Greetings! Thank you for your interest in the Department of Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies. The Department of Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies (EIS), formerly Educational Foundations (EDFD), has been an integral part of teacher preparation in the College of Education and Human Services from its inception. All teacher candidates at Western take the four course professional sequence of EIS 202: Multicultural and social foundations of education;EIS 301:Cognition, Development and Motivation in Academic Settings; EIS 305 Measurement and Assessment of Learning in Academic Settings; EIS 401: Educational law and policy taught by faculty in the department.  In addition, the department offers the Bilingual/Bicultural major for undergraduate teacher education candidates.

The department of Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies also houses several graduate degree programs. The EIS Master of Science in Education is a degree program with four options, or tracks: (1) Social Foundations of Education, (2) Language, Culture and Education,  (3) Cognition and Instruction and (4) Adult Education. This set of options allows the degree candidate to prepare for, or advance in, careers in education,  P-12 through Junior College, and/or the eventual pursuit of the doctorate (Ph.D/Ed.D).  At a time when the ability to make data-driven, research based decisions that will enhance student learning in the classroom is increasingly becoming an expected skill that teachers will possess, we are the only graduate program in the college to explicitly stress the development of these critical skills as an integral part of our core graduate program across all four tracks.

A fifth track, Transdisciplinary Studies, is designed for school districts wishing to establish cohorts seeking specific, targeted professional development in knowledge and skills to further understanding of and/or to solve issues or problems within their educational or professional community.  The cohort model allows for a flexible combination of courses from any, or all, of the EIS graduate tracks to be applied to a specific district’s particular needs and goals.

In addition, the Department also offers a highly acclaimed Master’s degree in College Student Personnel for those wishing to prepare for careers in Student Support Services in Higher Education. 

The CSP program has a theory-to-practice orientation that includes coursework in student development theory, groups dynamics, philosophy of higher education, organization and administration of student affairs, multicultural issues, counseling theory and techniques, and research methods. Individuals are prepared to work as student affairs professionals in a variety of student settings, including residence life, student activities, Greek affairs, admissions, academic advising, orientation, and multicultural student programs.  

The graduate certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is designed to meet the needs of students desiring to teach English in a variety of settings throughout the world. Specialized  coursework in the certificate program focuses on theories and methodologies of TESOL while providing practical classroom experience. The coursework may also be used to satisfy some of the requirements for the Master of Science in Education (M.S. Ed.) in Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies for those students admitted into the M.S. Ed. program.

 As evident from our mission statement, our graduate program is interdisciplinary in orientation allowing the degree candidate to develop a rich grasp of central issues and problems in education from the perspective of several key disciplines including psychology, philosophy, and anthropology/sociology. Our graduate program is designed to add real value to your professional development as an educator seeking to make a meaningful, positive impact on the learning and development of your students. We think you will find studying with us exhilarating and inspiring and welcome and look forward to your participation should you choose to join us.


We need master’s programs that provide distinctly advanced content knowledge. These programs should significantly broaden teachers’ understanding of how children learn and develop, how different students respond to various teaching strategies, and how successful learning environments should be designed for the wide diversity of our nation’s preK-12 learners.” – From a recent op-ed entitled Education Master’s Programs, Add Value or Shut Down , by Sharon Robinson, President of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE).