Curriculum and Instruction

Degrees and Areas of Specialization

The department of curriculum and instruction offers courses of study leading to the Master of Education (MEd) in learning and instructional design, and the Master of Education (MEd) in special education (high incidence, early childhood unified, low incidence and gifted). A Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is offered for students seeking an initial license through an alternative licensure program. The theory to practice model offers three tracks — the transition to teaching (T2T) track, the early childhood unified residency (ECU-R) track, and the middle level/secondary residency (ML/S) track. For those already holding a teaching certificate or license, curriculum and instruction offers endorsements in reading, ESOL, library media and special education areas (high incidence, low incidence and gifted). For those licensed in elementary education, an early childhood unified endorsement is also available.

Graduate certificates are offered in educational technology, interdisciplinary STEM education and literacy.

Applied Learning

Students are required to complete an applied learning or research experience to graduate from programs in curriculum and instruction. The requirements can be met by the following:

Students who graduate from an undergraduate program must experience at least 600 hours of field experience/internship in various classroom settings throughout their specific program. In addition, all initial licensure students must complete the Kansas Performance Teaching Portfolio, which is an action research requirement for licensure.

Students who graduate from all master’s degree programs must complete either a master’s thesis or capstone research project in which the emphasis is on applying professional practices to research and is directly linked to applied learning. In addition, students who graduate from the graduate program in special education must experience at least 135 hours of field experience/internship in special education classrooms.

Applied learning occurs when students develop knowledge, skills and values from personal direct experiences that go beyond the traditional lecture or lab. Applied learning encompasses a variety of activities including service learning, undergraduate research, theses, dissertations and other creative (e.g., live performances) and professional services (e.g., practicums, internships, clinical rotations and cooperative education).

The applied learning experience requirements for the initial licensure programs develop knowledge, skills and values primarily through practicums and internships. These internship experiences allow students to apply educational theory into practice. In addition, students complete the Kansas Performance Teaching Portfolio (KPTP), which is a product of research in the K–12 classroom that includes data collection, teaching, data analysis and reflection.

The applied learning experience requirements for the graduate programs develop knowledge, skills, and values primarily through the completion of either the master’s thesis or the capstone project. The completion of these terminal projects allow students to apply knowledge and skills gained from their coursework to independent research. In addition, students in the special education graduate program are able to apply the knowledge gained from traditional classroom learning thorough their practicum/internship requirements.

Courses in Curriculum and Instruction