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    Master of arts in education courses

    Designed for elementary, middle and secondary teachers, the master of arts in education (MAEd) program offers students fresh perspectives on teaching and learning. Through personalized courses of study, students strengthen their classroom teaching, expand their knowledge of relevant content areas, and experience dynamic professional growth.

    The Master of Arts in Education program at Bluffton University is composed of core courses and three possible concentrations: liberal arts and sciences, technology endorsement, and the intervention specialist-mild/moderate educational needs. Students pursuing a master’s degree may choose any one of the concentrations. Students who already have a master’s degree or do not wish to pursue a master’s degree may complete the technology endorsement concentration courses for a technology endorsement (K-12) or the intervention specialist-mild/moderate educational needs courses for an intervention specialist (K-12) license.

    Program characteristics
    The MAEd program enjoys these unique characteristics:

    • Grounded in the historic peace church tradition of Bluffton Universirty, instructors assist students to investigate issues of peace and justice.

    • Involvement with The Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center fosters a deeper appreciation of the arts and literature.

    • A liberal arts core with specialized content area electives expands and strengthens classroom teaching.
    • Experts, including a Project Discovery scientist/educator, facilitate inquiry-based science instruction.

    • Students undertake classroom-relevant research projects.

    • Both content and methodology receive substantial attention.

    Program overview
    The MAEd program includes a minimum of 30 semester hours of coursework:

    Required core: (21 semester hours)
    EDU 620 The World of Art (3)* or
    EDU 540 The World of Literature (3)*
    EDU 630 American Studies (3)*
    EDU 645 Educational Technology (3)
    EDU 650 Research Methods in Education (3)
    EDU 660 Classroom Assessment and Application (3)
    EDU 680 The Historical and Philosophical Basis of American Education (3)
    EDU 695 Teachers as Action Researchers (3)

    Concentrations:
    Humanities: (9 semester hours)
    EDU 515 Non-Western Studies alternate years (may be taken twice) (3)*
    EDU 630 American Studies (may be taken twice as an elective) (3)*
    EDU 640 Curriculum Integration (3)
    EDU 530 Curriculum Exploration: Model for Integrating the Arts in the Curriculum (1)
    (Must be taken with EDU 640 and can be repeated for elective credit)

    Mathematics and Science: (9 semester hours)
    EDU 520 Inquiry-Based Science Instruction, alternate years (may be taken twice) (3)*
    EDU 525 Discovery and Modeling in the Mathematics Classroom, alternate years (3)*
    EDU 640 Curriculum Integration (3)
    EDU 530 Curriculum Exploration: Model for Integrating the Arts in the Curriculum (1)
    (Must be taken with EDU 640 and can be repeated for elective credit)

    Technology Endorsement: (17 semester hours)
    EDU 510 Microcomputers: Current Applications (2)
    EDU 550 Computers and Technology in Education (2)
    EDU 560 Technology, Ethics, and Society (3)
    EDU 610 Information Technology and Media (3)
    EDU 640 Educational Technology (3) (also part of core)
    EDU 685 Practicum I (2)
    EDU 686 Practicum II (2)

    Intervention Specialist License (K-12): (21 semester hours)
    Prerequisites:
    Introduction to Students with Disabilities
    EDU 215 Human Growth and Development
    Required Courses:
    SED 600 Students with Disabilities in a Diverse Society (may also fulfill EDU 630 American Studies in the core)
    SED 601 Instructional Strategies: Young Children with Mild/Moderate Educational Needs (2)
    SED 602 Instructional Strategies: Young Adolescents with Mild/Moderate Educational Needs (2)
    SED 603 Classroom Organization: IS (3)
    SED 604 Diagnosis and Educational Planning (3)
    SED 605 Reading and Language Arts for Diverse Learners (3)
    SED 606 Issues in Special Education (1)
    SED 607 Collaboration (3)
    SED 608 Practicum (2)

    Additional requirements for Ohio Department of Education licensure: 12 credits of teaching reading, including one credit course in Teaching Phonics.

    * Although course topics change each year, course objectives are maintained.

    Education Courses

    EDU 510 Microcomputers: Current Applications (2)
    This course is designed to provide familiarity with data processing using microcomputers in a hands-on environment. Coverage includes spreadsheet software and database software. Prerequisites: Students who have had some exposure to computers may take this course without prerequisites. Students who have not had exposure to computers will be provided advising regarding appropriate prerequisite(s).

    EDU 515 Non-Western Studies (3)
    Provides an overview of history from a non-Western perspective. A survey course which examines the history, thought and contributions of Eastern civilizations, it also provides an opportunity for students to examine in depth a particular element, art form or feature of a non-Western culture. The course may be repeated. Offered alternate years.

    EDU 520 Inquiry-Based Science Instruction (3)
    Focuses on a particular strategy for teaching science. Classroom time is spent in the laboratory using an activity-based approach which includes experiments, small group interactions and dialogues with the instructor. Content is used as a vehicle to illustrate the activity-centered, inquiry-based approach to teaching science. Topics change so that the course may be repeated. Offered alternate years.

    EDU 525 Discovery and Modeling in the Mathematics Classroom (3)
    Contains two major segments of mathematical activity suggested by the Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. One segment emphasizes the discovery-conjecture-proof theme in elementary mathematics learning and teaching. For the second segment, content is chosen from the areas of geometry, arithmetic, problem solving and functions. Topics change so that the course may be repeated. Offered alternate years.

    EDU 530 Curriculum Exploration: Model for Integrating the Arts in the Curriculum (1)
    Aids students in the development of classroom learning activities based on the works, inspiration and experience of the noted author, visual artist, composer or performing artist directing the workshop. Because a different area of the arts is emphasized each time it is offered, the workshop may be repeated up to three times for elective credit. It is recommended that the workshop be taken simultaneously with EDU 640 and/or 620. Frequently the workshop is sponsored by The Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center of Bluffton University.


    EDU 532 Curriculum Workshop: Mathematics (1)
    Combines mathematics content with classroom techniques, activities, methods and discoveries. Emphasis is placed on making mathematics meaningful. Since a different area of mathematics is emphasized each time it is offered, the workshop may be repeated.

    EDU 534 Curriculum Workshop: Science (1)
    Combines mathematics content with classroom techniques, activities, methods and discoveries. Emphasis is placed on making mathematics meaningful. Since a different area of mathematics is emphasized each time it is offered, the workshop may be repeated.

    EDU 535 Graduate Workshop: Topics Vary (1-3)
    Graduate workshops are offered through the Master of Arts in Education program to provide workshop credit to area teachers seeking professional development hours. Topics vary according to interest or need. Each course is usually held on a single weekend or during the summer. Workshops offered under EDU 535 do not count toward the Master's degree program at Bluffton College but can be used as professional development through a teacher's LPDC.

    EDU 540 Topics in Children’s and Adolescent Literature (3)
    Designed for practicing teachers who are interested in integrating children’s and adolescent literature across the curriculum. Students read and review fiction and/or non-fiction children’s and adolescent books, work as a class on the creation of a book review journal and develop materials for integrating literature from social studies across the curriculum. Picture books through novels are read, with art as well as text explored. Students uncover and investigate themes that surface again and again throughout history. Topics change so that the course may be repeated. Elective course.

    EDU 550 Computers and Technology in Education (2)
    This course includes instruction about the use of computers and other technology for the classroom teacher. Students receive hands-on experience with computers, appropriate software for use in education such as presentation software, educational use of the Internet and other classroom technology such as digital cameras and projection equipment. Prerequisite: EDU 510.

    EDU 560 Technology, Ethics and Society (3)
    Students will explore, individually and in small groups, emerging technologies and the literature on technology as it relates to society. Instructors will emphasize the social, ethical, and political implications of current and emerging digital technology. Through reading, discussion and projects, students will consider selected issues (e.g. who does or should control the Internet, what is the shape and impact of a digital divide, and what is the impact of specific emerging technologies on education and our society as a whole?). Students will also use technology for communication, research and discussion, both to reinforce technology skills and to stimulate a dialogue about the impact of technology on human interaction and culture. Prerequisite: EDU 601.

    EDU 590 Independent Study (3)
    Permits students opportunities to investigate areas of interest in greater depth. Students apply for approval from the director of the MAEd program by completing an independent study form.

    EDU 610 Information Technology and Media (3)
    The intent of this course is to provide the student with skills necessary for technology use in the early 21st century. Students will work in small groups with defined responsibilities and create multimedia projects both within the group and as individuals. Media tools and resources presently available to the student will be explored and electronic communication skills will be emphasized throughout the course. Prerequisites: EDU 510 and EDU 550.

    EDU 620 The World of Art (3)
    Enhances students’ knowledge of and experience with the arts, as well as provides insight into the use of the arts across a variety of classroom settings and content areas. Course content rotates among visual art, music and drama with specific topics changing as the course is offered. May be repeated.

    EDU 630 American Studies (3)
    Provides an holistic understanding of an era or theme in American history. Students explore a selected era or theme in American history, delving into its political, social and cultural milieu with a particular focus on cultural expression. Through class discussions, lectures, readings, in-class presentations and films, students gain a thorough understanding of the particular era or theme under examination and come to form their own understandings of the intersection of American cultural, social and political history. May be repeated.

    EDU 640 Curriculum Integration (2)
    Promotes a model of curriculum integration which is both interdisciplinary and inclusive. Students identify and develop thematic studies based on the needs of their particular classrooms. Workshops, sponsored by The Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center, utilize a noted author, visual artist, composer or performing artist to aid the development of thematic units.

    EDU 645 Educational Technology (3)
    The intent of this course is to provide the candidate with skills necessary for using educational technology creatively in the classroom. Candidates will work in small groups with defined responsibilities and create and use the class as a lab for practice teaching. Simple non-traditional tools, such as micro-chip controlled tools (such as Lego Mindstorms) will be explored and used. The course will focus on hands-on teaching, exploring the literature on technology and education and current technology tools used in the classroom Prerequisite: EDU 510.

    EDU 650 Research Methods in Education (3)
    Introduces research terminology, methods, purposes and procedures. Specific attention is devoted to appropriate measurement concepts, quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques, and statistical and qualitative data analysis methods. Formal methods for writing research reports in APA style and the critical evaluation of research are discussed. By the conclusion of the course, each student proposes a plan of research for investigating a problem meaningful to classroom teachers. The proposal becomes a permanent part of the student’s file.

    EDU 660 Classroom Assessment and Application (3)
    Enhances students’ knowledge of tests and measurements for practicing classroom teachers and satisfies the Standards for Teacher Competence in Educational Assessment stipulated by the National Council of Assessment of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. Students become skilled in choosing, developing, administering, scoring and interpreting external and teacher-produced assessment methods. Emphasis is placed on developing skilled applications of principles and procedures.

    EDU 670 Instructional Technology for the Classroom (3)
    Develops students’ skills for using educational technologies. Emphasis is given to technological advances and their impact on the learning environment. Attention also is devoted to systematic instructional design. Students choose technologies of interest and research those technologies relative to their needs.

    EDU 675 Teaching and the Moral Imagination (3)
    This course has a three-fold purpose: 1) to investigate how children develop moral imagination and how character is shaped; 2) to research how children respond to the moral dilemmas they face daily; and 3) to explore the roots of violence in society and the impact of violence upon children’s moral development. Students construct a conceptual framework for conflict resolution which can guide them in helping children learn how and why responding nonviolently to the difficulties they encounter can foster peace. Offered alternate years.

    EDU 680 The Historical and Philosophical Basis of American Education (3)
    Acquaints students with the cultural, historical and philosophical bases of education. Each year the course focuses on a particular theme or a selected area of investigation. Offered alternate years.

    EDU 685 Technology Practicum I (2)
    This practicum is the first in a two-course practicum sequence. Candidates will work in a “computer lab” situation. MAEd technology endorsement students will work in a school-based lab and will be supervised by an educator with technology credentials and a member of the Bluffton College education department. Candidates will run software, use imaging devices, and other computer based technologies and will participate in collaborative projects and team activities. Candidates will be required to install software, troubleshoot, and evaluate systems. All teacher education candidates will be required to reflect on teaching and learning as they are observed in the lab setting. Prerequisites: EDU 610 and EDU 645.

    EDU 686 Technology Practicum II (2)
    This practicum is the second in a two-course practicum sequence. Students will work in a classroom setting. Teacher Education students will be supervised by an educator with technology credentials and a member of the Bluffton College education department. Candidates will compare national K-12 computer/technology standards with benchmarks set by local school districts and critique each. They will run software, use imaging devices, and other computer based technologies in research and problem-solving teaching and learning situations. Candidates will also design and practice methods and strategies for teaching basic computer skills (including keyboarding) and will explore ways that technology can support other activities in the school system (including counseling, services to children with disabilities, etc.). Candidates will also participate in collaborative projects and team activities. All teacher education candidates will be required to reflect on teaching and learning. Prerequisites: TEC 100 and TEC 400.

    EDU 695 Teachers as Action Researchers (3)
    A continuation of research methods where students complete the approved research project developed in
    EDU 650. Final projects are presented to the Bluffton College community in an “Action Research Symposium.” The final project becomes a permanent part of the student’s file.

    Special Education Courses

    SED 600 Students with Disabilities in a Diverse Society (3)
    This course is designed to enable educators to place students with exceptional learning needs (ELN) in the context of a diverse society. Prerequisites: Undergraduate or graduate level course in Introduction to Students with Disabilities (determined by transcript review).

    SED 601 Instructional Strategies: Young Children with M/M Educational Needs (3)
    This course is designed to develop educator competency, to analyze the young learner (ages 3 – 8) with exceptional learning needs (ELN), and to plan the “least restrictive environment” for the young child with ELN. Skills will focus on designing, implementing and evaluating appropriate educational interventions in the areas of language, math, reading, social studies, science, the arts and movement. Fifteen field hours in an inclusive early childhood setting are required. Prerequisite: SED 600.

    SED 602 Instructional Strategies: Young Adolescents with M/M Educational Needs (3)
    This course is designed to develop educator competency, to analyze the young adolescent and AYA learner with exceptional learning needs (ELN), and to plan the “least restrictive environment” for the learner with ELN. Skills will focus on designing, implementing and evaluating appropriate educational interventions in the areas of language, math, reading, social studies, science, the arts and movement that are age and ability appropriate. Field experiences in a middle school and high school setting are required (21 hours total). Prerequisite: SED 600.

    SED 603 Advanced Classroom Organization: Intervention Specialist (3)
    This course is designed as an advanced course to assist prospective intervention specialists in understanding student and teacher behaviors as they apply to good classroom organization. Students will explore techniques for maximizing learning in a variety of classroom settings, building students’ self concepts and understanding the use and abuse of power. The focus will be on building communities of respect that nurture and support high levels of student learning. Prerequisite: SED 600.

    SED 604 Advanced Diagnosis and Educational Planning (3)
    This course is designed as an advanced course and focuses on information and practical experiences relating to assessment and the development of academic and social planning for the learning of individuals with ELN. Fifteen hours of field experience required. Prerequisite: SED 600.

    SED 605 Reading and Language Arts for Diverse Learners (3)
    This course focuses on speech and language acquisition of the typically and atypically developing child. It also presents an overview of various disorders and their effects on receptive and expressive language functions and learning. Ten hours of field experience required. Prerequisite: SED 600.

    SED 606 Issues in Special Education (3)
    This course is designed to present current issues affecting the education of individuals with ELN. Students will examine contemporary research, current federal and state regulations, and special education service delivery models. Students will also reflect upon their role as a professional educator and life-long learner and how to access on-going professional development. Prerequisite: SED 600.

    SED 607 Collaboration (3)
    This course prepares the prospective special educator to work effectively with individuals with ELN, families, school and community personnel and general educators to develop and implement individualized programs. Communication skills, methods to access support services, and team processes are covered with special emphasis on respect when working with individuals from differing cultural, socio-economic, and educational backgrounds. Prerequisite: SED 600.

    SED 608 Practicum: Intervention Specialist (3)
    This practicum provides supervised experiences in applying the principles techniques learned in the professional courses to actual classroom situations under the guidance and direction of a cooperating teacher. Practicum students spend full days in their assigned classroom for 10 weeks. Prerequisite: All courses in the intervention specialist program.

    Admissions process
    Applicants should submit the following materials to the director of the MAEd program:

    • Official transcripts from all previous college work.

    • Three letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional references.

    • An application (including a signed statement relative to the standards of campus conduct).

    • A statement of personal and professional goals, relative to the degree being sought.

    • A copy of current teaching license/ certificate and / or evidence of teaching experience
    • Praxis I scores (Reading 173, Math 172, Writing 172) are required for the intervention specialist and technology concentrations. Applicants may register for Praxis I at ETS.org/praxis or contact the office of adult and graduate education for scheduling assistance.

    • A nonrefundable application fee of $20.

    The following are the criteria for admission to the MAEd program:

    • Completed application materials.

    • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.

    • A 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) in the last half of the bachelor’s degree program.

    • Satisfactory letters of recommendation.

    • A satisfactory interview with the director of the MAEd program (or a designee).

    • Approval for admission by the MAEd committee.

    Conditional Admission

    When an applicant fails to meet the regular admission requirements and there is cause for significant concern about the student’s success in the program the MAEd faculty committee (or the director/designee and a subgroup of two MAEd committee members during the summer) may choose to grant conditional admission to that applicant. A conditionally admitted student who fails to achieve a GPA of 3.0 during the first nine hours will be placed on academic suspension. At this point the regular suspension procedures apply.

    Special student status
    Special student status may be granted to applicants to permit them to complete nine semester hours of course-work prior to regular admission to the MAEd program. During the first nine semester hours, special students must demonstrate an ability to maintain a 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) to be considered for regular admission.

    As space allows, special student status also may be granted to non-degree-seeking students who hold a bachelor’s degree. Applicants should complete special student status forms as a part of the application process.

    The MAEd program is designed for classroom teachers with experience. As space allows, however, a limited number of teachers without classroom experience may be admitted to the program.

    Transfer of graduate credit
    If completed within five years of the application date, up to six semester hours (or nine quarter hours) of graduate credit may be transferred to the MAEd program from another accredited institution. Credits transferred must be approved by a relevant MAEd instructor (for core courses) or the director of the MAEd program (for elective courses). Workshop credits are not transferable.

    International Students
    International applicants are expected to have a minimum score of 565 on the TOEFL exam. This requirement can be waived at the discretion of the director and/or the Admissions Committee of the MAEd, provided satisfactory English proficiency on an alternative evaluative measure can be demonstrated. In addition, all foreign language documents accompanying the application must include notarized translations.

    Admission to candidacy
    Students who have completed 15 semester hours of coursework (including transfer credits) at a B level or above may apply for admission to candidacy for the degree. Eligible students should submit candidacy applications to the director of the MAEd program for review by the MAEd committee. Students not admitted to candidacy should meet with the director of the MAEd program to discuss the resubmission of candidacy applications. A 3.0 GPA is required to maintain candidacy.

    Graduation requirements
    Students must complete the MAEd program within four years of their admission to candidacy for the degree. Graduation requirements include:

    • Completion of at least 30 semester hours of coursework (with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0).

    • Participation in an exit interview.

    • Submission of an intent to graduate form by the end of the fall semester prior to graduation.