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OATCERT: Course Descriptions

The online courses in the Master of Science in Secondary Education program from Saint Joseph’s University not only represent the latest research-based theories and strategies for young adult education, but the dynamic curriculum is the basis for the Online Accelerated Teaching Certification in Pennsylvania, with reciprocity in most states. The coursework will also prepare students to sit for other state certification tests.

The 36-credit-hour program will reward graduates with both the master’s degree and the career-building certification. The certification is also available by itself in an accelerated, 30-credit-hour program.

Core Courses:

EDU 550 Historical and Contemporary Perspectives in Education
SPE 600 Foundations and Current Issues in Special Education
EDU 557 Adolescent Psychology
SPE 602 Diagnostic Assessment and Progress Monitoring
SPE 615 Teaching in Inclusive Adolescent Environments (3 credits)
EDU 625 Theory & Practice in Secondary Education
EDU 646 Language and Culture
EDU 647 Literacy and Learning Across the Curriculum
EDL 600 Educational Leader as Researcher and Reflective Practitioner
EDL 605 Critical Contemporary Educational issues
EDL 680 Law and American Education
EDU 691 Secondary Teaching in Inclusive Environments

EDU 550 Historical and Contemporary Perspectives in Education (3 credits)
American education is a dynamic, sometimes cyclic, process. The origins, evolution, and realities of contemporary public and private schools are examined through critical reading of original documents. Visits to elementary or secondary classrooms in multicultural setting provide a strong link to the teacher's world.

SPE 600 Foundations and Current Issues in Special Education (3 credits)
This course is designed to provide teachers in training with an understanding of the exceptional child in various instructional settings. Students will be provided with an overview of Special Education with emphasis on historical and emerging perspectives. Topics to be examined will include types and natures of exceptionalities, legal and ethical responsibilities of teachers, least restrictive environment, various instructional settings, the inclusion of exceptional children in regular education, services and programs for the exceptional child.

EDU 557 Adolescent Psychology (3 credits)
This course introduces theoretical models of instructional design, student motivation, classroom management, and assessment at the secondary level. Attention is directed to instructional objectives; to lesson formats; to motivational strategies; to classroom discipline; to teacher attitudes and expectations; and tests and measurements. Particular attention is given to recent developments in schema theory and to constructivist models. Field activity is a required component of this course.

SPE 602 Diagnostic Assessment and Progress Monitoring (3 credits)
This course will provide an in-depth presentation of the complex issue of assessment, including an examination of evaluation procedures, from pre-referral intervention, eligibility/placement/ program decision-making to progress monitoring of scientifically-based instructional interventions based on Response to Intervention (RTI). Focus will include academic, affective, work-study skill, adaptive functioning, fine motor, and environmental measures. Content coverage will consist of an overview of assessment models including traditional, informal, dynamic, performance, curriculum-based, and alternative techniques. Addition course topics will address legislation, regulations, topical issues, emerging evaluation trends, test modifications/accommodations, parent involvement and assessment/progress reporting.

SPE 615 Teaching in Inclusive Adolescent Environments (3 credits)
This course is a comprehensive study of theoretical issues and research-based diagnosis, instructional planning, and programmatic organization of instruction for children with disabilities in inclusive environments. Content will cover curriculum design, development of programs of differential instruction involving evidence-based interventions that meet students' needs based on formative assessment, developmental and educational information; integrated learning experiences; specialized adaptations and resources; practices and procedures validated for specific characteristics of learners and settings; prevention and intervention strategies from multiple theoretical approaches for individuals at-risk for academic or behavioral failure; systematic implementation of instructional variables; systems management necessary for effective instruction of children with disabilities; and the underlying theories, issues and methods for managing classroom environments.

EDU 625 Theory & Practice in Secondary Education (3 credits)
Intensive study and practice of teaching modalities and classroom management strategies appropriate for a secondary classroom. The study of curriculum resources in the student's area of certification is included. Topics in the course include instructional management, student motivation, the implications of learning theory for classrooms, and the procedures for the measurement of student achievement. Students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in these skills for successful completion of the course.

EDU 646 Language and Culture (3 credits)
This course introduces candidates to key theories, issues, and practices related to promoting the language and literacy development of culturally and linguistically diverse students (Pre-K-12), with a special focus on English language learners (ELLs). Candidates will learn how to use the PA Language proficiency standards and PA academic standards to plan instruction in a culturally and linguistically diverse setting. Enrollment in EDU 646F is required with this course.

EDU 647 Literacy and Learning Across the Curriculum (3 credits)
The teaching of reading in various fields in middle and secondary schools will be the focus of this course. Topics examined will include reading in the school programs, problems in curricular materials, meeting individual needs, general and specific reading/study skills, critical reading, and adjustment of instruction to meet individual learning styles. Special focus on the use of audiovisual materials in the classroom is a core component of the course.

EDL 600 Educational Leader as Researcher and Reflective Practitioner (3 credits)
This course will focus on contemporary teaching practices. Introduction to qualitative and quantitative approaches from different theoretical perspectives will be presented. Content will include literature reviews and analysis and implications of existing research as connected to students' major in Education. The role of teacher as reflective practitioner will be connected to research and its implications for personal praxis.

EDL 605 Critical Contemporary Educational Issues (3 credits)
Current educational problems, trends and issues will be identified and addressed, especially as they relate to the different constituencies, organization and structure of both public and private schools, as well as to American society as a whole. Issues include, but are not restricted to: equal educational opportunity, educational choice and multicultural education. Emphasis will be placed on the values associated with the issues treated.

EDL 680 Law and American Education (3 credits)
This course will focus upon the legal aspects of the school and its environment and on the paramount legal-educational problems currently facing the nation, especially as these relate to policy determination and implementation. Particular attention will be given to the issue of contract law in education, due process, collective bargaining, equal protection and establishment, and the legal rights and duties of administrators, faculty, and students.

EDU 691 Secondary Teaching in Inclusive Environments (6 credits)
Student or Intern teaching under approved supervision. This experience is designed as the capstone professional course for the certification student. The fieldwork experience approximates a fulltime working/teaching experience for one full semester. At the conclusion of the experience students must have demonstrated proficiencies in instructional management, student motivation, curriculum planning, learning theory, problem solving in an educational setting, using computers in the classroom, using reading, language, and literacy skills in all classrooms, the use of audiovisual materials in the classroom, the identification of instructional resources, and the assessment of student achievement. The fieldwork course is typically the final course in a certification sequence. Includes an online seminar component.

To learn more about the online Master of Science in Secondary Education and Accelerated Teaching Certification curriculum from Saint Joseph’s University and what it can do for your career, call (866) 758-7670 to speak with an admissions representative, or you can request more information, and we’ll reach out to you.

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