MicroDegree in Psychological Neuroscience
MicroBachelors in Psychological Neuroscience: Those without an undergraduate degree may apply for a MicroDegree as a MicroBachelors*.
MicroMasters in Psychological Neuroscience: Those who have an undergraduate university degree, may apply for a MicroDegree as a MicroMasters*.
Starts in May.
May - June: Monthly Online Class Meetings + Self Study
January - April: Individual topic study.
May - June: Thesis Draft & Defence
Total Length of Study: 14 months.
YES! Now you can earn a degree outside of the university. Actually, this isn’t entirely new. The concept of MicroDegrees* was popularized by the MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) platform Coursera. MOOCs are taught primarily by university professors but offered to a massive student based because they are online. MOOCs have been an excellent way to make education more accessible to more people and without having to complete a whole degree, offering instead, single courses, certificates, and more recently, microdegrees. These innovations in post-secondary education have disrupted the standard model, with good reason. The standard model is old and outdated and is not flexible enough to account for emerging ideas and areas of interest. But neither MOOCs or the conventional system are good at providing mentorship and personalized individual learning support. The loss of mentorship and individual work with professors (who are still experts in their fields) is a huge missing component to a good education. That’s where CAN and I (Mandy Wintink, with a PhD in Neuroscience and Psychology) come in. Having been part of the conventional system for over 2 decades and an education advocate and innovator for almost as long, I see the value in having students study deeply with a mentor who is an expert in the field of study of interest. So that’s what we are launching! A new MicroDegree* in Psychological Neuroscience.
1. Online Class: The first part will be a 6-month study of general neuroscience and psychology topics with 2-5 other students, directed by Dr. Mandy Wintink, PhD. These topics are chosen with the purpose to provide students with a good overview of important concepts in neuroscience and psychology and for the students to feel confident in their new credentials. You can find a list of these topics below. This part will involve monthly online group meetings for a total of 6 months (i.e., 6 sessions). This will end in December.
2. Individual Topic Study: The second part will be the individualized topic study under the supervision of Dr. Mandy Wintink. Here, students will no longer meet as a group (until the very end) but instead, will meet individually with the professor monthly for the next 5 months (January through till May). The professor will provide support for the student to shape the thesis, source information, discuss resources and content, and eventually prepare the learning for a thesis.
3. Thesis: The third part is the thesis proper. This part is where the student will write a physical document that captures the knowledge gained in the process of acquiring an in-depth knowledge of the individualized topics. The thesis will be written and submitted for feedback. Once the final draft is approved, the student will present the thesis to the class and the professor. The professor will conduct an oral assessment. A final thesis document will be submitted. This will happen in May and June.
Proven ability to succeed in post-secondary learning, which may include a university degree, college, diploma, or multiple certificates/certifications (e.g., MOOCs courses, other online education, continuing education courses or certificates, etc.).
MicroDegree in Psychological Neuroscience, including coursework and successful completion of the thesis: $3200+HST for the completion of a MicroDegree.
Tuition fees can be paid in 3 instalments, the first $1200 prior to the 6-month coursework period, the second $1200 upon commencement of mentorship meetings, and the remaining $800 prior to the submission of the first draft of the thesis proper. All three components are required for completion of the MicroDegree.
Those interested in applying for a MicroDegree should submit a letter (or email) of interest, a current copy of their CV/Resume inclusive of all education experience. Applications will be reviewed beginning March 1st, 2019. An interview may be required as part of the application process. Acceptances will be emailed by April 1st.
These terms are currently being used in the MOOCs community. MOOCs are Massive Online Open Courses (e.g., Coursera, EdX, Udacity). The first term (MicroDegree) was coined by MIT and Harvard in partnership with Coursera. They attempted to trademark it, despite saying that it would be open for others to use. As far as I can find, their application for trademark was not granted and the term is allowed for general use. They currently do have an application submitted for trademark for MicroBacherlors and MicroMasters, I assume as a way of getting around that. I’m not sure how that will go. I tell you all this because I cannot guarantee that CAN will be able to continue to use these terms. I am VERY confident that we will continue to be able to use MicroDegree, but the other two are less certain. You, on the other hand, could likely still use this regardless. And I will always be happy to send a letter of support of your work if we are no longer able to call them this on our website.