Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
Doane’s Curriculum and Instruction degree is designed to maintain a program committed to excellence while giving special attention to the needs of K-12 teachers. Courses are offered at campuses in Grand Island, Lincoln, and Omaha as well as online.
Course content is designed with concern for best practice, current research, and a commitment to the application and evaluation of the content. Doane’s holistic approach recognizes that the cumulative effects of the completed graduate degree programs are greater than the sum of the courses. The resident and adjunct graduate education faculty take particular pride in the high marks for relevance and quality of instruction given to the entire program by students completing Doane graduate education courses.
Teacher Education Graduate Standards
Teacher development can be defined as growth which demonstrates changes over time in action, understanding, knowledge, practices, and images of what constitutes teaching and learning. In Doane’s view of schooling, teachers must have experiences that open new perspectives for them to progress to higher instructional, collaborative, and transformational teaching levels. When teaching becomes watchful and thoughtful, learning takes on personal meaning, and teachers use personal reflectivity to gain a better understanding of both teaching and learning. The outcomes listed below reflect the anticipated higher level of teacher development. The outcomes for the Curriculum and Instruction emphasis are
- Understands Content: The developing professional understands the content knowledge of the discipline(s).
- demonstrates how knowledge in content area is created, organized, linked to other disciplines and applied to real world settings
- commands specialized knowledge of how to convey content knowledge to students
- encourages students to construct new knowledge by seeking answers to their questions
- aligns content knowledge with state and national standards
- Understands Development: The developing professional understands how children learn and develop, and provides opportunities supporting intellectual, social, and personal growth.
- maintains the belief that all students can learn by developing learning experiences for all cognitive levels
- evaluates and selects developmentally appropriate outcomes and activities
- incorporates current and research-based learning theories into practice
- acknowledges that learners learn best from involvement with experiences
- Understands Differences: The developing professional recognizes and provides for individual differences and diversity.
- recognizes individual differences in students and adjusts practice to ensure fairness and success for each student
- evaluates and designs curriculum for students with special needs
- critiques and enhances curriculum for multidimensional perspectives fostering an attitude supporting the development of a community that values diversity
- considers the influence of context and culture on behavior
- fosters students’ self-esteem and respect for race, gender, class, culture, language, family, community, and religious differences
- Designs Instructional Strategies: The developing professional uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students’ development of skills and strategies for critical thinking and problem solving.
- views the teacher and learners in a reciprocal relationship; the teacher is also a learner, the learners are teachers
- differentiates instruction based on observation and knowledge of student interests, abilities, skills, background knowledge, family, and peer relationships
- commands a wide range of instructional techniques including those of technology, knows when each is appropriate, and implements them as needed
- exposes students to different modes of higher order thinking by teaching students to think analytically and critically about real-world situations
- Manages and Motivates: The developing professional uses classroom management and motivational strategies to create a positive learning environment.
- creates a community where high expectations and support of students promote learning to support individual student achievement to ensure success for all
- utilizes different organizational settings in the learning environment to provide various learning opportunities
- creates, enriches, and alters the instructional setting to encourage intrinsic motivation of students
- facilitates problem solving and conflict management among peers
- Communicates: The developing professional uses knowledge of effective communication techniques.
- possesses the interpersonal skills needed to work collaboratively
- communicates effectively with all audiences
- uses a variety of media and technological tools to enrich learning and communication
- seeks opportunities to facilitate communication with diverse populations
- Plans: The developing professional utilizes effective planning techniques.
- implements standards established by local, state, and national authorities
- collaborates in planning the instructional process to assure continuity of learning experiences for students
- uses student-centered strategies and models
- differentiates curriculum and instruction based on children’s developmental stages, intelligences, learning styles, strengths, and needs
- Assesses: The developing professional understands and uses a variety of formal and informal assessment strategies.
- defines assessment criteria and standards consistent with local, state, and national outcomes
- uses culturally sensitive and developmentally appropriate assessment strategies in multiple contexts
- conducts ongoing assessment in the instructional process measuring individual student understanding
- uses assessment data to plan for student learning
- fosters student involvement in assessment
- Reflects on Practice: The developing professional is a reflective practitioner who actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally.
- utilizes action research promoting problem solving and reflection to improve teaching and learning practices
- engages in lifelong learning, assuming a variety of leadership roles including professional presentations, mentoring and coaching, graduate study, and publishing research
- implements and supports daily practices based on a personal philosophy of teaching and learning
- envisions new contexts for student learning to meet future demands
- Participates in the Professional Community: The developing professional fosters relationships with school colleagues, families, and agencies in the larger community to support students’ learning and well-being.
- uses a range of human resources (peer tutors, other teachers, aides, volunteers) and school and community resources to meet the needs of students
- acts as an advocate for students using family and community resources
- works collaboratively and creatively with families, engaging them in the work of the school
- acts as an instructional leader by participating collaboratively in the ongoing development of a strong school program
Categories of Graduate Students
The Curriculum and Instruction program recognizes three broad categories of graduate students: degree-seeking, non-degree-seeking, and endorsement-seeking.
Admission Requirements for Non-Degree-Seeking Students
Non-degree-seeking students must complete the application form and pay the non-refundable $30.00 enrollment fee. Verification of a previous bachelor’s degree must be provided, either by arranging to have an official undergraduate transcript sent to the Office of Graduate Studies or by other acceptable means.
The non-degree-seeking category consists of students who do not wish to pursue a graduate degree at Doane University, but who wish to take graduate courses. Although there is no limit on the amount of credit that may be earned as a non-degree-seeking student, if a non-degree-seeking student later wishes to pursue the Master of Education degree at Doane University, no more than 12 credits earned while in the non-degree status may be applied toward the graduate degree. If a student feels there are extenuating circumstances, the student may petition the Graduate Committee of the Whole to accept more than 12 hours completed as a non-degree-seeking student. A student who has taken coursework as a non-degree-seeking student and who later wishes to be admitted into a degree program must complete all requirements for full admission and all program requirements currently in effect instead of those in effect when the coursework was begun.
Admission Requirements for Degree-Seeking Students
After completion of the application for admission, each degree-seeking student is required to provide an official transcript from the institution awarding his/her undergraduate degree and an official transcript from each institution granting graduate credit the student wishes evaluated for transfer credit. These transcripts must be sent directly from the institution to the Office of Graduate Studies at Doane University and must bear the official stamp of the issuing institution; transcripts issued to students are not acceptable for submission. Degree-seeking students may begin study before these materials are received, but the materials should be received by the Office of Graduate Studies by the end of the first term of study. Every applicant is considered equally without reference to race, color, religion, sex, nationality, disability, age, marital status, or sexual orientation.
Full Graduate Standing
After completion of nine credit hours of graduate study, the file of a degree-seeking student is reviewed by the Graduate Committee of the Whole to determine if the student is eligible for full graduate standing.
The criteria for full graduate standing in the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction program are as follows:
- The applicant must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants not meeting this requirement will be referred to the Graduate Committee of the Whole for consideration.
- The applicant must obtain three letters of recommendation from professional educators who are well acquainted with the applicant and can speak to his/her ability to pursue a graduate degree.
- The applicant must maintain the highest ethical conduct in coursework and in professional positions held. A student must be a model, representing the ideals expected of members of the teaching profession as defined in the standards for Professional Practices Criteria in 92 NAC27.
- The applicant must complete nine hours of graduate study at Doane with a 3.00 or higher cumulative grade point average. A student receiving a grade below a B- for any graduate course will have his/her file reviewed even though the student’s cumulative GPA might be 3.00 or higher.
All decisions regarding full graduate standing are based upon reviews of official transcripts of prior college work, letters of recommendation, and other pertinent sources of information. If evidence of a breach in ethical behavior is presented, the Dean and/or faculty of the MED program reserve the right to evaluate this factor as a criterion for denying full graduate standing.
Decisions are communicated in writing as soon as practical after the student completes nine credits of study and has on file the three letters of support and the required transcripts. Decisions cannot be given by telephone, nor can they be given to any person other than the applicant without a written release from the applicant.
A student may transfer up to 12 credit hours into the program. This credit must have been earned from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning. Any course considered for transfer is individually reviewed for recency and relevance of the material as it relates to best practice and theory at the time of review. Transfer credit should be work completed within seven years prior to application to the program. Final determination on transfer credit is made by the Director of the program. Only graduate courses in which the student’s letter grade is a “B-” or above may be considered for transfer credit and applied to degree requirements. Only six credits of courses with a grade of “Pass” or “Credit” may be transferred. All transfer courses are entered on the transcript with a grade of “P” (Passed).
Each student is responsible for making a formal request to have the official transcript(s) sent to Doane University, Graduate Studies in Education, 303 N. 52nd St., Lincoln, NE 68504. These transcripts must be received prior to consideration for full graduate standing.
Initial Program at the Advanced Level for Certification
Admission Requirements for Initial Certification Students
Prospective students must submit the following documents:
- a completed application for admission.
- an official copy of transcripts with the undergraduate degree posted and an overall 3.0 minimum GPA.
- three letters of recommendation.
- a writing sample (about 250 words) indicating reasons for interest in completing an endorsement.
- the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Test with a passing score (Doane University must receive the scores prior to beginning coursework.)
The applicant must affirm that he/she has not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving abuse, neglect, or sexual misconduct. Finally, the student must complete a successful interview and transcript review with the director or faculty of the Initial Certification Program.
Full Graduate Standing for Initial Certification Students
After completion of nine credit hours of graduate credits (Summer I coursework), the files of all students in the cadre are reviewed by the director and faculty of the program and recommendations are made to the Graduate Committee of the Whole concerning the students’ eligibility for full graduate standing. The criteria for full graduate standing in the initial program at the advanced level for certification are as follows:
- The applicant must have completed all admission requirements.
- The applicant must have completed at least nine hours of graduate study at Doane University with a 3.00 or higher cumulative grade point average. A student receiving any grade below a B- for any graduate course will have his/her file reviewed even though the student’s cumulative GPA may be 3.00 or higher.
- The student must also receive a recommendation from the Teacher Education Committee to continue in the program.
Teacher Education Admission and Certification
- At the completion of the summer session I, students will apply for admission to Teacher Education. Criteria for admission include the following:
- maintain a 3.0 GPA minimum and
- receive favorable recommendations from classroom teachers.
- At the completion of the Fall semester, students will apply for admission to Student Teaching. Criteria for admission include the following:
- maintain a 3.0 GPA minimum,
- receive favorable recommendations from classroom teachers,
- receive favorable recommendations from practicum supervisor, and
- successfully complete the practicum.
- Students are recommended for certification when all of the following criteria have been met:
- Students have successfully completed student teaching.
- Students have received favorable recommendations from faculty, student teaching supervisor, and cooperating teachers.
- Students have completed all coursework successfully and maintained a 3.0 GPA minimum.
Graduate students enrolled in the initial program at the advanced level for certification have the same academic standing requirements as the Curriculum and Instruction program.