Courses

Online Master's of Education Degree Courses



Benefit from opportunities to advance your career with your Master of Arts in Education. Your degree program consists of 8 core courses, worth 24 credits, plus an additional specialization worth 12 credits. Students enrolled in the Curriculum and Instruction specialization are required to complete 15 credits beyond the 24 credit core.

Course Requirements
Specializations

Course Requirements

(24 credit hours. All courses are worth 3 credits unless otherwise noted.)

EDU 650 Teaching, Learning and Leading in the 21st Century
This course is designed give students a real world perspective into the what it is like to teach, learn, and lead in the 21st century classroom. This course provides an opportunity for students to experience the world of the classroom and analyze the range of perspectives and topics that impact being a successful teacher, learner, and leader in the 21st century. The course will bring together a unique set of 'voices' from the field, to explore the contemporary nature of what it is like to teach in today's changing schools while focusing on identifying innovations that can develop students' capacity to be agents of innovation, collaboration, and creativity.

EDU 692 Creativity, Culture, and Global Contexts in Education Decision Making
This course provides rich opportunities for participants to learn how culture, creativity, and innovation impact teaching and student learning in the 21st century. Participants will adopt a global perspective of teaching and learning to understand how the infusion of 21st century skills impacts curriculum and prepares learners for the challenges associated with living and working in the 21st century. Through scenario-based activities, participants will directly apply skills needed to make informed decisions about the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of culturally relevant instructional practices to support the learning of 21st century skills.

EDU 673 Instructional Strategies for Differentiated Teaching & Learning
Students focus on learning about current methods of differentiated teaching at the level in their chosen content area. The course is organized around four components of the teaching cycle: (1) Assessing student learning needs, (2) Planning for instruction, (3) Implementing strategies, aids, media and resources for effective differentiated instruction, and (4) Conducting assessment and continuing professional development.

EDU 645 Learning & Assessment for the 21st Century
Students will learn important terminology defining the basic concepts for both formative and summative assessment. Exploration of different types of assessment tools and their use to inform instruction in the classroom will be included in this course. Equivalent to EDU 618. Offered online and on-campus.

EDU 620 Meeting Individual Student Needs with Technology
This course fosters awareness of individual learner characteristics which impede successful achievement. Milder forms of learning disabilities, emotional disorders, and dysfunctional social conditions that are prevalent in typical instructional situations will be discussed. Alternative pedagogies utilizing computer technology applications and online instruction to alleviate such barriers will be explored.

EDU 671 Fundamentals of Educational Research
This educational research course is designed to teach students how to use digital sources to locate and evaluate research articles and apply that information in a learning environment. Students will also consider ethical aspects of research. Finally, students will evaluate and propose ways to become change agents by effectively applying action research principles to real world educational problems and issues.

EDU 675 Change Leadership for the Differentiated Educational Environment
This course focuses on leadership in the educational environment to bring about change needed to meet learning needs of all students. Students will evaluate and reflect on their personal leadership in their educational environment. Leadership tools to provide increased learning opportunities will be used to design learning experiences and evaluate results.

EDU 695 Master of Arts in Education Capstone
The Capstone is a course in which students will demonstrate their attainment of the program outcomes through application of a research topic related to an educational setting need or interest. This capstone experience is designed to extensively explore a topic within the student's area of specialization and will be taken upon successful completion of all specialization courses.


Specializations


You must choose one of the following specializations to add to your degree program (12-15 credits):


Child Development (12 credits)


ECE 630 Language, Physical & Social Development in Young Children
This course provides an introduction to the developmental stages of language acquisition, physical and social development in young children from birth to age six. The focus of the course is on the specific developmental milestones in young children.

ECE 653 Cognitive Development of Infants & Young Children
This course deals with theories regarding cognitive development in children from birth to eight years of age including knowledge resulting from brain research. The relationship between the rate of cognitive development and overall development will be explored throughout the course. Students will apply this knowledge to design programs to meet the needs of children with varying needs and abilities.

ECE 654 Assessment & Intervention in Early Childhood
This course explores the issues around early assessment and intervention with young children. Specific developmental concerns will be identified and intervention programs will be examined.

ECE 605 Children & Families in a Diverse Society
This course will provide a clear and practical introduction to multicultural and anti-bias issues and will aid students in developing culturally relevant methods in working with children and families in early childhood settings.


Curriculum & Instruction (15 credits)


EDU 674 Foundations & Trends in Curriculum & Instruction
The course will provide an overview of the foundational pieces necessary for effective design and delivery of curriculum and instruction. Current trends will be compared and contrasted with brain-based research from the field. Emphasis will be placed on processes and procedures for developing both an engaging curriculum and a caring and responsive learning environment.

EDU 615 Leading the Change Process in Curriculum & Instruction
The course will explore the role of the change agent in the identification, planning, implementation, and assessment of change initiatives for improved achievement. The impact of change on the individual, course, program, and system level will be studied. Research-based standards for successful leadership will be identified and applied as students examine the impact of administration and management on teaching and learning.

EDU 676 Curriculum & Instruction Design for Increased Achievement
The course will teach a backward design model for curriculum and instruction that emphasizes clear targets and goals for increased achievement. Curriculum integration and mapping techniques will be examined and implemented as students model the power of collaborative planning and individual reflection. A variety of delivery models will be explored.

EDU 677 Monitoring & Evaluating Curriculum & Instruction through Systems Thinking
The course will define and apply the concepts of differentiated instruction and systems thinking in the development of curriculum and instruction. Processes and procedures for monitoring and evaluating programs will lead to an understanding of the complexity of an effective change process for increased achievement.

EDU 678 Seminar in Curriculum & Instruction for Diverse Needs
The course will simulate the real-world role of the change agent in successful implementation of curriculum and instruction for improved teaching and learning. Students will identify a need, develop an action plan, implement the steps of the plan, and evaluate both individual and organizational achievement that results. Prerequisite: completion of the previous four Curriculum & Instruction courses or instructor approval.


Early Childhood Education (12 credits)


ECE 601 Introduction to Early Childhood Education
This course provides an overview of the field of early childhood education including history, philosophy, advocacy, public policy, issues, trends, and careers.

ECE 611 Early Childhood Curriculum & Methods
This course focuses on curriculum development in early childhood and teaching strategies with a developmentally appropriate approach. Students will prepare curriculum and practice teaching strategies which illustrate the characteristics of play and creativity. The guidance of young children to include behavior management and creating positive learning environments will also be emphasized.

ECE 612 Administration of Early Childhood Education
This course focuses on the development and implementation of early childhood programs for a variety of age groups and purposes. Specifically, curriculum development, materials, teaching strategies, evaluation, budgets, hiring procedures and state guidelines/regulations are addressed as are the skills and competencies to implement the above.

ECE 625 Family & Community Engagement
This course focuses on factors that promote effective engagement with families of infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children, and the impact of this relationship on young children's development, learning and behavior. Integration of concepts with best practice in early care and education, as well as family context and community resources are considered in this
course.


English Language Learner (12 credits)


EDU 629 Linguistically & Culturally Diverse Learners
This course explores strategies and techniques to support the success of language and culturally diverse students. The values, customs, and communication styles of cultural groups and their implication for teaching are considered. Research-based instructional approaches to developing English learner literacy will be examined.

EDU 642 Understanding & Teaching English Language
In this course students will study the structure of the English language in order to better understand the difficulties that arise in learning a second language. English phonology, syntax, analysis, and application of linguistic theory will be studied.

EDU 643 Methods, Materials & Technology for Learning a Second Language
Strategies for English Language Learners in the content areas while maintaining a language development focus will be illustrated. Specific strategies, materials, technology, and learning activities will be examined to support learning.

EDU 659 Testing & Assessment for English Language Learners
Various tools and methodologies for assessing English proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing for both ELL children and adults will be critiqued. Formative and summative assessments will be explored with an emphasis on the application and appropriateness of their use for instructional design.


Family & Community Services (12 credits)


EDU 617 School, Family & Community Partnerships
Parent and community involvement is a crucial element to school success. Promoting the social, emotional and academic skills necessary for student success in the 21st century requires a team effort of collaboration with schools, families and the community. Students in this course will explore strategies and research for engaging partners in the ongoing education of children in the community.

EDU 635 Community & Youth Development
This course will support teachers and others with the development of practical strategies and tools to support community-wide efforts to strengthen and support youth today. Advocacy for youth development as well as strategies to support youth from a wide range of backgrounds will be addressed.

EDU 644 Child & Family Welfare
This course will examine public policies in place to support children and families in at-risk situations. A focus on the services and programs offered to support families and children as well as the development of protective factors in families will be offered in this course.

EDU 647 Families, Communities, & Diversity
This course will focus on establishing relationships and partnerships within families and communities of diverse cultures. Specific strategies in developing programs promoting cultural competence within families and communities will be explored. Students will analyze available family and community resources within their community in promoting and supporting cultural diversity.

Exceptional Systems for Revolutionizing Education (12 credits)

EDU 596 Creating a Culture of Universal Achievement & Collaboration
This course introduces students to the core beliefs of No Excuses University and the Six Exceptional Systems for universal achievement leading to classroom and school success. Students will practice skills associated with candid collaboration and select specific areas of focus that will support them in the development of their own Collaboration Commitment. By understanding the foundational steps of the exceptional system staircase, students will be able to apply what is learned to their own practice and be prepared to follow the next steps as featured in the second course of the Exceptional Systems for Revolutionizing Education specialization, EDU 597 Creating a System of Standards, Assessment, & Data Management.

EDU 597 Creating a System of Standards, Assessment, & Data Management
This course allows students to establish meaningful connections between a culture of universal achievement and committed collaboration with the next steps on the exceptional systems staircase: standards, assessment, and data management. By breaking down a standard into manageable parts, selecting effective assessments to determine student growth, and constructing an effective data management system for teachers and learners, students in this course will gain practical skills that can be directly applied to their professional practice. As such, students will be prepared to follow the next steps featured in the third course of the Exceptional Systems for Revolutionizing Education specialization, EDU 598: Creative Interventions and the Success Equation.

EDU 598 Creative Interventions & the Success Equation
In this course, students will connect the first five steps of the Exceptional Systems staircase through the creation of successful interventions. More specifically, students will discover the relationship between effective data translation, committed collaboration, and implementation of appropriate learner interventions. Practical and effective ways to help all learners reach their next level of success and help schools get better results are at the heart of the course. Key concepts learned and practiced in the course can be directly applied to students’ professional practice, support their professional development, and prepare them for the final course in the Exceptional Systems for Revolutionizing Education specialization, EDU 599: Exceptional Leadership – Turning Bold Choices into Results.

EDU 599 Exceptional Leadership – Turning Bold Choices Into Results
In this final course for the Exceptional Systems for Revolutionizing Education specialization, students discover what it means to be a leader as well as how the choices leaders make impact learner, teacher, and school success. Leadership traits and practices bring students full circle with the Six Exceptional Systems and provide opportunities for practical application of learned concepts with current and potential practice in the field of education.

Please note: This program is not intended to lead to educator certification. Educators are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.

Family & Community Services (12 credits)


EDU 617 School, Family & Community Partnerships
Parent and community involvement is a crucial element to school success. Promoting the social, emotional and academic skills necessary for student success in the 21st century requires a team effort of collaboration with schools, families and the community. Students in this course will explore strategies and research for engaging partners in the ongoing education of children in the community.

EDU 635 Community & Youth Development
This course will support teachers and others with the development of practical strategies and tools to support community-wide efforts to strengthen and support youth today. Advocacy for youth development as well as strategies to support youth from a wide range of backgrounds will be addressed.

EDU 644 Child & Family Welfare
This course will examine public policies in place to support children and families in at-risk situations. A focus on the services and programs offered to support families and children as well as the development of protective factors in families will be offered in this course.

EDU 647 Families, Communities, & Diversity
This course will focus on establishing relationships and partnerships within families and communities of diverse cultures. Specific strategies in developing programs promoting cultural competence within families and communities will be explored. Students will analyze available family and community resources within their community in promoting and supporting cultural diversity.


Higher Education (12 credits)


EDU 657 History & Philosophy of American Higher Education
The course will provide and overview of the historical development and cultural backgrounds of higher education in America. Emphasis will be placed on the major themes and developments in American higher education including the ideologies, people, cultures, and movements that have particularly influenced those developments. Current issues and trends in higher education will be explored.

EDU 662 Curriculum & Assessment in Higher Education
The course will study the relationships between planning and student learning at course, program, and institutional levels. Modes of curriculum design, development and change in higher education will be presented. Emphasis will be placed on examining curricular leadership and assessment strategies.

EDU 653 Teaching in Higher Education
The course will examine education theories, methods, and strategies for the improvement of instruction in higher education. Emphasis will be placed on the unique challenges of teaching in a changing environment in higher education. Students will explore factors that affect adult learning and the organizational cultures that promote or inhibit learning.

EDU 654 Student Development in Higher Education
The course will examine student development theories from a socio-cultural and psychological developmental perspective. Factors affecting the teaching and learning related to the college environment will be analyzed. Theories of student
development and their applications in student affair programs, services, and activities will be reviewed.


Reading Literacy (12 credits)


EDU 667 Reading Instruction & Early Intervention
Reviews of various research based reading programs will be examined critically. Evaluation will be based on cost, alignment to standards, and research in regard to program effectiveness. Intervention programs for struggling readers and their role in a traditional school setting will be explored.

EDU 668 Reading Comprehension Across the Curriculum
This course will support teachers and others in working with students to improve reading comprehension across all areas of the curriculum. Research investigations into the brain activity required for reading comprehension will be reviewed. Specific strategies for addressing reading comprehension difficulty will be explored.

EDU 608 Children's & Young Adult Literature
Students will explore contemporary literature for children and young adults at the early childhood, elementary, middle and high school levels. The ability to select and evaluate quality literature for children and youth, and the skills necessary to plan and integrate literature into a k-12 program will be addressed.

EDU 669 The Reading, Writing Connection
This course will emphasize the connection of reading and writing with a focus on the content areas. Students will be exposed to a variety of approaches including vocabulary techniques, comprehension strategies, and study techniques to use with learners. Issues of assessment, motivation, and cultural as well as linguistic diversity will also be addressed.


School Leadership in the 21st Century* (12 credits)


EDU 684 Shared Vision of Learning
Students will learn how to develop a shared vision of student achievement and integrate it into the school plan. By developing and articulating a belief system and shared vision of teaching and learning, students will learn how to link improved teaching strategies to school-wide and district wide instructional priorities. From this initial building of a shared vision, students will develop a theory of action directed at getting to the shared vision by ensuring that relevant student data are available and examined regularly. Students will learn and apply strategies for guiding, motivating, delegating and building consensus among diverse constituencies in the school and community. The reality is that school leaders must confront multiple voices in the community and as such, they need to ensure that those voices are part of the consensus building for shared visions of schooling.

EDU 687 Building a Learning Centered Culture
This course is designed to provide an opportunity for participants to learn how to advocate, nurture, and sustain a school culture and instructional program that is conducive to student learning and staff professional growth in a standards-based system of learning. In this course students will develop an understanding of the rationale for and the components of standards based curriculum and instruction and how they link to students' learning needs. Students will learn to apply student data to determine policy decisions and leadership actions to improve the instructional program. They will learn to apply site-based teacher-practice data to determine leadership actions to drive professional development and identify student support systems that result in increased student performance. Students will also explore research on diverse learning styles and differentiating instruction for all learners. It is in this course that students learn the power of a system-based approach that builds coherence through a standards-based curriculum and instruction; supervision that supports differentiated instruction in support of accelerating student learning, and the development, implementation, and evaluation of professional development that supports standards-based curriculum and instruction.

EDU 688 Organizational Management for Student Learning
Students are introduced to safe school environments, data-driven decision-making strategies, practice using various assessment tools and monitoring systems for teaching and learning, and learn district, state, and federal accountability systems. Students will gain an understanding of the legal polices pertaining to classified and certificated personnel. Students will also continue to apply a system-based approach that builds coherence through the alignment of fiscal, human, and material resources to support the learning of all sub-groups of students

EDU 689 Personal Ethics and Leadership Capacity
This course develops students' ability to model integrity and justice while learning and applying a variety of decision-making and problem-solving strategies. In this course, students will write a personal code of ethics that includes their moral purpose and belief system for the improvement of teaching and learning. Students will also address issues of equity such as race, language, religions, and sexual harassment. Students will learn ways to inspire and motivate others, and to effectively communicate shared decision-making outcomes to stakeholders. Students will continue to build understanding around the leadership practices that create a learning-centered and trustworthy school community that provides high levels of learning for all students

*Students who successfully complete the San Diego County Office of Education Tier 1 Preliminary Administrative Services Credential program will satisfy EDU 625 and all School Leadership in the 21st Century specialization courses in transfer. These students can also be subject to a unique course sequence.


Special Education (12 credits)


ESE 631 Survey of the Exceptional Child

This course provides an introduction to the education of students with diverse learning abilities and styles, including children with mental retardation, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, those identified as gifted and talented, and those diagnosed as having attention deficit disorder. These and other disabilities and special abilities are explored with a focus on the identification of individual differences in development and learning, and risk factors associated with exceptionalities. Developmental variations and patterns of these exceptionalities are examined along with the educational support strategies, the effects on the family and the rights of children.

ESE 697 Characteristics of Students with Mild & Moderate Disabilities & Evidenced-Based Strategies for Instruction
This course investigates the characteristics of students with mild and moderate, high-incidence disabilities (LD, EBD, ID), as well as the most effective strategies for teaching students with these disabilities. The central focus of the course is to design quality instruction to meet the needs of a range of learners in an inclusive classroom, as well as to leverage effective approaches and strategies to teaching and assessing students with disabilities.

ESE 691 Behavior Management in the Classroom
This course provides strategies for changing inappropriate behaviors and prompting the acquisition of adaptive behaviors through positive management procedures. Designed to provide the teacher practical "how to" skills in classroom management, modification of behavior, and other management skills directed toward establishing an environment of learning.

ESE 633 Collaborative Relationships & Transition
This course focuses on effective education-based collaboration strategies for special educators who have multiple roles and serve numerous functions when designing and implementing developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences for students with a disability. As the special educator job is multifaceted, additional focus is on formulating a team-centered framework that provides academic support for various service delivery models. Additionally, candidates will learn how to effectively collaborate through verbal, written, and digital communication with collaborative transition team members who enable students to meet 21st century standards post-high school completion.

If this program fits your personal and professional goals, contact Ashford University at 866.711.1700 to learn more, or request additional information.