COE: MEd: Secondary Education | Curriculum & Instruction
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Building a Career

The Master of Education in Secondary Education degree program provides a range of opportunities for practicing teachers and other educators to develop their unique skills in order to increase teachers’ impact on students. This degree has been developed to build a solid foundation of knowledge, skills, and understanding for dedicated experienced professionals. This program is founded on a deep respect for practicing educators and is committed to strengthening and renewing their teaching through a process of increasing knowledge and professional capacity, self-evaluation and reflection on their own practice.

We seek to foster teachers who care deeply about students, create appropriate learning environments, and develop their own skills in order to nurture the greatest human potential in each learner. The graduate of this program will have a deep commitment to the professional education community, a focused association with the school community and a strong connection to educational research.

Master of Education (MEd)

Contact Advisors:

Marty Woytus & Kristel Schlemper

116 South Campus Classroom Building (SCCB)
p: (314) 516-5937

Deadlines to Apply:
Fall - July 1
Spring - December 1
Summer - May 1
The requirements below detail multiple emphases in this program. Keywords have been highlighted to draw your attention to this particular emphasis.

The master’s degree in Secondary Education is an accredited program appropriate for secondary teachers, specialists, department chairpersons, and those who work in informal learning or international educational settings. Candidates choose electives that will support their personal growth and development as an educational leader to impact the communities with which they work.

Diverse candidates will engage in a learner-centered environment committed to the success of historically marginalized and diverse students, research, and community engagement. Within diverse education settings, candidates will: advance pedagogical knowledge, recognize inequalities in educational opportunity, design differentiated assessments to inform practice, critically examine professional practice, and demonstrate commitment to ethical professional practice.  

It is important that both candidates and advisors plan ahead to ensure courses are taken when they are offered in the schedule. Programs must be planned with an academic advisor and meet the approval of the faculty advisor, adhering to the College of Education and UMSL Graduate School policies.

Curricular Program for Secondary Education 

The M.Ed. in Secondary Education consists of 4 required courses (12 hours) plus candidate choice from emphasis areas and electives. The general program option requirements are met by (a) completing 2 required foundation courses (6 hrs.) toward the beginning of the M.Ed. program, (b) completing the coursework for an emphasis area (9-18 hrs.), and (c) completing the 2 exit research capstone classes (6 hrs.) for a total of 30 hours.

Most emphasis areas indicate 3-6 required courses. In addition, electives allow candidates to construct an individualized set of target courses. Transfer graduate credit from another institution may also fit into elective hours. 

Emphasis areas offered in SEC ED include General, Reading, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Teaching of Writing, Curriculum & Instruction, and Special Education. For the General emphasis, students take 18 hours of electives. Reading and TESOL may require additional coursework for licensure, as noted. For a Curriculum & Instruction emphasis, students select the 3 Curriculum & Instruction courses and an additional 3 electives. Those who want to take 9 graduate hours in an academic content area may use the additional 3 electives to integrate this advanced work into their M.Ed. program. Required 12 hours of M.Ed. core courses plus an additional 18 hours of graduate level courses.  

Required Core
Students are required to complete the following courses within the first 15 hours of study:
TCH ED 6010Examining History, Community and Social Justice in Education3
ED PSY 6030Instruction, Learning, and Assessment3
Required Research Courses
These two research courses should be taken in sequence (not concurrently) at the end of the program. Candidates will design and execute a piece of original practitioner research and present their findings in a public forum.
TCH ED 6909Teacher Action Research I (Take semester prior to Teacher Action Research Capstone, TCH ED 6910.)3
TCH ED 6910Teacher Action Research Capstone3
Total Hours12


The M.Ed. with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction is designed for graduate candidates who wish to further their competencies as educators, curriculum specialists, or instructional leaders. Educators must develop evidence-based, socially just, and differentiated curriculum to prepare all learners  for a digital, global society. This emphasis area explores common issues in curriculum design, implementation, and leadership at the elementary level. Candidates will create cutting-edge curriculum and design innovative instruction for their educational settings.

In addition to the Required Core (12 hours), Candidates seeking an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction are required to complete the following coursework (9 hours), as well as 9 hours of elective coursework for a program total of 30 hours.

SEC ED 6415Curriculum Leadership in Education3
SEC ED 6416Curriculum Design for Educational Programs3
SEC ED 6420Improving Teaching and Learning1
Total Hours7
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Shea Kerkhoff, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Dr. Kerkhoff utilizes mixed methods to investigate critical, digital, and global literacies. For her dissertation study, she was named an International Literacy Association Outstanding Dissertation Finalist. Her work has been published in Teaching and Teacher Education, Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and Reading Research Qu...