Master of Education
Description of Program
The MEd program is designed for students focused on developing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for leadership roles within diverse fields of PK12, higher education, and adult learning environments. Students in this program will critically analyze a broad range of theories, current trends, practices, and knowledge specific to their discipline. Each specialization prepares graduate students for making informed, ethical decisions and improvements to current educational, organizational, and societal issues.
- Examine educational issues to make informed, ethical decisions and recommendations in diverse instructional and organizational settings.
- Apply professional skills, dispositions, and technology options for leading and educational diverse groups.
- Analyze current research, theories, and instructional practices in educational and organizational environments.
- Communicate with diverse audiences about educational theories, research, and practices.
- Investigate evidence-based solutions for addressing educational, organizational, and societal issues.
Basis for Admissions
In addition to general requirements for admission to an MEd program, applicants to the MEd program with specialization in PK-12 Principal Leadership must have:
- A prior GPA of 2.5 or better,
- A public school teaching license/certificate,
- A minimum of 3 years’ successful, full-time teaching experience, and
- Additional requirements as specified in the NCU PLCS Application form.
The Master of Education (MEd) requires 30 credit hours for degree completion (36 credit hours if enrolled in the PK-12 Principal Leadership specialization that prepares candidates to meet Arizona State certification requirements). Students who are considering any degree program are strongly encouraged to check specific state requirements carefully to be sure any degree program they consider will be accepted for purposes of certification or recertification, promotion, or advancement on school district salary schedules.
The MEd program includes 15 credit hours of foundational courses. The foundational courses are taken by all students regardless of their undergraduate degree to form and strengthen fundamental business skills. The next 12 credit hours in the program encapsulate a specialization aligned with a student’s career goals and interests. Specialization courses must be appropriate to the student’s degree program. Students end the program with a 3 credit-hour capstone course.
The MEd degree program has the following graduation requirements:
- A minimum of 18 credit hours (36 credit hours for the PK-12 Principal Leadership Specialization) of graduate instruction must be completed through Northcentral.
- Successful completion of any PK-12 core course signature assignments with a “B” or better. (Signature assignments in all PL specialization courses must also be completed with a “B” or better.)
- Official transcripts on file for all transfer credits accepted by the University. (The PL specialization does not permit transfer credit.)
- The PL certification specialization has additional degree requirements. Please see the PL Handbook for specific information.
The University may accept a maximum of 12 semester credit hours in transfer toward the Master of Education for graduate course work completed at an external accredited college or university with a grade of “B” or better. See the Transfer Credit Policy for additional information. (This does not apply to the specialization in PK-12 Principal Leadership, in which case all courses must be taken at NCU for certification purposes.)
Time to Completion
Northcentral University allows 5 years to complete all 30 credit hour master’s programs.
Normal time to completion for this program is 40 months.
Time to completion varies depending upon the pace in which a student completes courses and the number of transfer credits accepted. As most Northcentral students are working adults balancing educational, professional, and personal commitments, our academic advisors will work with you to develop a program schedule that works best for your needs.
The normal time disclosed above reflects the experience of students who may have entered under different program requirements. In the quest for continuous improvement, academic leadership has revised the program to optimize curriculum and pace, facilitate student learning, and improve chances for success. Therefore, the program is now designed for students enrolling today to take advantage of these revised course structures, lengths, and schedules. New students following the preferred schedule designed by the Dean for this program, and applying no transfer credits, can expect to finish in as little as 15 months.
Students who are unable to complete a degree program within the stated time limits are dismissed. If a student believes they have extenuating circumstances they may document the circumstances and send a request for consideration to their respective School Dean or designee. Exceptions to the policy are determined on a case-by-case basis and are granted only once.
Additional MEd Information
Accelerated MEd Program
Within the MEd program, the School of Education offers an Accelerated MEd scheduling track. The Accelerated MEd is not an alternative program, but is a scheduling option designed for students capable of completing a fast-paced graduate course structure. Students considering the Accelerated MEd track are strongly encouraged to first think about their availability for study-time, work schedule or any other outside activities that may influence course participation, and their ability to learn in a rapidly moving academic environment. Students who enter and successfully complete the Accelerated MEd track will graduate in 12 months with a Master of Education degree.
Like the non-Accelerated MEd, students are required to complete 30 credit hours, which include a combination of foundation course work and specialization courses. The second course is staggered four weeks following the start of the first course. The last course in the Accelerated MEd track, ED6002-8 or ED6003-8 starts six weeks following the start of the next to last course. All other courses are taken in pairs (see course schedule).
Students who start in the Accelerated MEd track may reschedule their courses and continue their studies in the non-Accelerated MEd track. Students who opt out of the Accelerated MEd track, regardless of reason, will not be permitted back into the Accelerated track and will lose any promotional benefits, which may have been in effect at the time of initial enrollment.
Any student transferring out of the Accelerated MEd track into the non-Accelerated MEd or vise-versa must work with his or her assigned Academic Advisor to complete the process. Students in the non-Accelerated MEd can only transfer into the Accelerated MEd track within the first four weeks of the first course.
Students who fail a course in the Accelerated MEd are immediately dismissed from the Accelerated track and must transfer to the non-Accelerated track if they want to continue in the MEd program. Academic Leaves of Absences (ALOAs) are not permitted in the Accelerated MEd track. Students who require an ALOA may request one with the understanding that they must move to the non-Accelerated track upon their return.
As with other MEd programs, the transfer credit policy applies to the Accelerated program. Courses considered for transfer must mirror courses in the Accelerated program. The Dean of the School of Education must approve any courses considered for transfer. All other policies and procedures under this section remain in effect unless stated otherwise in this section.
Education Leadership Specialization
Specialization Courses – 12 Credit Hours