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Advance Your Career With A Master’s Degree In Elementary Education

Northern Arizona University’s Elementary Education master’s degree program prepares you for state certification, which can lead to a higher salary and better job prospects as an elementary school teacher. Known for high-quality education programs, NAU is the only Arizona university accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Gain The Skills To Be A Certified Elementary Education Teacher

Whether you are seeking state certification or are already certified and wish to continue your professional development, the NAU Master of Education in Elementary Education (MEd) program helps to sharpen your teaching skills in K-8 education with advanced courses in teaching methods and curriculum. You also have the option to pursue the Reading Specialist Endorsement, separately or as part of your master’s degree program.

The job market for elementary school teachers in Arizona is expected to increase through 2020, particularly in rural and underserved communities. Benefits to teaching in such areas include:

  • Federal Perkins Loan Loan Cancelation Program
  • Federal Student Loan Loan Forgiveness Program

Catalog Information

Learn more about the program options by viewing the catalog information below. Catalog information is displayed for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Elementary Education with Certification Emphasis

Campus Locations

Show locations that offer this degree:
Blended
Click a pin on the map at the left or search/select:
Degree Information
Online
In-Person
Blended
MED
43 units
Maximum Transfer Units
0
43
Additional Admission Requirements - Additional Application
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.

     

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Candidates in this program are required to demonstrate content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and skills, professional knowledge, and professional dispositions to be eligible to enter student teaching or internship placements. Content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge or skills, professional dispositions are demonstrated through candidate performance on key assessments embedded in the following course(s):

Minimum Units for Completion 43
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
Arizona Certification/Endorsement Prepares student for Arizona Certification and/or Endorsement.
Student Teaching/Supervised Teaching Student Teaching/Supervised Teaching is required.
Some online/blended coursework Required
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study
Student Learning Outcomes

Outcomes align with Standards from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI), and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC).
 
Development, Learning and Motivation: Candidates know, understand, and use the major concepts, principles, theories, and research related to development of children and young adolescents to construct learning opportunities that support individual students’ development, acquisition of knowledge, and motivation.
 
Curriculum Standards

  • Reading, Writing, and Oral Language—Candidates demonstrate a high level of competence in use of English language arts and they know, understand, and use concepts from reading, language and child development, to teach reading, writing, speaking, viewing, listening, and thinking skills and to help students successfully apply their developing skills to many different situations, materials, and ideas;
  • Science—Candidates know, understand, and use fundamental concepts of physical, life, and earth/space sciences. Candidates can design and implement age-appropriate inquiry lessons to teach science, to build student understanding for personal and social applications, and to convey the nature of science;
  • Mathematics—Candidates know, understand, and use the major concepts and procedures that define number and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis and probability. In doing so they consistently engage problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, connections, and representation;
  • Social studies—Candidates know, understand, and use the major concepts and modes of inquiry from the social studies—the integrated study of history, geography, the social sciences, and other related areas—to promote elementary students’ abilities to make informed decisions as citizens of a culturally diverse democratic society and interdependent world;
  • The arts—Candidates know, understand, and use—as appropriate to their own understanding and skills—the content, functions, and achievements of the performing arts (dance, music, theater) and the visual arts as primary media for communication, inquiry, and engagement among elementary students;
  • Health education—Candidates know, understand, and use the major concepts in the subject matter of health education to create opportunities for student development and practice of skills that contribute to good health;
  • Physical education—Candidates know, understand, and use— as appropriate to their own understanding and skills—human movement and physical activity as central elements to foster active, healthy life styles and enhanced quality of life for elementary students.
 
Instruction Standards
  • Integrating and applying knowledge for instruction—Candidates plan and implement instruction based on knowledge of students, learning theory, connections across the curriculum, curricular goals, and community;
  • Adaptation to diverse students—Candidates understand how elementary students differ in their development and approaches to learning, and create instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse students;
  • Development of critical thinking and problem solving—Candidates understand and use a variety of teaching strategies that encourage elementary students’ development of critical thinking and problem solving;
  • Active engagement in learning—Candidates use their knowledge and understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior among students at the K-6 level to foster active engagement in learning, self-motivation, and positive social interaction and to create supportive learning environments;
  • Communication to foster collaboration—Candidates use their knowledge and understanding of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the elementary classroom.
 
Assessment for instruction—Candidates know, understand, and use formal and informal assessment strategies to plan, evaluate and strengthen instruction that will promote continuous intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development of each elementary student.
 
Professionalism Standards:
  • Professional growth, reflection, and evaluation—Candidates are aware of and reflect on their practice in light of research on teaching, professional ethics, and resources available for professional learning; they continually evaluate the effects of their professional decisions and actions on students, families and other professionals in the learning community and actively seek out opportunities to grow professionally.
  • Collaboration with families, colleagues, and community agencies—Candidates know the importance of establishing and maintaining a positive collaborative relationship with families, school colleagues, and agencies in the larger community to promote the intellectual, social, emotional, physical growth and well-being of children.

Details

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 


    Individual program admission requirements include:

      • Prerequisites (completed prior to enrolling in the program)
      • ENG 101 & ENG 102, or ENG 105 (or equivalent)  with a minimum cumulative English GPA of 3.0, 2. College Algebra or an approved math course with a minimum grade of C
    • IVP Fingerprint clearance card
    • Privacy forms
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 43 units:

    Select one course from (3 units):
    Select one course from (3 units):
    * This is a full-day, field-based, student-teaching capstone, occurring over a sixteen-week period, that is tied to a 1-unit reflection seminar.

    Note: Before student teaching admission to Elem Ed-Certification (MEd), a passing score on the NES Content Knowledge Test is required. In addition, if student teaching in Middle School, a passing score on the NES Subject Matter Test is required.

    In addition to earning a Master’s degree, this plan meets the Arizona requirements for 1-8 teacher certification and provides an institutional recommendation that you can use to obtain 1-8 teacher certification in Arizona.

    This degree is considered a terminal degree; you cannot apply it toward a doctoral degree.
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Elementary Education-Continuing Professional Emphasis

Emphasis Select from 1 Emphasis:

Campus Locations

Show locations that offer this degree:
In-Person
Click a pin on the map at the left or search/select:
globe This program is available Online
Degree Information
Online
In-Person
Blended
MED
30 units
Maximum Transfer Units
0
30
Additional Admission Requirements - Additional Application
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.

     

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Candidates in this program are required to demonstrate content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and skills, and professional knowledge to be eligible to graduate from this program. In addition to course grades, content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge or skills are demonstrated through candidate performance on key assessments embedded in the following course(s):

Minimum Units for Completion 30
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Emphasis, Minor, Certificate

Emphasis, minor, and/or certificate are required.

Thesis Thesis may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Oral Defense Oral Defense may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Research Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Some online/blended coursework Required
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study
Student Learning Outcomes

In addition to the NAEYC SPA accreditation standards, which are integral as we move into accreditation procedures for this degree, this program also incorporates the opportunity to enroll in coursework for National Board Certification:

What Is National Board Certification?

All students deserve accomplished teachers who are equipped to prepare them for success in today's world. National Board Standards and National Board Certification give teachers and schools the tools to define and measure teaching excellence. Similar to certification in fields like medicine, National Board Certification is a rigorous, peer-reviewed process that ensures that Board-certified teachers have proven skills to advance student achievement.

National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential. As part of this process, teachers must analyze their teaching context and students’ needs, submit videos of their teaching, and provide student work samples that demonstrate growth and achievement. The reflective analyses that they submit must demonstrate:

1) A strong command of content;
2) The ability to design appropriate learning experiences that advance student learning;
3) The use of assessments to inform instructional decision making; and
4) Partnerships with colleagues, parents and the community.
Through this structured and iterative process, teachers expand and refine their content knowledge and pedagogy. The outcome is more powerful teaching that improves student achievement and reflects college and career readiness (NBPTS, 2014)
 
NAEYC SPA Standards
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 1: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs are grounded in a child development knowledge base. They use their understanding of young children's characteristics and needs, and of multiple interacting influences on children's development and learning, to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 2: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with children’s families and communities. They know about, understand, and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities. They use this understanding to create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families, and to involve all families in their children’s development and learning.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 3: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that child observation, documentation, and other forms of assessment are central to the practice of all early childhood professionals. They know about and understand the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment. They know about and use systematic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies in a responsible way, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence the development of every child.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 4: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that teaching and learning with young children is a complex enterprise, and its details vary depending on children’s ages, characteristics, and the settings within which teaching and learning occur. They understand and use positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation for their work with young children and families. Candidates know, understand, and use a wide array of developmentally appropriate approaches, instructional strategies, and tools to connect with children and families and positively influence each child’s development and learning.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 5: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs use their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for each and every young child. Candidates understand the importance of developmental domains and academic (or content) disciplines in early childhood curriculum. They know the essential concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas, including academic subjects, and can identify resources to deepen their understanding. Candidates use their own knowledge and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curriculum that promotes comprehensive developmental and learning outcomes for every young child.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 6: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs identify and conduct themselves as members of the early childhood profession. They know and use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice. They are continuous, collaborative learners who demonstrate knowledgeable, reflective and critical perspectives on their work, making informed decisions that integrate knowledge from a variety of sources. They are informed advocates for sound educational practices and policies.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 7: Field experiences and clinical practice are planned and sequenced so that candidates develop the knowledge, skills and professional dispositions necessary to promote the development and learning of young children across the entire developmental period of early childhood – in at least two of the three early childhood age groups (birth – age 3, 3 through 5, 5 through 8 years) and in the variety of settings that offer early education (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs).

Details

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 


    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • IVP Fingerprint clearance card
    • Teaching certificate (if the applicant has one)
Master's Requirements
  • Please note that if you choose the thesis option you may end up taking more than the 6 units of thesis credit you can count toward your degree because you must register for ECI 699 each semester while you are working on your thesis.

    Also note that preparing a thesis generally requires one semester of residency, in Fall, Spring, or Summer.

  • Reading K-8 Emphasis (18 units)

  • Please be aware that at least fifty percent of your courses must be at the 600-level or above.

    Courses are offered during Fall, Spring, and Summer in Flagstaff and at statewide locations.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Elementary Education - K-12 Reading Emphasis

Emphasis Select from 1 Emphasis:

Campus Locations

Show locations that offer this degree:
In-Person
Click a pin on the map at the left or search/select:
globe This program is available Online
Degree Information
Online
In-Person
Blended
MED
30 units
Maximum Transfer Units
0
30
Additional Admission Requirements - Additional Application
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.

     

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Candidates in this program are required to demonstrate content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and skills, and professional knowledge to be eligible to graduate from this program. In addition to course grades, content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge or skills are demonstrated through candidate performance on key assessments embedded in the following course(s):

Minimum Units for Completion 30
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Emphasis, Minor, Certificate

Emphasis, minor, and/or certificate are required.

Thesis Thesis may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Oral Defense Oral Defense may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Research Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Some online/blended coursework Required
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study
Student Learning Outcomes

In addition to the NAEYC SPA accreditation standards, which are integral as we move into accreditation procedures for this degree, this program also incorporates the opportunity to enroll in coursework for National Board Certification:

What Is National Board Certification?

All students deserve accomplished teachers who are equipped to prepare them for success in today's world. National Board Standards and National Board Certification give teachers and schools the tools to define and measure teaching excellence. Similar to certification in fields like medicine, National Board Certification is a rigorous, peer-reviewed process that ensures that Board-certified teachers have proven skills to advance student achievement.

National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential. As part of this process, teachers must analyze their teaching context and students’ needs, submit videos of their teaching, and provide student work samples that demonstrate growth and achievement. The reflective analyses that they submit must demonstrate:

1) A strong command of content;
2) The ability to design appropriate learning experiences that advance student learning;
3) The use of assessments to inform instructional decision making; and
4) Partnerships with colleagues, parents and the community.
Through this structured and iterative process, teachers expand and refine their content knowledge and pedagogy. The outcome is more powerful teaching that improves student achievement and reflects college and career readiness (NBPTS, 2014)
 
NAEYC SPA Standards
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 1: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs are grounded in a child development knowledge base. They use their understanding of young children's characteristics and needs, and of multiple interacting influences on children's development and learning, to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 2: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with children’s families and communities. They know about, understand, and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities. They use this understanding to create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families, and to involve all families in their children’s development and learning.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 3: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that child observation, documentation, and other forms of assessment are central to the practice of all early childhood professionals. They know about and understand the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment. They know about and use systematic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies in a responsible way, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence the development of every child.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 4: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that teaching and learning with young children is a complex enterprise, and its details vary depending on children’s ages, characteristics, and the settings within which teaching and learning occur. They understand and use positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation for their work with young children and families. Candidates know, understand, and use a wide array of developmentally appropriate approaches, instructional strategies, and tools to connect with children and families and positively influence each child’s development and learning.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 5: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs use their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for each and every young child. Candidates understand the importance of developmental domains and academic (or content) disciplines in early childhood curriculum. They know the essential concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas, including academic subjects, and can identify resources to deepen their understanding. Candidates use their own knowledge and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curriculum that promotes comprehensive developmental and learning outcomes for every young child.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 6: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs identify and conduct themselves as members of the early childhood profession. They know and use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice. They are continuous, collaborative learners who demonstrate knowledgeable, reflective and critical perspectives on their work, making informed decisions that integrate knowledge from a variety of sources. They are informed advocates for sound educational practices and policies.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 7: Field experiences and clinical practice are planned and sequenced so that candidates develop the knowledge, skills and professional dispositions necessary to promote the development and learning of young children across the entire developmental period of early childhood – in at least two of the three early childhood age groups (birth – age 3, 3 through 5, 5 through 8 years) and in the variety of settings that offer early education (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs).

Details

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 


    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • IVP Fingerprint clearance card
    • Teaching certificate (if the applicant has one)
Master's Requirements
  • Please note that if you choose the thesis option you may end up taking more than the 6 units of thesis credit you can count toward your degree because you must register for ECI 699 each semester while you are working on your thesis.

    Also note that preparing a thesis generally requires one semester of residency, in Fall, Spring, or Summer.

  • Reading K-8 Emphasis (18 units)

  • Please be aware that at least fifty percent of your courses must be at the 600-level or above.

    Courses are offered during Fall, Spring, and Summer in Flagstaff and at statewide locations.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.
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Department Information
Learn more about this program and the Department of Teaching and Learning.