NACOGDOCHES, Texas — This fall, Stephen F. Austin State University’s James I. Perkins College of Education will add the Master of Education in curriculum and instruction to its offerings, which is designed for educators wishing to evolve their teaching skills to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population.
The program features evidence-based research to promote the expanding skills and knowledge professionals need in diverse EC-12 educational settings. It also takes the students through a holistic approach involving theory, research and practical application to develop multitiered teaching skills.
According to Dr. Susan Reily, program director and associate professor in the Department of Education Studies, the program is ideal for recent graduates of the Perkins College of Education as well as teachers and other educational professionals eager to build their skill sets in specific areas, such as instructional coaching, early childhood or as a reading specialist.
“Public school districts in Texas require teachers to have specialized skills like those offered through the Master of Education in curriculum and instruction in order to get teacher leadership positions with schools and districts,” Reily said. “Many districts are looking for teacher leaders, and this degree is a great way to specialize for a teacher leadership position within a district.”
The program was approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in November 2022, and students will have year-round admission to best fit the busy schedule of classroom teachers and other education professionals. The program is slated to have 20 students in its inaugural semester, Reily said.
The program is completely online with the potential for some synchronous Zoom meetings — meaning those where students must sign on at a specific time. Interested candidates may choose from three concentrations, which each require 18 hours of concentration-specific courses in addition to the core curriculum:
- Early Childhood – This concentration builds skills and knowledge for teachers and educational professionals who aim to manage or develop early childhood learning environments.
- Instructional Coach – This concentration prepares teachers to move into an instructional coaching position for grades kindergarten through 12 at a public school district. Specific attention is given to developing best practices and research-based curriculum and instruction that allows students to grow in their academic achievement.
- Reading Specialist – This concentration focuses on the research-based curriculum and instructional development and is designed to build skills to earn the Texas reading specialist certification. These skills allow an individual to be employed within a public school district as a reading specialist.
All concentrations for the program can be completed in two to three years dependent on the number of courses taken per semester.