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Master of Arts in Education Course Descriptions

Core Courses

EDU 608
Educational Foundations in Today's Society (3 units)

The current educational landscape reflects the kaleidoscope of today's multicultural society that is comprised of stakeholders with various viewpoints, philosophies and interests. In this course, educators explore issues related to cultural diversity, educational reform and historical context, and the changing relationship between schools and society. Emphasis is placed on the evolving role of the teacher, educational responses to an increasingly diverse student population, and the law and its effect on schools.

EDU 615
Diversity in the Classroom (3 units)

This course focuses on theoretical and practical issues related to diversity of culture, race, gender, language, socioeconomic, and the ability level in the classroom. Patterns and trends in diversity will be addressed as well as the impact of education reforms on the equability of education. Three instructional approaches to teaching in a diverse setting are explored: differentiation, Universal design for Learning, and culturally responsive instruction.

EDU 620
Second Language Acquisition and Development (3 units)

This course builds knowledge of language acquisition to better meet the academic language needs of English learners in a diverse classroom. Teachers explore various factors that affect English language development, including cognitive, affective, socio-cultural, political, and pedagogical factors. Effective practices for teaching and assessing English language development and content learning in diverse cultural and linguistic classrooms will be emphasized.

EDU 667
Instructional Strategies for English Learners (3 units)

Reaching and engaging culturally and linguistically diverse students are critical skills for any teacher. In this course, educators learn instructional strategies for increasing achievement for English Learners (ELs) in any content area. Educators develop skills in planning and delivering instruction in academic language, literacy, and assessment in English language development. Educators also learn strategies for working with families, communities, and colleagues to support the needs of English learners.

EDU 697
Research in Education (3 units)

This course provides educators with an understanding of action research and its application in today's schools and classrooms. Educators will explore local schools and individual student problems and make decisions for their final action research projects.

Prerequisites: 12 units of master’s program coursework or Program Chair approval

EDU 698
Analyzing and Synthesizing Research (3 units)

This capstone course culminates the master’s degree in education. In this course, students build on their work in the Research in Education course by continuing the investigation of the topic they chose for their Action Research Plan. Through this investigative process, students have the opportunity to engage in and demonstrate critical and reflective thinking as they analyze and synthesize current research as well as apply Connectivist learning theory and technology tools to create a course project. The goal of these course projects is to improve educational practice and make a contribution to the field of education. At the conclusion of this course, students present their course projects to faculty and colleagues.

Prerequisites: EDU 697 or Program Chair approval

Special Education Courses

SPED 604
The Impact of Disabilities on Learning and Teaching (3 units)

Special educators understand the breadth and depth of each disability. They continually expand their knowledge and skills related to the impact of cognition, behavior, sensory input, and physical/health issues on learning and teaching. This course guides the special educator in examining disabilities beyond the surface level of definitions, characteristics, and common understandings to a deeper, life-encompassing, and futures-planning perspective. Teachers further their ability to advocate for individuals with disabilities and for the field of special education.

Prerequisite: Credential or chair approval

SPED 605
Strategic Collaboration in Special Education (3 units)

This course focuses on teaming, partnerships, and collaboration practices that special educators must embrace and continually hone and refine. Attitudes, skills, and dispositions that foster healthy and productive collaborative relationships are essential for working with teams to provide services for individuals with disabilities. This course focuses on these attitudes, skills, and dispositions and empowers special educators to examine the benefits and challenges of collaborating with others to maximize the learning potential of every student.

Prerequisite: Credential or chair approval

SPED 606
Advanced Instructional Strategies in Special Education (3 units)

Providing accommodations and differentiating instruction are essential practices for special educators. This course focuses on advanced research-based approaches for designing, adapting, prescribing, and delivering instruction in the content areas with special emphasis on progress monitoring. Teachers will examine content-area standards and curriculum, with the goal of designing standards-based, individualized instruction that is functional, appropriate, and systematic.

Prerequisite: Credential or chair approval

SPED 607
Literacy Interventions in Special Education (3 units)

Reading, writing, and communicating are literacy competencies that impact the quality of life for all people, especially individuals with disabilities. Because literacy development is often impacted by learning and behavioral disabilities, the special educator must be well-versed in this area of learning and teaching. This course guides the special educator in identifying reading and writing disabilities and in collaborating with others to devise appropriate and effective interventions, including the use of assistive technologies. Monitoring progress and ongoing assessment of literacy skills, strategies, and dispositions are emphasized.

Prerequisite: Credential or chair approval

SPED 608
Advanced Behavioral Interventions in Special Education (3 units)

Behavior impacts human development at all ages and stages of life and is typically a matter of concern for individuals with disabilities. This course focuses on understanding, assessing, managing, teaching, and monitoring behavior. Students review classroom and school management strategies and explore in greater depth individual functional analysis and individual behavior management plans with the goal of transition planning.

Prerequisite: Credential or chair approval

Teaching and Learning Courses

EDU 600
Teaching and Learning: From Theory to Practice (3 units)

This course focuses on specific pedagogy and planning for instruction. It reviews the nature and design of educational activities: theory, research on best teaching practices, and lesson planning that meets the diverse needs of students. This course is designed to increase knowledge in areas such as brain research, teaching and learning research, learning styles, and the parent/community support process. Students reflect on their current experiences and bridge new understanding into future practice.

EDU 601
Social Justice, Diversity, and Equity in the Classroom (3 units)

Educators examine issues related to equity, diversity, and their implications for educational settings. Personal and community biases are scrutinized regarding race, gender, socio-economic status, culture, religion, second language learners, and persons with special needs. Through coursework, group work, and situational case studies, educators are challenged to examine their attitudes toward these critical issues and to become sensitive and proactively responsive to them. Educators explore and develop educational and leadership capacities needed to ensure access and academic and social equity for all members of the extended school community.

EDU 602
Differentiated Instruction for Diverse Classrooms (3 units)

This course challenges educators to evaluate the needs of individual students in the diverse and inclusive classroom. Educators explore methods to modify, extend, and personalize instruction to positively impact student learning and engagement. Focus is on improving student achievement through differentiated curriculum and instruction; learning about and applying best practices; teaching for understanding, critical thinking, problem solving, and decision-making; and accommodating teaching and learning styles.

EDU 603
Using Data to Inform Teaching and Learning (3 units)

In this course, educators deepen their understanding of research and how using data applies to the everyday world of classroom teaching. Educators use criteria to evaluate and apply research to their practice. Methods of data collection and analysis are examined and placed in the context of a school improvement program. Practical approaches to gathering, disaggregating, and applying statistical data to classroom instruction to improve student achievement are covered throughout the course.

EDU 604
Curriculum and Instruction Development for Increased Learning (3 units)

In this course, educators examine the integration of current theories of curriculum design with California State content standards in the planning of classroom instruction. Educators apply their emerging understanding of structured teaching to meet required standards, to design learning activities that engage students, to form collaborative communities of learners that support inquiry, and to integrate assessments to increase learning. Included are principles of curriculum and models of instruction as guidelines for the construction of specific curriculum designs and instructional strategies that create learning communities.