Curriculum and Instruction
Curriculum and Instruction Graduate Program
Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction
A Program to Meet Your Needs
The Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction combines the rigor of an outstanding academic program, the personal attention of departmental faculty, and the convenience of online coursework. This graduate program is designed for practicing teachers who teach from pre-kindergarten through the middle grades. Graduates of the program enhance their professional expertise and are poised to assume leadership roles within their schools and districts. The Curriculum and Instruction Graduate Program includes areas of specialization in literacy education, elementary curriculum, early childhood education, math education, science education, and social studies education. Candidates are able to choose the direction they feel will most benefit them in their current teaching position in grade levels that range from Pre-K through the middle grades. The Department of Curriculum and Instruction is pleased to have faculty with expertise in a variety of grade levels and content areas that are known throughout the country for teaching, service, and scholarly activities.
The Master of Science degree in Curriculum and Instruction not only influences career advancement, but also keeps early childhood, elementary, and middle level teachers abreast of developments in their chosen profession with the completion of core courses that are required of all candidates in the program. The degree requires 30 semester hours of coursework, including core components, an area of specialization, two electives, and a capstone experience. Two areas of specialization within the elementary education graduate program can be completed entirely online: elementary curriculum and literacy education. The remaining areas of specialization can be completed partially online and partially face-to-face. While a common core of coursework is required, which includes information on recent trends and research, assessment and differentiation, and methods of research, each specialization addresses different components of the early childhood, elementary, and middle level curriculum.
The Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers courses in a variety of formats in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. These include Saturday, evening, online, and irregularly scheduled courses. As was previously mentioned, two areas of specialization are offered entirely online—elementary curriculum and literacy, meaning that the entire program of 30 semester hours can be completed through online courses. Because this graduate program in elementary education is geared toward those who already have licensure, completion does NOT lead to licensure, teacher certification, or any endorsement. Those seeking licensure would need to complete the undergraduate program in elementary education. For questions concerning licensure and endorsements contact the University Certification Officer at (309) 298-1434.
Although the completion of the Curriculum and Instruction Graduate Program does not in itself lead to any endorsements, it may be possible to add an endorsement in Curriculum and Instruction or Elementary Education to an existing license. Questions about endorsements should be addressed to the University Certification Officer at (309) 298-1434.
Areas of Specialization
The Elementary Curriculum Area of Specialization develops knowledge, skills, and instructional competencies in each of the major subject areas of the elementary curriculum. This area of specialization offers candidates a balanced program of courses in each major subject area of the elementary school curriculum. Candidates take courses from all four content areas: Literacy education, mathematics, science, and social studies. Candidates may complete this area of specialization entirely online, but may also take some face-to face courses if they desire.
The Literacy Education Area of Specialization develops knowledge, skills and instructional competencies in reading, literature, and language arts. The literacy education area of specialization is designed to extend candidates’ knowledge, skills and understanding of literature and language arts in the elementary and middle grades. This specialization focuses on major theories, current research, and practical classroom application of strategies for supporting the development of children/adolescents' speaking, listening, reading, and writing abilities. Candidates may also complete this area of specialization entirely online, but may also take some face-to face courses if they desire.
The goal of the Early Childhood Education Area of Specialization is to provide candidates with opportunities to expand their knowledge, skills and understanding of the growth and development of the young child. Candidates are encouraged and supported in their search for new information about their particular interests and needs. Our mission is to help our candidates develop as learners, teachers, leaders, and “experts” in the field of early childhood education. Some of the courses in this area of specialization are taught online, while others are taught face-to-face. This area of specialization cannot currently be completed entirely online.
We are not taking any new candidates in the Math Area of Specialization at this time.
The Science Education Area of Specialization focuses on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for effective teaching of science in the elementary and middle school grades. Courses stress specialized content, as well as instructional and curriculum aspects of the total science program. Some of the courses in this area of specialization are taught online, while others are taught face-to-face.
The Social Studies Education Area of Specialization focuses on the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for effective teaching of social studies in the elementary and middle school grades. Courses stress specialized content, as well as instructional and curriculum aspects of the total social studies program. Some of the courses in this area of specialization are taught online, while others are taught face-to-face.
The following admission requirements must be met prior to acceptance into the Curriculum and Instruction Graduate Program:
- Admission to the School of Graduate Studies.
- Cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or 3.0 the last two years.
- Graduate Record Examination is not required.
- Acceptance by the Department Graduate Committee.
- All persons applying for entry into the graduate program must have earned a degree in education or a related field (i.e., history, English or other content area with an education credential, child development, etc.) This program is designed for certified teachers and does not lead to teacher certification, licensure or any endorsement.
Graduate assistantships are available for those pursuing a Master of Science in Education degree with a major in Curriculum and Instruction, Reading Specialist, or Special Education. These positions offer opportunities for graduate candidates to provide instructional, research, and clerical support for faculty.
A graduate assistant completes at least nine semester hours of coursework each semester and works with one or more faculty for fifteen hours each week.
Graduate assistants do not pay tuition for these hours and receive a monthly stipend. Assistant ships are awarded for a single year, but may be renewed for one additional year.
Positions are available on both the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses. Applications are available through the School of Graduate Studies.
Our programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), now called the Council for the Accreditation of Educator preparation (CAEP), and use national professional organization standards as the foundation of the curriculum.
This program is designed for certified teachers and does not lead to teacher certification, licensure or any endorsement. All candidates are required to teach children/students during the capstone course.
For more information contact:
Barry L. Witten, Ph. D. Interim Department Chair, Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator, Elementary Education Graduate Program Professor, Social Studies Education Department of Curriculum and Instruction Western Illinois University One University Circle Macomb, IL 61455 E-Mail: BL-Witten@wiu.edu Phone: 309-298-1961
Coordinator, Elementary Education Graduate Program
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Western Illinois University
One University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455
Phone: 309-255- 2221
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ELEMENTARY CURRICULUM AREA OF SPECIALIZATION
LITERACY EDUCATION AREA OF SPECIALIZATION