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Master of Science in Elementary Education

Pfeiffer's Master of Science degree in Elementary Education (MSEE) is a 36 semester-hour program for teachers with an elementary license looking to enrich their content knowledge and refine their ability to design and deliver effective instruction. But our program goes beyond instructional expertise by offering a conceptual framework of servant leadership.

  • This program uses a cohort model. You'll work through the program with the same group, allowing for community building and networking.
  • You'll demonstrate your abilities in analyzing, planning, and critical thinking in each course as well as in a culminating experience.
  • You'll learn in small classes with students from diverse backgrounds.
  • In addition to our affordable tuition, financial aid is available for those who qualify. Candidates currently working in school settings are eligible for a 40% tuition-reduction scholarship.
  • Courses include service components in which you and community partners develop learning experiences and deliver needed services to people and organizations.
  • This program is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and approved by the NC Department of Public Instruction.
  • Your practical assignments are linked to your current teaching position, so you're able to apply your learning immediately and get credit for it.
  • The program faculty are highly qualified, actively engaged in the field and regularly work in school and with students.
  • Courses are offered through teleconferencing, online offerings and hybrid options on our Charlotte Campus and through our partnerships with Randolph and Stanly Community Colleges.

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Master of Science in Elementary Education - Course Descriptions

EDUC - 570 Licensure Preparation (1 SH)
This course will prepare candidates preparing to fulfill criteria for North Carolina licensure.
Specifically, candidates will receiving assistance in synthesizing knowledge and skills
acquired throughout the master's degree program to effective respond to tasks on the
licensure examination. This course is required prior to taking EDUC 621A, EDUC 621B, or
EDUC 621C.

EDUC - 601 Introduction to Educational Research (3 SH)
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to research methods in education and
to develop an understanding of the research process. An overview of different types of
research is included. Students critically read, analyze, and evaluate the quality of research
studies related to education. In addition, they develop a research proposal.

EDUC - 602 Managing The Instructional Environment (3 SH)
This course focuses upon the most recent research findings relative to managing the
instructional environment. Teachers analyze various instructional management procedures
and review numerous active learning strategies to involve all students in the learning process
Several theoretical approaches to discipline are addressed. This course includes 10 hours
of supervised field experienced for students in the MAT program.

EDUC - 603 Advanced Technology in Education (3 SH)
This course focuses on the development of strategies, concepts, and materials for the use
of computer technology in enhancing instruction. The course explores the impact that computer
technology can have on the nature of the teaching and learning process. Recent developments
in educational software, the Internet, and computers have provided educators with a new array
of tools for enriching the educational process. The course prepares educators to create
technology-integrated lessons for learning.

EDUC - 604 Advanced Educational Psychology (3 SH)
The purpose of this course is to provide teachers with an in depth study of the principles of
learning theories and their impact upon instructional planning. Attention is given to perceptual
and cognitive processes, emotion and motivation, social perspectives, communication
theory, instructional practices, individual needs and assessment.

EDUC - 605 Diversity/Multiculturalism/Exceptionalities (3 SH)
The purpose of this course is to focus upon the development of instructional practices and
materials to meet the needs of various student populations including learners with special
needs, the culturally different learner, and learners representative of diverse ethnic groups.
Social and cultural contexts of teaching are also addressed.

EDUC - 607 Servant Leadership Seminar (1 SH)
The Servant Leadership Seminar will introduce the master's degree candidate to principles
of servant leadership. Candidates will explore these principles in terms of their application
to the school setting and the development of a service leadership project. Co-requisite: EDUC
608.

EDUC - 608 Servant Leadership Internship (2 SH)
During the Servant Leadership Internship, the master's degree candidate will demonstrate
skills and dispositions related to servant leadership in the implementation of a project that
will serve the candidate's school community. The project also will reflect the criteria of service
projects required for National Board Certification by the National Board for Professional
Teaching Standards. Candidates who have already achieved NBCT status may present their
credentials for waiver from the EDUC 607 and EDUC 608 requirement. Co-requisite: EDUC
607.

EDUC - 611 Mathematics: Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment (3 SH)
The focus of this course is upon the review of research relative to mathematics education
in grades K through 6. The teacher analyzes and discusses current research findings and
applications to classroom practice. A variety of instructional materials and approaches are
evaluated for their effectiveness to meet the needs of diverse learners including students
at risk. Teachers demonstrate their knowledge of content by developing lessons that
integrate the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards and the competencies
from the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. Additionally, they demonstrate their ability
to use audiovisual aids and electronic technology. A service-learning component is included.

EDUC - 613 Thesis (3 SH)
The master's degree candidate plans, implements, and presents an action research study that
demonstrates mastery of the North Carolina advanced level standards in education, including:
instructional expertise, knowledge of learners, research expertise, connecting subject matter and
learners, and professional development and leadership. The thesis is a formal written document,
consisting of a literature review and other elements of formal presentation of research. The thesis
is presented to other graduate students and the graduate faculty in the School of Education. A
panel of graduate faculty members in the School of Education reads and evaluates the thesis.

EDUC - 614 Master's Project (3 SH)
The master's degree candidate plans, implements, and presents an action research study
that demonstrates mastery of the North Carolina advanced level standards in education,
including: instructional expertise, knowledge of learners, research expertise, connecting
subject matter and learners, and professional development and leadership. This non-thesis
culminating project is presented to other graduate students and the graduate faculty in the
School of Education, using a multi-media presentation. A panel of graduate faculty members
in the School of Education reads and evaluates the project.

EDUC - 615 Assessment in the Instructional Program (3 SH)
Teachers study the selection, construction, administration, and interpretation of
appropriate assessment methods to assess individual student progress and the effectiveness
of the instructional program. Teachers develop traditional and alternative assessment
instruments for diagnostic, formative and summative evaluation. They also
develop action research studies to assess instructional methods.

EDUC - 616 Contemporary Issues in Education (3 SH)
The purpose of this course is to involve teachers in the analysis of current educational
issues with a specific focus upon service learning. It provides a platform for reflection
and in depth discussions of contemporary practices in elementary education. Students
select specific issues for focused study and use multimedia to present their understanding
of the issues in class. Content focus includes legal, political, and socio-cultural
issues in education.

EDUC - 621A Teaching Internship (3 SH)
This course provides supervised clinical practice for lateral entry elementary classroom
teachers University supervision is provided for 15 weeks in the assigned classroom with at
least four formal observations by the University supervisor, the principal, and the mentor
teacher. Content knowledge, lesson planning, teaching strategies, student assessment,
and classroom management will be evaluated. Candidates will work in collaboration with the
instructor to design a product of learning that demonstrates the candidate's ability to develop
and implement curriculum for positive learning outcomes. The course culminates in the
presentation of the product of learning to graduate faculty and students. Prerequisite: Praxis
II Scores Required for North Carolina Licensure in Elementary Education. Fee of $150.

EDUC - 621B Teaching Internship (3 SH)
This course provides supervised clinical practice for elementary classroom teacher
assistants. Candidates are provided supervision for a minimum of 15 weeks for supervision
with at least six formal observations by the University supervisor, the principal, and the
cooperating teacher. Content knowledge, lesson planning, teaching strategies, student
assessment, and classroom management will be evaluated. Formal lesson plans are required
for all lessons taught. Candidates will work in collaboration with the instructor to design a
product of learning that demonstrates the candidate's ability to develop and implement
curriculum for positive learning outcomes. The course culminates in the presentation of the
product of learning to graduate faculty and students. For the internship, elementary teacher
assistants are assigned to classrooms other than the one in which they serve as teacher
assistant. Prerequisite: Praxis II Scores on Examinations Required for North Carolina Licensure
in Elementary Education. Fee of $150.

EDUC - 621C Teaching Internship (3 SH)
This course provides supervised clinical practice for candidates who have no experience in
the elementary classroom. Candidates are provided supervision for a minimum of 15 weeks
with at least seven formal observations by the University supervisor, the principal, and the
cooperating teacher. Content knowledge, lesson planning, teaching strategies, student
assessment, and classroom management will be evaluated. Formal lesson plans are
required for all lessons taught. Candidates will work in collaboration with the instructor to
design a product of learning that demonstrates the candidate's ability to develop and
implement curriculum for positive learning outcomes. The course culminates in the
presentation of the product of learning to graduate faculty and students. Prerequisite: Praxis
II Scores on Examinations Required for North Carolina Licensure in Elementary Education.
Fee of $150.

EDUC - 624 Elementary Pedagogy I (3 SH)
In this course, candidates will examine the foundational components of educational planning for
the elementary classroom including motivation, lesson planning, instructional strategies for
meeting the diverse learning needs of students within a classroom, unit design and organization
of the school day.

EDUC - 625 Elementary Pedagogy II (3 SH)
In this course, candidates will explore methods specific to the content taught within the elementary
school. Candidates will also examine interdisciplinary teaching and learning, formative and
summative assessment, and management of time, resources, and behavior within the classroom.

EDUC - 635 The School Curriculum PK-12 (3 SH)
This course will examine the internal and external influences on curriculum and types of curriculum
that impact student development. The candidate will examine the rationale and content of the
North Carolina Standard Course of Study with implications for instructional practice.

EDUC - 642 Child Growth and Development (3 SH)
This course focuses on the impact of childhood experiences on lifelong behaviors and attitudes,
and on understanding the physical, psychosocial and cognitive aspects of development.
Participants will explore both traditional and current theories; draw upon their own personal
histories and auto/biographical writings; and apply theories to classroom observation, management
and instruction. The impact of race, class, ethnicity, and gender issues will also be examined.

EDUC - 643 The Elementary Classroom (3 SH)
This course will examine the history and philosophy of elementary education in the United States
as a foundation for reviewing current practice in elementary schools. Through discussion, guest
speakers, and field experiences, candidates will explore the components that make up elementary
schools including schedules, diversity, management, curriculum standards, ethics, and professionalism.
A fifteen hour field experience is required as part of this course.

EDUC - 644A Children's Literature (PK-8) (3 SH)
This course provides an overview of the history and development of literature for children in grades
pk-8. The various genres of literature will be explored. Book selection, evaluation, and resources
will be included in this exploration. Students will engage in learning experiences that involve literary
criticism, relationships between principles of human development and text interpretation, and
applications of course content to teaching practice and curriculum organization.

EDUC - 644B Adolescent Literature (6-12) (3 SH)
This course provides an overview of the history and development of literature for children in grades
6-12. The various genres of literature will be explored. Book selection, evaluation, and resources
will be included in this exploration. Students will engage in learning experiences that involve literary
criticism, relationships between principles of human development and text interpretation, and
applications of course content to teaching practice and curriculum organization. Connections to
content area reading will also be examined.

EDUC - 649 Science Content for the Elementary Teacher (3 SH)
This course is designed to provide candidates with the content knowledge necessary to be
effective science teachers in the elementary school. Through inquiry, candidates will examine and
explore topics related to life, chemical, physical, and earth and space science as prescribed by
the standards issued by the National Science Teachers' Association. Likewise, candidates will
examine scientific inquiry, process skills, and applications of science to their lives.

EDUC - 650 Social Studies for the Elementary Teacher (3 SH)
This course is designed to provide candidates with the content knowledge necessary to be
effective social studies teachers in the elementary school. Candidates will examine topics related
to the ten thematic strands adopted by the National Council for the Social Studies including: culture;
time, continuity, and change; people, places and environments; individual development and
identity; individuals, groups, and institutions; power, authority and governance; production,
distribution and consumption; science, technology and society; global connections; and civic
ideals and practices.

EDUC - 651 21st Century Literacy Skills for the Elementary Teacher (3 SH)
This course is designed to provide candidates with the knowledge and skills necessary to be
effective communicators and collaborators within the educational environment. Candidates will
explore critical reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, critical and creative thinking, and
information and media literacy skills.

EDUC - 652 Mathematics Content for the Elementary Teacher (3 SH)
This course is designed to provide candidates with the content knowledge necessary to be
effective mathematics teachers in the elementary school. Candidates will examine topics related
to each of the content strands set forth by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
including numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis and
probability.

EDUC - 655 School Law and Professional Ethics (3 SH)
This course is intended to provide classroom teachers with knowledge of the legal rights and
responsibilities of those involved with the operation of public schools. Candidates will examine the
legal framework of public education through a study of constitutional provisions, state legislation,
regulations of the department of education/public instruction (state and federal) and the decisions
of courts in litigation brought before them. The ethical considerations required by the Code of Ethics
for North Carolina Educators are an integral part of this course.

EDUC - 656 Diagnostic and Corrective Reading (3 SH)
This course is designed to equip candidates with the tools and abilities to recognize, diagnose,
and address reading exceptionalities and difficulties within the classroom. Candidates will be
acquainted with and use informal assessments, reading tests, and standardized test results that
will assist in identifying sources of reading difficulties. A field-based, service learning experience
will give practice in recognizing, diagnosing, planning, and implementing remediation/acceleration
procedures.

EDUC - 657 Integrating the Curriculum through Science and Social Studies (3 SH)
This course will use current research in science and social studies education as a basis for providing
meaningful instruction in the content areas while integrating literacy, numeracy, and other 21st
century skills. Throughout the course, candidates will develop high quality, integrated units of
instruction that can be delivered to students and evaluated for their effectiveness.

EDUC - 658 Teaching 21st Century Literacy Skills in the Multicultural Classroom (3 SH)
This course will immerse candidates in 21st century literacy skills to develop a comprehensive
understanding of current research related to teaching and learning in the language and literacy
classroom. In this course, candidates will define the meaning of literacy in a linguistically and
culturally diverse society. Specifically, this course will examine issues stemming from language
diversity in the schools and the impact of educational policies and programs on language minority
students. The relationship between language and literacy and characteristics of effective
curriculum and instruction will be examined based on current educational research and teachers'
action research in the classroom.

EDUC - 659 Clinical Experience & Seminar (3 SH)
Using current research in teaching, learning, and assessment as a springboard, candidates will
examine the teaching and learning within their individual classrooms. As part of the examination,
the candidates will develop a 360 evaluation plan, implement it, evaluate the data that are derived
from the assessment measures, and develop a comprehensive professional development plan.
A candidate-selected review team will evaluate the candidate's progress at pre-determined steps
throughout the process.

SPED - 601 Contemporary Issues in Special Education (3 SH)
This course introduces the student to the formal program of study that leads to licensure in special
education-general curriculum. It addresses the historical, philosophical, and ethical perspectives
of diversity and its impact on the educational services for students with special needs. Federal
and state laws and regulations pertaining to special education will be studied. Legal and
educational terminology and definitions for students with high incidence exceptionalities will be
addressed. Exemplary programs, services provided by other agencies, the critical nature of
individual education plans, and relevant current literature will be reviewed.

SPED - 602 Development and Learning in Students with Special Needs (3 SH)
The major focus of this course will be the social, cognitive, and language development of
elementary and secondary students, with emphasis on students with high incidence exceptionalities.
Classroom observations and case studies will be used to apply development theory and research
to the classrooms and the school curriculum. Psychological issues, including individual differences,
learning styles, and the development of self-concept will be addressed. Students will study the
effects of school curriculum, including subject matter content and methodology, and schooling
processes, on child and adolescent development.

SPED - 603 Literacy & Language Development for Students with Special Needs (3 SH)
This course addresses the significant theories, remedial approaches, instructional practices, and
programs for developing reading skills in children and adolescents with high incidence disabilities.
It includes a study of the reading/writing processes, the development of reading/writing skills, and
the transition to content area texts. Diagnosis and assessment of reading skills, including formal
and informal strategies, and prescriptive strategies for intervention will be examined and practiced
in this course. Includes a service learning component.

SPED - 604 Differentiated Instruction for Students with Special Needs (3 SH)
This course will address the design or modification of curriculum, instructional materials, and
classroom environments for students with high incidence disabilities. Emphasis will be placed on
differentiated instruction that focuses on developmentally appropriate strategies to assure that
the student with a high incidence disability is successful in mastering the general education
curriculum. Curriculum concentration will include English, math, science, and social studies. This
course will align the principles of inclusion with their educational implementation by exploring and
applying instructional strategies and curriculum adaptations that are most effective in the general
education setting. Includes a service-learning component.

SPED - 605 Assessment of Students with Special Needs (3 SH)
This course addresses the principles of nondiscriminatory assessment of children and adolescents
with high incidence disabilities. It will provide experience in the administration of informal and formal
assessment measures. Basic concepts of measurement will be covered so that students can
evaluate test instruments and interpret test results. Current issues in the field of assessment will
be discussed and ethical issues will be emphasized.

SPED - 606 Classroom & Behavior Management for Students with Special Needs (3 SH)
This course will address classroom management strategies, facilitating appropriate behavior,
encouraging prosocial behavior, and meeting the social/emotional needs of students will high
incidence disabilities. Emphasis will be placed on preventive discipline and design of classroom
environments that are effective for students will special needs. Theoretical models of behavior
management will be discussed and compared, including their application for preparing and
maintaining students with disabilities in the general education classrooms. This course will also
introduce basic crises intervention strategies, including using behavior modification techniques,
conducting a functional behavior assessment, and making decisions regarding the appropriate
use of restraint with students in crisis situations. Use of school wide positive behavior intervention
strategies will be included in this course.

SPED - 607 Special Education Service Coordination (3 SH)
This course focuses on the practices and problems associated with the development, monitoring,
and organization of multiple school based special education services. By emphasizing collaborative
relationships within the school community and the development of consultation skills,
students will learn how to manage compliance across programs, working with families, preparation
of IEP team meetings, and delivery of services. Students will also develop skill in the design of
individual education programs, the arrangement and adaptation of learning environments, and
using school and community resources to develop transition plans for career development.
Includes a field experience component.

SPED - 621A Internship (3 SH)
This course is the culminating experience in the program of studies leading to initial certification.
The course provides one semester of supervised experience in a public school classroom.
Emphasis is placed on the student's demonstration of the standards for licensure and on the ability
to integrate content area knowledge, and pedagogical theory and practice. The course will be
includes on-site observation by a University supervisor and weekly seminars that address
challenges in teaching that are experienced in the classroom. SPED 621A is designed for the
student with no classroom experience. On-site observation will be differentiated across SPED
621A, B, and C. Fee of $150.

SPED - 621B Internship (3 SH)
This course is the culminating experience in the program of studies leading to initial certification.
The course provides one semester of supervised experience in a public school classroom.
Emphasis is placed on the student's demonstration of the standards for licensure and on the ability
to integrate content area knowledge, and pedagogical theory and practice. The course will be
includes on-site observation by a University supervisor and weekly seminars that address
challenges in teaching that are experienced in the classroom. SPED 621B is designed for the
student who has served as a teacher assistant. On-site observation will be differentiated across
SPED 621A, B, and C. Fee of $150.

SPED - 621C Internship (3 SH)
This course is the culminating experience in the program of studies leading to initial certification.
The course provides one semester of supervised experience in a public school classroom.
Emphasis is placed on the student's demonstration of the standards for licensure and on the ability
to integrate content area knowledge, and pedagogical theory and practice. The course includes
on-site observation by a University supervisor and weekly seminars that address challenges in
teaching that are experienced in the classroom. SPED 621C is designed for the student who is
a lateral entry teacher. On-site observation will be differentiated across SPED 621A, B, and C.
Fee of $150.

 

Master of Science in Elementary Education - Curriculum

The degree required 36 semester hours of coursework, which includes a servant leadership field component.

Core:

  • EDUC 601 Introduction to Educational
  • EDUC 615 Assessment in the Instructional Program Research
  • EDUC 616 Contemporary Issues in Education
  • EDUC 607 Servant Leadership Seminar
  • EDUC 655 School Law and Professional Ethics
  • EDUC 608 Servant Leadership Internship
  • SPED 604 Differentiated Instruction for Students with
  • EDUC 614 Master's Project

Specialty -- Elementary Education:

  • EDUC 611 Mathematics: Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
  • EDUC 658 Teaching 21st Century Literacy Skills in the Multicultural Classroom
  • EDUC 656 Diagnostic & Corrective Reading
  • EDUC 659 Clinical Experience & Seminar
  • EDUC 657 Integrating the Curriculum through Science and Social Studies

 

Master of Science in Elementary Education - Admission Requirements

Graduate Application ThumbnailCandidates seeking admission to the Master of Science in Teaching Elementary Education (MAT) program at Pfeiffer University should submit the follow materials for review:

  • A completed Pfeiffer University graduate application for admission with application fee.
  • All official college and university transcripts including transcript indicating completion of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. (Transcript Request Form)
  • An acceptable score on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) taken within the past five years
  • Three recommendations using the School of Education form
  • An essay responding to the School of Education prompt
  • A copy of your teaching license
  • Evidence of teaching experience

Upon submission of all of the materials required for evaluation, the Director of Admissions will initiate an admissions review of your file.

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