Education Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction Degree
Become a leader in curriculum transformation
Education today is a dynamic process that must respond quickly to changes in cultural, demographic, technological and other forces. The William Woods University Education Specialist in Curriculum & Instruction degree program prepares you to respond to these challenges through an understanding of transformative curriculum design and its implication for learning. This program outlines effective practices for curriculum leadership and will help you clarify your educational values while emphasizing the critical interrelationship of curriculum, instruction and assessment. You will be exposed to various means of curriculum reform, as well as a variety of reform initiatives. The Education specialist program is designed to correlate with the Missouri Superintendent Standards as the focal point of curriculum leadership, focusing on pedagogy, current research and educational trends.
At William Woods, you’ll be participating in an Education graduate program known for its excellence and for providing a significant number of the leaders in Missouri’s state school system. As one of these students, you will have the opportunity to learn from active practitioners in the field and make the connections you need for leadership and career growth.
This degree is designed to fit the schedules of working pk-12 teachers and can be completed in two years or less through evening courses taught in convenient locations around the state. You can expect rigorous coursework with real-world relevance, designed and taught by professionals who have proven their expertise. We structure the schedule intentionally to keep students together, allowing you to develop lasting relationships with peers focused on similar career goals. And, to make this an investment you can count on, your tuition will not go up as long as you stay continuously enrolled.
Your education specialist degree at work
This program is designed for teachers, instructional coaches, curriculum directors and principals with an interest in staying current in instructional and circular issues in pk-12 schools. As a graduate, you will be trained as a leader in the areas of curriculum construction, instructional development and assessment. You may become a curriculum, instruction or assessment leader within a school district; or a master teacher or teacher leader.
You will earn the degree by completing ten three-credit courses including a capstone practicum course, 40 hours of field work and a final curriculum project.
Courses you may take
Curriculum Auditing & Mapping
This is a class in curriculum mapping and auditing (evaluation). It is designed to provide the learner with knowledge of the connection of mapping and auditing to improve student achievement. During the course students will learn the necessary steps to follow to successfully implement change in curriculum writing. Students will also map a subject/course using the studied method.
Issues in Curriculum Leadership
This course is designed to give students the knowledge and understanding of the internal and external factors that impact curriculum and schools in our country today. Curriculum leaders must understand the dynamic nature of school environments in order to support continuous development and refinement of curriculum as a “living document” that evolves based on changing learner needs. Students will learn the impact that local, state, and federal mandates and programs have on their district’s curriculum.
Utilizing Statistical Procedures in Educational Research & Evaluation
This course will provide the educational practitioner with the knowledge, skills and techniques necessary to effectively collect, interpret and utilize data to drive the school improvement process. The course will include a discussion of basic statistical concepts as well as the procedures and skills necessary for the critical review of educational research. Finally, the course will address specific assessment and research data relevant to Missouri schools and provide the student the opportunity to implement knowledge and skills through case based practice. This course is not designed to make the student a statistician or to provide the background necessary to design and compile the statistics for a scholarly research proposal. It is designed with the practitioner in mind to give the student an overview of statistical processes as used in research.
This course identifies the school leader’s role in curriculum development and provides an overview of the history, foundation, and theory of curriculum. It addresses what constitutes a viable curriculum as well as effective practices for curriculum leadership. The course emphasizes the critical interrelationship of curriculum, instruction, assessment and curriculum management. In addition, it exposes students to various means of curriculum reform as well as a variety of reform initiatives.
Application of Learning Frameworks
This course is designed to assist future Curriculum Leaders in gaining knowledge and understanding of developing and implementing a collaborative work culture for continuous effective review and revision of curriculum. Focus is on job embedded Professional Development with regard to culture change and sustainability. An emphasis will also be on developing and fostering high performing collaborative teams to enhance student learning and outcomes. Topics will include: Professional Learning Communities, Data Teams, Collaborative Work Initiatives, Culture Audit, Mindset, and Team Building for collaboration.
Instruction and Assessment Design
This is a practical, hands-on course in which students will utilize the Wiggins & McTighe, Understanding by Design model to develop instructional lessons and units of study. Students will utilize Marzano’s Formative Assessments and Standards-Based Grading System to design effective formative assessments for their units of study. Students will learn how to develop project-based learning experiences and create standards-based integrated curriculum using the Common Core State Standards.
Educational Reform and Urban Educational Issues
This course will help developing district leaders understand, facilitate and be proactive to the rapidly expanding scope of changes that are taking place in schooling and education. Basic principles of change, diffusion of innovations and research findings with case studies will be examined. Systemic change and leadership during times of change will be emphasized as well. School district leaders will study how the achievement gap, poverty and other urban educational issues impact student improvement, community perception and school reform. The course will also examine how social dynamics, cultural differences, pedagogy, physical/social environments and student resiliency play a part in making achievement gaps a lingering issue for educators.
Advanced School Law and Policy Development
The course has been created to provide advanced and complex information, perspective and knowledge to educational administrators (including experienced principals and aspiring superintendents of schools) with necessary legal and administrative knowledge that will enable them to effectively conduct school business within legal frames. In addition, they will be able to operate school organizations and related environments within the constraints of state and federal law; including constitutional, statutory, administrative, civil, criminal, juvenile, and interpretive case law. Also, an understanding the policy and political frameworks of their district, state, and federal environment.
Differentiated & Supplemental Program
This course is designed to offer prospective school leaders an introductory and survey course in the study of the myriad of differentiated and supplemental state and federal programs. The history, purpose, procedures, requirements and financial implications of selected programs will be examined that are common responsibility areas for school district leaders.
These programs are dynamic in nature and often reflect revisions and mandates annually as per the state and federal offices of education. Consequently, the course will be updated as changes evolve in the various programs studied. Additionally, the course facilitator may provide updated information regarding programs listed and/or new programs initiated.
Course content focuses on state and federal educational programs dating back to the historic 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Title I programming within this act has become the largest source of federal aid to elementary and secondary schools. The course also includes the most recent state supplemental programs from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
Emphasis is placed on collaboration among class participants. A major dependence, with respect to accessing differentiated and supplemental program documents, administrative manuals, and other salient information, will be placed on the use of internet sites, and the ability to download (often in PDF formats) from the web. Upon completion of this course, students should possess knowledge sufficient to assist in the effective administration of state and federal differentiated and supplemental programs.
Curriculum Leadership Practicum
This 3-credit hour (six week) capstone course is designed to provide the student with
This 3-credit hour (eight week) capstone course is designed to provide the student with application and reflective opportunities using those attitudes, skills, and behaviors learned in previous Ed.S. program courses. Further, the course will embed additional field practice to prepare the student for the effective curricular design and instructional leadership skills necessary for success at the central school district administrative office and building levels. All written work will be developed individually, although interviews and data gathering may be completed through group effort. There will be no additional required textbooks for this course. Rather, all the textbooks and references (i.e. APA Manual,) used earlier in the other Ed.S. Program courses will be referred to, as needed, to complete the assignments in EDU 696.
During the practicum, while the student completes the required assignments, they will simultaneously be completing activities (estimated to total about fifteen hours) that can be counted toward completion of the 40 total field experience hours required for the Ed.S. Program.
The student will be in the “field” observing, interviewing and gathering information from instructional staff in a school building and from the administrative staff at the central office of a school district. With the guidance of the university facilitator for EDU#696, the student will be exposed to, and produce, assignments involving concepts of administrative management of instructional programs and the development and monitoring of a school or district written curricula with student assessment.
The final curriculum project (which will be developed during this course via several sub-assignments) will be submitted at the end of this eight-week course. This final project is a requirement for graduation and will apply previous learning and skills developed throughout this Ed.S. Program for Instructional Leadership.
Official transcripts (3.0 GPA or higher) mailed from the college/university you graduated from
Cohorts available across Missouri
William Woods advanced education programs bring evening classrooms to districts and educators where there is interest. Districts in Fulton, Columbia, Jefferson City, St. Louis, Kansas City, Moberly, Springfield, Ozark, Cape Girardeau, Rolla and many more are running cohorts currently or have in the past.
William Woods in the real world
Many of our graduates hold leadership positions in Missouri’s schools. All of them are great teachers.
What separates William Woods University is the quality of our instructors. They’re successful school leaders from around the state, actually out there doing what we’re teaching others to do.
— James C. Head, Director of Administrative Field Experience
Learn more about graduate admissions requirements, deadlines, tuition and financial aid available to you.