Elementary Education, Master of Education
- Available Emphasis Areas:
- Continuing Professional - Emphasis
- Multiage - Emphasis (beginning Fall 2020)
- Elementary National Board Preparation - Emphasis
- Reading K-8 - Emphasis
If you’re craving interaction with fellow teachers and mentors in Elementary Education, consider taking coursework for continuing professionals. In the master’s program, you’ll advance your skills in K-8 education and emerge with the promise that you’ll be even more adept at shaping the character and future of all the children in your classroom.
Here, you’ll focus on curriculum design and development, teaching methods, and application of strategies in your classroom that will help you reach all your students. Please note that this degree program does not lead to state certification in Arizona.
This program offers advanced courses in teaching methods, curriculum, and related areas and is appropriate if you wish to enhance your teaching skills for grades K-8. This plan is not intended to provide grades K-8 teacher certification nor does it provide an institutional recommendation for teacher certification.
This program is nationally recognized with condition by the International Literacy Association (ILA).
The Reading K-8 Emphasis recognized by the International Literacy Association (ILA).
The Reading K-8 Emphasis is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
This program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
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To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)
You must additionally complete:
- All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
- All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
- All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
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In addition to University Requirements:
- Complete individual plan requirements.
Candidates in this program are required to demonstrate content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and skills, and professional knowledge to be eligible to graduate from this program. In addition to course grades, content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge or skills are demonstrated through candidate performance on key assessments embedded in the following course(s):
|Minimum Units for Completion||30|
|Additional Admission Requirements||Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.|
|Emphasis, Minor, Certificate|
Emphasis, minor, and/or certificate are required.
|Thesis||Thesis may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.|
|Oral Defense||Oral Defense may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.|
|Research||Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.|
|Some online/blended coursework||Required|
|Progression Plan Link||View Program of Study|
This program may lead to licensure.
The MEd Elementary Education degree program provides students with the necessary framework for augmenting knowledge and skills related top teaching K through 8th grades. This degree offers students, typically practicing teachers, the opportunity to enhance their content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge emphasizing current research. Students have the opportunity to pursue advanced courses in curriculum and instruction, educational psychology, educational foundations, and educational research. Additionally, students choose from three available emphasis areas: Continuing Professional, Elementary National Board Certification Preparation (NBCT), and Reading (K-8). Students who pursue the Continuing Education track will complete a research project as part of a graduate seminar or a thesis focused on a selected topic. Students who choose the Reading K-8 emphasis will be qualified for a K-8 Reading Endorsement through the Arizona Department of Education. Students who choose the NBCT track prepare for the rigorous process of National Board Certification, an advanced teaching credential.
Throughout the program, students demonstrate outcomes aligned to the standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Students who complete this program will have a deeper and broader understanding of teaching and learning opening up continued opportunities in teaching, as well as other venues where teaching skills, knowledge, and dispositions are valued such as agencies and non-profits.
In addition to the NAEYC SPA accreditation standards, which are integral as we move into accreditation procedures for this degree, this program also incorporates the opportunity to enroll in coursework for National Board Certification:
What Is National Board Certification?All students deserve accomplished teachers who are equipped to prepare them for success in today's world. National Board Standards and National Board Certification give teachers and schools the tools to define and measure teaching excellence. Similar to certification in fields like medicine, National Board Certification is a rigorous, peer-reviewed process that ensures that Board-certified teachers have proven skills to advance student achievement.
National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential. As part of this process, teachers must analyze their teaching context and students’ needs, submit videos of their teaching, and provide student work samples that demonstrate growth and achievement. The reflective analyses that they submit must demonstrate:
Student Learning Outcomes
1) A strong command of content;
2) The ability to design appropriate learning experiences that advance student learning;
3) The use of assessments to inform instructional decision making; and
4) Partnerships with colleagues, parents and the community.
Through this structured and iterative process, teachers expand and refine their content knowledge and pedagogy. The outcome is more powerful teaching that improves student achievement and reflects college and career readiness (NBPTS, 2014)
NAEYC SPA Standards
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 1: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs are grounded in a child development knowledge base. They use their understanding of young children's characteristics and needs, and of multiple interacting influences on children's development and learning, to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 2: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with children’s families and communities. They know about, understand, and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities. They use this understanding to create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families, and to involve all families in their children’s development and learning.
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 3: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that child observation, documentation, and other forms of assessment are central to the practice of all early childhood professionals. They know about and understand the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment. They know about and use systematic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies in a responsible way, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence the development of every child.
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 4: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that teaching and learning with young children is a complex enterprise, and its details vary depending on children’s ages, characteristics, and the settings within which teaching and learning occur. They understand and use positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation for their work with young children and families. Candidates know, understand, and use a wide array of developmentally appropriate approaches, instructional strategies, and tools to connect with children and families and positively influence each child’s development and learning.
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 5: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs use their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for each and every young child. Candidates understand the importance of developmental domains and academic (or content) disciplines in early childhood curriculum. They know the essential concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas, including academic subjects, and can identify resources to deepen their understanding. Candidates use their own knowledge and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curriculum that promotes comprehensive developmental and learning outcomes for every young child.
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 6: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs identify and conduct themselves as members of the early childhood profession. They know and use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice. They are continuous, collaborative learners who demonstrate knowledgeable, reflective and critical perspectives on their work, making informed decisions that integrate knowledge from a variety of sources. They are informed advocates for sound educational practices and policies.
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 7: Field experiences and clinical practice are planned and sequenced so that candidates develop the knowledge, skills and professional dispositions necessary to promote the development and learning of young children across the entire developmental period of early childhood – in at least two of the three early childhood age groups (birth – age 3, 3 through 5, 5 through 8 years) and in the variety of settings that offer early education (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs).
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Additional Admission Requirements
- Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
- NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
- Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
- Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent.
- Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
- For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
- International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy
Individual program admission requirements include:
- IVP Fingerprint clearance card
- Teaching certificate (if the applicant has one)
Take the following 30 - 31 units:
Core Requirement (12-15 units):
Select from (3-6* units):
Select one course from (3 units)
Emphasis Requirements (16-18 units)
Choose one of the following:
Continuing Professional Emphasis (18 units):
Select two courses from (6 units):
- ECI 698 (3 units)
- ECI 699 - for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved thesis (3 units)
Please note that if you choose the thesis option you may end up taking more than the 6 units of thesis credit you can count toward your degree because you must register for ECI 699 each semester while you are working on your thesis.
Also note that preparing a thesis generally requires one semester of residency, in Fall, Spring, or Summer.
Reading K-8 Emphasis (18 units)
- Elementary National Board Preparation Emphasis (16 units):
To be eligible for National Board Certification you must:
- Have completed three full years of teaching or school counseling
- Possess a valid state teaching or school counseling license (Exception: If you are teaching where a license is not required, you have taught in schools recognized and approved to operate by the state).
- Contact the Teaching and Learning Department prior to applying. TandL@nau.edu
- For more information about the National Board Process please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Please note there may be additional fees associated with National Board Certification.
Please be aware that at least fifty percent of your courses must be at the 600-level or above.
Courses are offered during Fall, Spring, and Summer in Flagstaff and at statewide locations.
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.