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Master of Arts in Education/PASE Course Descriptions

Core and Culminating courses

PAS 500 Graduate Research & Writing Skills (3 Credits)
This course will focus on academic writing, beginning with what academic writers must do before they write a research paper, such as: use libraries and learn research through the Internet to build a base of background knowledge; develop in-depth research questions; read and annotate discipline-specific texts; evaluate, summarize, synthesize and analyze a range of print and electronic texts; and focus knowledge and organize ideas relative to a research topic. The course will also provide an introduction to the literature review process, beginning with reading quality literature reviews in preparation for developing one's own. This course's mini-research assignments will afford students opportunities to master academic writing in preparation for the required action research-based culminating project.

PAS 560 Educational Action Research (3 Credits)
Action research serves as a context for personal and professional reflection and renewal. The course examines action research, collaborative inquiry and leadership within individual classroom, team, school, professional or community contexts. The course is designed to enable participants to carry out an action inquiry, to understand the fundamental principles of action research, and to locate the significance of the approach in everyday practice and educational policy. A major part of the course work involves developing an action research project proposal on one's own practice or in conjunction with practitioners in the field. The course will engage the participants in systematic, reflective qualitative inquiry into their own practice: framing appropriate questions, gathering and interpreting data, and analyzing data. Students will learn about action research by doing it and by reading examples of action research. This course is a prerequisite for PAS 590, at which time the student will gather, interpret, analyze and formally present their data to members of the PASE faculty.

PAS 565 Effective Learning Communities (3 Credits)
This course explores the professional development of education professionals within the context of school-based learning communities such as Effective Schools, Professional Learning Communities, and Working on the Work Schools. Students will explore the concept of emotional intelligence, personal strength profiles, and group dynamics as factors contributing to the success of learning communities. National and state professional development standards will be explored along with their emphasis on improved student achievement as the measure of quality professional development. Students will explore the notion of teacher leadership within the professional learning community.

PAS 566 Curriculum Fundamentals (3 Credits)
This course is designed to introduce program candidates to the fundamentals of curriculum work.  Students will study how these fundamentals are applied to three interrelated problem-solving paradigms:

Standardized Management: The context of this paradigm has a sole, unified focus on standardized test performances enforced by State accountability mandates and Federal directives from No Child Left Behind.
Constructivist Best Practice: The context of this curricular practice begins with the  individual needs of students. Performances of subject matter understanding are informed by traditions of disciplinary knowing without the inclusion of standardized test performances.
Seamless Curriculum: The focus of this curricular design is on the alignment of standards, content, assessment and instructional strategies.

Candidates will learn that the three paradigms address curriculum fundamentals in different ways, and will be required to demonstrate their understanding of effective curriculum development through two assignments. The first is a critique of current best practices in curriculum development and design. The second is the development of a unit plan which incorporates the best practices of curricular implementation. The program candidates will learn the importance of collaboration, communication and consensus in the development of an effective curricular plan. The candidates will learn the impact of project-based learning on the development of the necessary skills for the 21st century. The program candidates will learn the importance of formative and summative assessment in the curricular evaluation process.

PAS 590 Culminating Project (3 Credits)
This course is the second phase of the Educational Action Research course in which candidates prepared a research project proposal. Candidates will review and refine the project proposal followed by the implementation of the project methodology, data collection and analysis, and a summary of the project's findings. Candidates will present their project before faculty and colleagues. A grade of B or higher is required for the successful completion of this required course.

Reading Courses

ERP 501 Reading Education & Literacy Perspectives (30 Field hours) (3 Credits)
This course introduces students to an advanced examination of methods and techniques for instructional planning and classroom organization based on the historical, educational and individual learning perspectives of literacy development. Changes in literacy definition, the theoretical framework of literacy acquisition and development, and literacy as a social construct form the basis of research and implementation.

ERP 508 Content Area Reading (40 Field hours) (3 Credits)
This course explores an analysis of the characteristics of content area texts, and application of strategies that enable students to build meaning, concept development through text materials, the use of reading as a vehicle for learning, and models for acquiring declarative and procedural knowledge in the content areas.

ERP 545 Assessment, Diagnosis & Intervention of Reading Difficulties (3 Credits)
In this course students will explore the following: concepts and principles of developmental assessment both formative and summative including instruments, interpretation, parent conferences and referrals to community agencies. The selection and use of informal and formal assessment instruments with special concern for cultural sensitivity, family involvement, communication of results and adaptation for special needs are addressed. 

ERP 560 Phonics in the Integrated Language Arts (10 Field hours) (3 Credits)
This course addresses the nature and role of systematic phonics and phonemic awareness both in isolation and within meaning-centered reading, spelling and writing processes. Current research regarding phonics instruction is explored and the findings of that research applied to the integration of the language arts program.

ERP 565 Reading Practicum (3 Credits)
This course provides students a synthesis of the processes and procedures of reading diagnosis and the application of assessment findings to instruction. Candidates develop skill in observing, analyzing and interpreting reading behavior, designing intervention plans for instruction and articulating professional judgments to various constituents. Students are required to work one-on-one with a young reader to practice advanced techniques of diagnosis and intervention.

Curriculum & Instruction Courses

CIP 580 Professional Development for 21st Century Skills (3 Credits)
This course explores the nature of professional development that empowers educators to teach their students the skills they need for the 21st century. Candidates learn the nature of 21st century skills and the standards for professional development that empower teachers to help students learn these skills. Candidates assess their schools to determine how aligned the school's professional development is to the standards set forth for 21st century professional development. Candidates create a professional development design for their school based on the school's needs and standards of professional development for 21st century student learning. 

CIP 581 Teacher Leadership for Student Learning (3 Credits)
This course examines the role of teacher leadership and its effect on student achievement. This course is designed for experienced classroom teachers who wish to develop knowledge and skills that will allow them to take a more active professional leadership role. The underlying premise is that classroom teachers must be on the front line of creating the vision for the future that will lead to significant and lasting school reform.

CIP 582 Improving Instructional Methodology (3 Credits)
This course explores the nature and use of professional inquiry to improve student learning. Participants will engage in cycles of inquiry to critically examine "best practices" that may be used over time to deepen student understanding and increase student achievement.

CIP 583 Diversity in the Classroom (3 Credits)
Candidates will survey and analyze current philosophies of multicultural education, critical pedagogy, diversity and pluralism in American society with an emphasis on how teachers can make their classrooms into effective learning communities. This course is closely aligned with INTASC/Ohio C standards. The course objectives will be met through readings, discussions, viewing of pertinent videos, workbook activities, lectures, simulations, small group work and reflections.

CIP 584 Data Analysis (3 Credits)
This course is designed to help program candidates to understand their instructional choices and to help them select and implement data assessment and evaluation options which will effectively achieve their individual classroom student learning goals. Candidates will use data to enhance their professional practice. They will learn the impact of the analysis of data on teaching and learning. The objectives for this course will be met through readings, discussions, lectures, small group work, reflections and the implementation of strategies for gathering data.