Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education and Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8) (Professional License)

Master’s Degree or Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS)

This 30-credit graduate program is designed for educators with an Initial teaching license in early childhood, elementary education, or moderate disabilities (PreK-8) who are seeking Professional Licensure in the same field and at the same level.

Learning Outcomes for Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education and Moderate Disabilities

Program learning outcomes for this degree are based on Massachusetts State Standards and the respective SPA (Specialty Professional Area) content. At the conclusion of the program, the candidate will be able to:

  • Apply the appropriate and diverse assessment measures to determine a students’ reading and writing performance.
  • Construct, design and use multiple and varied content pedagogical skills to support student learning with demonstrated student growth data.
  • Identify and apply integrative and/or assistive technologies that support student learning within and outside of inclusive environments.
  • Compare, contrast, and elaborate on the theoretical constructs in urban education that influence successful completion of student learning outcomes.
  • Using task analysis, decide and use assessment data to develop developmentally, culturally appropriate curriculum based lessons.
  • To address the continued shortfall of teachers in STEM areas.


In the classroom. In the workforce.

What You'll Learn

Successful candidates will learn to assess reading and writing, integrate technologies that support student learning, and develop culturally appropriate curriculum based lessons.

Future Studies

Graduates can earn a professional license by teaching three years under their initial license.

Career Opportunities

Earn a professional teaching license in early childhood, elementary education, or moderate disabilities.

Program Requirements

Early Childhood Education/Elementary Education

  • EDU5703: Advanced Developmental Reading
  • EDU6345: Teaching Language Arts and the Writing Process
  • EDU5780: Creating Supportive Classrooms
  • EDU5815: Advanced Analysis of Reading and Language Arts
  • EDU5913: STEM Education in the 21st Century
  • EDU6460: Applications of Technology in the Classroom
  • EDU6486: Diagnostic Teaching
  • EDU6850: Issues of Urban Education
  • EDU6609: Professional Seminar I
  • EDU6619: Professional Seminar II

Moderate Disabilities PK-8

  • EDU5703: Advanced Developmental Reading
  • EDU5715: Speech and Language Development
  • EDU5350: Adolescent Psychology
  • EDU5815: Advanced Analysis of Reading and Language Arts
  • EDU5913: STEM Education in the 21st Century
  • EDU6460: Applications of Technology in the Classroom
  • EDU6486: Diagnostic Teaching
  • EDU6850: Issues of Urban Education
  • EDU6609: Professional Seminar I
  • EDU6619: Professional Seminar II

A candidate is endorsed for Professional licensure (in Early Childhood, Elementary or Moderate Disabilities, PreK-8) upon successful completion of the course sequence above.

Total credits: 30

Course Descriptions

This course provides an overview of literacy development for K-12 students. Current research related to the five components of reading and effective literacy instruction for English Language Learners (ELLs) will be reviewed. Potential impact of poverty on students’ readiness for learning to read will be discussed. Issues related to brain-based reading and language development and acquisition will be introduced. An in-depth study of scientifically-based instructional approaches and assessment practices related to phonological awareness, phonics and advanced decoding will be presented and will serve as the foundation for designing differentiated instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners. Students will be required to collect, analyze and interpret data for their case study students using specific literacy assessments appropriate for first and second English language learners. Using the Universal Design Model, students will develop an instructional plan for their case study students. 21st Century internet research approaches will be presented to hone students’ understanding of how to implement effective instruction for primary, elementary and adolescent readers. PREREQUISITES: Enrollment in the graduate education program.

Course materials relate to each of the components of reading and to the writing process. Research-based language and literacy instructional approaches will be studied. Stages of first and second language development will be presented and special attention will be paid to the needs of English language learners and diverse populations in relation to each of the elements of language (phonetics, morphology, semantics, syntax, discourse and pragmatics). Language-based disabilities will be studied in terms of their impact on literacy development. Assessment approaches will be presented as they relate to diagnostic techniques and remedial instructional strategies. Program development and evaluation will be discussed in terms of language and literacy components. Issues related to the historical roots of English and dialect will be explored in terms of their potential impact on student performance. Students will utilize recommended websites while studying language development and literacy connections. Using Universal Design methods, they will apply their newly gained knowledge as they develop instructional plans for students who need reading remediation due to language difficulties that relate to literacy.

This course prepares students to plan specific practical strategies for challenging and extending student writing, spelling, and grammar usage. Students will be training in utilizing data from writing assessments in order to better plan instruction for diverse learners and for promoting 21st Century critical thinking and research skills when reading and writing. Specific consideration will be paid to instructional methods that are effective for English language learners including use of technology and Web 2.0 tools. The relationship between reading, language and writing skill development will be studied. Universal Design will be utilized when planning instruction for a case study student. Effective approaches for standards-based writing instruction will be studied. Students will be encouraged to use specific web-resources to expand their knowledge of the needs of writers from all grade level and to use technological resources to motivate student writers.

A survey of current research and theories of literacy development will be presented. An in-depth study of scientifically-based instruction related to vocabulary, fluency and comprehension will be presented and the relationship between effective language and writing development and reading will be explored. This course provides the student with knowledge of significant programs and practices for teaching reading and language arts to diverse populations including English language learners, young children, adolescents and students with special needs. Students will gain proficiency in using specific reading strategies through modeling lessons and analyzing student work. Screening and diagnostic assessments will be used to identify specific strengths and weaknesses of struggling, proficient and advanced readers by analyzing and utilizing collected data. 21st Century inquiry approaches will be emphasized when teaching comprehension and writing connections and specific Web 2.0 tools will be recommended to aid remediation. The selection and use of appropriate programs, materials, and technology will be central to addressing the diverse needs in today’s classroom.

Through use of informal and formal assessments, students will learn how to effectively collect, analyze, and interpret data, as well as plan appropriate programs for diverse populations such as special needs students, English language learners and struggling readers. RtI, intervention approaches and progress monitoring strategies are studied in light of scientifically based reading research on effective literacy instructional practices for struggling readers. Training will include methods to evaluate and select the best literacy assessments to diagnose specific reading difficulties and ways to use technology to aid in data collection and analysis. While working on case studies, students will learn how to develop a hypothesis, develop assessment and progress monitoring plans and analyze data. Using Universal Design, students will create an instructional plan which includes a method to determine their students’ responses to intervention.

Students will analyze and critique current developments in research and theory in Science and Technology/Engineering content and pedagogy, and relate these changes to their population of practice and to broader changes in education. The course will emphasize the Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas published by the National Research Council. Pedagogical strategies, such as discourse, modeling, representation, scientific investigations, and engineering design will be emphasized as means to facilitate students’ conceptual development.

This course gives the classroom teacher a working knowledge of technology resources for designing lessons that will enhance student achievement throughout the curriculum. The course will include training in word processing, spreadsheet software, database software, presentation software, and more. Using content from the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, participants will explore hands-on applications with a variety of computer hardware, including hand-held computers, laptops, workstations, and projection devices. Experiences in a fully electronic classroom will be included. Teachers will leave with a portfolio of valuable lessons, hotlinks, and other technology tools suitable for a full range of learning styles and needs.

This course will develop a basis for creating a personal theory of instruction through knowledge of brain functions, cognitive functions, learning styles, and motivation. Skill will be developed in the use of formal and informal measures for diagnosing problems, prescribing learning tasks, and generating corrective means for solving them.

This course examines the issues involved in urban education.  Various ethnic and minority/majority cultures and populations attending U. S. urban schools today, including low income and ELL are discussed. Students will research and explore social, behavior and academic needs of the urban population through researching readings, articles, short fiction, children’s literature, autobiographical selections and historical documents in responses to closing the achievement gap. PREREQUISITE: Enrollment in graduate education program.

The Professional Seminar I is designed in conjunction with the Professional Seminar II as a culminating requirement for Professional Teacher Licensure. The development of an individual teaching philosophy emerges from a review of philosophical and theoretical positions. The educator conducts a self-assessment of subject matter knowledge and pedagogical skills based on professional teaching standards. An assessment of student learning and achievement must use current local, district and state assessment data to identify area(s) of student need. This analysis will include sub-group populations within the teaching district to include ELL, special education, low economic students among others. An action research topic and professional development plan emerges from these analyses. The educator designs a plan for professional development in the identified area of need to prepare for the research project. A site visit from the college supervisor will facilitate this process.

The individual seeking Professional Teacher Licensure will work as a teacher-researcher in the classroom (school system) with the goal of improving students’ subject area learning and achievement based on specific, data and evidence collected in Professional Seminar I. The educator develops a research topic, creates a hypothesis, selects methods and materials for the intervention procedure, and carries out the research plan using a pre-post design. Data collection, control-group comparisons, observation and informal measures are used to analyze the results of the intervention. A formal, written research paper will be submitted documenting all phases of the research process.

This course is a study of adolescent behavior, including current theories concerning the nature of adolescence. Emphasis is placed on physical, emotional, and cognitive forces, and how they interact to shape the adolescent personality. Students write a topical paper on some aspect of adolescence to gain a better understanding of the issues.

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