Advanced Studies of Teacher Leadership (MSE)

Program Information

Degree Type: , , ,

Total Credit Hours: 30

Program Cost: $

Program Completion Time: 5 semesters

Program Contact Email:

About the Program

Description: The Master's Degree in Advanced Studies in Teacher Leadership (ASTL) is a 30-credit hour degree program designed to enhance and expand your existing knowledge, skills, and dispositions while further developing the core competencies expected of advanced educators.

The ASTL degree program prepares graduates with opportunities to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to and beneficial for:
•Responding positively to classroom practices that enhance student learning.
•Critically analyzing classroom practices and appropriately responding to the findings.
•Articulating the rationale for decisions regarding professional practice, classroom instruction, and classroom/school policies and procedures.
•Making informed decisions by reflecting on experiences both past and present to improve teaching practices that enhance student learning.
•Becoming change leaders for the improvement of their schools.

Program Tracks: The tracks are as follows:

•Early Childhood Track – This track is designed for teachers interested in advancing their  knowledge and practices in behavior guidance, action research, curriculum design, and  educational programming to all children, including those with mild disabilities. The track builds  upon teachers’ knowledge and practices to expand their leadership skills, knowledge and  dispositions beyond the classroom and into the school to become agents of change for young  learners. The track includes courses necessary to add the Grade 5-6 Endorsement to a standard  teaching license. In order to add the Grade 5-6 Endorsement, candidates must also complete the  Praxis II: Middle Level Content exam. Courses for this track include: ECSE 6374 Curriculum  Rationale for ECE, ECSE 6338 Advanced Instruction & Assessment Strategies for Young  Children, ECSE 6336 Advanced Studies in Guidance and Mgmt of Young Children, ECSE 6366  Educational Programming for Mild Disabilities, and ASTL 5302 Teaching in Middle Schools.

•Middle Level Track – This track is designed for early childhood and secondary teachers  wishing to learn more about teaching in the middle grades and add the Grade 5-6 Endorsement to  their standard teaching license. In order to add the Grade 5-6 Endorsement, candidates holding  secondary licensure must also pass Praxis II Social Studies: Content Knowledge and the Praxis II  Social Studies: Analytical Essays if they have not previously passed these exams. Courses for  this track include: ASTL 6385 Curriculum Development, ASTL 6310 Integrating Media and  Technology into Teaching and Learning, ASTL 5302 Teaching in Middle Schools, ECSE 6366  Educational Programming for Mild Disabilities, and three hour graduage elective approved by  your advisor.

•Instructional Facilitator Track – This track is designed to provide practicing classroom  teachers the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to serve as an instructional facilitator/coach.  Teachers will be prepared to enhance classroom instruction by providing instructional support in  the elements of research-based instruction. Also, facilitators learn to effectively align instruction  with curriculum standards, assessment tools, and individual needs of students. Candidates  completing this track may add the Instructional Facilitator Endorsement to their standard  teaching license. Courses for this track include: ECSE 6328 Strategic Instruction Model/Content  Enhancement Routines, ECSE 6329 Instructional Facilitation/Teacher Leadership, ECSE 6350  Collaborative Teaching, Inclusive Settings, and Introduction to SIM Learning Strategies, SLMA  6310 Foundations of School Leadership, and SLMA 6312 School-Based Organizational  Leadership.

•Content Track - This track is designed for teachers who want to improve their classroom  practice using the most current knowledge, aligned with the National Board for Professional  Teaching Standards. Some teachers will want to increase content knowledge with pedagogy, add  the English as a Second Language Endorsement, or gain more knowledge about the national  board certification process so that they can become knowledgeable candidates as they apply to  achieve national board certification. This track is divided into three sub-tracks. National Board Certification courses include: ASTL 6325 National Board: Processes,  Procedures, and Products, ASTL 6330 Methods of Action Research and Collaboration,  and three graduate courses from a content area or College of Education graduate program approved by your advisor. English as a Second Language Endorsement courses include: ASTL 5340 Cultural  Diversity: Applications for the Classroom and Workplace, WLAN 5313 Methods of  Teaching Second Languages, WLAN 5325 Second Language Acquisition, WLAN 5330  Second Language Assessment, and a three hour graduate elective approved by your  advisor. Content Area courses include: Five graduate courses approved by your advisor.

•Elementary Math Specialist Track - The Elementary Mathematics Specialist (EMS) Track is  designed to prepare candidates to help elementary teachers, administrators and students by  providing mathematics coaching, professional development, and other services. They will play an important role in mathematics education, especially with the transition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in mathematics. The EMS may be asked to provide remedial or enrichment support services at schools,  strengthen teachers’ understanding of mathematics content, help in developing effective  instruction and assessment practices, or develop curriculum and policy. With so many potential responsibilities, the EMS needs (1) deep and broad understanding of mathematical content,  including the specialized knowledge needed for teaching, (2) solid knowledge of the elementary  context, (3) knowledge of mathematical learning trajectories, (4) knowledge and skills for working with adult learners, and (5) leadership skills necessary to influence and support educational efforts to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics. The content includes  domains of the Common Core Mathematics Standards involving number sense, algebraic thinking, geometry, measurement, and data modeling. The expectation is that prerequisite to this mathematics track, the candidate would have teaching certification in a grade band within K – 8.

•Writing Track – This track is designed for teachers who want to enhance their knowledge of the  current theory and practice of teaching writing through courses in linguistics.

Program Benefits: Advanced learning in teaching and leadership; additional licensure in 5/6; additional licensure in Gifted and Talented, English as a Second Learner, or Math Specialist.

Plan of Study: Advanced Studies of Teacher Leadership (MSE)

Coordinators Name: Jeff Whittingham
Coordinators Phone Number: 501-450-5445
Coordinators Email:

Program Faculty: Dr. Jeff Whittingham, Program Coordinator; Dr. Tammy Benson, Department Chair; Dr. Patty Phelps, Professor; Dr. Cheryl Wiedmaier, Associate Professor; Dr. Gary Bunn, Assistant Professor; Dr. Jamie Alea, Assistant Professor

URL of Program Info on Department Site:

Distance Education Technology Requirements: Chalk and Wire; Adobe Acrobat; Microsoft Office (or Open Office); Internet Browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc)

How to Apply

Requirements: Admission into the University of Central Arkansas Graduate Studies program will be required before enrolling in courses. Candidates must have an undergraduate degree, a 2.7 GPA in undergraduate work, and GRE scores on file with the Graduate Office before full admission (conditional admission may be granted for one semester pending arrival of GRE scores). In addition, candidates are required to have a current teaching license upon program enrollment. Candidates are to meet all graduate school bulletin requirements.

Deadlines: Program follows graduate school deadlines and policies.

Graduate Bulletin Link: