Department of Advanced Studies

The Department of Advanced Studies offers master’s degree programs for candidates seeking to expand their knowledge and further their education. They may pursue a Master of Arts in Educational Technology or a Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Learning and Technology, Special Education, or Teaching with an embedded California preliminary teaching credential or preliminary education specialist credential.

The Master of Arts in Educational Technology and the emphasis coursework for the Master of Arts in Education are delivered completely online to provide flexibility and convenience to candidates within their professional practice.

Master of Arts in Education Emphases

Candidates complete foundations and specialization coursework for the M.A.Ed. in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education or the Department of Special Education alongside emphasis coursework in the Department of Advanced Studies for one of the following areas:

Master of Arts in Education: Learning and Technology

  • The Learning and Technology emphasis focuses on foundational tools necessary to design and implement instructional experiences that integrate technology throughout the curriculum. 

Master of Arts in Education: Special Education

  • The Special Education emphasis develops the advanced knowledge needed to serve students with special needs.

Master of Arts in Education: Teaching

  • The Teaching emphasis blends advanced coursework in curriculum and instruction with graduate work in practitioner research to provide candidates with a depth of knowledge within the field of education.

EDTC 511, Foundations in Educational Technology, 3 Units

This course focuses on developing proficiency with the foundational skills necessary for the Online Master of Arts in Educational Technology. Working in synchronous and asynchronous environments, students utilize a variety of applications and skills necessary for competency in the program.

EDTC 515, Emerging Trends in Technology, 3 Units

This class looks at the historical development of educational technology and the social issues influencing its growth and implementation. Attention is also given to a synthesis of research related to the field, professional organizations serving the discipline and emerging innovative uses of educational technology.

EDTC 517, Digital Communications, 3 Units

This course engages students in collaborative, investigative, and reflective learning opportunities through the exploration of relevant digital communication tools. Attention is given to current modes of communication that utilize a digital platform and effective strategies for implementation within teaching/learning environments.

EDTC 518, Global Learning/Cross-cultural Classroom, 3 Units

This course focuses on the use of technology to develop global, cultural, geographical, environmental, and sociopolitical understanding. Students engage their own classrooms in global learning projects as a vehicle to promote cross-cultural literacy, a necessary skill for the global workforce and the 21st century.

EDTC 520, Managing Tech-Supported Curricular Tools, 3 Units

This course explores managing various technology-supported curricular tools applicable to leadership and instruction in the educational environment. Topics include leadership roles in technology, technology planning, computer applications, and designing a technology implementation plan.

EDTC 521, Digital Imagery for Learning Environments, 3 Units

This course covers a variety of digital imaging and audio applications and their operating tools utilized for teaching/learning environments. Students develop the skills necessary to create, design, and manipulate images along with editing video and audio for digital and/or interactive media.

EDTC 523, Educational Applications of Information Design and Hypermedia, 3 Units

The basics of information design and hypermedia are studied. Topics include the definition and application of information design and hypermedia, the development of hypermedia, the impact of information design on hypermedia, and the impact of hypermedia on society. Students incorporate principles of information design into their hypermedia/global learning projects.

EDTC 524, Instructional Design and Development, 3 Units

This course focuses on the utilization of design principles to effectively communicate instructional and professional materials prepared for the classroom, school/district, and professional development use. Implications on the educational experience of teachers, students, and administrators are also explored. Working in collaboration with other class members, students design an educational presentation/product for professional use.

EDTC 526, Practicum in Educational Applications of Technology, 3 Units

The primary focus of this practicum is a research-designed multimedia portfolio that showcases skills the student has acquired in the Online Educational Technology program. This practicum covers research, use of applied software and educational technologies, a growth assessment, comprehensive e-portfolio, and final presentation to conclude the requirements for the master's degree. This course must be taken at the end of the coursework.

Prerequisite: All coursework in educational technology completed

EDTC 527, Special Topics in Educational Technology, 3 Units

The current technologies, trends, and a variety of special topics in educational technology are explored. The course covers practical and theoretical aspects, effectiveness, and problems related to the implementation of the topic into relevant teaching/learning environments. Different topics may be taken and repeated for credit.

EDUC 507, Family, Community, and School Connections, 3 Units

This course focuses on community dynamics, community building, and parent involvement as essential components in education. Students engage in utilizing asset-based community building strategies in educational practice as they map their school communities, conduct capacity inventories, and develop action plans for parent/community involvement. Students also discuss and define their role in building strong partnerships with all families, especially those in low-income communities of color. Successful school reform models of parent involvement are examined along with their connection to higher student achievement.

EDUC 508, Assessment and Evaluation in Multicultural Classrooms, 3 Units

This course reviews the uses, demands, and limitations of formal, standardized testing practices and embraces assessment of 21st Century Skills. Students explore informal observational assessment, student self-assessment, parental involvement, portfolios, criterion- and performance-based assessment, and assessing critical thinking, creativity, citizenship, collaboration, and problem-solving. The course also provides an introduction to Smarter Balanced Assessment protocols. Finally, students explore ways to assess and improve their own instructional programs and teaching.

EDUC 511, Essentials in Learning and Technology, 1 Unit

This course focuses on introducing and developing proficiency with the essential skills necessary for the Master of Arts in Education: Learning & Technology emphasis. Students utilize a variety of applications and skills necessary for competency in the program. This course must be taken in the first term of the program.

EDUC 526, Capstone Experience in Learning and Technology, 2 Units

The primary focus of this capstone experience is a research-designed multimedia eportfolio that showcases skills and concepts the student has acquired in the Master of Arts in Education: Learning & Technology program. This capstone course incorporates each student's research, use of applied technologies in learning and technology, a growth assessment, a comprehensive eportfolio and defense. This course must be taken at the end of the program, and passed in order to meet the final requirements for the master's degree.

EDUC 530, Introduction to Research for Practitioners, 1 Unit

This introductory course enables master's degree candidates to develop an understanding of the research process, introducing the basic principles of research and academic writing. Candidates learn to identify the elements of high-quality empirical work, compare qualitative and quantitative methods, and understand research design issues. Through activities integrating theory with practice, students learn how to locate, value, and synthesize other relevant research, identify ethical usage, and utilize appropriate formatting.

Prerequisite: Admission to one of the following M.A. in Education programs: Teaching and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential or Teaching and Single Subject Teaching Credential

EDUC 536, Family, Community, and School Connections, 3 Units

This course focuses on community dynamics, community building, and parental involvement as essential components in education. Successful school reform models of parental involvement are examined, along with their connection to higher student achievement. Master's degree candidates discuss and define their role in building strong partnerships with all families, especially those in underserved communities. They utilize asset-based community-building strategies in educational practice as they explore their school communities and conduct capacity inventories. Candidates develop an ethnography representing their deepening understanding of who their students are, how the families and communities in which they are embedded help shape them, and how they can utilize this knowledge to enhance holistic development of students through their practice.

Prerequisite: EDUC 530

EDUC 537, Curriculum Development, Revision, and Evaluation Process, 3 Units

This course applies a systems approach to curriculum design through examining the phases of the process, including analysis, design, development, and evaluation. Master's degree candidates are introduced to keys of effective curriculum design, including setting goals and developing clear and measurable objectives; determining related learning activities and resources to promote learning and accomplish objectives; designing and/or selecting appropriate forms of assessment (formative and summative) to chart student progress; and using multiple forms of feedback for assessing instructional effectiveness, to inform future modifications and revisions. Students learn the purpose of and approach to each phase of the instructional design process and create products for each phase in completing a curriculum design project.

Prerequisite: EDUC 530

EDUC 538, Current Issues in Education, 3 Units

In this course, master's degree candidates investigate, analyze, discuss, and propose solutions for the most significant problems, concerns, and challenges in education today. The course includes four areas of concentration: curriculum, with a focus on instructional design; teaching practice; school organization; and the politics of education. Candidates study current research relevant to course topics, analyze varying perspectives, and evaluate them in terms of teaching and learning effectiveness as well as the quality of life in the school community. Through compilation and synthesis of empirical work on a specific topic area, candidates craft a literature review to demonstrate expertise in current trends and future directions of research.

Prerequisite: EDUC 530

EDUC 539, Capstone Seminar, 2 Units

Culminating the M.A. completer courses, the capstone seminar builds on the coursework representing students' repertoire of academic preparation throughout the credential and master's programs. Master's candidates create and compile assignments in an efolio profiling their professional identities (personal philosophy, identity and dispositions narrative), their scholarly work (ethnography, curriculum assessment, literature review), and their practical applications (lesson and unit plans, classroom management) in the classroom. This seminar refines and contributes further to a body of work representing the teacher candidate's accomplishments and professional identity. Finally, candidates enhance their understanding and experience of a community's connection to the school environment.

Prerequisite: EDUC 530, EDUC 536, EDUC 537, and EDUC 538; may be taken concurrently: TEP 552 or TEP 562

EDUC 540, Essentials in Learning and Technology, 1 Unit

This course focuses on introducing and developing proficiency with the essential skills necessary for the Master of Arts in Education: Learning and Technology emphasis. Students utilize a variety of applications and skills necessary for competency in the program. This course must be taken in the first term of the program.

Prerequisite: Admission into a M.A. in Education: Learning and Technology program: Mild/Moderate Disabilities Education Specialist Credential, Moderate/Severe Disabilities Education Specialist Credential, Multiple Subject Teaching or Single Subject Teaching Credential

EDUC 546, Digital Communications, 3 Units

This course engages students in collaborative, investigative, and reflective learning opportunities through the exploration of relevant digital communication tools. Attention is given to current modes of communication that utilize a digital platform, and effective strategies for implementation within teaching/learning environments.

Prerequisite: EDUC 540

EDUC 547, Special Topics in Educational Technology, 3 Units

Current technologies, trends, and a variety of special topics in educational technology are explored. This course covers practical and theoretical aspects, effectiveness, and problems related to the implementation of the topic into relevant teaching/learning environments. Different topics may be taken and repeated for credit.

Prerequisite: EDUC 540, or permission of program to take course as elective

EDUC 548, Emerging Trends in Technology, 3 Units

This course covers the historical development of educational technology and the social issues influencing its growth and implementation. Attention is also given to a synthesis of research related to the field, professional organizations serving the discipline, and emerging innovative uses of educational technology.

Prerequisite: EDUC 540

EDUC 549, Capstone Experience in Learning and Technology, 2 Units

The primary focus of this capstone experience is a research-designed multimedia eportfolio that showcases skills and concepts the student has acquired in the Master of Arts in Education: Learning and Technology program. This course incorporates each student's research, use of applied technologies in learning and technology, a growth assessment, a comprehensive eportfolio, and defense. The course must be taken at the end of the program, and passed in order to meet the final requirements for the master's degree.

Prerequisite: EDUC 540, EDUC 546, EDUC 547, and EDUC 548; may be taken concurrently: TEP 552, TEP 562, SPED 552, or SPED 572

EDUC 550, Introduction to Research for Practitioners, 1 Unit

This introductory course enables master's degree candidates to develop an understanding of the research process, introducing the basic principles of research and academic writing. Candidates identify the elements of high-quality empirical work, compare qualitative and quantitative methods, and come to understand research design issues. Through activities integrating theory with practice, students learn how to locate, value, and synthesize other relevant research, identify ethical usage, and utilize appropriate formatting.

Prerequisite: Admission to one of the following Master of Arts in Education programs: Special Education and Mild/Moderate Disabilities Specialist Credential, or Special Education and Moderate/Severe Disabilities Specialist Credential.

EDUC 556, Historical and Philosophical Perspectives of Disability Studies, 3 Units

This course explores and analyzes the historically key definitions of disability in light of the major theories, methodological approaches, and proposed public policy uses that have shaped them. It also considers how civil rights, human rights, self-determination, social policy, and participative action research have influenced disability studies. A diverse set of current and historical research articles on disability studies is analyzed to model the ways in which different research topics have been addressed and introduce how current research can stimulate future studies. Emphasis is given to the formulation of important research questions and the development of testable hypotheses based on previous theory, literature, and experience, as master's candidates begin to develop initial sections of their capstone research project.

Prerequisite: EDUC 550

EDUC 557, Current Trends in Curriculum and Disability Studies, 3 Units

This course explores and analyzes current key definitions of disability in light of the major theories, methodological approaches, and proposed public policy uses that shape them, and investigates current issues related to curriculum and instruction, alongside discussion of trends in supervision, administration, and teacher education. A diverse set of current research articles in disability studies is analyzed to provide examples and raise questions about how different research topics are being addressed. Emphasis is given to the importance of research design in providing valid and reliable results that enhance knowledge in developing the design of each student's capstone research project.

Prerequisite: EDUC 550

EDUC 558, Guided Research Project, 3 Units

This advanced course enables master's degree candidates in special education to become informed users and designers of educational research. Building upon earlier courses, candidates continue to examine educational research within the special education framework, with an emphasis on consumption, design, and application. Through activities integrated with their own inquiry processes, candidates refine their ability to locate, value, and synthesize relevant research, as well as select and employ appropriate research approaches, procedures, data sources, and analytical methods. Using these skills, candidates incorporate the sections drafted in previous research core courses to develop and implement a cohesive, data-driven research plan for their own classroom or school-based inquiry, using qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods approaches, as appropriate. Standards for writing research papers are also highlighted. Candidates complete the capstone project and submit findings in the Procedures and Findings section.

Prerequisite: EDUC 550, EDUC 556, EDUC 557

EDUC 559, Procedures and Findings, 2 Units

This course is a sequel to the Guided Research Project section, and is designed to help researcher-educators develop the capstone reporting processes and procedures sections, as well as to refine and submit the completed project. Candidates continue to examine educational research within the special education framework. Through quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods, candidates incorporate all pieces developed in previous research core courses and implement, analyze, and report findings for their data-driven research plan. Candidates work independently, provide feedback to and receive feedback from peers, and hold conference with their instructor to review their data analyses and results and to effectively revise and edit their completed project. This course enables candidates to complete their own research inquiry process and submit a final research report.

Prerequisite: EDUC 558; may be taken concurrently: SPED 552 or SPED 572

EDUC 571, Curriculum Foundations, 3 Units

This master's degree core course is designed to prepare candidates with both a practical and theoretical understanding of curriculum in schooling. The course offers a study of the various approaches of curriculum construction and organization in the schools by examining the principles of curriculum improvement, change, and evaluation. The focus is on the theories, research, and best practices related to planning and developing curriculum and its implementation in schools and classrooms in order to address the needs of students in diverse communities.

EDUC 573, Philosophy/Ethics and History of Education, 3 Units

This course is a survey of the historical and philosophical ideas that guide educational theory and practice. Emphasis is on ethical clarification and practical application of ideas in current, diverse educational settings. Basic to the course is the notion that valuable insights into American education can be obtained through a close examination of its historical development from the colonial era to the present. Emphases on various philosophical systems in education and on the related issue of worldviews are especially helpful in illuminating ever-present tensions in American education. American education cannot be adequately understood, nor can well-informed decisions be made by administrators, instructional staff, or others responsible for education, without the benefit of both historical and philosophical perspectives.

EDUC 574, Current Issues in Education, 3 Units

Students investigate, analyze, discuss, and propose solutions for the most significant problems, concerns, and challenges in education today. They study current trends in curriculum, teaching practice, and school organization, and evaluate them in terms of the effectiveness of teaching and learning and the quality of life in the school community.

EDUC 589A, Research for Educators: Beginning Process, 2 Units

This advanced course enables teachers to become more informed users and designers of educational research. Teachers begin the process of planning and implementing their own classroom or school-based inquiry. Through activities integrated in their own research process, teachers learn more about how to locate, value, and synthesize other relevant research; select and employ appropriate types of qualitative or quantitative methods of data gathering; and analyze a variety of descriptive data. Teachers complete the process in EDUC 589B.

Prerequisite: Completion of student teaching if in Teacher Credential program

EDUC 589B, Research for Educators: Finish Reporting, 1 Unit

This course is a sequel to EDUC 589A, enabling teachers to complete their own research inquiry process and submit a final research report. Teachers work independently and conference with a faculty member and peers in order to review fully their data gathering, analyses, and results, and to revise and edit effectively their completed research reports.

Prerequisite: EDUC 589A