Master of Science in Elementary Education

Contact: Gail Cueto (860-832-2434)

Program Rationale:
This program is designed for elementary education and K-12 certified teachers wishing to pursue graduate study which extends their knowledge of the theory and practice of elementary education. The program offerings enable working teachers to increase knowledge and skills related to the most effective research-based strategies in teaching, learning, and assessment. Students will have opportunities to analyze, extend, and increase the relevance and responsiveness of their current work in classrooms, particularly as it relates to leadership and diversity issues.

The program consists of a number of courses in the introductory block, curriculum and instruction block, and specialization block. It also provides the opportunity to develop and implement research skills in the final two semesters of the capstone requirement, during which candidates are enrolled in courses that facilitate the planning and conducting of an action research project in the school classroom and/or professional teaching setting in which they are employed. Teacher certification in either elementary, early childhood, middle-level education, or an NK-12 special area is required for admission to the program.

Program Learning Outcomes:

Students are expected to:

  • demonstrate and implement varied instructional, assessment, management, and technological strategies that facilitate learning for diverse students;
  • demonstrate improvement in the quality of students' teaching skills by self-reflecting and analyzing teaching practices through data collection and analysis;
  • demonstrate best practice teaching as agents of change by designing and conducting action research grounded in professional literature to have an impact on schools and their surrounding communities;
  • assess a variety of teaching strategies in light of research-based practices around developmental stages and cultural/linguistic backgrounds; and
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the course material in the introductory block courses that incorporate and highlight insights from the study of diversity in schools, socio-cultural and historical issues influencing schools, and research in education.
Course and Capstone Requirements
(33 credits):
Core Courses (9 credits)
EDTE 502 Focus on Diversity in Education 3
EDF 516 School and Society 3
EDTE 598 Introduction to Research in Education 3
Professional Courses (9 credits)
EDEL 508 Current Trends in Elementary Education 3
EDEL 512 Assessment of Learning 3
EDEL 529 Analysis of Teaching 3
Specializations (9 credits)
Choose from one of the following specializations:
1. Diversity in Education: Three from
EDEL 509 Education and the Development of Cultural Understandings 3
EDEL 485 Creating Classroom Community (K-8) 3
RDG 586 Literacy Instruction for Diverse Populations I 3
LING 497 Second Language Acquisition 3
2. Working with Families: Three from
SPED 580 Collaborative Process in Special Education 3
SPED 510 Inclusive Education 3
or other SPED course approved by advisor
EDEC 553 Family, School and Community Partnerships in Early Childhood Education 3
RDG 586 Literacy Instruction for Diverse Populations I 3
EDEL 485 Creating Classroom Community (K-8) 3
3. Subject Area Curriculum: Three from
FA 490 Integrating the Fine Arts for the Young Learner 3
SCI 555 Teaching Biological Sciences in the Elementary School 3
MATH 506 Teaching Number Concepts in the Elementary Grades 3
MATH 507 Teaching Geometry and Measurement in the Elementary Grades 3
MATH 508 Teaching Probability and Statistics in the Elementary Grades 3
MATH 509 Teaching Algebraic Thinking in the Elementary Grades 3
EDEL 537 Social Studies Methods (1-6) 3
RDG course (500 level)
EDEL 485 Creating Classroom Community (K-8) 3
4. Literacy: Three from
500-level RDG courses
TESOL courses (LING 497 and RDG 586 are recommended.)

Capstone Requirement (6 credits)

Special Project, Plan E: EDEL 591 and EDEL 592 (all students are required to enroll in Plan E unless they are exempted for Plan A, the thesis option). Capstone requires the completion of all core and professional courses and at least 6 credits in specialization area. Students are strongly discouraged from taking any other coursework concurrent with EDEL 591. Under no circumstances may students take a course concurrently with EDEL 592.

Program Sequence:

Students should complete the core requirements before enrolling in the professional and specialization courses. Courses in the professional and specialization areas may be taken concurrently with courses from the core with permission of advisor. All core and professional courses, as well as 6 credits in the specialization block, must be completed prior to taking EDEL 591.

In the case of a student who is not employed in a professional setting with children during the capstone semesters, the student may opt to fulfill Plan A, Thesis Capstone (3 credits). In this case, the student must take an additional course, with advisor counsel, to complete the 33 credits in the planned program. The student must also find a faculty member in the department to supervise the thesis work.

Note: A maximum of six credits in 400-level courses may be taken, with the approval of the graduate advisor.

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