Western Illinois University - Quad Cities - Special Education


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 from its inception. All teacher candidates at Western take the four course professional sequence of EIS 201: Educational psychology--human growth and development, EIS 301: Educational psychology--learning and instruction, EIS 302: Multicultural and social foundations of education, EIS 401: Educational law and policy taught by faculty in the department. In addition, the department offers the Bilingual/Bicultural option for undergraduate teacher education candidates.

The department of Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies also houses several graduate degree programs. The EIS Masters of Science in Education is a degree program with three options, or tracks: (1) Social Foundations of Education, (2) Language, Culture and Education, and (3) Cognition and Instruction. 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 is increasingly becoming an expected skill that teachers will possess, we are the only graduate program in the college to stress the development of this critical skill as an integral part of our core graduate program across all three tracks.

A fourth 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 Masters degree in College Student Personnel for those wishing to prepare for careers in Student Support Services in Higher Education.

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. We think you will find the experience exhilarating and inspiring and welcome and look forward to your participation should you choose to join us.

Our Mission

Recognizing the diversity of our student body and faculty, the mission of the Department of Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies is to simultaneously bring knowledge, skills, and insights from multiple disciplines to bear on the questions students face in their personal and professional lives. This distinctive orientation will prepare them to be self-reflective lifelong learners and socially conscious practitioners in a global society.