Courses

Online Master of Arts in Education 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 639 Human Relationships & Learning in the Multicultural Environment
Students will explore and experience the impact of interpersonal communication concepts and skills upon the creation and maintenance of positive human relationships. The student will develop a knowledge base of selected cultural groups to acquire the competency to identify basic cultural modalities that have an effect upon the teaching and learning processes. Students will demonstrate the integration of the course content to their own personal values and teaching styles. The student will also demonstrate application of human relationship skills to the educational setting and the community.

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):

Assessment & Measurement (12 credits)

EDU 660 Tests & Measurements
This course will explore the selection and use of tests and measurements for individuals planning career in school and non-school settings. Technical skills will be examined for selecting and properly employing tests and measurements (reliability, validity, norming, test scores) and major types of tests such as ability, intelligence, achievement, personality, family, and behavioral.

EDU 661 Data Analyses & Decision-Making
This course is designed to focus on technology for the administration and scoring of assessment. The strengths and limitations of technology applications to assessment will be examined.

EDU 663 Assessment & Public Policy
This course provides the foundations and history of program assessment, accountability, and quality assurance to the governance, funding, and purposes of assessment and measurements. Implementation and reporting of assessment data to multiple audiences will be explored. The course will examine the roles of program evaluators in improving performance and achievement.

EDU 665 Performance Assessments
This course is designed to examine the design, development, and implementation of performance-based assessment. Task analysis and design, scoring schema, and assessment delivery are covered through critique and practice.

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.

Culturally Responsive Education (12 credits)

EDU 627 Culturally Responsive Learning Environments
This course will explore how cultural influences affect learning. Research-based teaching strategies for diverse populations will be examined. The challenges impacting the teaching and learning within diverse environments will be explored. A learning plan will be developed reflective of considerations to diverse cultural needs.

EDU 647 Families, Communities & Diversity
This course will focus on establishing relationships and partnerships within families and community 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.

EDU 637 Planning, Implementing & Assessing Instruction for Diverse Learners
This course is designed to develop and assess appropriate instruction and programs for diverse learners. Students will explore the relationships between first and second language proficiency in identifying the cultural influences on learning. Effective instruction and program development will be explored in assessing culturally responsive education.

EDU 638 Intercultural Communications & Global Learning
This course explores communication styles within a culturally diverse environment. Students will examine the effects of oral and nonverbal communication styles. Personal and social barriers within diverse settings will be explored. Students will develop and evaluate a plan to lead efforts in promoting cultural awareness within a work setting. An optional international visit will be offered based upon availability.

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.

Distance Learning (12 credits)

EDU 648 Teaching & Learning with Technology
This first course is an overview of the field of educational technology including instructional design, influence of learning theory on technology application as well as the various technologies available and their application to learning.

EDU 652 Instructional Design & Delivery
This course covers various elements of the instructional design process including needs assessment, instructional problems, learner characteristics, instructional objectives, content sequencing, instructional strategies, and evaluation instruments. Students are expected to learn how to plan, develop, evaluate, and manage the design of effective instructional materials.

EDU 655 Trends & Issues in Instructional Design & Technology for Online Learning
Students gain the necessary skills and knowledge to design effective instructional materials for use in an on-line learning environment. Powerful innovations that may redefine teaching and learning practices will be explored throughout the course.

EDU 656 Technology Solutions for Just in Time Training & Learning
This course will allow students to develop an understanding of the planning for and application of technology for training that meets institutional and organizational needs. Students will utilize technology to effectively develop a request for proposal plan for training utilizing technology to inform, motivate, and prepare learners.

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.

Education & Public Policy (12 credits)

EDU 633 Educational Policy Formation
This course is designed to focus on theories and models of policy-making process, including pluralism, elitism, systems analysis, structuralism, and state autonomy models. The course examines how different theories view the roles of political leadership, institutions, interest groups, academics experts, and external influences in the policy-making process. The course examines how different factors influence policy outcomes and processes at various stages of the development process. The course provides students with analytical tools to understand variations in the policy-making process and the opportunity to develop their own applications.

EDU 631 Politics, Policy-Making, & Political Action in Education
This course is designed to use political knowledge to analyze and act in educational institutions. The course focuses on contemporary and historical cases to develop students' understanding, analytical skills, and capacity for effective action in the political sphere. Special attention will be directed toward student application of policy-making in understanding and analyzing a special topic of interest.

EDU 663 Assessment & Public Policy
This course provides the foundations and history of program assessment, accountability, and quality assurance to the governance, funding, and purposes of assessment and measurements. Implementation and reporting of assessment data to multiple audiences will be explored. The course will examine the roles of program evaluators in improving performance and achievement.

OMM 625 Learning Organizations & Effectiveness
This course presents the principles and elements of the learning organization and uses key principles as a framework for defining the organization's management practices and measuring its effectiveness.

Educational Technology Leadership (12 credits)

EDU 649 Technologies for Teaching & Learning
This course focuses on identifying appropriate technologies for teaching and learning. Special attention will be directed in analyzing teaching and learning styles. Identifying and evaluating technologies to meet individual needs will be explored in both educational and corporate environments.

EDU 652 Instructional Design & Delivery
This course covers various elements of the instructional design process including needs assessment, instructional problems, learner characteristics, instructional objectives, content sequencing, instructional strategies, and evaluation instruments. Students are expected to learn how to plan, develop, evaluate, and manage the design of effective instructional materials.

EDU 658 Instructional Leadership
This course focuses on leadership in the educational or corporate environment to bring about change required to meet learning and training needs. Students will evaluate their personal leadership in their professional environment. Leadership tools to provide increased learning opportunities will be used to design learning experiences and evaluate results.

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.

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.

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.

Library & Media (12 credits)

EDU 605 School Media Center
Technology has changed the ways in which information is accessed today dramatically impacting the traditional role of the school library media center. This course will review the historic role of library instruction and the changes that need to take place to prepare students with the information acquisition skills necessary today.

EDU 607 Information Literacy in the 21st Century
This course will support teachers and others in thinking critically about information and media resources prevalent today. Skills will be taught that can be readily utilized with students to teach them to be critical reviewers of all materials and reference sources.

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 658 Instructional Leadership
This course focuses on leadership in the educational or corporate environment to bring about change required to meet learning and training needs. Students will evaluate their personal leadership in their professional environment. Leadership tools to provide increased learning opportunities will be used to design learning experiences and evaluate results.

Mathematics Instruction (12 credits)

EDU 603 Mathematical Thinking for Teachers
This course focuses on the thought processes involved in learning mathematical concepts as a base for student-centered mathematics instruction. Students will gain a strong theoretical perspective of how children learn mathematics and gain ideas and strategies for how to teach math.

EDU 619 Technology for Mathematics Education
Students will investigate and evaluate technology that supports user interactivity and mastery of mathematical concepts in grades Pre-K through middle school in this course. Alignment to mathematical standards and recommendations from The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) will be explored as a part of the evaluation of materials. Assessment and differentiation of instruction and student learning will also be addressed.

EDU 646 Algebra Instruction for Elementary & Middle School Teachers
Today's teachers must be prepared to teach students more than memorization of rules and procedures to solve equations. This course will prepare teachers to teach the process standards of problem solving, communication, reasoning and proof, connections and representations as outlined by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).

EDU 664 Teaching Mathematics & Science through Literature
Teachers today are being called upon to integrate the various content areas across the curriculum to allow for real-life connections and application of various skills. This course will explore research supporting curriculum integration with a specific focus on the integration of literature for teaching math and science concepts. Students will explore units of study that address content standards in math and science utilizing children's literature.

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 emphasizes developing effective communication techniques to use with personnel in educational settings and transitions, including parents of individuals with disabilities and ancillary personnel. Emphasis will be placed on interaction with students, parents, paraprofessionals, professionals, and volunteers.

Teacher Leader (12 credits)

EDU 686 Educational Policy & Administration
This course focuses on the societal and political contexts in educational settings. Students will examine various issues that are likely to have an impact on teaching and learning in a diverse educational setting. Education policy areas considered include governance, curriculum, accountability, personnel development, and school finance.

EDU 658 Instructional Leadership
This course focuses on leadership in the educational or corporate environment to bring about change required to meet learning and training needs. Students will evaluate their personal leadership in their professional environment. Leadership tools to provide increased learning opportunities will be used to design learning experiences and evaluate results.

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 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.

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