HCED promotes an integrated and dynamic approach to learning. The Group's curriculum combines a foundation in policy and analytical skills, writing, and information and communication technology proficiency with the application of these competencies to real-world practice. Through classroom learning, independent research, field projects, practicum courses, and internships, students gain the skills essential for careers as leading practitioners, educators and/or scholars in the field.

Mastery of these skills prepares HCED students for dynamic careers as problem solvers who can perform in varied roles--policy analyst or policy maker, advocate and organizer, mediator, evaluator, program designer, developer and manager. At the doctoral level, we seek to prepare our students not only to produce but also to shape the next generation of teaching and scholarship.

We believe that a sound education is rooted in understanding the demands of effective practice. The Boston area serves as a valuable laboratory in which many of our students develop and apply skills while for others, the wider New England region or other regions become the focus for practical study. For all students, interaction with local, national, and global organizations and with alumni is encouraged. This interaction builds networks that are valuable for the field, not just DUSP students.

Field-based learning also happens through the Community Innovators Lab (CoLab), a resource within DUSP that links community practitioners with scholars in what has been a long MIT tradition. CoLab enables DUSP students to engage directly with practitioners on their challenges through field research projects, seminars and courses designed to develop innovative approaches to wealth creation, environmental sustainability and democratic engagement across communities diverse in income, culture, ethnicity and race.

The convergence of theory and practice, classroom work and fieldwork, professional networks and faculty-led initiatives is the essence of the educational experience at DUSP, including HCED.