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Advance Your Career With A Master’s Degree In Elementary Education

Northern Arizona University’s Elementary Education master’s degree program prepares you for state certification, which can lead to a higher salary and better job prospects as an elementary school teacher. Known for high-quality education programs, NAU is the only Arizona university accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Gain The Skills To Be A Certified Elementary Education Teacher

Whether you are seeking state certification or are already certified and wish to continue your professional development, the NAU Master of Education in Elementary Education (MEd) program helps to sharpen your teaching skills in K-8 education with advanced courses in teaching methods and curriculum. You also have the option to pursue the Reading Specialist Endorsement, separately or as part of your master’s degree program.

The job market for elementary school teachers in Arizona is expected to increase through 2020, particularly in rural and underserved communities. Benefits to teaching in such areas include:

  • Federal Perkins Loan Loan Cancelation Program
  • Federal Student Loan Loan Forgiveness Program

Catalog Information

Learn more about the program options by viewing the catalog information below. Catalog information is displayed for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Elementary Education-Continuing Professional Emphasis

Campus Locations

globe This program is available Online
Degree Information
Online
In-Person
Blended
MED
30 units
Maximum Transfer Units
0
30
Additional Admission Requirements - Additional Application
Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.

     

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Candidates in this program are required to demonstrate content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and skills, and professional knowledge to be eligible to graduate from this program. In addition to course grades, content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge or skills are demonstrated through candidate performance on key assessments embedded in the following course(s):

Minimum Units for Completion 30
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Emphasis, Minor, Certificate

Emphasis, minor, and/or certificate are required.

Thesis Thesis may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Oral Defense Oral Defense may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Research Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Some online/blended coursework Required
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study
Licensure

This program leads to licensure.

Purpose Statement

The MEd Elementary Education degree program provides students with the necessary framework for augmenting knowledge and skills related top teaching K through 8th grades.  This degree offers students, typically practicing teachers, the opportunity to enhance their content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge emphasizing current research. Students have the opportunity to pursue advanced courses in curriculum and instruction, educational psychology, educational foundations, and educational research. Additionally, students choose from three available emphasis areas: Continuing Professional, Elementary National Board Certification Preparation (NBCT), and Reading (K-8).  Students who pursue the Continuing Education track will complete a research project as part of a graduate seminar or a thesis focused on a selected topic. Students who choose the Reading K-8 emphasis will be qualified for a K-8 Reading Endorsement through the Arizona Department of Education. Students who choose the NBCT track prepare for the rigorous process of National Board Certification, an advanced teaching credential.

Throughout the program, students demonstrate outcomes aligned to the standards of the  National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Students who complete this program will have a deeper and broader understanding of teaching and learning opening up continued opportunities in teaching, as well as other venues where teaching skills, knowledge, and dispositions are valued such as agencies and non-profits.

In addition to the NAEYC SPA accreditation standards, which are integral as we move into accreditation procedures for this degree, this program also incorporates the opportunity to enroll in coursework for National Board Certification:

What Is National Board Certification?

All students deserve accomplished teachers who are equipped to prepare them for success in today's world. National Board Standards and National Board Certification give teachers and schools the tools to define and measure teaching excellence. Similar to certification in fields like medicine, National Board Certification is a rigorous, peer-reviewed process that ensures that Board-certified teachers have proven skills to advance student achievement.

National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential. As part of this process, teachers must analyze their teaching context and students’ needs, submit videos of their teaching, and provide student work samples that demonstrate growth and achievement. The reflective analyses that they submit must demonstrate:

Student Learning Outcomes

1) A strong command of content;
2) The ability to design appropriate learning experiences that advance student learning;
3) The use of assessments to inform instructional decision making; and
4) Partnerships with colleagues, parents and the community.
Through this structured and iterative process, teachers expand and refine their content knowledge and pedagogy. The outcome is more powerful teaching that improves student achievement and reflects college and career readiness (NBPTS, 2014)
 
NAEYC SPA Standards
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 1: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs are grounded in a child development knowledge base. They use their understanding of young children's characteristics and needs, and of multiple interacting influences on children's development and learning, to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 2: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with children’s families and communities. They know about, understand, and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities. They use this understanding to create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families, and to involve all families in their children’s development and learning.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 3: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that child observation, documentation, and other forms of assessment are central to the practice of all early childhood professionals. They know about and understand the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment. They know about and use systematic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies in a responsible way, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence the development of every child.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 4: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that teaching and learning with young children is a complex enterprise, and its details vary depending on children’s ages, characteristics, and the settings within which teaching and learning occur. They understand and use positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation for their work with young children and families. Candidates know, understand, and use a wide array of developmentally appropriate approaches, instructional strategies, and tools to connect with children and families and positively influence each child’s development and learning.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 5: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs use their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for each and every young child. Candidates understand the importance of developmental domains and academic (or content) disciplines in early childhood curriculum. They know the essential concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas, including academic subjects, and can identify resources to deepen their understanding. Candidates use their own knowledge and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curriculum that promotes comprehensive developmental and learning outcomes for every young child.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 6: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs identify and conduct themselves as members of the early childhood profession. They know and use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice. They are continuous, collaborative learners who demonstrate knowledgeable, reflective and critical perspectives on their work, making informed decisions that integrate knowledge from a variety of sources. They are informed advocates for sound educational practices and policies.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 7: Field experiences and clinical practice are planned and sequenced so that candidates develop the knowledge, skills and professional dispositions necessary to promote the development and learning of young children across the entire developmental period of early childhood – in at least two of the three early childhood age groups (birth – age 3, 3 through 5, 5 through 8 years) and in the variety of settings that offer early education (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs).

Details

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 


    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • IVP Fingerprint clearance card
    • Teaching certificate (if the applicant has one)
Master's Requirements
  • Please note that if you choose the thesis option you may end up taking more than the 6 units of thesis credit you can count toward your degree because you must register for ECI 699 each semester while you are working on your thesis.

    Also note that preparing a thesis generally requires one semester of residency, in Fall, Spring, or Summer.

  • Reading K-8 Emphasis (18 units)

  • Elementary National Board Preparation Emphasis (16 units):Select one course from (3 units): Select one course from (3 units):
    To be eligible for National Board Certification you must:
    • Have completed three full years of teaching or school counseling
    • Possess a valid state teaching or school counseling license (Exception: If you are teaching where a license is not required, you have taught in schools recognized and approved to operate by the state).
    • Contact the Teaching and Learning Department prior to applying. TandL@nau.edu
    • For more information about the National Board Process please contact info@azk12.org.
    • Please note there may be additional fees associated with National Board Certification.
  • Please be aware that at least fifty percent of your courses must be at the 600-level or above.

    Courses are offered during Fall, Spring, and Summer in Flagstaff and at statewide locations.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.
     

Elementary Education with Certification Emphasis

Campus Locations

Show locations that offer this degree:
Blended
Click a pin on the map at the left or search/select:
Degree Information
Online
In-Person
Blended
MED
43 units
Maximum Transfer Units
0
43
Additional Admission Requirements - Additional Application
Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.

     

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Candidates in this program are required to demonstrate content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and skills, professional knowledge, and professional dispositions to be eligible to enter student teaching or internship placements. Content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge or skills, professional dispositions are demonstrated through candidate performance on key assessments embedded in the following course(s):

Minimum Units for Completion 43
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
Arizona Certification/Endorsement Prepares student for Arizona Certification and/or Endorsement.
Student Teaching/Supervised Teaching Student Teaching/Supervised Teaching is required.
Some online/blended coursework Required
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study
Licensure

This program leads to licensure.

Purpose Statement

The MEd Elementary Education with Certification degree program provides candidates with the necessary foundation to teach in K-8th grade classrooms. This nationally recognized program emphasizes sound pedagogical practices while stressing the skills, knowledge, and dispositions necessary to confidently enter the field of education. Candidates engage in a purposeful program of study, which is grounded in theory and infused with practical experiences in schools. Candidates pursue coursework in a wide variety of areas, including curriculum and instruction, educational foundations, educational psychology, special education, educational technology curriculum, and bilingual and multi-cultural education.  Candidates complete the program with a full-day, field-based student-teaching capstone, occurring over a sixteen-week period, that is tied to a reflection seminar. Additionally, students are involved in practica experiences across the program of study.

Throughout the program, students demonstrate outcomes aligned to the standards of CAEP and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium. These outcomes include, but are not limited to, constructing learning opportunities that support students’ development, acquisition of knowledge, and motivation; knowing, understanding, and using major concepts in subject matter fields to enhance student learning and development; creating instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse students; knowing, understanding, and using various assessment strategies to plan, evaluate, and improve teaching and learning; and reflecting and continuously improving educational practice.

Candidates who complete this program will be prepared to contribute to and participate in the education of future generations through public , charter, and private schools, as well as other venues where such coursework and certification may serve the job, such as training/teaching in organizations, non-profits, and agencies. This degree leads to state teacher certification in the state of Arizona.

Student Learning Outcomes

Outcomes align with the Standards from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC).

Detailed Student Learning Outcomes


STANDARD 1 – Understanding and Addressing Each Child’s Developmental and Learning Needs Candidates use their understanding of child growth and development, individual differences, and diverse families, cultures and communities to plan and implement inclusive learning environments that provide each child with equitable access to high quality learning experiences that engage and create learning opportunities for them to meet high standards. They work collaboratively with families to gain a holistic perspective on children’s strengths and needs and how to motivate their learning.

STANDARD 2 – Understanding and Applying Content and Curricular Knowledge for Teaching Candidates demonstrate and apply understandings of major concepts, skills, and practices, as they interpret disciplinary curricular standards and related expectations within and across literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies.

STANDARD 3 – Assessing, Planning, and Designing Contexts for Learning Candidates assess students, plan instruction and design classroom contexts for learning. Candidates use formative and summative assessment to monitor students’ learning and guide instruction. Candidates plan learning activities to promote a full range of competencies for each student. They differentiate instructional materials and activities to address learners’ diversity. Candidates foster engagement in learning by establishing and maintaining social norms for classrooms. They build interpersonal relationships with students that generate motivation, and promote students social and emotional development.

Standard 4 – Supporting Each Child’s Learning Using Effective Instruction. Candidates make informed decisions about instruction guided by knowledge of children and assessment of children’s learning that result in the use of a variety of effective instructional practices that employ print, and digital appropriate resources. Instruction is delivered using a cohesive sequence of lessons and employing effective instructional practices. Candidates use explicit instruction and effective feedback as appropriate, and use whole class discussions to support and enhance children’s learning. Candidates use flexible grouping arrangements, including small group and individual instruction to support effective instruction and improved learning for every child.

STANDARD 5 - Developing as a Professional Candidates promote learning and development of every child through participation in collaborative learning environments, reflective self-study and professional learning, and involvement in their professional community.

Details

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 


    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • Prerequisites (completed prior to enrolling in the program)
    • ENG 105 (or equivalent)  with a minimum cumulative English GPA of 3.0 
    • College Algebra or an approved math course with a minimum grade of C
    • One lab science course with a grade of C.
    • IVP Fingerprint clearance card
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 49 units:


    Note: Before student teaching admission to Elem Ed-Certification (MEd), a passing score on the NES Content Knowledge Test is required. In addition, if student teaching in Middle School, a passing score on the NES Subject Matter Test is required.

    Candidates must have a Passing score on the required Professional Dispositions Modules.

    In addition to earning a Master’s degree, this plan meets the Arizona requirements for 1-8 teacher certification and provides an institutional recommendation that you can use to obtain 1-8 teacher certification in Arizona.

    Be aware that Arizona state teacher certification requirements leading to Institutional Recommendations may change at any time, and may impact program of study requirements.

    This degree is considered a terminal degree; you cannot apply it toward a doctoral degree.

     

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.
     

Elementary Education - K-12 Reading Emphasis

Emphasis Select from 1 Emphasis:

Campus Locations

Show locations that offer this degree:
In-Person
Click a pin on the map at the left or search/select:
globe This program is available Online
Degree Information
Online
In-Person
Blended
MED
30 units
Maximum Transfer Units
0
30
Additional Admission Requirements - Additional Application
Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.

     

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Candidates in this program are required to demonstrate content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and skills, and professional knowledge to be eligible to graduate from this program. In addition to course grades, content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge or skills are demonstrated through candidate performance on key assessments embedded in the following course(s):

Minimum Units for Completion 30
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Emphasis, Minor, Certificate

Emphasis, minor, and/or certificate are required.

Thesis Thesis may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Oral Defense Oral Defense may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Research Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Some online/blended coursework Required
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study
Licensure

This program leads to licensure.

Purpose Statement

The MEd Elementary Education degree program provides students with the necessary framework for augmenting knowledge and skills related top teaching K through 8th grades.  This degree offers students, typically practicing teachers, the opportunity to enhance their content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge emphasizing current research. Students have the opportunity to pursue advanced courses in curriculum and instruction, educational psychology, educational foundations, and educational research. Additionally, students choose from three available emphasis areas: Continuing Professional, Elementary National Board Certification Preparation (NBCT), and Reading (K-8).  Students who pursue the Continuing Education track will complete a research project as part of a graduate seminar or a thesis focused on a selected topic. Students who choose the Reading K-8 emphasis will be qualified for a K-8 Reading Endorsement through the Arizona Department of Education. Students who choose the NBCT track prepare for the rigorous process of National Board Certification, an advanced teaching credential.

Throughout the program, students demonstrate outcomes aligned to the standards of the  National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Students who complete this program will have a deeper and broader understanding of teaching and learning opening up continued opportunities in teaching, as well as other venues where teaching skills, knowledge, and dispositions are valued such as agencies and non-profits.

In addition to the NAEYC SPA accreditation standards, which are integral as we move into accreditation procedures for this degree, this program also incorporates the opportunity to enroll in coursework for National Board Certification:

What Is National Board Certification?

All students deserve accomplished teachers who are equipped to prepare them for success in today's world. National Board Standards and National Board Certification give teachers and schools the tools to define and measure teaching excellence. Similar to certification in fields like medicine, National Board Certification is a rigorous, peer-reviewed process that ensures that Board-certified teachers have proven skills to advance student achievement.

National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential. As part of this process, teachers must analyze their teaching context and students’ needs, submit videos of their teaching, and provide student work samples that demonstrate growth and achievement. The reflective analyses that they submit must demonstrate:

Student Learning Outcomes

1) A strong command of content;
2) The ability to design appropriate learning experiences that advance student learning;
3) The use of assessments to inform instructional decision making; and
4) Partnerships with colleagues, parents and the community.
Through this structured and iterative process, teachers expand and refine their content knowledge and pedagogy. The outcome is more powerful teaching that improves student achievement and reflects college and career readiness (NBPTS, 2014)
 
NAEYC SPA Standards
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 1: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs are grounded in a child development knowledge base. They use their understanding of young children's characteristics and needs, and of multiple interacting influences on children's development and learning, to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 2: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with children’s families and communities. They know about, understand, and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities. They use this understanding to create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families, and to involve all families in their children’s development and learning.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 3: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that child observation, documentation, and other forms of assessment are central to the practice of all early childhood professionals. They know about and understand the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment. They know about and use systematic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies in a responsible way, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence the development of every child.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 4: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that teaching and learning with young children is a complex enterprise, and its details vary depending on children’s ages, characteristics, and the settings within which teaching and learning occur. They understand and use positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation for their work with young children and families. Candidates know, understand, and use a wide array of developmentally appropriate approaches, instructional strategies, and tools to connect with children and families and positively influence each child’s development and learning.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 5: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs use their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for each and every young child. Candidates understand the importance of developmental domains and academic (or content) disciplines in early childhood curriculum. They know the essential concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas, including academic subjects, and can identify resources to deepen their understanding. Candidates use their own knowledge and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curriculum that promotes comprehensive developmental and learning outcomes for every young child.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 6: Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs identify and conduct themselves as members of the early childhood profession. They know and use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice. They are continuous, collaborative learners who demonstrate knowledgeable, reflective and critical perspectives on their work, making informed decisions that integrate knowledge from a variety of sources. They are informed advocates for sound educational practices and policies.
 
NAEYC-ADV – Standard 7: Field experiences and clinical practice are planned and sequenced so that candidates develop the knowledge, skills and professional dispositions necessary to promote the development and learning of young children across the entire developmental period of early childhood – in at least two of the three early childhood age groups (birth – age 3, 3 through 5, 5 through 8 years) and in the variety of settings that offer early education (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs).

Details

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 


    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • IVP Fingerprint clearance card
    • Teaching certificate (if the applicant has one)
Master's Requirements
  • Please note that if you choose the thesis option you may end up taking more than the 6 units of thesis credit you can count toward your degree because you must register for ECI 699 each semester while you are working on your thesis.

    Also note that preparing a thesis generally requires one semester of residency, in Fall, Spring, or Summer.

  • Reading K-8 Emphasis (18 units)

  • Elementary National Board Preparation Emphasis (16 units):Select one course from (3 units): Select one course from (3 units):
    To be eligible for National Board Certification you must:
    • Have completed three full years of teaching or school counseling
    • Possess a valid state teaching or school counseling license (Exception: If you are teaching where a license is not required, you have taught in schools recognized and approved to operate by the state).
    • Contact the Teaching and Learning Department prior to applying. TandL@nau.edu
    • For more information about the National Board Process please contact info@azk12.org.
    • Please note there may be additional fees associated with National Board Certification.
  • Please be aware that at least fifty percent of your courses must be at the 600-level or above.

    Courses are offered during Fall, Spring, and Summer in Flagstaff and at statewide locations.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.
     

Department Information
Learn more about this program and the Department of Teaching and Learning.