Academics Menu ▾
Education Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction Degree
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.
Curriculum Auditing & Mapping
School leaders must be knowledgeable of curriculum mapping and its potential use in schools. Accountability for student achievement based on state standards requires curriculum leaders to acquire information on the benefits and limitations of curriculum mapping and curriculum auditing. This course is designed to provide the learner with knowledge of the connection of curriculum mapping and auditing to improve student achievement. During the course the student will learn the steps necessary to follow in successfully implementing change in curriculum writing. Institutional curriculum for grades K-12 is studied form a global alignment, and scope and sequence alignment vs. state and national standards. The student will learn about curriculum frameworks and federal, state, and local assessment benchmarks. Students will map a subject/course using the studied method.
Issues in Curriculum Leadership
This is a foundational course in curriculum leadership. IT is designed to provide the learner with a broad philosophical, historical, social, and psychological view of the factors which influence curriculum and instruction in today's schools. It reviews the evolution or curriculum theory and blends theory with the implications for practice. Throughout the course students will identify and refine their own belief system as it relates to curriculum and instructional theory and development. They will also gain an understanding of diverse perspectives on curriculum development, design, implementation and evaluation. Finally, current issues and trends in curriculum will be discussed.
Utilizing Statistical Procedures in Educational Research & Evaluation
This course will focus on the knowledge, skills, and techniques necessary to effectively collect and interpret data related to school improvement issues. The course will include a discussion of basic statistical concepts that form the foundation for interpreting and analyzing the results of standardized tests and in using the results of this analysis for school improvement purposes. The course will also include procedures and skills necessary for the critical review of educational research. Finally, the course will address specific assessment and research data relevant to the state of Missouri and provide the student the opportunity to implement knowledge and skills through case-based practice.
The student will gain leadership skills to insure that active, relevant and rigorous curriculum is accessible for all students. Students will build the capacity to transform existing curricula into an instructional curricula that is thinking-centered, multi-cultural, diversified and inquiry-based.
Application of Learning Frameworks
Using foundations of instructional theory and the essentials of K-12 curriculum design, the student will apply learning framework models to result in a connected, active and aligned curriculum that can be applied to instructional delivery. Frameworks of inquiry, problem solving, differentiation, and core curriculum are examined for application to future design and implementation.
Instruction and Assessment Design
This course presents a dual focus on the philosophical and practical aspects of curriculum construction. Students will develop instruction that delivers understanding of content through varied processes in several context and conceptual frameworks. Understanding of course content is developed through a variety of readings, presentations, projects, and class discussion. Key topics include developing curriculum aligned to Missouri’s Show-Me Standards, the historical bases for traditional subject-area curricula, alternative curriculum standards, philosophical bases of curriculum development, social and cultural issues, and future trends.
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 provides advanced information, perspective, and knowledge to educational administrators, including experienced principals and superintendents of schools. It provides administrators with the necessary state and federal legal and practical operational background that will enable them to effectively conduct school business and to operate school organizations and related environments within the constraints of the law (including constitutional, statutory, administrative, and case law). This course also provides a basic understanding of educational policy and how it is made. It focuses on the proactive requirements necessary for school administrators to be effective leaders in policy development and implementation.
Differentiated & Supplemental Program
This course is designed to expose the student to the many specialized state and federal programs currently in place to assist public schools. The history and purpose of each program will be examined. Specific program requirements will be detailed for each of the major differentiated programs. Programs reviewed will include the Federal Title programs, special education/at risk; professional development; technology integration and grant-based initiatives. Upon completion of this course, students should possess the knowledge to effectively evaluate, select and administer differentiated and supplemental programs common to school districts.
Curriculum Leadership Practicum
This 3-credit hour (six 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 curricular design and instructional leadership skills necessary for success at the central school district and administrative office and building levels. All written work will be developed individually, although required textbooks for this course. Rather, all the textbooks and references (i.e. APA Manual, 5th edition) used earlier in the other Ed.S. program courses will be referred to, as needed to complete to 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 experience hours required for the Ed.S. program. The students 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 EDU696, 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 six-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. The final product will be archived by the University (for accreditation review) for a period of seven years.
- Completed application
- 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