Graduate Education Courses

NOTE: This page contains course descriptions for Master of Arts in Education program (EDN).The program also draws on courses from the Leadership Studies (MLD) program, and the Liberal Studies (MLS) program. Academic credit for each course is noted in parenthesis after the course title. Prerequisites (if any) are noted following each course description. Not all courses are offered every year. Check Merlin, our searchable course schedule, to see which courses are being offered in upcoming terms.

EDN 500 Leadership for the 21st Century Leadership (3.00)

Leadership for the 21st Century emphasizes the development of future school leaders, including the roles of principal, assistant principal, department chair, team leader, and student coordinator. EDN 500 is a pre-admission course to either a master's degree in Leadership and Administration for the certification of a future principal/assistant principal or a master's degree in Teacher as Leader in Curriculum and Instruction for the teacher leader who desires a role in leadership from the classroom. Students will examine school culture, standards, organizations, and the learning communication, and the importance of increasing leadership capacity to achieve success in schools today. The course is designed to foster development and competencies in future leaders regarding decisions they will make about their practice and how those decisions will affect students, teachers, and the community. Emphasis is given to the leader's role in building a learning community, the development of human resources, defining school effectiveness, and the process of change. This course introduces the leadership standards a foundation for the development and assessment of knowledge, dispositions, and performance of successful school leaders. This course is recommended as a first course and applies towards both the Educational Leadership and Curriculum and Instruction programs.

EDN 501 Assessment Strategies for the Classroom (3.00)

This course is designed to foster the essential link between learning and assessment. Emerging theory on performance-based assessment, brain research, and curriculum-aligned assessment will be explored to better understand the fundamental nature of assessment. Students will be engaged in a systematic study of different methods of performance-based assessment. Teachers as leaders will examine ways to implement effective assessment practices throughout the school community.

EDN 502 Curriculum & Instructional Innovations (3.00)

This course will familiarize participants with the rational for integrated instructional design which successfully incorporates the use of learning styles, backward planning, higher-level thinking, and cooperative learning. In order to provide relevance and application to the course, students will design an interdisciplinary curricular inquiry project which 1) integrates technology and the skills necessary for the 21st century and 2) accommodates a full range of student diversity. Response to Intervention (Rtl) and its impact on making curricular decisions will also be examined.

EDN 503 Teacher Leadership Learning Communities (3.00)

This course is an introduction to the complex issues and challenges of school as a professional community. Each teacher leader will identify the potential for building individual and/or organizational leadership capacity in order to maximize learning and continuous school improvement. The challenge of current educational issues, school ethics, and the ability to implement change to meet the needs of a diverse community of learners is addressed in this course.

EDN 504 Applying Cooperative Learning Techniques Across the Curriculum (3.00)

This course will help students understand the basic elements of cooperative learning and how to apply them to teaching a content area. Students will learn the five elements that must be present in cooperative learning and the specific group processing skills. They will also learn the differences between the Johnson and Slavin models and become familiar with the Slavin structures. In addition, students will learn how to integrate the use of this instructional technology in the teaching of humanities as well as science courses.

EDN 505 Learning Styles (3.00)

This course will introduce students to the major learning style theories and help students integrate the use of learning style theory into their instructional plans.

EDN 506 Using Technology to Improve Instruction (3.00)

This class focuses on a wide variety of computer-based technologies that can be used to manage, supplement, and enhance the instructional process. No prior computing knowledge is necessary.

EDN 507 Content Reading (3.00)

This course examines the current research, curricular goals, and methods of teaching and integrating reading and language arts throughout content areas. Students will apply strategies for teaching reading within their specific disciplines. Content literacy in a standards-based curriculum and research-based best practices for teaching all readers - struggling, gifted, English-language learning, and challenged - will be studied. Specific emphasis will be placed on the strategic use of literature in various content classes. The course is designed to provide teaching professionals strategies and practical knowledge to enhance student learning and competencies.

EDN 508 Leadership for Innovation and Change (2.00)

Students will examine theories of change, school culture, and interaction with internal and external forces affecting school leaders. Students will analyze current issues and research facing K-12 schools and school leaders. No field work component is required for this course.

EDN 509 Using Multimedia in the Classroom (3.00)

This course focuses on the integration of multimedia technology with elementary and secondary curricula. Students will examine multimedia as an effective pedagogical tool, then plan and design individual instructional multimedia projects for use in their own classrooms.

EDN 510 Classroom as a Learning Environment (3.00)

This course will address all aspects of the classroom learning environment, including the physical, behavioral, social, and psychological influences, as well as the instructional implications for fostering a community of learners and improved student learning. Principles of effective management, classroom organization, planning, and instructional grouping strategies will be emphasized. Students will examine effective communication techniques for fostering positive relationships with and among students, parents, and other school personnel. Students will plan for ways to enhance their own approach in the classroom, as well as strategies for assisting colleagues.

EDN 512 Science Inquiry Workshop (2.00)

Participants will experience science as a way of learning, thinking, and understanding. Elementary school teachers will be immersed in a learning community in which they are given opportunities to reflect, challenge, and collaborate with each other, as well as the instructors, in both formal and informal settings. The program will lead participants through scientific reasoning processes initially by rekindling their innate curiosity about scientific phenomena, and then by systemically developing these reasoning skills through repeated practice. Understanding is further enhanced by relating concepts to everyday phenomena.

EDN 513 Methods in Mathematics: Technology in The Classroom (3.00)

This course covers the following topics: calculator/graphing and computer algebra approach to problem solving; logarithmic and exponential functions and their application to real life situations (like finance, population planning, investments); trigonometric functions and their applications to real life situations; introduction to fractal geometry and iteration of functions; and pedagogical methods including group work, peer instruction, and interactive learning environment. Required project: Create a 3 week unit utilizing the techniques learned in this course and implement it in your classroom.

EDN 515 The Institutional and Political Environment of Schools (3.00)

The governance of schools today is characterized by a fundamental shift in structure, organization, and administration. This course examines these changes and the political, social, and business context in which school administrators make decisions. The course includes the historical foundations and evolution of schools as a social institution, as well as the issues that shape policy-making at the local school level.

EDN 522 Navigating Special Education and School Law (3.00)

This course focuses on an analysis of selected general legal principles, case and statute law, and lawmaking agencies that impact schools, educational leaders, and subgroups such as English Language Learners and students with disabilities. Federal and state constitutions and statutes, and case law will be related to the responsibilities of teachers, principals, supervisors, central office administrators, superintendents, and school board members. Candidates will become familiar with the significant legal issues affecting today's delivery of educational services to all students, including students with disabilities and English Language Learners. Students will become informed about professional codes of ethics, the process and management of litigation, policy development at the district level, and constitutional, statutory, and regulatory provisions that bear on the operation of a school district.

EDN 524 Professional Ethics for Teachers (3.00)

An introduction to professional ethics focused on models of professional-client obligation and dilemmas specific to the practice of education.

EDN 530 Characteristics of Students With High Incidence Disabilities (3.00)

The course examines the identifying characteristics of students with mild to moderate disabilities (learning disabilities, communication disorders, emotional and behavioral disabilities, cognitive disabilities, autism, ADHD) as defined under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act. The Response-to-Intervention (RtI) process will be studied along with the definitions of the different disabilities and incidence rates. Students may not receive credit for both EDN 430 andd 530.

EDN 532 Methods of Teaching Students With High Incidence Disabilities (3.00)

This course will cover effective instructional methods, strategies, accommodations and modification, in multiple content areas, as they relate to teaching K-12 students with high incidence disabilities in inclusive settings. Strategies to collaborate with colleagues and with parents/families of students with disabilities will also be covered including co-teaching, family-educator conferences, and working effectively with paraprofessionals. Students may not receive credit for both EDN 432 and 532.

EDN 533 Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction (3.00)

This course focuses on the development of a basic understanding of the philosophical basis of various curriculum models. It also focuses on the processes of curriculum planning, development, and evaluation. The principal goal is to facilitate the student's ability to recognize the relationships among the philosophical bases, curriculum, and teaching and learning. The student is acquainted with the underlying principles, effective practices, and techniques appropriate for overall curriculum planning.

EDN 534 Leadership for Supervision and Instruction (3.00)

This course is designed to examine the educational leader's role as a facilitator of learning. The primary objective of the course is to explore the broad area of school reform through the lenses of supervision, pedagogy, assessment, standards, and dilemmas that reform in these areas can create. There will be an emphasis on the concepts and skills of leadership that are required to enhance and extend student learning, including instructional supervision. The state requirements in teacher and principal supervision will be addressed in this course. Candidates will be required to participate in training by certified staff in accordance with the provisional of Section 24A-3 of the School Code [105 ILCS 5/24A-3].

EDN 536 The School/Home/Community Partnership (3.00)

An interactive, participatory graduate course designed to explore the administrator's role in the school, home, and community relationship. Through discussion, interactive exploration, group analysis, and networking, students experience ways to be educational leaders in this triad. Focus is on parent and community involvement, communication with stakeholders, school-business partnerships, school board relations, and additional areas of interest that involve the community as a key component.

EDN 538 Psychological Diagnosis and Educational Learning Needs (3.00)

This course will prepare students in the field of education with knowledge, skills and experience related to: 1) diagnostic and educational assessment instruments and methods; 2) administration and scoring of diagnostic and educational assessments; 3) interpretation of assessment results; 4) data-based decision making regarding placement, instructional planning and evaluation of students with disabilities; and 5) communication of diagnostic and educational assessment results to colleagues and parents. Students may not receive credit for both EDN 434 and 538.

EDN 551 Foundations of Literacy Instruction (3.00)

This course is designed to provide an overview of (1) the processes of reading and writing, and (2) the general learning and reading theories that support the literacy process. The major focus will be on connecting theory to practice and devising optimal instructional practices to facilitate reading and literacy learning at various developmental stages.

EDN 552 Language Development and Learning for Diverse Learners (3.00)

This course introduces students to a basic understanding of language acquisition and development from a sociocultural perspective. Emphasis will be on examining (1) the interplay of language and culture, (2) hypotheses of language acquisition, (3) factors influencing English-as-a-second-language (ESL) learning, (4) major ESL instructional approaches, and (5) best practices and literacy resources appropriate for meeting the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse learners/English language learners (ELL).

EDN 562 Reading Assessment Tools and Strategies (3.00)

Students will be introduced to an examination of the nature of the reading process and the tools and strategies used to evaluate reading development. Emphasis will be placed on the use of assessment to strengthen and extend the reading abilities of elementary and middle school students. Students may not receive credit for both EDN 462 and 562. Background check required.

EDN 563 Diagnostic Reading Instruction (3.00)

Students are introduced to the nature of literacy development and the learning difficulties children may face as they develop as readers. The focus of the course is on the interactive view of reading ability and disability, which suggests that reading is the process of constructing meaning through interaction between the reader, the text, and the context of the reading situtation. Students are exposed to a variety of alternative teaching strategies and materials to help students solve their problems with reading. Emphasis is placed on a holistic and ongoing approach to the diagnostic process and the relationship between diagnositc assessment and instructional planning. Students may not receive credit for both EDN 463 and 563.

EDN 590 Special Topics (1.00-3.00)

Topics and credit hours will vary. Topics and prerequisites will be announced in advance. May be taken more than once with different content.

EDN 599 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)

Designed for students who want to do introductory study of a topic not covered in a regular course. Instructor consent required.

EDN 600 Teaching Diverse Students (3.00)

The aim of this course is to examine what it means to teach in an educational organization within a multicultural society. Specific focus will be on cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds, teacher awareness of and expanded meaning of culturally responsive pedagogy, and examination of the school/classroom environment that leads to increased learning of all students.

EDN 606 Using Advanced Technology to Improve Instruction (3.00)

An exploration of the research and use of advanced technologies to aid learning. Students will explore promising advanced technologies and applications to determine how they can be used to effectively improve instruction.

EDN 610 School Operations and Management (3.00)

This graduate course is designed to focus on the use of leadership skills in the management function of the school principal. Students learn about the day-to-day responsibilities as well as the general, longer-term responsibilities of the school principal. Care and maintenance of the school plant, operating the food service program, and the principal's role in transporting students are studied. Students study the principal's role in developing and managing a school budget. A focus is also given to writing building level operation and management orientated policies and procedures.

EDN 615 Educational Research in the Learning Environment (3.00)

The course is a forum for analysis and exploration of current topics and research in the field of education in order to gain an informed, multifaceted perspective on the practice of education. The course will include the principles of action research. Students will explore action research methodology through applications to self-identified professional challenges and questions. Students will learn to gather and analyze data, draw conclusions, and disseminate their findings to the educational community.

EDN 620 Curriculum and Program Assessment (3.00)

This course is designed to increase the students' understanding of curriculum and program assessment and the use of technology as a tool in pursuit of data driven decision-making. The course will focus on how to develop and assess curriculum and school programs. Using data collected through program assessment, students will learn how to use data to formulate a school improvement plan for the improvement of instruction, learning, and student achievement, including a focus on the assessment of programs for English Language Learners, students with disabilities, gifted, and struggling learners. Students will gain an understanding of data collection and analysis of how to use that in decision-making. Students will learn how technology can be used to maximize the use of data in school curriculum and program assessment.

EDN 630 Schools As Learning Communities (3.00)

This course is a study of the myriad and complex interactions that take place within a school community. The emphasis is on the school as a learning organization. It examines basic theories, attributes, and functions of human organizations, issues related to motivation, the management of group dynamics and human relations, organizational change, and the nature of leadership within the school environment. The course considers the application of organizational theories, notably systems thinking, to central issues in K-12 education.

EDN 652 Child and Adolescent Literature Instruction K-12 (3.00)

This course provides advanced studies in the major genres of literature to serve the reading needs of students from preschool through high school. This course is designed to provide teaching professionals the pedagogy, critical analysis, selection criteria, and uses of multicultural literature. Participants will be able to concentrate on grade-appropriate literature for their particular interest/assignments in the field for partial requirements in this course.

EDN 690 The Educational Internship I (3.00)

Provides extensive opportunities for leadership candidates to experience authentic field experiences and leadership development while employed full time in a teaching position. This course in based on Illinois State Re-design requirements and leadership standards. During the internship students will be required to complete experiences working with all levels of teachers at PK, K, Elementary, and Secondary, including special education. Three internship projects require students to demonstrate proficiency in understanding and developing a school improvement plan, teacher professional development and evaluation, and school-wide management of systems and resources. Each project includes a summative evaluation that will be conducted at the conclusion of each project. During the internship experience students will work in partnership with a NCC faculty supervisor and a field administration as a mentor. Students wi ll be observed four times during the internship and participate in a minimum of three seminars. Individual conferences will also be established to support students throughout their field work. It is anticipated that Internship I would be completed over two terms Instructor consent required.

EDN 691 The Educational Ldrshp II (3.00)

Provides extensive time and support for students to observe, participate, and learn about the role of school administrator. The course is designed to complement Internship I in providing students an opportunity to hone administrative leadership skills via relevant field experiences while working in partnership with a school administrator and a faculty member. The course is designed to help students apply and extend the field experiences of previous courses in the program to future challenges in education administration, particularly at the building level. Students will demonstrate ISLLC Standards for Principals in discussions, field based projects, and the refinement of an individual leadership portfolio. Students identify and select representative artifacts that are aligned with the standards as well as the SREB Critical Success Factors for principals. It is anticipated that students are able to complete Intern ship II in two terms and that Both EDN 690 and EDN 691 will be completed in a twelve month period. Instructor consent required.

EDN 692 Special Topics (1.50-3.00)

Topics will vary depending on faculty and student interests. Topics and prerequisites will be announced in advance. May be taken more than once with different content. Instructor consent required.

EDN 693 Independent Study (1.50-3.00)

Designed for students who want to do advanced study of a topic previously covered in a regular course but not offered in another course. Instructor consent required.

EDN 695 Master's Project (3.00)

EDN 696 The Educational Leader (3.00)

This course serves as the capstone course in the Master's Program of the Educational Leadership and Administration Program. It requires the analysis, synthesis, and application of all learning and coursework in the program, as well as the student's own experiential knowledge to frame educational issues and provide varied approaches to address those encountered by school administrators. The student provides as a culminating requirement a standards-based portfolio as evidence of leadership knowledge, dispositions, and performance. Last course in program.

EDN 697 Teacher Leader Capstone Exp Experience (3.00)

This course serves as the capstone course in the Master's Program for Curriculum & Instruction requiring the analysis and synthesis of all learning and coursework in the program. Teacher leaders will present a culminating and comprehensive portfolio of learning and leadership evidence reflective of the standards and field experiences.