Graduate Studies

Educational Studies

Admission | Courses | Program | Requirements | Certificate | Profile

Chairperson:  Eric Sheffield
Graduate Committee Chairperson: Andrea Hyde
Office: Horrabin Hall 115
Telephone: (309) 298-1183 Fax: (309) 298-2222
Location of Program Offering: Macomb, Quad Cities

Graduate Faculty

  • Thomas J. Cody, Ph.D., Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
  • Katrina Daytner, Ph.D., Indiana University
  • Gloria Delany-Barmann, Ed.D., Northern Arizona University
  • James LaPrad, Ph.D., University of Virginia
  • Eric Mansfield, Ph.D., University of Northern Colorado
  • Greg P. Montalvo, Jr., Ph.D., University of Oklahoma
  • Carla Paciotto, Ed.D., Northern Arizona University
  • Eric Sheffield, Ph.D., University of Florida

Associate Professors

  • Gary Daytner, Ph.D., Indiana University
  • Yuki Hasebe, Ph.D., University of Illinois-Chicago
  • Andrea Hyde, Ph.D., University of Pittsburg
  • Debra Miretzky, Ph.D., University of Illinois-Chicago
  • Sharon Stevens, Ph.D., Arizona State University

 Program Description

The primary aim of the Western Illinois University Educational Studies graduate program is to assist in the development of highly competent, flexible, and empowered practitioners who will have a positive impact on student learning, their immediate professional setting, and their profession as a whole. Graduates of the ES program currently work as teachers, instructors, educational consultants, policy analysts, and academic advisors in schools, colleges, and other professional settings.

The ES program faculty are comprised of scholar-practitioners representing several core disciplines including educational psychology, sociocultural studies, philosophical/historical studies and college student personnel. Faculty members utilize their distinctive disciplinary orientations and accompanying methodologies to collectively address pressing educational, intellectual, and social concerns. It is the union of an unusually diverse faculty and an uncommon approach to inquiry that makes the department and its degree options interdisciplinary.

With the assistance of their advisor students are able to pursue a specific option of their own choosing designed to enhance their professional preparation and expertise and affording them the opportunity to explore, understand, critically examine, and solve problems pertaining to their lives as professional practitioners thereby enabling them to impact and empower the lives of their students, peers, and others in positive, productive and powerful ways.

 Admission Requirements

Students seeking admission must formally apply to the School of Graduate Studies declaring Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies as their area of study. Students must meet general admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and have a minimum cumulative GPA for all undergraduate work of 2.75. Prior to consideration for acceptance into this degree program by the Departmental Graduate Committee, a student must interview with a member of the Graduate Committee or the department chairperson and must submit a rationale statement identifying the degree suitability to his/her personal and professional goals and objectives.

 Degree Requirements

The 33 hour M.S.Ed. in Educational Studies requires all learners complete 21 semester hours of core coursework offered by the program as specified by the student’s selected option: Professional Education or Language, Culture and Education. The options are intended to serves as the basic framework for a program of study. Substitutions of coursework will only be permitted with the approval of one’s advisor and that of the Graduate Committee or the department chairperson.

Professional Education Option

I. Educational Foundations Core: 15 s.h.

EDS 501 Educational Philosophy, Ethics and Policy (3)
EDS 502 Cognition and Instruction (3)
EDS 507 Equity and the Socio-Cultural Contexts of Education (3)
EDS 523 Educational Assessment and Evaluation (3)

Choose from any one of the following:

EDS 512 The Adult Learner (3)
EDS 535 Adolescent Psychology for Educators (3)
EDS 587 Human Development Throughout the Lifespan (3)

II. Electives: 9 s.h.

Electives to be selected in consultation with the student's advisor.

III. Educational Research Core: 6 s.h.

EDS 500 Methods of Research (3)
EDS 503 Decision Making with Quantitative Data (3)
EDS 504 Decision Making with Qualitative Data(3)

IV. Select one of the following exit options: 3 s.h.

EDS 584 Applied Project (3)
EDS 601 Thesis (3)


Language, Culture and Education Option

I. Educational Foundations Core: 15 s.h.

EDS 427G Foundations of Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations (3)
EDS 435G Cultural Studies of Second Language Learners in the Classroom (3)
EDS 453G Assessment of Bilingual and ESL Students (3)
EDS 501 Educational Philosophy, Ethics, and Policy (3)
EDS 502 Cognition and Instruction (3)

II. Electives: 9 s.h.

Electives to be selected in consultation with the student's advisor.

III. Educational Research Core: 6 s.h.

EDS 500 Methods of Research (3)
EDS 503 Decision Making with Quantitative Data (3)
EDS 504 Decision Making with Qualitative Data (3)

IV. Select one of the following exit options: 3 s.h.

EDS 584 Applied Project (3)
EDS 601 Thesis (3)


* Course selection to meet educational foundations core requirements will be based on concentration track selection.

† Course selection may depend on area of endorsement sought and will be advised by program coordinator.

Regardless of the track chosen, each learner will conclude her/his program with a culminating action research project or thesis. Students must complete the program within six consecutive years.

Note that no more than 50% of the degree plan may be at the 400G level.

A Degree Plan must be developed in consultation with the student’s advisor and approved by the Department Graduate Committee no later than completion of 15 semester hours of course work. Any substitutions for courses on the degree plan must have the approval of the advisor prior to enrollment in the course. Substitutions must be proposed by petitions, approved by the advisor, and submitted to the Departmental Graduate Committee for final approval.

A maximum of nine hours of graduate course work completed before a student is admitted to the Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies program may count toward meeting the requirements of this master’s degree, subject to approval by the Departmental Graduate Committee. Only nine total hours of transfer credit from another institution will be accepted.

Students in the M.S.Ed. Educational Studies degree program must complete all requirements in an incomplete course in accordance with Graduate School policies.

Students who have taken courses, but have not been actively enrolled in course work in the last three years, will be placed on inactive status and will be required to petition the Graduate Committee for reactivation.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program

The department offers a post-baccalaureate certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). For program details, go to the post-baccalaureate certificates page.

 Course Descriptions  

Educational Studies (EDS)

401G Educational Law and Policy. (2) An analysis of formal legal and ethical problems that will allow students to critique contemporary debates in educational policy, law, and ethics. The course will examine the tension between competing philosophical theories and the construction and function of educational policy. Prerequisites: Special permission required.

405G Designing/Managing Learning Environments. (3) Examines the elements that foster an effective learning environment. Emphasis is placed on strategies that promote student engagement and a sense of community in educational settings. Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent prestudent teaching instructional field experience, concurrent student teaching, or permission of the instructor.

427G Foundations of Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations. (3) An introduction to the historical, philosophical, political, social, and educational issues that have contributed to policy regarding public school services for language minority populations. Clinical experience-15 hours required.

430G Methods and Materials for Teaching in Bilingual Programs. (3) Acquaints students with methodology and materials, with instruction in the preparation of audio and visual teaching aids, lesson plans, objectives, and the inquiry teaching methods for the bilingual/ESL classroom. Portion of content presented in Spanish.  Clinical experience-15 hours required.  A grade of C or higher must be earned for teacher licensure. Proficiency in Spanish required.

435G Cultural Studies of Second Language Learners in the Classroom. (3) The study of historical and contemporary social and cultural issues affecting selected ethnic groups, with particular emphasis on the impact of culture, learning, and schooling on second language learners in US schools.  Clinical experience-15 hours required.

440G Sociolinguistics. (3) Exploration of foundational work in the field of sociolinguistics and current issues in the field. This course will emphasize the culture-language interface at the level of social relationships with special emphasis on educational settings.

453G Assessment of Bilingual and ESL Students. (3) Selection, administration, and interpretation of measurement instruments. Description of testing: multicultural, bilingual, ESL, language competency tests; language proficiency/achievement testing; linguistic/cultural aspects of intelligence testing; assessment in classroom. Clinical experience-20 hours required. 

457G Methods and Materials of Teaching English Language Learners. (3) Analysis of language learning processes of bilingual children. The appropriate order for learning basic skills in two languages will be discussed and techniques of teaching English as a second language will be introduced and practiced. Clinical experience-15 hours required.  A grade of C or higher must be earned for teacher licensure.

458G Linguistics for the Teacher of English Language Learners. (3) The study of linguistics applied to teaching limited-English-speaking students. Includes English and non-English phonology, syntax, analysis, and application of linguistic theory. Clinical experience-20 hours required.

500 Methods of Research. (3) An introduction to the nature and techniques of contemporary social scientific research (including educational and human service). Emphasis placed on developing research literacy through critically reading, examining, and evaluating the characteristics of both quantitative and qualitative research. Additional emphasis on the critical issue of the nature of the relationship between research and its application to practice.

501 Educational Philosophy, Ethics and Policy. (3) Incorporating philosophical, ethical, and legal perspectives this course examines educational dilemmas including educational aims, reform, academic freedom and educator professional development. Emphasis is placed on how these influence professional decisions and practice in educational settings.

502 Cognition and Instruction. (3) Designed to examine our current understanding of processes involved in human cognition and its application to educational settings. Emphasis is placed on information processing, critical thinking, self-regulation, and developmental aspects of learning.

503 Decision Making with Quantitative Data. (3) An introduction to making decisions using quantitative data. The emphasis is on applying both descriptive and inferential methods to inform the decision making process in educational settings.

504 Decision Making with Qualitative Data. (3) An introduction to making decisions using qualitative data. The emphasis is on using qualitative inquiry to inform the decision making process in educational settings.

507 Equity and the Socio-Cultural Contexts of Education. (3) Provides in-depth examination and evaluation of societal change as it relates to education. Emphasis is placed on developing an awareness and the skills that enable educators to recognize and address conditions that may deny equitable access to educational opportunities.

512 The Adult Learner. (3) The study of psychological development and instructional theory applied to adult learners. Emphasizes cognitive, affective, and social characteristics of learners throughout the adult years.

523 Educational Assessment and Evaluation. (3) Covers the application of assessment principles (validity, ethics, professional responsibilities, etc.). Emphasis is on the role of assessment in decision making in educational settings, including assessment for assisting learning, documenting and communicating student achievement, teacher evaluation, and program evaluation.

533 Current Topics in Education. (1–3, repeatable to 6) Designed to provide students the opportunity to enhance professional growth and development by gaining familiarity with current thinking in the field on specific educational issues.

535 Adolescent Psychology for Educators. (3)  Studies developmental theory focusing on specific issues and concerns facing adolescents. Areas of emphasis include biological, social, and cognitive transitions throughout adolescence that have an impact on the educational process.

536 Seminar in Cognition. (3) An examination of contemporary cognitive models of learning, problem solving, and cognitive factors (beliefs, ability, strategies, etc.) that mediate learning and problem solving, including their application to the design and delivery of classroom instruction. 

540 Motivation in Educational Settings. (3) Examines the motivational processes in educational settings that help promote or hinder learning. Emphasis is placed on personal, social, and environmental factors.

547 TESOL Listening, Speaking and Pronunciation Methodologies. (2) Designed to allow students to examine the articulation of English sounds, the rules that govern their use in speech, and explore ways of applying this knowledge to the teaching of pronunciation. Additional emphasis will be placed on teaching listening/speaking strategies in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) environment.

548 Computer Assisted Language Learning for TESOL. (1) Students explore how the use of technology can enhance language learning and use online tools to design language learning lessons in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Prerequisite or corequisite: EDS 547.

550 Professional Workshop. (1–3, repeatable to 6) Workshops deal with topics in broader areas of educational studies. Students will participate in a variety of activities such as reading, research, reports, etc.

570 Seminar in College Teaching. (3) Designed to prepare those interested in higher education instruction. Topics will address ethical issues, instructional strategies, and other components for effective practices.

580 Current Problems in Education. (2) Course is designed to acquaint the student with current issues in today's educational programs; to analyze trends in the development of teaching methods; to evaluate techniques, to evaluate curriculum planning, to consider educational leadership; and to examine critically the significant issues and problems of contemporary educational practice.

584 Applied Project. (1-3, repeatable to 3) Applied project that integrates the knowledge and skills gained through the program by investigating a problem or extending the current state of knowledge, employing theoretical, quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methodology. Prerequisite: Completion of 24 hours and permission of the graduate coordinator.

585 Seminar in Social Foundations of Education. (3) An examination of the social foundations of education in relation to democratic society, social change and the evolution of the educational enterprise.

586 Adult Education and the Culturally Diverse. (3) Analysis and critique of U.S. historical, cultural, linguistic, demographic, sociological, economic, and political issues impacting the education of culturally diverse adult learners.

587 Human Development Throughout the Lifespan. (3) Examines contemporary developmental theory in psychology with an emphasis on how development impacts students, teachers, and the educational process.

592 Field Experience in Education. (1–4, repeatable to 4) Supervised field experience in off‑campus education situations including public or private school or alternative education programs. Prerequisites: Permission required. Prior or concurrent course work appropriate to the assignment.

599 Independent Study. (1–4, repeatable to 4) Offers students the opportunity to independently investigate an educational topic related to the student’s area of interest. Assignments and evaluation criteria will be decided upon by the instructor based on the student’s educational goals.

600 Internship in Teaching. (5–6, repeatable to 10–12) A culminating, 10-12 week, school-based clinical experience in the student’s major area(s) of specialization under the supervision of a department faculty member and a senior teaching professional.  Prerequisites: EDS 507, EDS 535, EDS 536, EDS 538, EDS 539, and EDS 592; 100 clock hours of clinical experience; and recommendation of EDS Graduate Committee.

601 Thesis. (1-3, repeatable) A central thesis that integrates the knowledge and skills gained through the program by investigating a problem or extending the current state of knowledge, employing formal quantitative, qualitative or mixed methodology. Prerequisite: Completion of 24 hours and permission of the graduate coordinator.

602 Interdisciplinary Studies Portfolio. (0) Upon the completion of 28 graduate credit hours, interdisciplinary studies students will submit examples of work completed in the program. The accompanying narrative will note the alignment between the student’s state objectives and degree plan and the objectives of the program. The narrative also will justify the inclusion of particular items. Three members of the department graduate faculty will review the document for both personal and professional growth, for an understanding of core knowledge, for an understanding of relevant scholarly literature, and for an application of evolving skills to pressing issues in the field of education. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Approval of the Department Graduate Coordinator.

607 Implications of Diversity for Educational Leaders.  (3) Rapidly changing demographic patterns hold implications for school policy.  Effective educational leaders understand diverse cultures and communication styles, and practice collaboration and dialogue.  This course will provide resources necessary for administrators to establish themselves as facilitators who offer an inclusive educational vision for the community.  Prerequisites: EDAD 600, EDAD 640, and admission to candidacy in the Education Specialist program, or permission of instructor.

702 Quantitative Research and Statistics II. (3) This course builds upon students’ knowledge and skills in Quantitative Research and Statistics I. The courses addresses factorial ANOVA, repeated measures of ANOVA, multiple regression, and reliability analysis to prepare students for reading research and for conducting doctoral research. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Ed.D program in Educational Leadership.

747 Education for Social Justice: Politics, Ethics and Policy. (3) Explores the complexities of social justice and intercultural competence related to educational organization. Students will acquire knowledge of political forces and ethical issues that impact social justice and intercultural competence along with skills to address social and intercultural issues. Prerequisites: EDL 711 or permission of the instructor.