Graduate Programs in Education

Course Descriptions

 

MED 501: Standards-based Planning & Instruction (3 credits)
This course introduces standards-aligned curricular design and implementation across grade levels. Students unpack academic standards as defined by Pennsylvania’s Standards Aligned System to develop clear, measurable learning targets needed for daily and unit plans. Explicit, direct teaching methodology is emphasized and the use of instructional technology to support learning is introduced. Ten (10) hours of fieldwork in certification level settings are embedded in this course.

MED
502: Development & Learning in Young Children (3 credits)
This course will examine theories of early child development, brain-based learning, and constructivism. The context for the course is an understanding of the whole child, including physical, cognitive, language, and social/emotional development in children ages birth through age 9. It includes 10 hours of embedded fieldwork in settings serving children at these ages.

MED 503: Adolescent Development & Secondary Schools Today (3 credits)
This course examines theories of human development and learning for adolescents (students aged twelve and older), including cognitive, social-emotional, physical and moral elements. In addition, students will examine various models for secondary education consistent with 21st century teaching and learning. Ten (10) hours of fieldwork observing in settings involving adolescents and their school environments are embedded in this course.

MED 505: Introduction to Special Needs Students (3 credits)
This course reviews all areas of student exceptionalities and how special education services are acquired, developed and provided in today’s schools.  Students will learn how family and community collaboration together with research-based educational practices assist individuals with exceptionalities be successful in home, school and community settings. Ten (10) hours of fieldwork with children in community settings are embedded in this course.

MED 508: Advanced Educational Psychology (3 credits)
This course will focus on theories and research in educational psychology that will provide foundations for educational practice. Emphasis will be placed on learning, development and motivation, with implications for educational settings.Students will examine current research on learner-centered psychological principles (McCombs, 1998) and make relevant applications including planning for instruction, instructional delivery, assessment, and creating optimal learning environments.

MED 515: Differentiated Instruction in Inclusive Classrooms (3 credits)
This course focuses on content, methods, and materials specifically oriented to assisting students with diverse needs to achieve academically and socially in today’s inclusive schools. Competencies and best practices needed by school leaders as well as classroom teachers who address the needs of students with disabilities are addressed in the course objectives.

MED 518: Quantitative Research Methods (3 credits)
This course is designed to familiarize the student with the use of mathematical and statistical methodology used in educational research. Topics will include descriptive statistics, introduction to inferential statistics, t-tests, one-way analysis of variance, multiple comparison procedures, research design and the use of SPSS software.

MED 520: Educators as Researchers (3 credits)
This course is designed to assist students in becoming informed consumers of the educational research literature and understanding the scope and range of educational research. Students will develop an understanding of various research methodologies, will synthesize current educational research, and will demonstrate knowledge important in the protection of human subjects as research participants. 

MED 522: Practicum I (1 credit)
This experience is an introduction to the teaching profession. Students will have the opportunity to observe a practicing teacher in action and work with students in the classroom. As described in the Practicum I and II Handbook, this Experience is the first developmental phase which provides active observation and participation.

MED 523: Practicum II (1 credit)  
This experience provides the candidate with the opportunity to apply theory to practice in learning, motivation and development through lesson plans, assessment and management. There will be supervised observation and teaching in local school sites with an emphasis on teaching individual lessons.

MED 527: Teaching Literature through the Arts with Young Learners (3 credits)
This course focuses on developing an appreciation for various genres of children’s literature and instructional methods for using literature for language development, communication and literacy learning in the early childhood classroom. It examines the role of integrating the arts into children’s imaginative and creative movements, including methods for planning and implementing fine arts, drama, music, movement and motor skills into the PreK-4 curriculum, along with collaboration with family and community resources. It includes 10 hours of embedded fieldwork in settings serving children at these ages.

MED 535: Collaboration & Legal Issues for Special Educators (3 credits)
This course will focus on understanding the legal statutes and regulations regarding students with disabilities and the resulting impact on the delivery of services and educational programs. Skills in development and delivery of the Individualized Education Plan, from age 3-21, including effective communication and collaboration, will be addressed. Discussion of professional dispositions and ethical behaviors of effective special educators will be reviewed. Pre-requisite: MED 505.

MED 540: Assessment & Evaluation in Today’s Schools (3 credits)
This course introduces the purposes and types of assessment utilized by teachers across grade levels (e.g. observation, checklists, scales, rubrics, standardized, teacher-made, and performance-based) within a standards-aligned system. This course is linked and should be taken in the same semester as MED 522: Practicum I.

MED 542: Assessment & Instruction of Students with Developmental Disabilities (3 credits)
This course deals with what autism and other developmental disabilities are, and best practices teachers use with students who have these conditions.  Functional curriculum and assessment in domains of basic communication, self-help, social skills, life skills, fine and gross motor for such students will be addressed.  Assistive technology for these populations will be explored.  This course should be taken before or during MED 522: Practicum I.

MED 544: Transition & Instruction for Secondary Special Needs Students (3 credits)
This course addresses the legal and instructional issues related to adolescents and young adults with disabilities.  Topics include functional curriculum, individual transition planning, self-determination and self-advocacy.  Included in this course are ten hours of embedded fieldwork within community-based, vocational or post-secondary sites where individuals aged 16 through young adults are taught.

MED 545: Social Development & Behavior Support in Inclusive Classrooms (3 credits)
This course focuses on creating social skills and behaviors using pro-active approaches to meet the needs of all learners within a positive classroom climate.  The routines of management as well as the individualized planning for special behavioral needs of included children with disabilities will be presented.

MED 548: Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners (3 credits)
This course will enable teachers and other school personnel to accommodate English Language Learners and adapt instruction for them in an inclusive setting.

MED 550: Introduction to Educational Administration (3 credits)
This course is designed to help the prospective administrator and current teachers answer the following basic questions: Why is educational administration necessary? What is it? How does it affect me? What role do I play in the administration of schools today? The students’ goal is to answer these questions and others that come to mind as facts, issues and propositions are presented throughout the course.

MED 553: The School Administrator (3 credits)
The elementary or secondary school principalship is a challenging yet gratifying position that has seen many changes in the past decade.  The job continues to evolve as a consequence of vast societal changes that influence education.  Today the principal is asked to implement an all- inclusive learning program within a framework of increased accountability.

MED 555: Teaching the Arts in Cross-cultural Settings (3 credits)
The purpose of this course is to look at the role integrating the arts into children’s imaginative and creative moments, and creating a learning community committed to educational equity. The course will focus on enhancing the curriculum content areas: language arts, math, science, and social studies through arts-based activities. Topics will include teaching methods, planning and implementing fine arts, drama, music, movement, and how to include collaborative art projects in the community.

MED 565: Teaching Social Studies in Early Elementary Settings (3 credits)
This course is designed to prepare elementary teacher candidates to plan and deliver effective instruction in social studies at the elementary level for diverse populations of students. The course will include activities and assignments to promote and enhance effective instructional decision-making regarding social studies content, resources, and instructional approaches.

MED 568: Teaching Science in Early Elementary Settings (1 credit)   
This course review both the academic standards related to science for the early elementary grades as tested by PSSA in Pennsylvania, as well as the methodology specific to teaching in this curricular area.  Both unit planning and accommodations for diverse learners in elementary inclusive science classes will be incorporated.

MED 574: “Foundations of English as a Second Language”
This foundations course will introduce and provide background on English Language learners including the psychological, social, cultural and linguistic components of the developmental processes in learning a second language. The course provides an overview of first and second language acquisition. Planning, implementing, and managing instruction within the framework of research and best practices will be emphasized. The course also explores what we as teachers can do to provide appropriate instruction and assessment based on the Pennsylvania Academic Standards and Assessment Anchors. The course includes a 10-hour practicum experience with an English Language Learner.

MED 576: Introduction to Linguistics
What is language? What does it mean to know a language? How do humans process and use language? Candidates in this course will examine these questions and many others through an introductory study of language and principles of linguistics. The main areas of linguistics to be explored include: phonology (sounds), morphology (word structure), syntax (grammar), semantics (meaning), sociolinguistics (language in context), pragmatics (speech acts), psycholinguistics (how we process language), and applied linguistics (pedagogical approaches to language). Candidates in the course will collect and examine data on language structures and use, processes of language learning, and how languages change to develop critical approaches to language learning and linguistic principles.

MED 578: Culture and Life Experiences of English Language Learners
This is a 3 credit course that examines the different dimensions of culture (i.e. world views, power, and privilege), its impact on achievement of students from diverse racial and cultural groups and their ability to participate in the target language community. Participants will examine their understanding of diverse cultural beliefs, values and etiquette including environmental, personal and socioeconomic characteristics of individuals from varying racial and cultural groups to help them understand their unique educational concerns. In addition, course participants will examine how their own culture impacts their views of teaching, learning and classroom expectations, exploring the varied roles of teacher, parent, and student. Embedded in this course are observations, cultural self-study activity, cultural awareness self-reflections and discussion boards as well as a 5-hour field experience centered on the cultural experiences of an ESL family in the school or community.

MED 600: Language & Literacy in Cross-Cultural Settings (3 credits)
This course examines theories and approaches for promoting language and literacy development of children and youth in cross-cultural settings. Methods for teaching language and literacy skills used in real-life situations are studied. Strategies for planning interdisciplinary activities and literacy programs that use home and community resources and techniques for evaluating programs are analyzed. The use of technology to foster language and literacy development is also studied.

MED 605: Enhancing Literacy for the Special Needs Student (3 credits)
The course, designed for prospective special education classroom teachers, develops skills for the development, teaching, and enhancing of literacy skills: language, reading, and writing. Students review current and developing research and classroom practices that encourage the acquisition and improvement of those skills through learning strategies that can be used in classroom experiences.

MED 610: School Law & Social Advocacy (3 credits)
This course is designed to inform teachers, as well as administrators concerning both laws and policies that impact today's educational systems. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the current legal rights and responsibilities of school boards, administrators, teachers, parents, students and the general public established by federal and state statutes, constitutions and court decisions as they relate to the educational system. Particular attention will be given to the legal responsibilities and accountability of all educational personnel in providing for the appropriate education of all students including those with special needs.

MED 611: School Finance (3 credits)
This course is designed to help the prospective administrator understand how schools function from a financial prospective. Students learn the essentials in school accounting, budgeting, financing, investing, financial regulations and requirements, and computer application. The principals’ role in effective budget performance is emphasized.

MED 615: Literacy Learning in the Content Areas (3 credits)
This course is a study of the extension and enhancement of reading and writing skills into secondary education. Participants will explore the conceptual ideas underlying the teaching of reading and writing in the content areas, the importance of reading skills to students’ understanding of specific subject matter content, and the reading strategies for the three phases of cognitive processing (preactive, interactive, reflective). The course content will focus on the application and integration of reading and writing strategies into existing curricula. Ten hours of fieldwork are embedded in this course occurring in after school programs focused on content area reading needed by secondary-aged (grades 7-12) learners.

MED 625: Teaching Math to Early Elementary Learners (3 credits)
This course focuses on the content, methods and materials for teaching concept knowledge and problem solving skills based on academic standards in grades PreK-4.  The use of virtual and concrete manipulative and other best-practices will be included, along with instructional technology utilized in this curricular area.  The course includes 10 hours of embedded fieldwork within small group after school programs involving math tutorial assistance with children in grades 2-4.

MED 650: Functions of School Supervision (3 credits)
This course is designed to provide a framework to help future principals gain the necessary skills to apply the emerging concepts and principles of school supervision to the practical, everyday situations in which administrators, supervisors, coordinators and teachers are working. Interpersonal relationships that lead to the improvement of instruction, data collection for the purpose of analyzing classroom teaching, staff development, in-service program development, and staff selection are discussed. The influence of special needs learners, race, gender and other social issues is analyzed where appropriate for this course. This course requires 45 hours of in-the-field work with a Mentor-Principal, performing activities as defined and evaluated by this course instructor.  A reflective journal and log must be kept as part of the requirements for this field work.

MED 661: Teaching Strategies for Secondary English (3 credits)
This course will focus on the study of research-based teaching methods and the educational measures required for satisfying the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) standards for teacher certification. The student will demonstrate the ability to analyze and apply models of instructional approaches and to apply learning assessments in the areas of literature, reading skills, writing and language development. All instruction will be designed to meet the needs of diverse learners.

MED 662: Teaching Strategies for Secondary Mathematics (2 credits)
This course will review both the academic standards related to math as it is taught in the grades 7-12 as well as methodology specific to teaching in this curricular area.  The use of instructional technology and accommodations for diverse learners will be discussed and applied in twenty (20) hours of embedded field experience occurring in after school programs focused on math with adolescent learners.

MED 663: Teaching Strategies for Secondary Social Studies (2 credits)
The purpose of this course is to prepare students to become effective social studies teachers. It will acquaint students with the Pennsylvania Department of Education standards in the Social Studies disciplines. It will also encourage students to begin thinking of themselves as educators and learning the appropriate codes of conduct and professional behavior that accompany that role. The primary focus of the course will be on content development, delivery and teaching methods. To that end, the course will include information on lesson and unit planning, the use of technology in the classroom, selection of instructional materials, and various teaching techniques.

MED 664: Teaching Strategies for Secondary Science (3 credits)
This course will review both the academic standards related to science as it is taught in the grades 7-12 as well as methodology specific to teaching in this curricular area.  The use of instructional technology and accommodations for diverse learners will be discussed and applied in twenty (20) hours of embedded field experience occurring in after school programs focused on science with adolescent learners.

MED 668: Pre-Student Teaching Practicum (70 hours) (1 credit)
This course involves two full-time weeks of work at the sites where teacher candidates will subsequently student teach for the following 12 weeks.  During this two-week course, candidates will observe characteristics of learners, classroom management techniques, planning demands, and use of instructional technology on site in the specific setting.  Preparation for a unit of instruction in a content area will be done that will be implemented in the Student Teaching course.

MED 670: Student Teaching (6 credits)
This course is designed to provide situations in which student teachers learn and practice varied techniques of teaching while working with “real students” under the direction of a certified teacher in a public or private school. Based on their areas of certification students will be placed in two different seven week placements. A student teacher could be placed in one 14 week placement based on his/her needs or at the request of the school district.

MED 672: Student Teaching Seminar: Professional & Legal Topics for Today’s Teachers (2 credits)
Seminar meetings are an extension of the student teaching process and are conducted immediately proceeding and on an every other Monday basis throughout the clinical experiences of teacher candidates. The Seminar provides guidance in clinical experiences as well as review of current educational research and issues related to professional development. Students will receive guidance and support in their student teaching assignments as well as direction related to the process of obtaining Pennsylvania Department of Education certification, securing a teaching position, and furthering their professional development in the teaching profession.

MED 680: Research Seminar (3 credits)
This course is seminar format capstone augmented by significant readings from the professional literature that will facilitate discussions of current and potential issues and trends in the educational arena. Students will demonstrate their ability to analyze and synthesize these issues using class discussions and readings, culminating in the completion of a publishable-quality scholarly paper and corresponding class presentation. Pre-requisite: MED 520

MED 682: Second Language Acquisition
What is the difference between language acquisition and language learning? What does it mean to acquire a second language?  How do we acquire a second language? What factors impact second language acquisition? In the Second Language Acquisition (SLA) course, these questions and many others will be of primary focus.  This course serves as an introductory approach to current theoretical and empirical research on how a second language is acquired and the pedagogical implications. Candidates will explore numerous factors in SLA including (but not limited to) neurolinguistic and sociolinguistic perspectives on SLA in children and adults to identify pertinent pedagogical approaches in diverse contexts. Candidates will also examine and analyze language learner data sets to critically reflect on language and develop instructional methodologies and strategies that address the needs of each language learner. Five to eight hours of fieldwork will allow candidates to examine and assess SLA perspectives and develop a critical SLA research study that addresses a specific linguistic feature within a candidate-designed pedagogical framework.

MED 684: Assessment and Instruction of English Language Learners
In this capstone course, taken concurrently with a 40-hour internship experience, students will develop and practice a repertoire of assessment and teaching skills specific to English language acquisition, including how to differentiate instruction and assessment for English Language Learners at various proficiency levels.  Collaboration with professionals and families in order to enhance ELL’s academic and social success, are emphasized and practiced.

MED 685: Principal’s Internship (3 credits)
This is a required seminar and supervised field experience for those individuals seeking principal’s certification. The student submits to an adviser a comprehensive proposal for a unit of work to be done under the supervision of a currently active building principal. The observation and supervision of teachers, along with other selected units of work from such areas as scheduling, budget preparation, staff development, curriculum, community relations, extracurricular activities, etc., comprise the list of acceptable projects for interns to complete. All proposals must be approved by the faculty advisor and sanctioned by the administration of the school where the field experience is to occur. In addition to the field experience, seminar meetings are conducted every other week for a period of two hours for all administrative interns for the duration of the semester.

School Nurse Courses


NUR 410 –Professional Nursing V: School Nursing (5 credits)
The registered nurse will learn the knowledge and skills necessary to protect the school-aged child from health related barriers to the learning process and to improve education outcomes for all school age children through health promotion and illness/injury prevention strategies. The nurse will also learn to access school/community resources to assist students and their families with their physical, emotional, and spiritual health during various stages of their development. The historical, ethical, legal, social, political, economical, transcultural, and philosophical aspects of school nursing will be discussed and analyzed throughout the course.  The diverse roles of the school nurse and the models and concepts of practice in the school setting will be researched. NUR 410 includes a one hundred hour clinical practicum. Pre-Requisites: must be taken in the last 8 credits of the RN-BSN Completion Program, PSY, 21, MED 505.

NUR 510: School Nursing (5 credits)
The registered nurse enrolled in graduate studies will learn the knowledge and skills necessary to protect the school-aged child from health related barriers to the learning process and to improve education outcomes for all school age children through health promotion and illness/injury prevention strategies. The nurse will also learn to access school/community resources to assist students and their families with their physical, emotional, and spiritual health during various stages of their development. The historical, ethical, legal, social, political, economical, transcultural, and philosophical aspects of school nursing will be discussed and analyzed throughout the course.  The diverse roles of the school nurse and the models and concepts of practice in the school setting will be researched. 100 hour clinical practicum.

NUR 520: Health Assessment: School Population (3 credits)
This course is designed to prepare the professional registered nurse to learn physical assessment skills and apply those skills with clients within the school population. Students have the opportunity to learn and practice taking health histories and completing physical assessments in the school setting. Critical thinking skills are integrated into the course to help the students to learn to work autonomously to assess the physical needs of students and staff members. Transcultural nursing issues are discussed throughout the course to prepare students to assess clients from diverse populations. Prerequisite/Corequisite: A valid license to practice as a Registered Nurse in Pennsylvania, evidence of CPR certification, documentation of a current criminal background and child abuse history clearance (a positive report may result in non-progress in the program; State and Federal guidelines are followed), evidence of professional liability insurance, self-report health record including required immunizations and signed HIPAA compliance form.

NUR 610: Coordinated School Health Program Design (3 credits)
This course is designed to prepare the education professional to implement a Coordinated School Health Program in his or her school district. Students critically examine the interactive components of a Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP) from a variety of perspectives and prepare a CSHP educational and promotional tool suitable for use in a Targeted Awareness Campaign. Using a local school district as a working model, students individually complete a comprehensive school health survey and collaborate with others in the district to set goals and develop a shared vision regarding a CSHP. Although this course is a requirement for those students pursuing an M.Ed. with School Health emphasis, enrollment is open to any post-baccalaureate student.

NUR 620: At Risk School Environments: Emergency Planning and Response (3 credits)
This course equips the student with knowledge and skills to respond appropriately in a variety of emergency situations, including creating action plans which should be followed to protect life and preserve property from the effects of unexpected events within the school community. Legal and ethical considerations and the role of the family/community will be integrated throughout the content. Advances in technology, the increase in school violence, and the threat of terrorism have created the recognition of the need for schools to be prepared for a variety of threatening situations. Although this course is a requirement for those students pursuing an M.Ed. with School Health emphasis, enrollment is open to any post-baccalaureate student.

Interdisciplinary Courses (M.Ed. only)


COR 510: Moral Leadership (3 credits)
A discussion and analysis of philosophies of moral leadership. The course is designed to present a vision for the development of reflective, responsible, and socially engaged leadership for the community, workplace, society and the global world. It will include the study of topics such as: theories of and approaches to moral leadership; the ideal relationship between leaders and followers; historical exemplars of moral leadership; and the contrast between moral and immoral leadership.

COR 600: Organizational and Professional Ethics (3 credits)
A discussion and analysis of ethical issues in organizational environments and the professions. The course is designed to provide an understanding of the practical applications of ethical theory to diverse ethical issues in professional life. It will include the study of topics such as: major theories and principles of ethics; the nature of professional organizations and their contributions to society; the social responsibilities of professions, organizations and corporations; codes of ethics and standards of professional conduct; and decision procedures for resolving ethical dilemmas in the workplace. (To be taken with the final 12 credits.)

Contact Admissions:

610.796.5187



Academic Advisor

Sister Margaret Anne Dougherty, RSM, Ph.D.
Coordinator, Graduate Programs in Education

610-796-5519
margaret.dougherty@alvernia.edu

 


Admissions Staff


Kelly Burr, M.Ed
Coordinator of Graduate Admissions & Student Services
School of Graduate and Adult Education

Phone: 610-796-8296
Fax: 610-796-8367
kelly.burr@alvernia.edu

Cynthia Mensch
Director, Alvernia University
Schuylkill Center

1544 Route 61 Hwy S. Suite 6190
Pottsville, PA 17901
570.385.2382
cynthia.mensch@alvernia.edu

Dana Baker
Director of Philadelphia Center
School of Graduate and Adult Education

1355 West Cheltenham Avenue
Melrose Park, PA 19027
215-635-4734
dana.baker@alvernia.edu




graduate programs in education

1.888.alvernia
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