The Master of Education Program is designed for currently licensed teachers seeking to expand professional knowledge and skills in curriculum and instruction at the elementary level. The program emphasizes critical readings of current research and commentary--in combination with intensive critical observation and analysis. With completion of the 36-hour curriculum, the program leads to the master’s degree in elementary education and to K-6 National Board Professional Teaching Standards Certification, if the student chooses to participate in the NBPTS seminars.

The program is designed to be completed with part-time enrollment for six semesters. Two of the program’s required courses will be offered each semester, with the program rotation beginning in the summer.  All courses are offered as evening classes at the Asheville Center for Adult and Graduate Studies.


ED 519 –National and State Standards for Student and Teacher Achievement

This course is designed to introduce candidates to the knowledge, skills, and methods needed to provide effective instruction to all students. The principles, techniques, methods, and strategies presented in this class are based on research-validated instructional strategies in Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. This course will expand on the NC State Improvement Project foundations courses and aligns with Common Core and current teacher/student measures within the classroom and will facilitate improving student achievement related to North Carolina Professional Teaching Standard 6.

ED 520 Teacher Leadership for Student Advocacy

This course will focus on the design and application of classroom plans and interventions to manage individual and group change in light of the Common Core, Essential Standards, Next Gen Standards, and the continual development of school curriculum. Strategies for establishing a positive and supportive learning environment will be explored. Candidates will discover that effective teachers share leadership responsibilities for student advocacy, such as in the context of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). A close examination of leadership and leadership theories, personality types, successful models for collaboration, school culture, and stakeholders’ involvement provide the focus of real classroom applications.

ED 540 Reading, Writing, Thinking, and Learning

This course explores how various fields of study--applied linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, and cognitive psychology--inform research and pedagogy in K-6 reading and language arts instruction. Candidates will analyze current instructional trends from the perspective of theory and research emerging from the various sub-disciplines to develop an in-depth understanding of literacy in the K-6 classroom. The primary course project will be NBPTS Component 2 (Revised Video Portfolio) (available in 2014).

ED 522 Instructional Design and Assessment

This course is an examination of the research and practices in learning theory, instructional design, and assessment strategies. Candidates will integrate new knowledge with the current school assessments (including Reading 3D) to develop an understanding of how children learn. Candidates will also learn to implement research-based practices that respond to instructional data in order to support learning for all students. Candidates will develop and design classroom assessments that enhance the decision making process and ensure success for all students in their K-6 classrooms.

ED 512 Curriculum Differentiation for Diverse Learners

This course will build a foundation for both understanding the diverse learning needs of all students (including those with disabilities) and how schools can meet those needs in an inclusive setting. The course will include a historical overview, including procedural and legal issues, assessment (formative/summative/diagnostic), delivery models (including co-teaching), current scientifically based instruction, and the role of the teacher in the inclusive classroom.

ED 515 Advanced Psychological Foundations of Instruction with a focus on Literacy Development

In this course candidates will identify teaching and learning issues within their own classrooms and apply learning theories related to learning-process, cognitive-development, and social-development to those issues in order to consider solutions that support and foster student success. Candidates will be encouraged to interrogate their own assumptions about teaching and learning in collaboration with their peers in order to create and facilitate effective learning environments.

ED 524 Research in Education

In this course, candidates will conceptualize and design an in-depth, classroom-based teacher action research project. Candidates will survey theoretical paradigms, research methodologies and methods, and current research in order to understand both the procedures and practices of quality research and how effective research can improve classroom practice. Candidates will also produce a review of relevant research literature that will undergird and inform their studies and complete a research proposal.

ED 545 Reading in Content Area Course

Candidates will understand the foundations, research, and teaching strategies related to the content area literacy and arts integration. Candidates will examine literacy behaviors, content area reading and writing strategies, and arts integration in the elementary classroom. Special attention is given to integrating curricular content and the performing arts.

ED 550 Digital Literacies

Candidates will think about composing as both a print and digital practice with an emphasis on digital composition across the curriculum. Candidates will develop digital compositions using cutting edge tools such as animation, games, podcasts, and audio, and will learn how to incorporate digital literacy pedagogies into a dynamic learning environment that suits the individual needs of all students. Candidates will discover that living in the digital age, teachers and students can work within the standards to find multiple ways of composing and multiple ways of circulating those compositions.

ED 538 Integrated Research in Action

In this hands-on seminar, candidates will model the application of primary and secondary research methods as they analyze and interpret data for their integrated action research project, and write-up the findings of their research. In this seminar candidates will demonstrate creative problem solving and professional decision making as they finalize their project and satisfactorily present it to an audience of peers as well as other professionals in the field.

ED 532 Language, Literacy, and Culture in U.S. Schools

Candidates will explore concepts, theories, research, and teaching strategies related to second language acquisition and literacy development in a second language. The course will investigate historical policies and legal issues affecting immigrant populations and school curricular decisions. Candidates will develop knowledge and understanding of the interaction between language and culture, and how sociocultural factors affect second language acquisition and academic achievement.

ED 510 Student Inquiry in Elementary Content Areas

Candidates begin this course by exploring the structures and histories of the academic disciplines represented in the K-6content areas and examining their core ideas and interconnections. Then the course turns to a consideration of how teachers' understandings of the disciplines can improve their ability to design instruction that enhances student learning and increases depth of student knowledge.