Graduate Education Specializations

Three programs of study are offered by Graduate Education to enhance the resume and skill set of the classroom educator. Such program options will create greater career opportunity and mobility in a dynamic educational system. Providing a formal credential, PA Instructional Certification is currently available in two of the programs listed below.

Specializations

  • Instructional Technology - Teachers need to use advanced technology to implement modern curriculum. While they don't need to become computer programmers or software writers, they do need to know how to use modern technology to plan and deliver instruction. The technology specialization of the graduate education program gives teachers the knowledge and skills they need to implement technology and to improve educational systems. Graduates can function as leaders of local school district instructional improvement teams, technology planning committees, site-based management teams, building-level management teams, and will also be able to otherwise work to improve instruction in their schools by helping their colleagues implement technology.
  • Reading - School district superintendents are increasingly emphasizing the need for teachers to have a strong background in the teaching of reading. The Reading Specialist program enables teachers who already hold a PA Instructional certification to obtain both Reading Specialist K-12 certification and a Master's degree in Education with a specialization in reading.
  • Special Education - Both federal education law and current best practice requires the inclusion of students with disabilities in the regular education curriculum to the fullest extent possible. The Special Education program enables teachers who already hold a PA Instructional certification to obtain both Special Education PreK – Grade 4 certification and a Master's degree in Education with a specialization in Special Education.

* Click here for complete program details contained within the University Catalog


Instructional Technology Curriculum

Students who specialize in Instructional Technology complete 18 credits of required courses and 18 credits chosen from a group of elective courses.

Required courses in Instructional Technology:

  • EDU 500 Issues in Education Issues OR EDU 567 Issues in Educational Technology
  • EDU 504 Curriculum
  • EDU 510 Learning
  • EDU 515 Research Methods
  • EDU 565 Staff Development
  • EDU 595 Professional Contribution

Elective Courses in Instructional Technology (18 credits required):

  • EDU 552 Multimedia for Instruction
  • EDU 553 Instructional Design
  • EDU 554 Videography
  • EDU 556 Programming for Instruction
  • EDU 566 Principles of Instructional Design
  • EDU 568 Distance Education and Hybrid Technology
  • EDU 585 Special Topics (Focused on a current topic of importance in the field.)

Total: 36 credits

* Click here to access Graduate Education course descriptions within the University Catalog

Reading Specialist Curriculum

The Reading Specialist Certification requires 24 credit hours and successful completion of EDU 645-A Reading Specialist Internship, and successful completion of the state required examinations. The Master of Science in Education with a specialization in Reading requires an additional 12 credits and completion of a culminating experience.

Students who specialize in Reading complete eight required Reading Specialist courses and a supervised internship experience.

Reading Specialist Certificate Courses: 24 credits

  • EDU 641 Foundations of Language and Literacy
  • EDU 642 Word Study
  • EDU 647 Reading and Writing for English Language Learners
  • EDU 648 Special Education and the Reading Specialist
  • EDU 649 The Reading and Writing Connection
  • EDU 650 Reading in the Content Area
  • EDU 645 Diagnosis, Assessment and Remediation
  • EDU 645-A Reading Specialist Internship
  • EDU 646 Data Driven Instruction
  • Additional required courses for Master's degree candidates (12 credits)

  • EDU 651 Reading Leadership
  • EDU 515 Research Methods
  • EDU 565 Staff Development
  • EDU 595 Professional Contribution

* Click here to access Graduate Education course descriptions within the University Catalog

Special Education Curriculum

The Special Education Certification requires 27 - 33 credit hours (dependent on prior coursework) and successful completion of EDU 582 Observation and Practice (internship), and successful completion of the state required examinations. The Master of Science in Education with a specialization in Special Education requires an additional 9 credits and completion of a culminating experience.

  • EDU 517 Special Education
  • EDU 526 Characteristics I
  • EDU 527 Characteristics II
  • EDU 528 Methods I
  • EDU 509 Assessment
  • EDU 529 Methods II
  • EDU 519 Inclusion
  • EDU 539 Learning Strategies
  • EDU 585 Special Topics in ELL OR EDU 647 Reading and Writing for English Language Learners
  • EDU 582 Observation and Practice (0-3 credits)

Master's degree candidates must complete the following additional courses: 9 credits

  • EDU 515 Research Methods
  • EDU 565 Staff Development
  • EDU 595 Professional Contribution

Total: 36-39 credits

* Click here to access Graduate Education course descriptions within the University Catalog

Teacher Certification

Two of the graduate specializations have been reviewed and approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as professional preparation programs. The reading specialist specialization enables teachers who are already certified to obtain a Reading Specialist K- 12 certificate. The special education specialization enables teachers who are already certified to obtain a Special Education Pre K – Grade 8 certificate.

Students who complete the academic requirements set forth by the PA Department of Education are eligible to apply for Instructional I certifications offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. To be considered eligible, they must:

  • Complete a state-approved teacher education program that includes a student teaching or intern experience (the university's programs are state approved).
  • Complete all state-required certification tests ( A current list of tests required and the qualifying scores are published on the PDE website (www.pde.state.pa.us).
  • Document that they have completed all certificate requirements.
  • Complete PDE's online application for certification.

For additional information, graduates may contact:

The Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717-787-3356

Graduates of the university's teacher education programs may be eligible for certifications offered by other states. Pennsylvania has signed an Interstate Agreement through the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification which facilitates certification in other states. States' requirements vary; graduates should determine what they have to do to become certified in a state other than Pennsylvania.

Course Descriptions

EDU 500 Issues and Trends in Education, 3 credits

Examines curriculum decision-making in light of federal and state legislation, court decisions, public policy, recent research, and exemplary educational program. Students complete a series of readings, participate in discussions, and complete a major paper.

EDU 504 Curriculum, 3 credits

Examines the theories and models and procedures of curriculum design and assessment. Students design and assess actual curriculum.

EDU 509 Assessment, 3 credits

This course prepares students to understand, administer and/or interpret assessment information in educational settings.

Prerequisite: EDU 517

EDU 510 Learning, 3 credits

Relates major contemporary theories of education to current methods of teaching. Discusses how the theories and methods affect curriculum and curriculum decisions. Students create a project that relates theories and methods to curriculum decisions.

EDU 515 Research Methods, 3 credits

Provides students with an understanding of the concepts, principles, and techniques associated with the investigation of specific research problems in organizational behavior and management.

Prerequisite: MTH 115

EDU 517 Special Education, 3 credits

Students will identify the historical, philosophical, and the legal foundations of special education.

EDU 518 The Internet, 3 credits

Provides students with an opportunity to explore electronic communications and information storage, access, and use as they relate to the Internet. Students will develop skills needed for personal communications, web information, Internet research, and telecomputing.

EDU 519 Inclusion, 3 credits

This course introduces students to the nature and purposes of inclusion of students with disabilities in regular education. It highlights research-based planning, instructional, management, assessment, and communication practices. These practices facilitate successful inclusion of students with various disabilities.

Prerequisite: EDU 517

EDU 520 Curriculum and Methods in Reading, 3 credits

Focuses on effective and efficient teaching methods and materials, used to teach reading in elementary classrooms. This course is designed for currently certified teachers.

Prerequisite: EDU 590

EDU 521 Teaching Methods, 3 credits

Prepares supervisors to identify and support ‘best practices’ in planning, implementing, and assessing instruction.

EDU 523 Curriculum Adaptations for Mainstreamed Adolescents, 3 credits

Prepares special and regular educators to effectively integrate mildly handicapped students in regular education.

EDU 524 Curriculum and Methods in Language Arts, 3 credits

Focuses on effective and efficient teaching methods and materials, used to teach language arts in elementary classrooms. This course is designed for currently certified teachers.

Prerequisite: EDU 590

EDU 525 Curriculum and Methods in Mathematics, 3 credits

Focuses on effective and efficient teaching methods and materials, used to teach mathematics in elementary classrooms. It is designed for currently certified teachers.

Prerequisite: EDU 590

EDU 526 Characteristics I, 3 credits

This course helps students to develop an in depth knowledge of individuals (across the life span) with disabilities. These individuals are served by special education because of mental retardation, physical disabilities, health impairments and autistic spectrum disorders. It focuses on etiology, characteristics that affect learning and teaching, as well as identification and assessment of individuals with disabilities.

Prerequisite: EDU 517

EDU 527 Characteristics II, 3 credits

This course helps students to develop an in depth knowledge of individuals (across the life span) with disabilities. These individuals are served by special education because of learning disabilities, emotional disturbances, and other health impairments as manifest in conditions such as ADHD. It focuses on etiology and characteristics that affect learning and teaching, as well as identification and assessment of individuals with disabilities.

Prerequisite: EDU 526

EDU 528 Methods I, 3 credits

This course allows students to develop advanced skills needed to plan, implement, and assess teaching and learning in programs for students with moderate to profound disabilities.

Prerequisite: EDU 526

EDU 529 Methods II, 3 credits

This course allows students to develop advanced skills needed to plan, implement, and assess teaching and learning in learning support and emotional support programs.

Prerequisite: EDU 528

EDU 530 School Law and Finance, 3 credits

Introduces students to how state and local school district laws and policies govern curriculum and how school programs are financed.

EDU 531 College Teaching, 3 credits

Introduces prospective and novice college faculty to instructional practices and procedures related to teaching college courses. Topics include developing syllabi and instructional plans, teaching methods, test construction, and evaluation procedures.

EDU 532 Classroom and Instructional Management, 3 credits

Identifies how special educators and elementary teachers can improve how they manage classrooms. Motivation and discipline issues are discussed.

EDU 533 Computer-based Education, 3 credits

This laboratory course allows students to experience first-hand the effects of computer-based educational programs and create an awareness of how CBA can be used in schools.

EDU 534 Teaching Sensitive Issues, 3 credits

This course identifies educationally sensitive issues related to sex education and related topics and prepares students to deal with the issues in classroom situations.

EDU 535 Cooperative Learning, 3 credits

Introduces students to cooperative learning and develops skills related to the implementation of cooperative learning strategies in elementary and secondary schools.

EDU 537 Outcomes-based Education, 3 credits

This course introduces students to OBE and to policies and procedures that facilitate the effective implementation of outcomes-based programs.

EDU 538 Performance-based Assessment, 3 credits

This course introduces students to performance-based assessment and to policies and procedures which facilitate the effective implementation of PBA in classroom situations.

EDU 539 Learning Strategies, 3 credits

This course introduces students to the Strategies Intervention Model (SIM), an approach to helping at-risk secondary students by empowering them with learning strategies (Kansas University).

EDU 545 Instructional Support Teams/Elementary, 1 credit

This advanced course helps elementary teachers apply concepts of instructional support in their school settings.

EDU 546 Instructional Support Teams/Secondary, 1 credit

This advanced course helps middle level and secondary teachers apply concepts of instructional support in their school settings.

EDU 547 Collaboration and Consultation, 3 credits

This course introduces a process regular and special education teachers can follow to jointly implement programs to assist at-risk students.

EDU 548 Clinical Supervision, 3 credits

This course explores and implements models and practices of clinical supervision. Supervision projects are completed in the field.

EDU 552 Multimedia for Instruction, 3 credits

This course introduces students to the development and use of multimedia in education and training. Students examine current uses of multimedia and consider its future. Students create graphic, video, and audio media, as well as new formats as they emerge.

EDU 553 Instructional Design, 3 credits

This course reviews models of teaching and training which might be used in professional development activities (e.g., in-service programs, college teaching, training activities) to determine whether and how they can be improved by applications of educational technology.

EDU 554 Videography, 3 credits

This course prepares students to create a production for use in a digital environment.

EDU 556 Programming for Instruction, 3 credits

This course introduces students to computer programming for educational and training applications. It emphasizes interface design and interactivity. The language(s) will vary with needs and trends.

EDU 558 Introduction to Networking, 3 credits

This course introduces students to the types of computer networking needed for distribution of educational and training applications. Languages and platforms used are determined in response to the needs of students enrolled and trends in education and training.

EDU 559 Supervision Internship, 3 credits

This post-degree internship allows candidates for certification in supervision to engage in activities typical of educators who work as supervisors of curriculum and instruction. The internship is project-based and requires two semesters to complete.

EDU 563 Hypermedia Theory and Application, 3 credits

Using both laboratory classroom situations and equipment, this course introduces students to computer-based techniques that teachers and trainers might use to develop and deliver instruction and training.

EDU 565 Staff Development, 3 credits

This course helps students identify and develop skills needed to plan, implement, and assess professional development programs for school faculties and business personnel. Procedures and practices related to conducting needs assessments and to delivering and evaluating the effects of in-service programs are highlighted. Students actually prepare a development activity that they may use to complete their professional contributions.

EDU 566 Principles of Interface Design, 3 credits

This course introduces students to procedures used to create computer-based interface and screen designs. Commercially available and web-based programs and units are evaluated in terms of how well they relate to design principles and as to their efficiency.

EDU 567 Issues and Trends in Educational Technology, 3 credits

This course provides students with an opportunity to investigate current issues related to computer-moderated teaching and learning.

EDU 568 Distance Education and Hybrid Technologies, 3 credits

This course introduces students to the operation of distributed educational technologies, including the development and delivery of asynchronous and synchronous mediated and stand-alone communication technologies, including distance learning.

EDU 575 Human Development, 3 credits

An in-depth study of growth and development as it relates to elementary-aged students, this course explores current research and recent developments in educational psychology.

EDU 576 Masters Project, 6 credits

This course is designed to be a practical hands-on culminating experience to the special education specialization of the masters program. It is designed to be a flexible yet rigorous course.

EDU 577 Field, 0 credit

All graduate education majors seeking certification must independently propose and then deliver a set of projects related to the needs of a community classroom or another setting that serves students they will eventually teach (e.g., a group home, a preschool, etc.). Students must complete a minimum of twenty five (25) hours observing veteran classroom teachers and participating in their classrooms.

EDU 578 Student Teaching, 12 credits

The culminating activity of the university's graduate education program for candidates seeking certification is the student teaching experience. This experience places students (all majors) in classroom situations where they complete their development as teachers by demonstrating their abilities to fully function as classroom teachers. Student teachers spend the first half of the student teaching semester in one setting and the second half in another. In each placement, student teachers work under the guidance and supervision of master teachers and university supervisors.

EDU 581 Seminar in Elementary Education, 3 credits

Current issues and trends in elementary education are addressed.

EDU 582 Observation and Practice, 0-3 credits

Elementary specialization participants are expected to log 100 hours observing and participating in elementary classrooms. Specific objectives must be met and students must maintain journals.

EDU 585 Special Topics, Variable credit

The graduate education program features a series of 1-, 2-, and 3-credit courses, which deal with special topics of interest to teachers. They are taught by respected and expert adjunct faculty who are leaders in their communities and/or schools. A few special topics are scheduled each semester and several are available during the summer term. Most special topics may be used as electives within the graduate education program.

Special topics courses have included:

Integrating Learning Systems

College Programs for Disabled Students

Integrating Technology in the Classroom

Religion in Public Schools

The Federal Education Agenda

Characteristics of Excellence

Sensitive Issues in Sexuality

Multicultural Education: Heritage Curriculum

Integration Curriculum

Censorship in the Arts

Multicultural Education: Literature in High School

Curriculum of the Future

Curriculum Update: State Requirements

Education in Japan

The Self-Study Process

Ethics in Education

Adaptations for Exceptional Students/Secondary

Parents’/Students’ Rights in Special Education

Preparing Students for Post- Secondary Education

EDU 590 Basic Methods in Elementary Education, 3 credits

This course focuses on the structure and process of elementary education and highlights effective and efficient teaching methods and materials, which may be used in elementary education. This course is designed for currently certified, albeit not elementary, teachers.

EDU 595 Professional Contribution, 3 credits

This course allows students the opportunity to implement major curriculum projects by conducting and formally and publicly presenting their professional contributions.

Prerequisite: EDU 565

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EDU 599 Independent Study, Variable credit

This course allows students to conduct independent investigations of specific topics of interest and/or to complete a school-based project. They are planned, implemented, and evaluated with the assistance of a mentor appointed by Misericordia University. A contract learning format is used.

EDU 620 Restructuring Schools and Classrooms, 3 credits

This course assists teachers and administrators to develop a knowledge of research, motivation, theories, and successful initiatives involved in the school reform effort.

EDU 621 Strategies for Improving Instruction, 3 credits

This course examines strategies teachers need to implement more flexible, creative approaches to instruction found in schools and classrooms implementing restructuring to create 21st century classrooms.

EDU 622 Linking Assessment to Improved Instruction, 3 credits

This course describes what changes in assessment mean for schools trying to restructure and meet new state and national performance standards.

EDU 623 Teaching to New State and National Standards, 3 credits

This course reviews current state and national performance and curriculum standards, shares findings from policy makers on making instructional decisions in local schools, and allows participants to develop implementation strategies in their curricular areas.

EDU 624 Enhancing School Climate, 3 credits

This course presents research-based strategies that create a positive school climate, improve leadership and collaboration, and enhance individual effectiveness and resiliency to organizational change.

EDU 625 Technical Applications in Schools, 3 credits

This course explores the promise an assortment of technologies hold for teaching to diverse learners, reaching equity, and teaching to high standards in heterogeneous classrooms.

EDU 626 Advanced Technological Applications, 3 credits

This course enables participants to perform advanced functions including creating directories, performing back up procedures, restoring files, creating batch files, and performing multitasking through windows applications. Spreadsheet and data based tools as well as PowerPoint are integrated.

EDU 627 Integrating CAI into the Curriculum, 3 credits

This course enables students to use the more popular computer assisted instructional programs and integrated learning systems (Jostens, CCC, IBM’s TLC, etc.) in both classroom and laboratory settings.

EDU 628 Integrating Desktop Publishing, 3 credits

This course prepares students to develop the understandings and skills necessary to use desktop publishing programs such as Works, Word, WordPerfect, Publisher, and related applications.

EDU 629 Web Page Development and HTML, 3 credits

This course prepares students to become competent in the design and construction of Web Pages using HTML authoring language.

EDU 630 Design and Delivery of Distance Learning Programs, 3 credits

This course familiarizes students with the uses of satellite technology, interactive video conferencing, and other distance learning strategies for use in the 21st century classroom.

EDU 641 Foundations of Language and Literacy, 3 credits

Provides students with the fundamental concepts of literacy. It examines the research and historical perspectives, methodologies, and theories of language literacy acquisition and development. Students will demonstrate an understanding of best practices in the teaching of language and literacy, including the needs of diverse learners from K-12.

EDU 642 Word Study, 3 credits

Participants will learn instructional approaches, including those that develop word level knowledge, fluency, and vocabulary strategies for K-12 students.

EDU 645 Diagnosis, Assessment, and Remediation of Literacy Difficulties, 3 credits

Examines how to assess students, monitor students’ progress, and provide effective classroom instruction. Students will identify and administer various reading inventories, tests, and procedures used in K-12 schools. Various models of effective classroom reading instruction will be reviewed and students will use assessment results to prepare a case study.
Prerequisites: EDU 641, EDU 642, EDU 647, EDU 648, EDU 649, EDU 650

Corequisite: EDU 645A Reading Specialist Internship

EDU 645A Reading Specialist Internship, 0 credits

Students complete 100 hours of supervised field experience at the elementary, middle, and high school level by participating in summer programs.

Prerequisites: EDU 641, EDU 642, EDU 647, EDU 648, EDU 649, EDU 650

EDU 646 Data-driven Instruction, 3 credits

Prepares students to understand, administer, and interpret assessment information. Students will learn how to use this knowledge to improve the achievement of diverse learners, including ELLs and students with IEPs, through the analysis of specific student data profiles obtained from assessment sources.

Prerequisites: EDU 641, EDU 642, EDU 647, EDU 648, EDU 649, EDU 650

EDU 647 Reading and Writing for English Language Learners, 3 credits

Provides an introduction to research and theories that describe the reading/writing process in first and second languages. Students will focus on developing effective teaching and assessment approaches to support literacy development of ELLs in grades K-12.

Prerequisites: EDU 641

EDU 648 Special Education and the Reading Specialist, 3 credits

Prepares the reading specialist to provide support to the special educator in the preparation and delivery of research-based instructional strategies, interventions, and assessments in order to ensure the development of proficient reading skills in exceptional students in K-12.

Prerequisites: EDU 641

EDU 649 The Reading and Writing Connection, 3 credits

Candidates use intermediate children’s literature and appropriate models of fiction and non-fiction to develop a plan for improving a pupil’s case study writing sample. Children’s literature, non-fiction and fiction text, when used for this purpose, provides models of text organization, descriptive words, and imagery the domains of writing that children often need to use to improve their own writing.

Prerequisites: EDU 641

EDU 650 Reading in the Content Area, 3 credits

Prepares students to utilize instructional strategies and techniques that best facilitate academic learning for all learners across the content areas. Students will engage in an in-depth examination of effective instructional practices for teaching content area vocabulary and concepts through a variety of research-based study strategies.

Prerequisites: EDU 641

EDU 651 Reading Leadership, 3 credits

In collaboration with other professionals, students will develop and implement a reading program for the remediation of reading in the school age population. Students will assess, diagnose, and remediate children with reading difficulties using word study, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension/metacognition strategies.

Prerequisites: EDU 641

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