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What is a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Curriculum and Instruction?


Educators influence their students in a variety of ways. As teachers, they help students use creativity for problem solving, increase their knowledge of a subject, and encourage them to pursue specific careers. Eventually, teachers may want to explore options outside of the classroom while still making a difference in education. Working toward a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction can lead to new opportunities.

Students pursuing this degree can hone their curriculum development skills and expand their career options to leadership roles and non-classroom jobs. Some of these jobs require a master's degree.

An M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction can prepare graduates for the following roles:

  • District level leader
  • Department head
  • Lead teacher
  • Instructional coordinator
  • Instructional designer
  • Instructional coach
  • Teacher mentor
  • Curriculum planner

Earning an M.Ed. helps educators gain knowledge to enhance their career skills and become experts in their field. Completing an M.Ed. could lead to a pay bump, too.

Researching M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction Programs

When researching programs, check each school's accreditation. Does the program meet state standards? Look up the name of the accrediting agency on the U.S. Department of Education (ED) list. This will help you verify if the agency is active. EWU, for example, is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), which appears on the ED list.

Some accrediting agencies, like NWCCU, evaluate distance education programs. If you want to explore enrolling in a 100 percent online program like EWU's, check to see if the accrediting agency has approved the program for distance education.

What Are the M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction Admission Requirements?

The admission requirements for a master's program depend on the university. Eastern Washington University, for example, lists the following requirements for its online M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction program:

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  • Teaching certificate
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 semester-graded or 90 quarter-graded undergraduate credits
  • Transcripts from previous colleges or universities attended

What is Covered in a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction Program?

Curriculum requirements vary by program and state. While pursuing a bachelor's degree, students looking to teach middle or high school may learn about their subject but not how to teach it. An M.Ed. can round out students' knowledge through a deep dive into the how and why. In an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction program like EWU's, students will:

  • Increase skills in instructional design and curriculum development
  • Understand the issues in curriculum and instruction
  • Gain knowledge to become an instructional coach

Programs most likely have a set of required core courses and either elective or specialization courses. Core courses cover general topics like philosophy, education issues and research. These allow students to explore careers outside of curriculum and instruction. The specialization courses delve into curriculum and instruction-related topics.

EWU's program requires students to complete 120 internship hours in instructional design, curriculum planning or something similar. This allows students to practice and apply their learning in a safe environment. In doing this, they work with a mentor who holds a related master's degree. The program prepares students to move into leadership or curriculum-related roles.

Learn more about Eastern Washington University's online Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction program.


Sources:

U.S. Department of Education: Accreditation in the United States

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities: Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education

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