College of Education

The Online Master in Teaching, Leadership, & Cultural Competency Curriculum

Your core coursework in the online Master of Arts in Teaching, Leadership, and Cultural Competency (MATLCC) will equip you with the conceptual frameworks and pedagogical tools to address today’s important educational issues. Then you can customize your degree with the electives most relevant to your work and career aspirations in this flexible, powerful, and affordable program that was designed by teachers for teachers.

The MATLCC curriculum aligns with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). When you graduate from our program, you’ll be well prepared for the NBPTS Critical Reflection certification requirement.

Core Courses (3 semester hours unless otherwise indicated)

The 21 semester hours of the core MATLCC curriculum encompass courses in Educational Policy and Leadership (EPLS), Psychological Studies, Quantitative Foundations (PSQF), and Education Teaching and Learning (EDTL) tracks. Core course requirements include the capstone research course on conducting a school-based action research project.

EDTL 5095 Issues in U.S. Schools

This course addresses critical questions facing American public schools–governance, finance, and policy structures that have influenced teaching and learning. There is a particular emphasis on disproportionate access and privilege within the institutions that comprise and support public schooling.

EPLS 5090 Instructional Coaching for Teaching Excellence

This course focuses on the use of the dynamics of coaching to improve K-12 classroom teaching. The course is appropriate for aspiring teaching leaders.

PSQF 4740 Issues in K-12 Assessment

This course examines research, policies, and practices related to classroom and large-scale educational assessment. Focus is placed on the use and construct of formative and summative assessments for classroom teaching and the basics of educational measurement. The course covers educational assessment, including the development of plans that integrate teaching and assessment, the use of formative assessment strategies and providing effective feedback to students, crafting objective, performance and portfolio assessments, the evaluation of students, and interpretation of state-mandated tests and standardized achievement tests.

PSQF 4750 Learning Environments: Design, Context, and Activity

Students explore the design of learning environments and the kinds of activities that take place there, including a general background on the design of learning environments. Emphasis is placed on project- and problem-based learning (considered to be keys to 21st-century learning), media inclusion, and how teacher facilitation/questioning and cooperative learning are foundational for success.

EDTL 6483 Multilingual Education & Applied Linguistics

Synthesis of empirical findings on children’s and adults’ learning of a second or foreign language. Emphasis is placed on the theoretical underpinnings of approaches, methods, and techniques in language teaching.

EDTL 5085 Generation Innovation: Technology Integration in 21st Century K-12 Schools

This exploratory course will address the paradigm shift happening in K-12 settings regarding technology deployment and will examine topics including diversity and equity in technology integration, theories of teaching and learning in technology-enhanced environments, personalized learning, innovation/innovator mindset, professional learning networks, digital citizenship, makerspaces, and the four Cs: creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking. You may choose to take this course or PSQF 4760 as part of the core curriculum requirement.

PSQF 4760 Participatory Learning and Media: Creating, Remixing, Making, and Education

This course introduces students to novel ways to characterize learning that include learning as participating in a community. Students consider how digital media support learners in participating when they might otherwise not. The course culminates in a digital media project selected and crafted by the student. You may choose to take this course or EDTL 5085 as part of the core curriculum requirement.

EDTL 5090 Diversity and Identity in K-12 Schools

This course is an advanced seminar on diversity and identity-related issues in K-12 education for practicing teachers and K-12 professionals; students engage in regular self-evaluation of practices and develop a deeper understanding of racism, sexism, classism, and other forms of oppression as they relate to the practices of K-12 teachers and schools; curricular and pedagogical decision-making, relative to impact on student identity.

EDTL 5099 Conducting School-Based Action Research

This course focuses on teachers or administrators as change agents and researchers in schools and districts. It takes a scholarly approach to improving teaching and learning by way of an action research project. Requires completion of all MA in teaching, leadership, and cultural competency coursework.

Electives (3 semester hours unless otherwise indicated)

The MA in Teaching, Leadership, and Cultural Competency requires 9 semester hours of electives, which you may concentrate in one of the following elective tracks or mix according to your needs. The elective tracks include Talented and Gifted, STEM, English as a Second Language (ESL), and English Language Arts.

Depending on which electives you choose, you may be able to complete a large number of requirements for State of Iowa endorsements in Talented and Gifted, STEM, or ESL. Candidates seeking the endorsement will need to complete additional coursework before applying to the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners.

K-12 Teachers with the ESL Endorsement are urgently needed

Noting that English Language Learners are the fastest growing group of K-12 students, the National Education Association has estimated that 1 in 4 school children in the country will be ELL students.1

There is currently a shortage of qualified ESL teachers in Iowa, and some schools are offering financial incentives for those teachers who have the Iowa ESL Endorsement.

Talented and Gifted Electives

CSED 4137 Introduction to Educating Gifted Students

This course addresses fundamental issues such as curriculum, counseling, family issues, gender, and minority issues.

PSQF 4121 Identification of Students for Gifted Programs

Interpretation of standardized tests and other measurement instruments used to identify academic talent and program effectively for grades K-12; ability, aptitude, achievement tests; current issues in the uses of various instruments.

EDTL 4066 Curriculum Concepts in Gifted Education

Analyzing and refining understanding of curriculum in the context of: the needs of gifted and talented students; rationale for and implementation of curriculum differentiation, and curriculum principles for and applications to gifted and talented; designed for preservice and in-service educators, as well as those interested in curriculum development, design, and delivery.

EDTL 4199 Program Models in Gifted Education

Development and refinement of preservice and in-service educators’ understanding of academic programs; needs of gifted and talented students, including diverse and often underrepresented groups of students; rationale for and implementation of a comprehensive program model for gifted students.

STEM Electives

EDTL 6761 STEM Research and Leadership Seminar

The intent of this seminar course is to provide the participants with a broad overview of the research supporting new and innovative teaching practices in the STEM disciplines and in integrated STEM learning. The course will focus on introducing students to relevant journals related to STEM learning and teaching. Students will engage in summarizing, critiquing, and discussing a variety of research perspectives and articles, as well as describing how the information they are encountering is related to their current teaching situations. In addition, students will explore ways to improve their own pedagogical and instructional practices, as well as methods for assessing critical student outcomes in their courses. Students will ideally develop an awareness of the research that is providing a foundation for effective STEM teaching and learning as well as strategies for implementing the research-supported practices in STEM learning contexts of all types.

EDTL 6762 STEM Experiential Learning

This course is designed to provide you with meaningful and practical learning experiences that will prepare you to engage in and create effective STEM learning environments within and outside of the traditional classroom setting. The course will explore Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) as an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering and mathematics in contexts to solve problems that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy. The intent of this course is to provide the participants with an overview of the research and best practices supporting new and innovative experiential teaching practices in the STEM disciplines and in integrated STEM learning. The course will focus on introducing students to STEM problem-based learning models for curriculum, instruction and assessment by engaging in authentic experiences and reflecting on how these influence practice and student learning. The course provides an authentic, meaningful, and cross-curricular experience preparing you to be successful in facilitating student engagement in real-world situations and solving problems of interest to the student and community through engagement with community partners.

EDTL 6563 STEM Through Mathematical Modeling

The intent of the course is to prepare potential STEM teachers or in-service teachers who would like to develop integrated STEM learning environments to learn mathematical modeling as an interdisciplinary instructional approach. Mathematical modeling is a practice to learn and teach mathematics as well as science, engineering and technology that focuses on students’ understanding of new concepts from an individual knowledge basis. Students will engage in problem-based learning environments where individuals develop conjectures, critique their own and others’ arguments, and revise ideas to reach conclusions. Ultimately, students are expected to use the mathematical modeling process in learning any new concepts in STEM. Through this course, students will understand how people learn new concepts and how teachers can provide adequate learning environments for students to reach a goal–learning and understanding the core concepts in STEM.

EDTL 4565 Math in Management & Social Sciences

This course will discuss various real-life applications of modern mathematics, including management, decision-making, issues of optimization, methods for optimal scheduling, voting methods, game theory, error checking, and other related strategies. Participants will explore applications of modern mathematics, including management, decision-making, issues of optimization, methods for optimal scheduling, voting methods, game theory, error checking, and other related strategies.

EDTL 6766 Physical Science in STEM Education

This course is designed to increase knowledge of physical science content in a form that is relevant to education standards, such as Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and connected to engaging and contemporary issues in physical science. Weekly expectations will be differentiated to provide opportunities for deepening knowledge of science. Students will gain insight into teaching science and work together to think critically on the conceptual basis of subject matter appropriate for learners in their context. This course is designed for educators at all levels (e.g., elementary, secondary, and informal settings).

EDTL 6767 Systems Thinking in Biology and STEM Education

This course provides a broad overview of research supporting new and innovative teaching practices in STEM disciplines and in integrated STEM learning. Focuses on introducing students to relevant journals related to STEM learning and teaching. Students will engage in summarizing, critiquing, and discussing a variety of research perspectives and articles, as well as describing how the information is related to their current teaching situations. Students will explore ways to improve their own STEM pedagogical and instructional practices and methods for assessing critical student outcomes. Students will develop an awareness of the research that is providing a foundation for effective STEM teaching and learning as well as strategies for implementing research-supported practices in STEM learning contexts of all types.

EDTL 4768 Computer Science Methods

Introduction to issues and ideas related to the instruction of computer science courses; how to integrate computer science learning into other areas or content learning into computer science courses in meaningful ways; meets all requirements the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners has set forth for computer science methods courses including curriculum development, project-based methodologies, communication about computing, and digital citizenship.

English Language Learners Electives

EDTL 4467 Methods: ESL and Bilingual Education

Exploration of approaches, methods, and practices in teaching English to speakers of other languages in K-12 school settings; communicative and content-based approaches to language learning with practical application of theory and research; issues concerning linguistically diverse learners covered with pedagogical implications; skills in teaching approaches for English language learners; lesson and unit planning, materials evaluation and adaptation, and assessment for placement, diagnosis, exit, and evaluation of English language learners.

EDTL 4498 Language Structure for Teaching English Language Learners

Preparation to work with English language learners (ELLs) in K-12 settings; dramatic increase in this population over recent decade; need for teachers to understand sociocultural and linguistic challenges faced by ELLs and their families; proficiency in instructional differentiation strategies for instructing ELLs; ELL variation and cultural considerations, English language development standards, second language teaching and learning, differentiation for ELLs, effective practice for ELL instruction and assessment.

EDTL 4093 Teaching and Learning for a Global Perspective

This course examines conceptualizations and themes, along with theories, strategies and resources that can inform teaching and learning for global competence education in all disciplines; teaching for prejudice reduction and education for informed and responsible global citizenship; creation of standards-based curriculum projects.

English Language Arts Electives

EDTL 4392 Voice, Drama and Debate in Secondary Schools

Introduction to elements of classical and contemporary rhetoric, the art of debate, oral interpretation and public speaking, dramatic methods in the classroom, and theater management; important issues and vocabulary of drama and debate including literary, theatrical, pedagogical, and sociohistorical concepts and terms; the importance of classical rhetorical strategies and their relevance in the political realm; students work through drama, the creative process of playwriting, acting, designing, and staging a play.

EDTL 4393 Media Studies and Production in Secondary Schools

Introduction to teaching media in secondary schools; preparation to teach critical media literacy, media law and ethics, forms of journalism writing, and production process; emphasis on the essential role of media in a democratic society; exploration of instructional strategies and organizational practices to guide secondary students to think critically as media consumers and producers; students write and produce their own texts and experience processes to strengthen understanding of learning standards for secondary media students—communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking.

EDTL 5081 Facilitating Student-Centered Discussion

Support for educators who want to create classroom environments that prioritize student voice and democratic exchange of ideas; theoretical approaches to classroom discourse and dialogic teaching; how linguistic and racial power inform and constrain discussion; students analyze their current classroom discourse practices through theoretical lenses, including how teachers and students are informed by historically dominant discourse norms and ways that discussion topics and issues are labeled as controversial.

EDTL 5087 Anti-Oppressive Literature Instruction

Support for K-12 teachers in selecting, analyzing, and planning discussions about literary texts in support of anti-racist and anti-oppressive teaching and learning; educators and scholars committed to critical pedagogy and anti-racist and anti-oppressive education argue that reading and analyzing texts by and about people of color and historically marginalized groups is an essential part of equitable, democratic education; how education is never neutral; choosing an explicit anti-oppressive stance; recognizing literature’s role in promoting equity and analyzing oppressive forces in education.

Additional Elective Options

EDTL 5091 LGBTQ Topics in Education

In spite of many challenges that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identified youth experience in the U.S. K-12 schools, queer youth demonstrate agency and action as they create positive spaces and community for their identities. This course examines the intersection of policy and practice with respect to queer identities at all levels of K-12 education, the history of queerness in the U.S. with focus on the creation of the concept of compulsory heterosexuality and the manner in which this concept is reinforced in K-12 schools.

EPLS 6381 Analysis and Appraisal of Curriculum

Comprehensive investigation of systematic procedures and resources for identifying and evaluating essential features and constituent elements of a given school district’s curricular offering; state and federal requirements of the curricular program; for persons in administration, curriculum, and supervision programs or positions. (This course requires two synchronous online meeting times per week).

CSED 5300 Culturally Relevant Social and Emotional Learning

Social-emotional learning (SEL) focuses on developing students’ competence in recognizing and managing emotions, developing empathy, making decisions, building relationships, and handling challenging situations; evidence on the impact of effective SEL has driven the introduction of state K-12 SEL standards and competencies; beyond applying principles of SEL, teachers need equitable instructional practices to link principles of learning with an understanding and appreciation for culture; examination of the intersection of SEL and culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP); principles and applications of culturally relevant SEL in K-12 schools.

Admissions Deadlines

Fall 2024 Term

July 12
Fall 2024
August 9
Fall 2024
August 26
Fall 2024

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