Today’s teachers must make a difference within their classrooms and within their school districts and communities, too. Let us equip you!

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Core courses
Concentration areas
Action research project
Certificate in peacebuilding
Certificate in restorative justice in education

Curriculum and Degree Information

Our program is for the teacher practitioner. We’ll provide you with opportunities for professional growth and personal development, and integrate constructivist theory with faith and learning applications. We’ll focus on these core areas of teacher development:

  • peacebuilding and conflict resolution
  • cultures of change
  • social and ethical issues
  • action research in educational settings

The basics

You’ll take 36 semester hours, which includes a required core of 12 hours, a concentration area of 21 hours and 3 hours of reflective practice in the form of action research.

Core courses (12 hours)

Required by all candidates, this core emphasizes:

  1. examining peace and justice issues within educational environments
  2. collaborating with teachers and administrators to establish constructivist environments
  3. understanding social and ethical issues which inform change and
  4. engaging in action research within the classroom in order to foster more effective instruction.

Program core and concentration area courses provide a rich context for identifying a significant question to explore in EDCC 551 Action Research in Educational Settings.

[Recommended early in program]

  • EDCC 501 Creating Cultures of Change (3 hrs.)
  • EDCC 521 Peacebuilding & Conflict Resolution (3 hrs.)
  • EDCC 531 Social & Ethical Issues in Education (3 hrs.)

[Recommended later in program]

  • EDCC 551 Action Research in Educational Settings (3 hrs.) (Prerequisite: Admission to Candidacy)

Course requirements may change as the program evolves.

Concentration areas (21 hours)

It is in this component of the program that the practitioner begins to specialize in one of three following concentration areas.

1. Literacy Agent

Practitioners concentrate on the study of literacy in a broader sense than traditionally encountered in schools of the past. Literacy is approached beyond reading and writing into integrated approaches for the development of communication, thought and interpersonal interaction. Emphasis is placed upon literacy programs from emergent to adult, integrated literacy instruction, literacy in community and family arenas and classroom assessment of literacy.

  1. Literacy Agent emphasis has six hours of elective options. Review the literacy agent curriculum
  2. Reading Specialist: Licensure as a reading specialist may be obtained with additional course work and a clinical practicum.

2. Diverse Needs Strategist

Practitioners concentrate on special needs of diverse populations, with further focus in one of four areas of emphasis:

  1. Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) for MA degree and initial teaching license
  2. Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) for MA degree and add-on endorsement
  3. At-Risk Populations
  4. Special Education

This component contains a common core of courses that address language/literacy competence with diverse populations, intervention strategies for diverse learners, and developing leadership skills in teaming, collaboration and consultation with parents, school and community social agencies. In Virginia, initial teaching licensure is available in TESL with additional course work and a supervised practicum. Review the diverse needs strategist curriculum

3. Curriculum & Instruction Practitioner

This component provides a course of study for elementary, middle or high school practitioners to enhance existing skills and meet the challenges found in today’s schools.

Emphasis is placed upon adapting and designing curriculum for diverse populations, designing integrated interdisciplinary instruction, upgrading professional knowledge in recent research in current issues, teaming with school and community professionals and enhancing specific professional and concentration area competencies. Participants may choose one of three routes toward completion of this concentration area: Elementary School Emphasis, Middle School Emphasis or High School Emphasis. Review the instruction practitioner curriculum

4. Restorative Practitioner

EMU offers an interdisciplinary concentration in Restorative Justice in Education (RJE) by taking courses through the education department as well as EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. Practitioners focus on helping teachers, administrators, and other school personnel to develop skills in peaceable and restorative ways of teaching and leading. Emphasis is placed on infusing elements of restorative justice and peacebuilding providing teachers not just with tools to control student behavior, but by fostering the types of dispositions central to building healthy relationships within educational settings. Courses are available in a variety of formats for practicing local and regional school personnel, community leaders, social workers, school counselors, international candidates, and persons serving in informal educational settings. Review the restorative justice in education curriculum

A separate 15 semester hour certificate in Restorative Justice in Education Settings is available within the concentration. See course requirements for the RJE certificate.

Action research as reflective practice (3 hours)

Your program will end with an action research product designed by the candidate in collaboration with an academic mentor. Action Research Projects (EDPC 611) take a variety of formats: curriculum restructuring projects, staff development projects, research for public policy change, research for publication, etc. Final projects are presented and approved by the mentor.

Graduate Certificates

For those who are not seeking a graduate degree, we also offer the following graduate certificates:

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All application materials and course registrations are available online. Apply now!