Master of Science in Education (MSEd)
Choose your specialization, 100% online
UNE Online offers this 30-credit Master of Science in Education 100% online with timely, relevant classes and optional focus areas for professionals looking to advance their education careers. All students take the five core courses of the curriculum, and then each student is able to select their own five electives to complete the Master of Science in Education degree.
This flexible offering allows you to customize your course plan based on your specific career goals. If you are looking into the MSEd program with the intention of applying for certification, use our interactive map to check with your state’s Department of Education.
- 30-credit hour program
- Complete your degree in just under two years
- 100% online – no campus visits required
- Learn anytime from any place
- No GRE Required
- Dynamic faculty of practitioners, researchers and educators
- Regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE)
This course enhances classroom-based experiences by linking them with professional research skills. Educators in this course will learn to locate and critically review a wide range of professional resources, articulate knowledge from a research-based framework, and collaborate with their peers on navigating school cultures.This course highlights the roles and responsibilities of leaders in a school setting.
This course explores the theories of differentiated instruction. Within the course, educators analyze differentiation theories and incorporate differentiation strategies into the design of units and lessons in their own educational settings. Collegial reflection regarding the use of these differentiation strategies will be a major component of the course.
This course examines significant theories of student motivation in the classroom. Educators taking this course will develop a lesson plan, embedding motivational theory to improve student engagement, assess current effectiveness of practices, and complete an in-depth analysis and application of motivational theory through a case study. The goal of this course is to provide educators with strategies to address the most common issues of discord in the classroom.
In this course, educators will explore action research within their own work setting. Educators will formulate a problem statement, conduct a literature review, design a study, identify which data to collect, conduct the study, analyze data, report the results of the analysis, and develop an action plan. The resulting product will be a professional quality action research report. Through a systematic and collaborative process, participants will utilize action research to reflect, analyze and enhance their professional practice. Educators will also develop technical writing skills which are important for professional communication, grant-writing, and administrative reporting tasks.
This course develops reflective practices that assist participants in exploring both professional and personal growth that has occurred throughout the University of New England’s MSE program. Participants will utilize organizational tools to create a digital portfolio that reflects self-directed learning within their program experiences. As a prerequisite to this course, students should have successfully completed all MSE courses.
Choose any five 3-credit courses (for a total of 15 credits) from the options below to complete your Master of Science in Education.
This course provides the overarching context for the educational leadership focus area. Educators consider theories and practices relating to effective and ethical leadership in educational settings. Topics include diagnosing the work environment, decision-making, problem-solving, strategic planning, and human resource development. Students will reflect on their own leadership, observe and analyze other leaders, and explore how the theories and practices that relate to the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (formerly ISLLC).
This course provides a foundation of the legal underpinnings of the American education system and explores how legal decisions have had an effect on schools. Specific legal principles relating to church/state issues, tort liability, teacher responsibilities, student rights and administrative concerns such as contracts and collective bargaining are examined. Participants will analyze case studies to apply their understanding and create a compendium of the laws unique to the states in which they work.
Regardless of how beneficial a desired change may seem, new initiatives are often difficult to implement. Each educational setting has its own culture, and innovations and changes that are incompatible with the prevailing climate may elicit resistance and hostility. The course examines change theory; studies case histories of successful and not so successful change efforts; and reviews change strategies to equip students with skills for introducing effective reforms.
Supervision and evaluation strategies need to support teachers' growth into strong, competent professionals. This course examines requirements of educational leaders engaged in supervising and evaluating educational personnel, and explores new directions and procedures currently under development. Emphasis is given to understanding the theory behind the practice, strengths and weaknesses of varying methods, and hands-on applications. Drawing on knowledge of developmental stages and multiple styles of learning and teaching, participants consider such practices as peer evaluations, self-evaluations, portfolios, and mentoring.
School leaders must also be "lead teachers." Participants will explore current models for curriculum design to ensure that instructional materials meet appropriate mandates for content and learning goals, and which also address students' diverse needs, abilities, and experiences. Learning theories and styles are included, as are topics relating to curriculum theory and assessment.
The course traces the historical background and development of school finance acts, and examines the intent, concepts, and relationship inherent in these acts. Processes by which state subsidies are computed, allocated and distributed are considered. Budget and expenditure practices in relation to these acts are illustrated. Emphasis is placed on helping students develop a clear conceptual understanding of the overall methods by which state aid is provided to local school systems. Readings, research, and other assignments are designed to acquaint students with school finance practices in their respective states.
This course will include an overview of organizational theories and systems; the inclusion of organizational theory in the educational change process; the functions, objectives, development, and assessment of strategic plans; and the relationship between strategic planning and budget development.
Laws, regulations, and judicial decisions relating to the education of students with special needs are discussed. Methods of conflict resolution, mediation, and ethical standards are examined. Students will be required to apply what they learn as they analyze real-life case scenarios.
This course introduces students to the use of technology in the education of individuals with special needs. Methods and techniques for evaluation and determination of appropriate uses of technology are included. A range of assistive technologies are covered as well as teaching strategies that support the implementation of technologies. Using technology in universally-designed educational environments is examined. Participants will be expected to have access to and use selected teaching and learning technologies with students with disabilities.
Assessment approaches for identifying students with disabilities and assessing progress toward learning goals and standards are addressed. Students examine a variety of formal and informal procedures for use in the assessment of the instructional and behavioral needs including curriculum-based assessment, observations, and continuous and periodic assessments of instruction and behavior. Participants will be expected to have access to and administer selected standardized formal and informal instruments to K-12 students with disabilities.
This course focuses on methods and strategies for teaching students with special needs. Current issues of concern, learning standards, promising practices, behavioral strategies, and methods for individualizing, differentiating, creating, and providing universally designed instruction are covered. Participants will be expected to conduct observations in schools and plan and implement instructional activities with students with disabilities. Participants can pursue an elementary or secondary strand.
*EDU 723 meets the "Teaching Exceptional Students in the Regular Classroom" requirement for the State of Maine. The three-credit course, EDU 723: Teaching and Learning in Inclusion Settings is pre-approved by the State of Maine Certification office for initial credentialing.
To view the comprehensive list of approved courses, please visit: https://www.maine.gov/doe/cert/initial.
Students will complete co-teaching experiences in inclusion settings. Activities are tailored to ensure field application of concepts, models, practices, and skills as students apply effective co-teaching instructional practices, participate in interdisciplinary planning meetings, and collaborate as team members. These co-teaching experiences reinforce the acquisition of ethics and standards. During the course, participants are expected to spend considerable time in K-12 inclusive classrooms, plan and implement teaching and learning activities, research and reflect on practices, and work collaboratively with educational teams. Some course requirements may be modified during summer sessions for participants without access to students during summer school breaks.
This course will help participants identify and prioritize essential behavioral skills in their work with students. They will explore how to model, teach, and nurture behavioral skills and analyze differentiation strategies at Tier 1 of a Positive Behavior Intervention and Support model and prepare for intervention and monitoring at Tier 2 and 3. The course will engage participants in addressing factors that influence a school's response to behavioral considerations such as available resources, parent collaboration, and school and community culture. This is a new course in development in 2019 and this description is subject to change.
This course will focus on the use of data to create inclusive environments for all students. Participants in this course will apply the components of the Continuous School Improvement Framework (Plan-Implement- Evaluate-Improve). Participants will use data readily available in their classroom, school, or district. Several protocols for analysis will be used. Themes will include using data to support a shared vision and using data to examine school core values.
This course will deepen participants' understanding of the factors that affect a learner’s ability to access their education. Participants will explore the current research in neuroscience and its connection to social and emotional learning. Participants will review and understand practical strategies to address the social and emotional learning needs of all learners and develop a social and emotional learning plan including the development of self-regulation skills in all learners. This is a new course in development in 2019 and this description is subject to change.
This course will address the foundational knowledge that teachers of literacy need in order to understand the reading and writing process for students. In this course, teachers will be exposed to major theories, research, and best practices in the literacy field. Teachers will be asked to draw upon this theoretical and practical knowledge to think about issues of instructional practice. Through engaging inquiry experiences, teachers will become active participants in developing a strong foundational base for literacy instruction for all learners in their classrooms.
This course focuses on the use of assessments in determining a student’s reading and/or writing skills. Teachers will examine, create, evaluate, and reflect on a variety of literacy assessments as they are directly connected to data-driven instruction and student literacy achievement. Each course module will engage teachers in becoming familiar with a range of assessments and how to use data from these assessments in developing lessons and activities that will allow students to learn subject content as well as develop and deepen literacy skills. Teachers will be engaged in the research around assessments as well as how to modify assessments and instruction based on assessments to meet the needs of diverse learners.
This course focuses on research-based study skills and strategies for providing literacy instruction within the classroom content area. Educators will learn to integrate literacy and study skills instruction in their classrooms while designing reading assignments that afford students access to the concepts in the text. Concepts and strategies presented are relevant to the needs of ESL students.
The reading-writing connection will be the focus of the course. Educators will have the opportunity to explore this connection through the examination and application of successful instructional strategies and activities. Educators, regardless of the level or content they teach, will be provided with tools that will help to maintain learners' literacy development as they read and write to learn or learn to read and write.
This course will address how to engage in differentiated literacy practices to meet the needs of diverse learners. Educators will be immersed in the foundational knowledge that will aid them in creating effective instruction that will assist students who need support in their literacy development. The readings and coursework will explore how to approach literacy challenges from the classroom and school levels in a systematic way as well as incorporating a culturally responsive approach to pedagogy.
This course will focus on the leadership skills that the professional will need as a Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach. Specifically, this course will explore the coaching relationship and how to work collaboratively to plan, implement, and supervise literacy programs at the individual, classroom, school, and district-wide level. Focus will also be on facilitating a literate environment, working with literacy in a diverse society, and developing leadership skills. This course will also fulfill the requirements that many states have for course work in Administration and Supervision of Language Arts Programs.
This course goes into more depth specifically about meeting the needs of students whose native language is not English. Topics will include emergent literacy, individual student differences and similarities, first and second language acquisition and development, emergent and experienced reading and writing development, multiple test sources, text analysis, process writing, assessment techniques, portfolio assessment, classroom organization and management, whole language classrooms, language arts materials, and effective instructional strategies. This course will help to prepare future Reading Specialists to work with this growing population and support teachers who have students from different linguistic backgrounds.
This course is designed to straddle the disciplines of regular and special education. Students will explore the implementation of multi-tier approaches to the early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs and ways to differentiate instruction. The course attends to the collaboration that takes places between regular and special education teachers when assessing and planning instruction for all students in an inclusive setting.
In conjunction with EDU 750, this course is the first of two practicum courses that closely examine a wide range of assessment and instructional methods to support literacy development of struggling learners. Students in this course work closely with an onsite mentor, a learning community of students and a UNE instructor. This collaboration will support students as they develop relationships with K-12 students who struggle in literacy. Experiences in the course include working in a one-on-one tutorial setting, administering a variety of reading diagnosis assessments, and collaboratively creating and implementing literacy programming that builds on diagnosis with the goal of moving learners forward in their literacy growth. This course meets most state’s requirements that a 6 credit practicum be part of an approved graduate program.
In conjunction with EDU 749, this course is the second of two practicum courses that closely examine a wide range of assessment and instructional methods to support literacy development of struggling learners. Students in this course work closely with an onsite mentor, a learning community of students and a UNE instructor. This collaboration will support students as they develop relationships with K-12 students who struggle in literacy. Experiences in the course include working in a one-on-one tutorial setting, administering a variety of reading diagnosis assessments, and collaboratively creating and implementing literacy programming that builds on diagnosis with the goal of moving learners forward in their literacy growth. This course meets most state’s requirements that a 6 credit practicum be part of an approved graduate program.
Students also have the option to take electives from our other online graduate programs. A full list of these interprofessional courses can be found here:
MSEd – Reading Specialist
This MSEd program prepares you to become a Reading Specialist or Literacy Coach in a K-12 setting. Because this program is approved preparation for Literacy Specialist Certification (092) in the State of Maine, please click here to view the full MSEd – Reading Specialist program description.
After completing the MSEd program, students should be able to:
- Address the full range of student motivation and differentiation issues encountered in today’s school systems.
- Analyze and conduct research relevant to their teaching or administrative interests.
- Document professional development in the program via an electronic portfolio of course work.
- Demonstrate a high degree of specialized knowledge and skills about their chosen concentration area.
- Exhibit leadership in their classroom and/or school system.
- Develop online collaborative relationships with peers.
This master’s degree is designed to help you advance your teaching abilities and cover a range of educational and leadership topics. There are several topic areas that you may choose to focus on. All are comprised of high quality and innovative curricula that will teach you skills that you can immediately apply in your classroom. You will gain the tools necessary to make a difference in your community as well as in your career. Graduates of the MSEd program will receive a diploma stating “Master of Science in Education.” If you need additional documentation or verification, please contact an enrollment counselor.
Suggested next steps:
- Admissions Requirements – Master of Science in Education
- Explore the MSEd – Reading Specialist program
- Commonly asked questions for the online master’s program
- International admissions requirements
- Certification requirements by state
- Fun interactive U.S. map of certification requirements