IDEA Learning Community


What skills do today’s employers say they need in new hires? Employers are seeking individuals with innovation, digital-fluency, entrepreneurship, and advocacy (IDEA) skills to steer organizations’ priorities and planning, and to guide the development, use and integration of innovative information technologies (IT) across a wide variety of areas, including:

  • web developers and administrators to lead efforts to plan, build and oversee the web-based and mobile technology implementations of organizations;
  • computer security systems analysts to oversee efforts to design, assess, manage and maintain secure digital environments and practices for organizations;
  • digital youth specialists to innovate and manage organizational services, resources and solutions to meet the informational, educational and technology needs of younger users;
  • health informaticists to guide efforts in consumer health information, electronic health records management, and the planning and integration of technologies in health organizations’ systems and services.

We accept applications for the IDEA program Fall semester only for:

  • web developers and administrators
  • computer security systems analysts
  • digital youth specialists
  • health informaticists


Join the IDEA Learning Community at FSU’s iSchool!

Students pursuing the Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) or Master of Science in Information (MSI) degrees in residence at the FSU Tallahassee campus may apply for participation in the IDEA Learning Community.  Participants in the IDEA Learning Community receive a tuition waiver each semester from the FSU School of Information, and may also be eligible for a part-time graduate assistantship, provided they maintain good academic standing and a cumulative FSU GPA of 3.0 or higher each semester. IDEA Learning Community participants must enroll in 12 credit hours each semester and complete all requirements for the degree within one year of admission following a prescribed program of study.  FSU iSchool IDEA Learning Community members share common academic goals, and meet semi-regularly to collaborate on classwork. A full-time, immersive and enhanced curriculum will prepare IDEA graduates for successful careers as innovative, digitally-fluent entrepreneurs and advocates.  IDEA participants will have unique opportunities for hands-on learning engaging typical and innovative technologies.

Who Can Apply?

Students planning to pursue their MSIT or MSI degree in residence at the FSU Tallahassee campus may apply for participation in the IDEA Learning Community.  To be considered for the IDEA Learning Community, students must:

  • Apply and be formally admitted to the iSchool and FSU to pursue the MSIT or MSI degree for the fall or spring semester.
  • Complete the FSU iSchool IDEA Learning Community Application by April 1 for the Fall semester.
  • Follow a prescribed program of study.
  • Enroll in 12 semester hours for each of three consecutive semesters.
  • Participate in required IDEA Learning Community courses and activities as outlined by the LC coordinator.
  • Achieve and maintain good academic standing by earning a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher).

Each student accepted as a participant in the IDEA Learning Community must select a specific career focus area chosen from one of the following:

  1. Web Developer & Administrator (MSI or MSIT)
  2. Computer Security Systems Analyst (MSIT only)
  3. Digital Youth Specialist (MSI only)
  4. Health Informaticist (MSI or MSIT)

IDEA Learning Community students will have the opportunity to complete an additional 12 hour graduate certificate in Leadership & Management to enhance their preparation to initiate, lead, and guide organizations through change. Students pursuing the Leadership & Management certificate option will complete their studies within four consecutive semesters.

What Will It Cost?

Students selected for the IDEA Learning Community will receive a tuition waiver each semester from the FSU School of Information. A part-time graduate assistantship may also be available in one of the iSchool’s innovation laboratories, or in an appropriate organization on the FSU campus.  During the semester in which students are appointed to an IDEA graduate assistantship, an additional stipend will also be provided (paid on a bi-weekly basis).  Students should expect to pay for books, supplies, living expenses, and any other fees and expenses they may incur as an enrolled student at FSU.

What Will I Gain?

Students in the IDEA Learning Community gain all the advantages of immersive, hands-on, socially-engaged learning. IDEA participants will be cohorted in the courses required for their degrees, and will be able to find each other in elective courses specially selected for career preparation. For example, a student pursuing the Web Developer and Administrator career-path will take the Practicum with all other IDEA participants, the MSI or MSIT required courses with their fellow degree candidates, and the web development and other elective courses with other IDEA participants pursuing this career path. As a member of the IDEA Learning Community, you will have the advantage of always already knowing someone else in each of your classes; you will have the prestige of belonging to this select group of students who have self-identified as highly motivated to succeed in careers as innovators, entrepreneurs, and advocates; and you will share activities and create meaningful connections with other participants, with iSchool faculty and staff, and with future employers.