The Master of Science in Education in Advanced Studies in Teacher Leadership (ASTL) is a cross-disciplinary program designed to prepare candidates to become highly skilled and articulate classroom teachers who serve as leaders in their schools. It is designed to enhance and expand existing knowledge, skills, and dispositions of candidates while fostering the development of competencies expected of advanced educators. The program rests on the assumption that accomplished educators engage in reflective decision-making as they assess and extend their own professional practice. In addition to addressing the eight essential elements of UCA’s Professional Education Unit's Conceptual Framework, the program incorporates standards and propositions from appropriate national professional organizations including the National Board for Professional Teacher Standards (NBPTS).
Upon completion of the program, ASTL graduates will demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to
- Respond positively to classroom practices that enhance student learning.
- Critically analyze their own classroom practices and appropriately respond to their findings.
- Articulate the rationale for decisions they make regarding professional practice, classroom instruction, and classroom/school policies and procedures.
- Make informed decisions by reflecting on experiences both past and present to improve teaching practices that enhance student learning.
- Function as change leaders for the improvement of their schools.
This 30 hour graduate degree program allows students to select an emphasis area from the following: (1) Early Childhood with Middle Level Endorsement, (2) Middle Level with grades 5/6 endorsement, (3) Instructional Facilitator with Endorsement, and (4) Content Area. All emphasis areas consist of a 15-hour core, emphasis required courses, and/or electives chosen from courses in advanced study in middle level education, secondary education, early childhood education, special education, reading, technology, career orientation, English as a Second Language (ESL), gifted/talented (GT), and/or subject area content. Graduate candidates will complete 10 courses for the degree with the culminating experience being the creation and defense of a professional portfolio.
 Admission Requirements
Admission into the University of Central Arkansas Graduate Studies program will be required before enrolling in courses. Candidates must have an undergraduate degree with a 2.7 GPA in undergraduate work for full admission. Candidates are required to have a valid standard educator license. Candidates are to meet all Graduate School Bulletin requirements.
[2.1] Program Completion Requirements
Candidates must successfully complete the following program requirements to earn the Master of Science in Education in Advanced Studies in Teacher Leadership (ASTL):
- The ASTL program of study.
- The ASTL program key assessments.
- The ASTL portfolio process; and
- A minimum of two years full-time teaching experience.
 Retention Requirements
To be recommended for a degree, candidates must meet the following requirement: Complete all required course work with at least a 3.00 GPA with a maximum of six hours of "C" grades.
 Program of Study
Core Curriculum: 15 hours required for degree
ASTL 6302 Models of Teaching
ASTL 6303 Teacher Leadership
ASTL 6305 Classroom Assessment
ASTL 6315 Investigation of Learning and Development Through Multiple Contexts
ASTL 6380 Research Methods
Early Childhood emphasis required courses: ECSE 6374, 6338, 6336, 6366 and ASTL 5302 (no electives required).
Elementary Mathematics Specialist emphasis required courses: MATH 5308, 5309, 5335, 6312 and 6307.
Middle Level emphasis required courses: ASTL 6385, 6310, 5302 and ECSE 6366 plus one elective (requiring approval of advisor).
Instructional Facilitator emphasis required courses: ECSE 6329, 6350, 6328, SLMA 6310, 6312 (no electives required).
Content Area emphasis required courses: approved subject area graduate courses to equal 15 hours.
Writing emphasis required courses: WRTG 5320, 5325, 5330, 6310, and LING 5320 (no electives required).
Candidates may be allowed to transfer a maximum of six graduate credit hours to the program.
 Graduate Course Links
[5.1] Courses in Advanced Studies in Teacher Leadership (ASTL)
Follow this link for ASTL course descriptions: course link.
[5.2] Courses in Early Childhood and Special Education
Follow this link for ECSE course descriptions: course link.
[5.3] Courses in School Leadership, Management, and Administration (SLMA)
Follow this link for SLMA course descriptions: course link.
[5.4] Courses in Writing (WRTG)
Follow this link for WRTG course descriptions: course link.
[5.5] Courses in Linguistics (LING)
Follow this link for LING course descriptions: course link.