FAIRFIELD — Following assessment and review by the International Society for Technology in Education, Fairfield University’s Educational Technology Program has earned ISTE recognition for higher education, making it the first program in Connecticut and in the Northeast to be awarded the distinction.

According to a press release from Susan Cipollaro, the associate director of media relations, content and marketingat the university, candidates of Fairfield’s Educational Technology Program will have the opportunity to graduate with the ISTE Certification.

Cipollaro said the accredidation is a nationally-recognized credential awarded to educators who demonstrate effective use of technology to transform learning and ensure success in digital age classrooms. She said Fairfield is only the second university in the nation to provide the ISTE Certification to its graduates.

“According to ISTE, the ISTE Recognition for Higher Education celebrates visionary programs that prepare educators for success in today’s digital learning environments,” Cipollaro said in the release. “Programs seeking ISTE Recognition submit their curriculum to undergo a rigorous review for alignment to the ISTE Standards for Educators, a widely adopted framework used to rethink education and create innovative learning environments.”

“The Educational Technology Program at Fairfield strives to create leaders in the field who can be successful in any district or educational setting,” said Program Director Joshua Elliott, EdD. “The tool-agnostic, competency-based design of the ISTE Certification will support our candidates in their careers, no matter what learning environment they pursue. These skills are especially relevant as academia is transitioning to online learning in response to the global pandemic.”

Cipollaro said Fairfield’s Educational Technology Program is designed to create leaders in the field who can use, model, and provide learning experiences that are practical and tied to recognized national standards in educational technology. Offered both online and in a blended format, the Program welcomes candidates from all teaching disciplines as well as professionals who may be contemplating a career change or an enhancement to their existing professional skills.

“Fairfield is the inaugural ISTE Certification provider in Connecticut, in addition to being the first program nationwide to submit for ISTE Recognition,” said Carolyn Sykora, senior director of the ISTE Standards Program. “I commend the faculty’s intrepid spirit. Combined with Connecticut’s commitment to bring the ISTE Standards to all classrooms, Fairfield’s visionary leadership has the power to advance education across the state.”

According to its website, the ISTE is a non-profit organization that aims to inspire “educators worldwide to use technology to innovate teaching and learning, accelerate good practice and solve tough problems in education by providing community, knowledge and the ISTE Standards, a framework for rethinking education and empowering learners.”

Cipollaro said the ISTE Recognition for Higher Education was created to support and recognize programs that prepare a new generation of educators. Participating programs undergo a rigorous review, in which educational technology experts assess the breadth and depth of curricular alignment to the widely adopted ISTE Standards for Educators.