May 20, 2024  
National University Volume 86B-2 Catalog - April 2024 
National University Volume 86B-2 Catalog - April 2024

Master of Education, MEd

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Master of Education

Description of Program

The MEd program is designed for students focused on developing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for advance practice and leadership roles within diverse fields such as PK-12 education, higher education, and adult learning environments. In this program, you will critically analyze a broad range of theories, trends, practices, and knowledge specific to your areas of interest represented in a distinct specialization. Your specialization prepares you for making informed, ethical decisions and improvements to current educational, organizational, and societal issues.

Please be advised that this program is NOT accredited in Kentucky by the Education Professional Standards Board and is NOT recognized for initial, additional, or renewal of certification or salary enhancement (rank change) for P-12 educators in Kentucky. For more information, please visit the Education Professional Standards Board’s website at

Click here for potential career opportunities within the MEd.

Learning Outcomes

  • Use technology to advance goals and outcomes in educational settings
  • Investigate evidence-based solutions for addressing educational, organizational, and community issues
  • Explain educational theories, research, and practices to diverse audiences
  • Recommend solutions to ethical dilemmas in diverse educational and organizational settings
  • Integrate professional standards into practice for leading and educating diverse groups

Basis for Admissions

Admission to a master’s program requires a conferred bachelor’s and/or a conferred master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution

Degree Requirements

Graduates of the University’s MEd program must complete 30 credit hours. Students will select a discipline-specific specialization of their interest, which complements the core coursework. The MEd program includes 9 credit hours of foundational courses. The foundational courses are taken by all students regardless of their undergraduate degree to form and strengthen fundamental skills. The next 18 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. 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 degree program has the following graduation requirements:

  • A minimum of 18 credit hours of graduate instruction must be completed through University
  • Successful completion of any PK-12 core course signature assignments with a “B” or better
  • Official transcripts on file for all transfer credits accepted by the University

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.

Time to Completion

The University allows 5 years to complete all Master’s programs of 36 credits or less.

The median time to completion for this program is 21 months.

Time to completion varies depending upon the pace in which a student completes courses and the number of transfer credits accepted. As most students are working adults, balancing educational, professional, and personal commitments, our academic and finance advisors will work with you to develop a program schedule that works best for your needs.

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 18 months.

Additional MEd Information

Rio Salado College Post-Baccalaureate Transfer Students

The University’s Post-Baccalaureate Master of Education (36 credit) program of study is part of an articulation agreement designed for Rio Salado College (RSC) teacher preparation post-baccalaureate transfer students. This collaborative educational partnership is designed to serve as a master’s degree completion program specifically for RSC students. The Master’s Degree in Education allows for up to 18 credits to be transferred to the University embracing the principle that transfer students should not be required to repeat competencies already achieved.

The credits may apply to the following specializations:

  • Curriculum and Teaching
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Special Education
  • English as Second Language
  • General Education

Rio Salado students pursuing this program of study should work closely with an enrollment advisor specifically assigned to work with this unique partnership. The enrollment advisor will work with Rio Salado students to request a complete evaluation of credits toward this Post-Baccalaureate Master of Education Degree.

Certification and Licensing 

The Sanford College of Education serves educational leaders by providing online graduate studies in education to reach worldwide populations. The MEd program is designed to reach national and international markets and does not purport to provide licensure or certification in any particular state or country. Certification requirements vary by state. Students are advised to contact their state department of education or local school district for guidance in obtaining certification or licensure, or for approval in fulfilling district level incentive programs. Prospective candidates are responsible for learning and following any requirements for licensure, recertification, etc. in the state(s) where they wish to apply the degree.

There are several reasons why an educator would want to pursue a graduate degree in education that does not lead to state licensing or certification.

Reasons may include:

  • “Move up” steps on the salary schedule
  • Improve skills and professionalism in general or to pursue a “leadership” position inside or outside the classroom (school-based or district level, or non PK-12)
  • Advance as a “teacher leader” through a graduate degree (already has a bachelor’s degree and certification)
  • Meet the needs of increasingly diverse students
  • Work outside of a traditional PK-12 classroom environment (i.e. trainer, educational consultant)

Sanford College of Education Curriculum 

The Sanford College of Education curriculum emphasizes a combination of learning theory, instructional strategies, and technology integration for educators working with any grade level, and within professional associations, organizations or as a consultant. The emphasis is on students transforming theory immediately into practice and faculty tailoring instruction to enhance student understanding and achievement. The program aims to produce graduates who understand the scope, pace, and magnitude of the transformation of education within the world that is taking place; and to assist students to meet the challenges of state and national standards (if desired), while meeting the learning needs of educators who work beyond the classroom.

State of the Art Content 

The Sanford College of Education sequence of courses undergoes constant review to ensure that while maintaining depth of focus, the program continually includes latest educational innovations and provides participants the tools to incorporate them into pedagogy. The curriculum content and related URL links are current and pertinent. All Sanford College of Education courses are continually updated to reflect the latest developments in instructional technology to support instruction.

MEd students may select a specialization track from the list of courses offered via the Sanford College of Education. All MEd students are required to take ED-6500 as the Capstone Course for their program.

Course Sequence

The Master of Education program can be completed in 30 credits.

Adult Learning and Workforce Education (AL) Specialization

The Adult Learning and Workforce Education specialization prepares you to develop, implement, and manage systems that improve individual and organizational performance across a wide range of industries, including career development, human performance improvement, and workforce development agencies. In addition, this specialization supports your role in influencing organizational decision-making and public policy. This specialization will provide you with the tools and competencies required to reflect critically on workplace issues, solve organizational problems, and anticipate and respond to change.

Athletic Coaching (AC) Specialization

Coaching sports in the educational setting is a growing discipline with no formalized training process for those interested in this profession. This program is designed to enhance coaching leadership skills for both coaches and athletes. The curriculum focuses on practical and successful coaching strategies; introduces the student to the latest athletic performance improvement techniques; and examines the application of ethics and values in all aspects of coaching sport.

The specialization is designed for professional educators interested in athletic coaching opportunities and offers an outstanding professional development opportunity for those already serving as coaches by advancing knowledge and skills in the field.

Curriculum and Teaching (CT) Specialization

The purpose this specialization is to provide teachers with the tools and competencies to expand their professional effectiveness. Students will explore the latest practices in education, principles of teaching and learning, evaluation of current research and critique of effective curricula design.

E-Learning (EL) Specialization

This specialization provides the professional educator with the knowledge to implement technology as a tool for teaching and learning. The specialization explores the design of activities to engage the traditional and the virtual student. The student will develop a skill set to effectively and efficiently integrate technology in a seamless manner to enhance delivery of teaching and learning experiences.

Early Childhood Education (ECE) Specialization

This program is tailored for Master’s degree students who desire to model, coach, and guide young children through the first years of life when social, physical, cognitive, and emotional development occur. Skilled educators create an environment that serves as a foundation for a Child’s health and well-being. In this specialization, educators will learn to assess educational potential, create instructional programs, direct and coordinate learning activities, and manage early childhood classrooms.

English Language Learning (ELL) Specialization

As the diversity of student populations change globally, teaching English to non-native speakers is a skill in high demand. This program enhances skills in communicating with speakers of other languages and integrating techniques to successfully instruct students in English proficiency. (Note: Students seeking ELL/ESL certification should verify with appropriate state officials that this specialization meets applicable certification requirements.)

General Education Specialization

The General specialization allows students to select courses from a broad range of electives to fit their personal and professional goals.

Students must complete a minimum of 18 credit hours for the specialization in General Education. Students may take education courses at the 5000 level including up to two courses from other fields (Psychology, Technology and/or Business) to fulfill their specialization requirements. Additional courses (i.e., more than two courses) from other disciplines may be considered to fill this requirement, with Dean approval.

Global Training and Development (GTD) Specialization

This specialization prepares students to develop and implement effective training in a variety of fields. Instructional design and the incorporation of technology and teaching strategies for the adult student are the focus of the specialization. Additionally, the student is prepared to address workplace issues such as the development of human capital and conflict resolution issues. The specialization prepares students to identify emerging workforce issues and to resolve the issues through effective training and instruction.

Instructional Leadership (IL) Specialization

Contemporary schools are often funded and ranked on their ability to assess and guarantee learning. This specialization introduces analysis of the instructional capacity of schools, improving student achievement, and develops teacher leaders in providing assessment and improvement strategies. Organizational development and educational change are also addressed in this specialization. Students utilize reflective decision making to assist with the development and implementation of practical solutions to education issues.

International Education (IE) Specialization

The master’s degree program in International Education allows students to focus on issues of educational development, comparative systems, and international policy. The program promotes an understanding of global perspectives that influence education in the United States. Skills will be developed in areas of cultural awareness, international education theory, and global trends. Students will develop the practical knowledge required to work within the context of complex global challenges influencing education around the world. The program provides a strong foundation for further study and prepares students for careers in international and community-based organizations.

Leadership in Higher Education (LHE) Specialization

This specialization prepares students to excel in higher education leadership and to pursue careers as higher education specialists and managers. The focus is on legal issues, finance, and organizational leadership in higher education.

Organizational Leadership (OL) Specialization

Students develop skills to be effective organizational leaders by building a knowledge base in conflict resolution, organizational capacity, and executive leadership skills. The curriculum serves to enhance the student’s understanding and practice of leadership in a variety of educational fields.

Reading Education (RDG) Specialization

This specialization in reading will strengthen and polish scholarship and expertise in the teaching of the skills and strategies needed for developing proficiency in literacy in grades K-12. There will be an exploration of relevant and salient topics in the teaching of literacy including theoretical foundations and frameworks, curriculum, instruction and assessment, as well as the historical, cultural, sociological, political, and economic trends and influences on literacy acquisition and development in American schools.

School Safety, Security and Emergency Management (SEM) Specialization

Students who feel safe and secure at school are better able to learn by engaging the curriculum, their teachers, and their peers. This specialization offers certified teachers and classified staff three distinct and connected domains: school safety, school security, and school emergency management. You will learn about diverse topics such as technologies to manage safety, security, and emergencies; threat assessments of people and facilities; restorative justice and other alternatives to student discipline; and how to contribute, implement, and improve school safety plans through a practitioner’s perspective. You will demonstrate your proficiency through a capstone project in the final course.

Special Education (SE) Specialization

This specialization prepares educators to address the needs of students with disabilities and gifted abilities by preparing such students to develop, implement and assess specially designed curriculum. Attention is given to teaching methods and strategies that illustrate an advocacy for these student groups. The specialization can be customized to meet the student’s unique professional and personal goals, and allows the student to concentrate their coursework on the advanced and the disabled student, or select a single focus.

Sport and Athletic Management (SM) Specialization

Both coaching and athletic administration are growing as professional disciplines. This specialization is designed to enhance leadership skills, strengthen teaching and administrative abilities, and apply ethics and values to all aspects of athletics.

The Sport and Athletic Management specialization offers an outstanding professional development opportunity for those already serving as coaches and athletic administrators by advancing their knowledge and skills in the field.

Courses focus on leadership, legal aspects in athletics, financial analysis, marketing, sports governance, events and facilities management, and ethics. Basic concepts are addressed in each course and application of those concepts is emphasized. Courses will have a contemporary focus, emphasizing current problems and opportunities directly related to the student’s work setting.

Trauma-Informed Educational Practices (TRA) Specialization

This specialization will build on your fundamental knowledge and skills related to teaching, learning, and student support. You will consider various educational settings and learner population as you explore the fundamentals of a trauma-informed approach to education, including how trauma manifests in different populations, specific trauma-informed strategies for the classroom, involvement of multi-tiered systems of support, and strengthening resilience among both students and educators. You will demonstrate your proficiency through a capstone project in the final course of the specialization. All courses must be completed prior to the capstone course.

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