs of each learner. Instructors, including program lead Dr. Karen Sarafian, are committed to innovation for continuous learning, growth and positive change.

You will take two courses each semester (including during the summer). Each course is project-based, integrating the theories of innovation in education and design thinking for education into real-world practice.

The program culminates in an Integrative Capstone in Innovative Teaching and Learning.

Some of the courses you may take as you develop as a leader in design thinking for education include:

  • Nature and Conditions of Learning
  • Education for a Diverse Democracy
  • Innovative Learning Environments
  • Digital and Blended Learning

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.

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)




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.  

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.





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.

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.




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.

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.




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.

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.





Summer 2025

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


Total Units Required for Graduation 32

Already have a CA Teaching Credential?

In addition to the Master of Arts in Education, Learning Innovation and Design, educators currently holding a CA teaching credential may choose to earn a supplemental teaching credential authorization.

Imagine the possibilities as you take your next steps toward earning a supplemental authorization to your teaching credential in combination with a Master of Arts in Education with a focus on Learning, Innovation and Design. 

This unique opportunity supports educators seeking to advance their careers, share content area expertise in additional subject areas, and facilitate innovative learning experiences as they work WITH students in more meaningful and intentional ways. 

Designed for working professionals, this interactive, project-based, online program keeps you at the center and provides the opportunity to apply learning within the context of the educational setting where you work. 

Note: MAEd Learning, Innovation and Design students seeking supplemental teaching credential authorizations must meet all other California Teaching Credential (CCTC) requirements in addition to coursework listed and CSETS. Students are required to apply for supplemental credential authorizations directly with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC).

See Course List

To earn a supplemental Multiple Subject Credential Authorization, substitute EDUC 261 for EDUC 204 and substitute EDUC 250 for EDUC 290 

To earn a supplemental Single Subject Credential Authorization, substitute EDUC 255 for EDUC 216

To earn a supplemental Special Education Credential Authorization, substitute SPED 242 for EDUC 209M


For more information about the supplemental teaching credential combined with MAEd LID, please contact

Karen Sarafian, Program Lead



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Benerd College Education Programs

3601 Pacific Ave., Stockton, CA  95211

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