Advanced Studies in Teacher Leadership

Program Contacts

Michael Mills, EdD: Department Chair
Telephone: (501) 852-2965 | Email: mmills@uca.edu

Jeff Whittingham, PhD: Graduate Program Coordinator
Telephone: (501) 450-3177 | Email: jeffw@uca.edu

[1] Objectives

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 and communities. 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 and efficacy as they assess and extend their own professional practice. In addition to addressing the elements of UCA’s Professional Education Unit’s Conceptual Framework, the program incorporates standards and propositions from appropriate national professional organizations including the Teacher Leadership Model Standards.

Upon completion of the program, ASTL graduates will demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to

  1. Respond positively to practices that enhance student learning.
  2. Critically analyze their own teaching practices and appropriately respond to their findings.
  3. Articulate the rationale for decisions they make regarding professional practice, instruction, and policies and procedures.
  4. Make informed decisions by reflecting on experiences both past and present to improve teaching practices that enhance student learning.
  5. Function as change leaders for the improvement of their professional communities.

This 30 hour graduate degree program consists of a 15-hour core and a 15-hour emphasis area [but see Note 1], selected from the following:

  1. Teacher Leadership
  2. Gifted and Talented
  3. Early Childhood
  4. Elementary Mathematics Specialist
  5. Writing Pedagogy
  6. Content Area/Generalist
  7. English as a Second Language
  8. Career Orientation
  9. Dyslexia Endorsement
  10. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)—Secondary
  11. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)—Elementary

Graduate candidates will complete 10 courses for the degree with the culminating experience being the creation and defense of a professional portfolio.

Note 1

All emphasis areas require 15 hours except STEM Elementary, which may require 16 hours. [See Note 2.]

[2] Admission Requirements

Admission into the University of Central Arkansas Graduate Studies program will be required before enrolling in courses. A candidate must have an undergraduate degree with at least a 2.7 GPA in undergraduate work for full admission. In addition, the candidate must submit a letter of recommendation.

[3] Program Retention Requirements

After admission to the Graduate School and the ASTL program, candidates are required to submit either a valid educator license or competitive standardized test scores to establish competency in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. This documentation must be submitted to the program within the first semester of enrollment. Failure to submit this documentation will result in the candidate being unable to move forward in their chosen program of study.

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.

[4] Program Completion Requirements

Candidates must successfully complete the following program requirements to earn the Master of Science in Education (MSE) in Advanced Studies in Teacher Leadership (ASTL) within the six years allotted time set forth by the Graduate School:

  1. The ASTL program of study
  2. The ASTL program key assessments
  3. The ASTL portfolio process

[5] Continuous Enrollment Requirement

College of Education graduate students are expected to maintain continuous enrollment throughout their program of study until achieving program completion. Specifically, College of Education graduate students are expected to be enrolled in at least two of the three semesters in a given calendar year (Spring, Summer, and Fall). If a student must take a time-out, the student is expected to notify his/her home department. If a student fails to register for more than one semester out of three in a given calendar year, he/she may be ineligible for readmission unless granted by the home department. The Graduate School policy requires that all students complete their program of student within a six year time period.

[6] Program of Study

Core Curriculum (15 hours required)

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

Emphasis Areas

  1. Teacher Leadership

    SLMA 6310 Foundations of School Leadership
    ELSE 6366 Educational Programming for Students with Mild Disabilities K-12
    SLMA 6330 Curriculum and Program Leadership
    ITEC 6368 Technology Planning and Leadership
    Elective (3 hours) as approved by the academic advisor

  2. Gifted and Talented

    See also the Graduate Certificate in GATE below.

    GATE 6353 Introduction to Gifted Education
    GATE 6355 Curriculum for Gifted Programs
    GATE 6357 Creativity for the Gifted And Talented
    GATE 6358 Strategies for the Gifted And Talented
    GATE 6391 Advanced Practicum: Educational Practice in Gifted Education

  3. Early Childhood:

    ELSE 6300 SPED 101 Academy: The Philosophical, Historical, and Legal Aspects of Special Education
    ELSE 6309 Solution-Focused Learning
    ELSE 6327 Educational Programming for Young Children
    ELSE 6336 Advanced Studies in Guidance Management of Young Children
    ELSE 6338 Instructional Strategies and Assessment of Young Children

  4. Elementary Mathematics Specialist:

    MATH 5308 Mathematical Thinking for K-8 Teachers
    MATH 5309 Algebraic Thinking for K-8 Teachers
    MATH 5335 Geometry and Measurement and Their Applications
    MATH 6307 Advanced Topics for Mathematics Educators
    MATH 6312 Data Modeling for K-8 Teachers

  5. Writing Pedagogy:

    LING 5310 Educational Linguistics
    LING 5320 Grammatical Structures of English
    CRWR 5320 Teaching Creative Writing: History, Theory and Practice
    WRTG 5330 Composition Theory and Pedagogy
    WRTG 6310 Advanced Topics in Discourse Analysis

  6. Content Area/Generalist:

    15 graduate content hours approved by academic advisor

  7. English as a Second Language:

    ASTL 5340 Cultural Diversity: Applications for Classrooms and Workplaces
    WLAN 5315 Methods of Teaching Second Languages
    WLAN 5325 Second Language Acquisition
    WLAN 5330 Second Language Assessment
    Three (3) graduate hours approved by academic advisor

  8. Career Orientation:

    ASTL 5311 Methods of Teaching Career Development
    ASTL 5312 Learning Experiences in Career Orientation
    ASTL 5325 Application of Computers in Education and Work
    ASTL 6310 Integrating Media and Technology into Teaching and Learning
    ASTL 6385 Curriculum Development

  9. Dyslexia Endorsement:

    ELSE 6314 Diagnosis and Intervention of Reading Difficulties
    ELSE 6343 Clinical Practicum in Reading
    ELSE 6347 Foundations of Dyslexia and Language
    ELSE 6348 Multisensory Approach to Language I
    ELSE 6349 Multisensory Approach to Language II

  10. STEM Secondary:

    BIOL 6395 Special Topics: Science Concepts
    MATH 5300 Professionalized Subject Matter or MATH 6307 Advanced Topics for Math Education
    ASTL 6310 Integrating Media and Technology into Teaching and Learning
    GATE 6355 Curriculum and Instruction for Gifted Learners
    GATE 6391 Advanced Practicum in Gifted Education

  11. STEM Elementary:

    SCI 5410 Concepts of Science [See Note 2.]
    MATH 5300 Professionalized Subject Matter or MATH 5309 Algebraic Thinking for K-8 Teachers or MATH 6307 Advanced Topics for Math Education
    ASTL 6310 Integrating Media and Technology into Teaching and Learning
    GATE 6355 Curriculum and Instruction for Gifted Learners
    GATE 6391 Advanced Practicum in Gifted Education

Candidates may be allowed to transfer a maximum of six graduate credit hours to the program.

Note 2

If a candidate has previously earned undergraduate credit for SCI 4410, the academic advisor will direct the candidate to another course. Otherwise SCI 5410 is required.

[7] Graduate Certificate (GC) in Gifted and Talented Education

 → Gainful Employment Information – Graduate Certificate in Gifted and Talented Education: 2018 

The 15-hour Graduate Certificate in Gifted and Talented Education prepares candidates to teach students with gifts and talents and to complete their licensure in Gifted and Talented education. The program was developed to meet performance standards of Arkansas Teaching Standards (InTASC) and National Association for Gifted Children-Council for Exceptional Children (NAGC-CEC) Teacher Preparation Standards in Gifted Education.

[7.1] Gifted and Talented Program Admission Standards

Prospective students can apply to the GATE program at any time during the year. As an applicant for admission, students must present evidence of their ability to participate successfully in a graduate-level academic endeavor. To be considered, applicants must meet the general requirements for admission to the Graduate School and complete all necessary files. Admission to the Graduate School is based upon the following requirements:

  1. Online application
  2. Graduate School application fee
  3. Transcripts from all institutions attended
  4. Health Records

For more information, please visit the Graduate School website.

Admission to the GATE program is based upon the following requirements:

  1. Current and Valid Teaching License
  2. Two letters of recommendation from professional supervisors

For more information and full details of the application process, please visit the GATE Program website.

Important Note: Candidates must pass the state-designated Praxis examination(s) to add the gifted and talented license to existing Arkansas teaching licenses. Out-of-state students should check with their state-issuing teacher licensure agency to determine licensure eligibility and state-specific reciprocity rules and regulations.

[7.2] Program of Study/Required Courses

GATE 6353 Introduction to Gifted Education
GATE 6355 Curriculum for Gifted Programs
GATE 6357 Creativity for the Gifted And Talented
GATE 6358 Strategies for the Gifted And Talented
GATE 6391 Advanced Practicum: Educational Practice in Gifted Education

[8] Graduate Course Links

[8.1] Courses in Advanced Studies in Teacher Leadership (ASTL)

Follow this link for ASTL course descriptions: course link.

[8.2] Courses in Other Areas (ELSE, GATE, ITEC, LING, MATH, SLMA, WLAN, WRTG)

Follow this link for ELSE course descriptions: course link.

Follow this link for GATE course descriptions: course link.

Follow this link for ITEC course descriptions: course link.

Follow this link for LING course descriptions: course link.

Follow this link for MATH course descriptions: course link.

Follow this link for SLMA course descriptions: course link.

Follow this link for WLAN course descriptions: course link.

Follow this link for WRTG course descriptions: course link.