Jun 22, 2024  
2019-2020 Shepherd University Catalog 
2019-2020 Shepherd University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Curriculum and Instruction, M.A.

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The Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction is designed to help teachers enhance their professionalism, improve their quality of instruction, and better prepare them for leadership roles within their school districts or in other education settings. By integrating theory, practice, and research, the Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction provides teachers and other professionals with educational responsibilities and opportunities to enhance their levels of professional knowledge, discover innovative and effective approaches to teaching and learning, and at the same time gain greater competency within their disciplines. 

Each course within the Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction program is three credit hours. Individual professors determine the criteria for evaluation; however, it is expected that professors will utilize varied methods of instruction and assessment including readings, online technology, examinations, research papers, and relevant field-based assignments. One consistent requirement across all courses within the program will focus on the need to meet program objectives. It is expected that all courses will also be theory-and-action-oriented. In addition, there will be a specific research course designed to familiarize students with the strategies needed to successfully put the knowledge they have gained regarding theory and methodology into action by completing their capstone thesis experience.

The Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction is a 33-credit hour program of study, with an Individualized Concentration allowing for maximum flexibility, and a concentration/endorsement in Multi-Categorical Special Education. Students complete 15 credits in educational pedagogy, and 12-15 credits in courses from a variety of subject areas.  Students in the Multi-Categorical Special Education concentration should see the specific requirements for that program. After successfully completing all core, elective, or content-area courses and the Research Methodology course, students are eligible to take the Comprehensive Exam.  Successful completion of the Comprehensive Exam is a prerequisite for the 3-credit hour capstone course, EDUC 580 - Action Research Thesis Experience 


Curriculum for a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction

Core curriculum, 15 Hours:

Individualized Concentration, 12 Hours:

The MACI program provides access to graduate education by also permitting non-teachers to enter the program. Allowing teachers and professional educators such as principals, coaches, guidance counselors and other educational leaders the flexibility to craft their own program of study, the MACI program can be assured that students graduate with an enhanced level of professional knowledge, leading to greater competency in the discipline. The primary purpose of the MACI program is to advance knowledge and increase skills for education professionals in instructional or leadership contexts.

In addition to taking an elective from any of the current concentration areas, a unique feature of the Individualized Concentration is the ability of students to take an approved set of courses in other degree programs such as Master of Business Administration, College Student Development and Administration, and Master of Music, Music Education. By utilizing courses and faculty in other degree programs, student can be assured of the availability of classes on a consistent basis, leading to decreased time to degree completion, increased retention and greater student satisfaction.

In addition to the Core Curriculum (15 hours), and Action Research Thesis (3 hours), and in consultation with their advisor, students must complete 12 credits from any 500- or 600-level course in EDUC or the subject teaching fields, or from any of the following approved courses in other graduate programs:

Multi-Categorical Special Education Concentration, 15 Hours:

The Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction has currently discontinued the Multi-Categorical Special Education concentration, and is not accepting future enrollments at this time. All students currently enrolled in this concentration will be supported to complete their degrees.

The primary purpose of the MACI-SPED program is to advance knowledge and increase skills for education professionals in instructional or leadership contexts. The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDOE) mandates initial teacher certification for the delivery of all special education courses. According to area boards of education, there is a strong need for special education teachers due to population growth. The multi-categorical special education endorsement (5 courses/15 credits) will prepare educators to teach students with specific learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral disabilities and intellectual disabilities, by creating teachers who are knowledgeable of learners with exceptionalities and their diverse needs.

In the recent revisions to West Virginia (WV) Policy 2419 (Regulations for the Education of Students with Exceptionalities) it is stated that special educators must be “highly qualified” teachers who meet the requirements of IDEA 2004, NCLB and WV Policy 5202. Special educators in WV are able to meet this requirement by obtaining an endorsement in special education.  The MACI-SPED endorses teachers who already hold either an elementary teacher certification or a secondary certification in an academic content area (English, math, social studies, science or biology) in multi-categorical special education and meet the documented need for special educators in WV.

Special requirements:  Students taking the five courses to receive the special education endorsement will be required to have already received the initial licensure in either elementary education or secondary education in one of five content areas (English, math, social studies, science, or biology). In addition to completing the five required courses in the concentration, students must also pass the Praxis II (Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications).

NOTE: All students in the MACI-SPED program are licensed teachers. In order for them either to receive a teaching license or to renew their teaching license they must have completed a technology course and be up to date on technology teaching standards.  Course objectives in EDUC 500 are skills and knowledge that satisfy NETS-T Standards which have been mastered as evidence of obtaining a teaching license. Students must submit documentation of completion of a credit bearing University technology course and/or documentation of a technology course used for continuing education credits toward renewal of teacher licensure which shows clear evidence that NETS-T Standards were addressed. Completion of the technology course must have taken place in the past 5 years. If proper documentation is submitted then EDUC 500 will be waived; however if there is no documentation of the technology course requirements then the students will be required to take EDUC 500 if pursuing the MACI-SPED degree.


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