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4 Master’s in C&I Options Available Online

Earning a master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction (C&I) can help educators advance into a number of important school leadership roles, from teacher leading to curriculum design and instructional coordination. Emporia State University (ESU) offers four online Master of Science (MS) in C&I degree program options, each emphasizing different aspects of the field:

  • Curriculum Leadership PreK-12
  • Effective Practitioner PreK-12
  • Instructional Coach/Teacher Leader PreK-12
  • National Board Certification PreK-12

With these four distinct program options, degree candidates can choose the educational path best suited to the type of leadership position they wish to pursue.

What Is the Foundation of ESU’s MS in C&I Program?

Each of ESU’s online MS in C&I program options has a unique area of focus, as reflected in the three elective courses students take for their area of concentration. But each program is based in the same foundation of study. All students are required to complete eight core courses covering a range of topics.

Of course, curriculum design and management is an essential component of study, along with teaching and learning strategies and various forms of effective assessment. Core courses also explore deeper issues concerning the values and beliefs that inform educational systems and practice. Issues of bias in education, both systematic and personal, are examined, along with multicultural education strategy and practice.

All C&I degree candidates study the effective integration of educational technologies into the classroom, from the perspectives of curriculum design, professional development, teaching and student learning. And a core course covers educational research methodology, analyzation and the application of findings (both considering the research of others and actionable research conducted by degree candidates).

This brings up an important part of ESU’s C&I programs: practical application and experience. Most courses include a practical component, allowing students to explore and demonstrate understanding of topics through simulations and projects. Every student also completes a practicum course toward the end of their studies, taking what they learn and applying it in the field.

MS C&I — Curriculum Leadership PreK-12

In this program option, study focuses on the “design-down” approach to curriculum leadership. Core coursework is augmented by more in-depth study of this design-down, high-achievement outcome based method as well as organizational leadership in schools, student data evaluation, and further instructional methods and theory. This program option is ideal for future curriculum directors, coordinators and specialists.

MS C&I — Effective Practitioner PreK-12

This program option is focused on the practical implementation of well-designed curricula through effective instruction. Beyond core coursework, students choose from a number of electives, covering more advanced study of topics like brain-based learning, leadership, and technology integration in collaborative, project-based learning. As the name implies, this area of concentration is ideal for teachers, teacher leaders and department heads.

MS C&I — Instructional Coach/Teacher Leader PreK-12

This concentration is intended for those who want to help fellow teachers improve their instruction and effectiveness. Students build on what they learn from core coursework by choosing from a number of elective courses. These courses focus on student instruction as well as topics involving the professional development of other teachers, i.e. leadership, mentoring, instruction and assessment.

MS C&I — National Board Certification PreK-12

This program option prepares educators to pursue the National Board Certified Teacher credential. In addition to core C&I courses, students are readied for National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) assessment procedures. Elective coursework assists with portfolio development while providing assistance and guidance through various components of the NBPTS certification process. Please note that the degree program can be completed in one year, but the NBCT process requires additional time after earning a master’s degree.

The online MS in C&I program concentrations offered by ESU can help teachers focus their graduate education on a specific professional goal. This may be becoming a teacher leader, curriculum director, instructional coordinator, National Board Certified Teacher, or simply a better educator. Regardless of professional role, teachers can use what they learn through ESU’s C&I programs to improve instruction and student learning at their schools. After all, that is the goal of good teaching.

Learn more about Emporia State University’s online master’s degree programs in education.


ESU: Online MS in C&I — Curriculum Leadership PreK-12

ESU: Online MS in C&I — Effective Practitioner PreK-12

ESU: Online MS in C&I — Instructional Coach/Teacher Leader PreK-12

ESU: Online MS in C&I — National Board Certification PreK-12

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

U.S. News & World Report: Online Curriculum and Instruction Master’s Degree: An Overview

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