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    Dr. Daniele Arcara
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Home > Majors and Programs > Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction
  • School of Social Sciences, Communication, & Education 

    The Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction Program


    The Saint Vincent College Master of Science Degree in Curriculum and Instruction focuses on three critical elements of learning:  curriculum, instruction and assessment. Candidates will investigate various frameworks and programs of curriculum design; explore methods of making instruction meaningful to all students; and evaluate diagnostic and assessment strategies and products for use in their school or workplace.  This program provides a strong research component allowing students to   document need and propose change. Emphasis will be placed on developing instructional leaders who will be resources to their schools, districts and work sites in developing and implementing needed changes and improvements. Professionals in education, business, health care or human services will develop the abilities necessary to assume leadership roles in stimulating, planning, managing and evaluating educational change. The program can be individualized to the candidates’ needs and candidates can earn their initial Pennsylvania teaching certification in the desired area while completing graduate courses. 



    • To provide an advanced and individualized program of study designed for school, business, health care and human services professionals.

    • To provide opportunities for in-depth study and investigation of recent research, emergent knowledge, and current trends and issues concerning educational policies, practices, and regulations.

    • To prepare professionals in education, business, health care, and human services endeavors, to assume leadership roles in stimulation, planning, managing, and evaluation educational change.

    Courses Required for Master in Curriculum and Instruction (30 credits):

    GCED 600 Educational Leadership and Professional Development  - 3 credits
    GCED 605 Statistics and Research Design - 3 credits
    GCED 610 Current Issues and Trends - 3 credits
    GCED 615 Curriculum and Systems Design - 3 credits
    GCED 620 Assessment and Diagnostics - 3 credits
    GCED 625 Instructional Technology - 3 credits
    GCED 635 Instructional Methodology - 3 credits
    Three electives - 9 credits (electives can include any graduate education course not listed above)

    Course Descriptions   

    Sequence and Scheduling
    The Curriculum and Instruction Master’s degree is designed to be an accelerated 30-credit hours that can be completed in approximately 18 months inclusive of seven required courses and three elective courses. The courses are offered one night per week, between the hours of 6 and 10 pm and one Saturday per course.  Each full semester has two accelerated 7-week sessions. Thus, students can take two courses per term while being on campus one evening per week. At the close of the coursework, a comprehensive exam is required. The exam is offered each term, allowing graduation each term. 

    Courses Required for Master in Curriculum and Instruction: Early Childhood Leadership Specialization (30 credits)

    GCED 600 Educational Leadership and Professional Development  - 3 credits
    GCED 605 Statistics and Research Design - 3 credits
    GCED 610 Current Issues and Trends - 3 credits
    GCED 615 Curriculum and Systems Design - 3 credits
    GCED 620 Assessment and Diagnostics - 3 credits
    GCED 625 Instructional Technology - 3 credits
    GCED 635 Instructional Methodology - 3 credits
    GCED 675 Inclusionary Education - 3 credits
    GCEL 612 Early Learning Leadership - 3 credits
    GCEL 602 Design and Management of Early Learning Settings - 3 credits


    Due to recent government funding (5.5 million) “Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program” to support higher education for early childhood professionals by Gov. Corbett, the Education Department has added a specialization area to the existing M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction for Early Childhood Leadership (ECL). The Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program offered by the government specifically states “The program will provide eligible staff in participating Keystone STARS programs up to $4,500 a year in tuition assistance for early learning college credits or the pursuit of a college degree in the early childhood education field.”(http://www.pa.gov/Pages/NewsDetails.aspx?agency=Governors%20Office&item=14587) The M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction with the specialization in Early Childhood Leadership is an eligible program for this assistance.

    The ECL specialization will focus the Curriculum and Instruction degree to provide the professional training needed for Keystone Stars and other accreditation.  The courses included in the specialization meet the Director Credential coursework as well renewal requirements. The courses deepen early childhood leadership and curriculum design for both new and experienced early childhood professionals. The courses topics include professional development, early learning leadership, early childhood education setting design and management, curriculum systems design, instructional technology, current issues, methodology, human learning, and special education.

    M.S. In Curriculum and Instruction: Early Childhood Leadership Specialization (30 credits) can be completed in 18 months.  The program is accelerated offering two courses every term in seven-week increments.  Courses are one-night a week including one Saturday class meeting.  Classes do not overlap; therefore, students are not required to commute to campus more than one night a week.  Several classes are held online in synchronous formats; thus, travel to campus maybe avoided all together.

    Graduates of the Saint Vincent Program will have an official transcript specialization, Early Childhood Leadership, listed in addition to the Master of Curriculum and Instruction.

    Seven (7) required courses in Curriculum and Instruction

    One (1) Course:  GCEL 612 Early Learning Leadership

    One (1) Course: GCEL 602 Design and Management of Early Learning Settings

    One (1) Course:  GCED 650 Human Learning or GCED 670 Visual Thinking and Learning or GCED 675 Inclusionary Education 

    Regular Admission 
    Possess an earned Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.  Official transcripts must be submitted from each institution attended to the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education. 

    1. Have a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0. For a GPA lower than 3.0, applicants will be reviewed for provisional acceptance. 
    2. Send three recommendations to the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education. 
    3. Personal statement explaining your desire to obtain a graduate degree. 
    4. Completed Application for Graduate Admission in Education. 

    Provisional Acceptance 
    If a student does not meet the above requirements for regular admission to the graduate programs in education, consideration will be given for acceptance on a provisional basis.  The student will be required to maintain a 3.75 GPA over the course of completing three graduate classes.  If the student is able to maintain a 3.75 grade point average he/she will be reviewed for regular admission. A student within this status will not be allowed to take more than 9 credits of graduate coursework.  If the student is not able to maintain a 3.75 GPA after completing 9 credits of graduate coursework, regular admission will be denied.  The provisional acceptance will still allow a student to qualify for financial aid if needed. 

    Graduate Non-Degree Status 
    If a student does not want acceptance to a graduate program but would like to register for graduate classes the student may apply as a graduate non-degree seeking student.  This allows the student to register for up to 9 graduate credits without applying or being accepted to a program.  In order to register under this status a student must complete the graduate non-degree application and submit official transcripts to the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education.  Once this information is received the student will be contacted regarding registration for classes. A student within this status is not eligible for financial aid. 

    **The Graduate Non-Degree Status also serves the student who decides to apply to a program right before the semester begins without ample time to complete the application.  The student can begin taking classes as a Graduate Non-Degree student while completing the application for admission.**   

    Combining an Initial Pennsylvania Teaching Certification with a Master of Science In Curriculum and Instruction: 

    “Masters-Cert” Students 

    Candidates may earn certification in a specialty areafrom the Education Department while taking graduate courses. Most “masters-cert” students take the following courses along with the necessary coursework and complete the required Praxis exams for one specialty area. The student’s Education Department academic advisor determines the additional courses.

    ED 101 or ED 207  Observation and Interaction Lab/Practicum in Education   1 credit
    ED 205  Strategies and Techniques of Instruction  2 credits
    ED 206  Field Experience II: Strategies and Techniques of Instruction  1 credit      
    PY 290  Psychology and Education for the Exceptional Student*  3 credits
    PY 115   Educational Psychology  3 credits
    ED 208  Classroom Partnerships and Inclusion*  3 credits
    ED 390  Teaching Nonnative and Culturally Diverse Students*  3 credits

    Additional Early Childhood, Middle Grade, K-12, or Secondary methods, fieldwork, and/or content courses will be specific to each applicant depending on prior coursework.

    *see advisor, course may be substituted with a similar graduate course offering 


    Pennsylvania K-12 Curriculum and Supervision Certification 

    Veteran teachers and educational professionals with five or more years of experience can add Pennsylvania K-12 Curriculum Supervisor certification to their degree by meeting the PA Department of Education required nine (9) credits* in special education, three (3) credits* in English language learners (ELL) and one (1) additional required course GCED 680 Supervision of Instruction.  Additionally, three credits of internship in Curriculum Supervision (GCAD 676, GCAD 686 and, GCAD 696) are required. A competency evaluation criteria is used to ensure that all students complete 360 hours in the field and have sufficient experience in K-12 Curriculum Supervision. Students take an additional six (6) credits to the 30 credits in Curriculum and Instruction and the Praxis exam: Educational Leadership: Administration and Supervision.

    GCED 680  Supervision of Instruction   3 credits
    GCAD 676  Internship in School Administration: Fall Term   1 credit
    GCAD 686  Internship in School Administration: Spring Term  1 credit
    GCAD 696  Internship in School Administration: Summer Term 1 credit

    * Undergraduate credits and/or graduate credits can be counted toward the PDE requirement of nine credits in special education and three credits in ELL. If candidates have not already taken them, Saint Vincent College offers them at the graduate level, they can be taken while earning K-12 Curriculum Supervision Certification.