Earn your masters in education.

Advance Your Career in Education

Enroll in the Master of Arts in Education—Minnesota program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and you’ll learn from top-notch educators who have a wealth of classroom experience to share. 

Choose Your Specialty

This Saint Mary’s M.A. in Education program is designed specifically for licensed Minnesota educators who want to advance their careers and build their skills in one of three areas of specialty: curriculum and instruction, culturally responsive teaching, and gifted inclusive education. Successful completion of the program will increase your professional competencies and make you more marketable as you advance your career in education.

While Saint Mary’s M.A. in Education program is intended to provide teachers with in-depth knowledge in a particular area of specialty, all students will be challenged through the core curriculum to do the following:

  • Better integrate technology in your classroom to enhance your teaching
  • Make practical changes to your classroom instruction to align with current educational theory
  • Apply modern knowledge in child growth and development to improve your classroom instruction
     

Through these specially designed courses, you’ll hone your teaching skills to create a more engaging learning environment. Receive guidance on developing curriculum and instruction methods that promote increased achievement while learning to implement corresponding assessments that more accurately monitor student performance.

In addition to the intentional focus this area of specialty places on curriculum and instruction, you will also learn techniques to further develop your communication skills to improve collaboration, resolve conflicts, and make it easier to connect with multiple stakeholders.

Through these specially designed courses, you’ll develop skills to improve students’ classroom experiences regardless of their cultural backgrounds. Throughout your learning, you’ll be encouraged to consider multiple racial and cultural perspectives as you develop a culturally responsive teaching approach.

Through these specially designed courses, you’ll learn to identify and understand the learning differences and characteristics of gifted learners. You’ll be challenged to design and modify curriculum and explore and utilize tools that promote all students’ educational growth.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the M.A. in Education program, graduates are expected to be able to do the following:

  • Apply knowledge of child growth and development to plan an engaging learning environment
  • Design and differentiate curriculum, instruction, and assessment to meet diverse learner needs
  • Communicate and collaborate effectively and respectfully in a variety of modes in a range of situations
  • Design effective classroom management strategies based on subject matter, relevant student information, and expectations of the school community
  • Design effective assessments and analyze assessment data to monitor learning and increase achievement
  • Evaluate studies and design research to evaluate educational practice
  • Develop understanding of ethics and laws that apply to educational decision-making
  • Access current information to develop skills of critical and creative thinking, self-evaluation, and resilience to keep pace with a changing educational world
  • Apply knowledge of subject matter and standards to align curriculum, instruction, and assessment
  • Integrate the ethical and professional implications regarding the use of technology in the classroom as it aligns with equity in the classroom for all students

From Start to Finish

  • You can earn your M.A. in Education degree in two years.
  • A cohort model allows for a small team of students to collaborate in convenient locations across the state. Additional online instruction and activities supplement these face-to-face interactions. Cohorts are offered each semester throughout the state. Contact us to talk through location options in your area.
  • To apply, you'll need to submit an application, $25 application fee, résumé, brief personal statement outlining your professional and educational goals, official transcripts, and letters of reference. For more information, visit the graduate admission page.

Apply Today


Current students, alumni, and instructors of our M.A. in Education program talk about how well the classes fit into students' lives, the cohort structure, and the value of their Saint Mary's experiences.

Locations

This program is offered at our Twin Cities, Apple Valley, and Oakdale locations and regional cohorts. 

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

Specialization (choose one) 15 cr.

Culturally Responsive Teaching
Curriculum and Instruction
Gifted Inclusive Education

 
Core Courses 18 cr.
Total 33 cr.

Culturally Responsive Teaching Specialization: 15 cr.

GCRT5205 Understanding Race and Culture (3 cr.)

Course participants explore their beliefs and educational experts' perspectives on culture and race and their impact on teaching and learning. Emphasis is also placed on the systemic nature of the role of race in educational environments.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify the varying perspectives, systemic nature, and challenges connected to race and culture, including their own.
  2. Understand the implications of culture as a fluid and dynamic social construct in relation to K-12 settings.
  3. Compare and contrast the culture of school environments to the culture of students.
  4. Research and evaluate strategies that demonstrate an understanding of culture and race.
  5. Demonstrate self-reflection in a collaborative environment where participants learn from and with one another.

GCRT5206 Principles of Culturally Responsive Classrooms and Teaching (3 cr.)

This course examines strategies to create an inclusive classroom environment that is responsive and relevant to students and their families and the ways in which all students learn. The course focuses on the linguistic, social, emotional, and academic systems in school communities for creating a community of learners.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify principles and strategies essential for creating a culturally responsive classroom.
  2. Analyze the relationship among the lived experiences of learners in school, home, and community that impact student engagement and achievement.
  3. Articulate the concepts related to a learner-centered approach to teaching and learning that incorporates cultural, linguistic, and community values.
  4. Identify individual perspectives, biases, and strengths to facilitate more effective teaching.
     

GCRT5208 Designing Culturally Responsive Teaching (3 cr.)

In this course the principles of culturally responsive teaching are applied to instructional planning and assessment. Topics include determining instructional objectives, aligning principles of culturally responsive teaching to district/local standards and frameworks, and designing and/or differentiating culturally responsive assessments.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify the principles and concepts essential for rigorous and relevant instructional planning.
  2. Employ strategies to develop rigorous and relevant curriculum, assessments, and learning environments that meet the needs of racially, ethnically and linguistically diverse learners.
  3. Create integrated, standards-based instructional plans and assessments that document the principles of effective instructional design and culturally responsive teaching.
     

GCRT5209 Eliminating Racial Disparities in Student Achievement (3 cr.)

This course addresses the specific issues that contribute to the disparities in student achievement that exist among K-12 student groups. Concepts, professional knowledge, and research-based strategies designed to address these disparities are discussed, analyzed, and applied through a case study approach.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Use data to define what disparities in student achievement are and how norming influences misconceptions.
  2. Analyze situations to identify challenges and systemic conditions that lead to and/or contribute to the disparities in student achievement on standardized tests.
  3. Research and evaluate solutions that eliminate disparities in student achievement.
  4. Develop and modify instructional plans that integrate the essential skills, knowledge, and strategies to reduce the achievement gap.
  5. Identify individual practices, biases, and strengths that perpetuate or eliminate disparities in student achievement to facilitate more effective teaching.
     

GCRT5210 Comprehensive Application of Principles (3 cr.)

In this course, students complete a comprehensive performance assessment that documents and presents their individual growth, understanding, and application of the program outcomes.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Comprehensively integrate essential concepts from the program to demonstrate their cultural competence.
  2. Articulate the change in one's own perceptions and approaches since the initial program assessment.
  3. Evaluate the design and implementation of a culturally responsive instructional plan and the data on change in student achievement.
  4. Evaluate relevant research utilized to shape professional practice.
     

Curriculum and Instruction Specialization: 15 cr.

EDMA612 Engaging Learning Environment (3 cr.)

Effective classroom management methods which establish positive environments focused on learning are studied. Principles of child growth and development, brain compatible learning, and cultural competence are applied to create an equitable student-centered environment.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify and explain classroom management models that establish a positive learning environment.
  2. Develop awareness of cultural competence through self-assessment of assumptions and biases.
  3. Understand and apply principles of cultural competence to create a classroom environment of respect and rapport.
  4. Plan and create a learning environment that supports the academic achievement and personal development of each learner.
     

EDMA614 Communication and Collaboration (3 cr.)

Skills of written and oral communication for a variety of purposes and audiences are reviewed and practiced. Effective collaboration skills to facilitate consensus and promote conflict resolution are developed. Processes of academic writing using the APA style are learned and applied.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate competent writing skills including correct grammar, structure, form and tone appropriate to the audience.
  2. Use the APA style when writing papers and referencing research.
  3. Develop a coherent summary and analysis of literature on a selected topic.
  4. Demonstrate public speaking skills including adapting one's speaking style to the audience and using appropriate technology.
  5. Demonstrate ability to facilitate collaboration and resolve conflicts.
  6. Apply a model of decision making to plan for a collaborative process in the work environment.
     

EDMA620 Curriculum Design (3 cr.)

National and state standards, selected curriculum design models, knowledge of content, and child development are used as tools to develop curriculum with considerations for diversity in culture, gender, and aptitude/achievement. Course and unit plans are developed/refined within a student's specific academic area.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of standards-based education concepts and processes.
  2. Plan curriculum, instruction and assessment to meet educational standards.
  3. Create a unit of study by stating objectives, identifying materials and resources, planning assessments and identifying key instructional strategies.
  4. Analyze curriculum documents to determine their theoretical basis, their alignment with state standards, and their effectiveness in directing instruction.
  5. Apply a multicultural framework to address the needs of a diverse student population.
  6. Plan for implementation of critical/creative thinking processes into unit design.
     

EDMA622 Assessment and Evaluation (3 cr.)

Methods and tools for diagnosis, evaluation, and grading of student learning are studied. Strengths and limitations of various types of assessments are examined. Classroom assessments that are aligned to standards, curriculum, and instruction are planned, created, and used. Assessment data to monitor student progress, inform continuing instruction, and assign grades are analyzed and interpreted.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Interpret assessment data, recognizing strengths and limitations of various types of assessments.
  2. Use assessment data to identify student needs and establish flexible, differentiated instructional groups.
  3. Understand basic concepts of statistics to interpret test results.
  4. Plan assessment and grading procedures that align with student objectives, state standards and course/grade level content.
  5. Apply principles of test construction to create classroom tests aligned with instructional objectives.
  6. Develop performance tasks and scoring procedures to determine students' ability to apply, analyze and synthesize information.
  7. Understand issues of equity, validity and reliability associated with various methods of grading.

EDMA624 Effective Instruction (3 cr.)

This course focuses on researched-based best practice principles for meeting the needs of diverse learners. Methods of planning and designing differentiated instruction based on pre-assessment and achievement indicators are applied. Unit lessons are designed using information on student readiness, interest, and ability to be appropriate to the outcomes of content and a variety of best practice techniques. Methods to foster creative and critical thinking skills among all students are explored and applied.


Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Examine current theories and research-based literature to understand multiple components of effective instructional practice.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to plan instruction, utilizing a lesson design model.
  3. Create an instructional plan that addresses a curricular objective by using multiple instructional strategies.
  4. Plan instruction using critical and/or creative thinking processes that deepen learning and increase rigor.
  5. Adapt lessons to differentiate instruction for groups of students with differing abilities as determined by assessment data.
  6. Demonstrate ability to monitor student learning during a lesson and adjust instruction accordingly.
     

Gifted Inclusive Education Specialization: 15 cr.

GESP600 Foundations of Gifted Inclusive Education (3 cr.)

This course presents philosophical, ethical, and culturally responsive lenses through which to consider the impact of learning differences, culture and language, social economics, and other exceptionalities in the development and recognition of giftedness.

 

GESP601 Developing Gifted Learners (3 cr.)

In this course, students examine theory, research, and practices to assess and appropriately identify and challenge gifted learners. Twice exceptionalities, multiple intelligences, preferred learning styles, developing gifts and talents in all students, and obstacles to learning are covered.

GESP602 Instructional Design for Gifted Inclusiveness (3 cr.)

In this course, students plan curriculum, select resources, develop activities, and create differentiated instructional strategies for gifted learners. Students evaluate historical and current models of gifted inclusive education to effectively influence future teaching practices.

GESP603 Creative Application of Gifted Inclusive Education (3 cr.)

This course covers curriculum implementation and management of gifted inclusive education, assessment of learning, and interpretation of student data to make appropriate curriculum revisions based on individual student needs.

GESP604 Leadership in Gifted Inclusive Education (3 cr.)

This course explores how to collaborate with and lead others within the school and familial communities in the systemic development of policy, resources, inquiry, and curriculum for gifted inclusive education.

Core Courses: 18 cr.

EDMA600 Orientation Session (0 cr.)

This orientation session provides an introduction to the outcomes for the Master of Arts in Education program. As reflected in the Lasallian philosophy, self-evaluation leads to setting personal goals and the establishment of a plan for life long learning. The initial expectations for academic writing, APA style, and portfolio development are presented.

EDMA603 Summative Presentation (0 cr.)

To complete the graduate degree, students are required to present and substantiate conclusions of the action research paper and their competency portfolio. They present their paper and portfolio to a faculty committee and respond to questions about their work. They demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills, critical thinking, and effective use of technology.

EDMA604 Reflection and Resiliency (3 cr.)

In this seminar, processes for critical thinking and reflection are applied to significant changes in professional practice. Strategies for maintaining personal resiliency in a field of rapidly continuing change are explored. The purpose, criteria, and methods of reflection are introduced and applied.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Understand and apply frameworks for change and resiliency; analyzing and evaluating the practical application and continued use of these frameworks in professional practice.
  2. Apply critical thinking skills and reflective processes related to significant changes in professional practice.
  3. Examine personal and professional goals identifying specific actions, anticipated challenges, use of resiliency strategies and plan for continued growth.
  4. Understand the purpose, methodology and application of reflective practice showing evidence of personal growth and competency related to program outcomes.
     

EDMA610 Child Growth and Development (3 cr.)

The educational theories, including those of Maslow, Piaget, Kohlberg, Gesell, Jensen, Erikson, and Vygotsky, are studied to describe the typical and abnormal development patterns of children from birth to adolescence. These theories are used to describe students in the current work environment. Early warning signs of mental health disorders, abuse, and/or addiction are identified.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1.  Identify and explain the major educational theories of Maslow, Piaget, Kohlberg, Gesell, Jensen, Erikson and Vygotsky.
  2.  Apply theories of child development to identify typical and abnormal growth and behavioral patterns of children from birth to adolescence.
  3. Use multiple behavioral theories to identify possible causes for the behavior of selected students in the work environment.
  4. Explain the responsibility of the teacher in recognizing and reporting the early warning signs of mental health disorders, abuse, and/or addiction.
     

EDMA630 Educational Research (3 cr.)

This course focuses on recognizing, designing, and conducting valid, reliable, and ethical educational research for improving teaching and learning. Published studies are critiqued by identifying strengths and limitations of the methodology and evaluating potential impact on educational practice. Action research design, evaluation of literature and published studies, decision analysis, and methods for communicating and implementing results are practiced through several experiences.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Recognize and differentiate between the appropriate use of and the processes involved in conducting descriptive/experimental research and conducting quantitative/qualitative research.
  2. Develop skills to generate research questions, review relevant literature and devise a plan for research.
  3. Critique published educational research by identifying limitations, assumptions, and biases of the studies.
  4. Determine appropriate sources of data and data analysis for action research.
  5. Design basic action research incorporating accepted design and reporting methods.
  6. Design a plan for communicating and implementing action research findings within an educational organizational setting.
     

EDMA632 Ethics and Law (3 cr.)

The focus of this course is on the laws and ethics that govern school districts and their employees. Key federal and state laws and case law are studied in relation to current educational issues. Distinctions are made among personal beliefs, cultural norms, ethical codes, and legal standards in the educational environment. The role of an ethical educational leader in a school community is explored.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Understand how personal beliefs, cultural norms, ethical codes and legal standards affect expectations for professional behavior in an educational setting.
  2. Review, analyze and interpret federal and Minnesota statutory law related to education.
  3. Examine landmark court cases to understand, analyze and apply legal precedent to K-12 education.
  4. Apply legal requirements and ethical considerations to educational decision making.
  5. Explore responsibilities of teachers in situations where personal beliefs and organizational/professional expectations conflict.

EDMA634 Action Research Project (3 cr.)

In this summative course students apply research skills relevant to professional settings.  Published studies are critiqued by identifying strengths and limitations of the methodology and evaluating potential impact on educational practice.  The action research project results in a written paper which includes an introduction, a review of current literature, research questions, a description of the methodology and means of evaluation, the findings and interpretation of results, and possible questions for further study. Research designs, evaluation of published studies, decision analysis, and methods for communicating and implementing results are practiced through several experiences.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Compare and contrast descriptive/experimental research and quantitative/qualitative research identifying their application to educational practice.
  2. Critique published educational research by identifying limitations, assumptions, and biases of the studies.
  3. Apply skills to create and implement a research plan.
  4. Use academic writing skills and APA style in the development of an action research project.
  5. Demonstrate public speaking skills including adapting one's speaking style to the audience and using appropriate technology.
     

EDMA637 Integrating Technology in the Curriculum (3 cr.)

Instructional technology models are analyzed. A variety of technology tools for enhancing productivity, teaching, and learning and their professional and ethical implications are explored. Projects, lessons, and teaching materials to integrate technology into the curriculum are examined and created.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Use desktop publishing, database applications, spreadsheet applications, word processor applications, multimedia applications, online resources, and Internet web page applications.
  2. Explain the ethical and professional implications and their personal philosophy regarding the use of technology in the classroom and curriculum.
  3. Using technology, design and/or integrate lessons and assessments into the curriculum.
  4. Research and critically analyze technological tools and their impact on the learning environment.



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Michelle Dougherty, M.A.

SGPP Admission - Enrollment Counselor Graduate School of Education

LaSalle Hall-TC Campus, LSH112

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5122

mdougher@smumn.edu