Master of Education


Michael England, Program Director; Marcel Sargeant, Chair of the Department of Education; Renard Doneskey, Donna Berkner, Judy Myers Laue, Andrew Woolley

Adjunct: Carol Campbell, Juanita Reyes

Aims of the Graduate Education Program

The Master of Education program at Southwestern Adventist University is designed to develop and deliver an education program that ensures the highest of teacher preparation and performance. Southwestern is a recognized contributor in the field of educational research and practice through effective teaching, quality research, and meaningful service. The University is committed to the advancement of teaching and learning in all educational environments, at all levels, and for all students, especially graduate Christian education within the Adventist system of values.

The specific aims of the MEd Program are as follows:

  1. To promote excellence in graduate education through teaching, research, and service.
  2. To prepare competent teachers, administrators, and other professional specialists for service in the field of education.
  3. To conduct research, disseminate new knowledge and develop applications of existing knowledge.
  4. To improve human cognitive, academic, physical, emotional, social development and performance.


Master of Education

  • Educational Leadership
  • Curriculum and Instruction with Reading

Degree Requirements

Core Courses

Required of all MEd students:

EDUC 505 Philosophical Foundations of Education and Psychology 3
EDUC 525 Psychology of Learning 3
EDUC 535 Educational and Psychological Research 3
EDUC 550 Curriculum Development 3
EDUC 555 Educational and Psychological Research Assessment and Diagnostic Techniques 3
EDUC 560 Principles of Instruction 3
Total Core: 18

Comprehensive Examination

Each MEd student is required to successfully pass a comprehension examination. Detailed information about the exam is provided by the Program Director. The exam must be taken during the last semester before anticipated graduation.

Requirements by Concentration

Educational Leadership

Eighteen semester hours to be selected from the following courses:

EDAD 505 Management of School Resources 3
EDAD 510 Legal Aspects of Education 3
EDAD 515 Foundations of Educational Administration 3
EDAD 520 Trends & Issues in Education 3
EDAD 525 Instructional Leadership 3
EDAD 530 Internship in Educational Administration 3

Curriculum and Instruction with Reading

Eighteen semester hours to be selected from the following courses:

EDRE 505 Reading Diagnosis & Remediation 3
EDRE 510 Composition: Process & Application 3
EDRE 515 Advanced Children's Literature 3
EDRE 520 Language: Grammar & History 3
EDRE 525 Advanced Reading Methods 3
EDRE 550 Literacy Practicum 3

Education Courses

EDSC 545 - Dinosaurs for Teachers (4 hours)

This class is designed for teachers who need science credit for an advanced degree in education.  subjects covered include developing a working knowledge of geology, consideration of all of the major dinosaur groups, detailed understanding of the Upper Cretaceous fauna of the Lance Formation, issues in earth science and origins, and acquiring "hands-on" experience in how science works.  Lab work will include learning excavation techniques for fossils, and excavating dinosaur bones from quarry sites.  In taking the class, you will be contributing to our on-going scientific investigation of the taphonomy of dinosaurs.  You will produce a paper covering one group of dinosaurs of your choice.  The class takes place in Wyoming during the month of June.  2 Lecture, 2 Lab

EDUC 505 - Philosophical Foundations of Education and Psychology (3 hours)

This course will examine theological and philosophical foundations of major world views and critically analyze the effect of major world views and post-modernism on psychology, education, and religion from a Christian standpoint.

EDUC 525 - Psychology of Learning (3 hours)

A study of psychological, social, environmental and biological factors affecting the ability to learn will be explored. Impact areas such as gender, culture, race, self-concept, perception, cognition and emotion will be examined. An historical review of major learning theories will also be addressed.

EDUC 535 - Educational and Psychological Research (3 hours)

The study of scientific and disciplined inquiry applied to educational issues. Course content includes quantitative and qualitative research approaches as well as an overview of elementary statistics. Students learn how to critically evaluate and utilize research.

EDUC 550 - Curriculum Development (3 hours)

Descriptions and analyses of conceptual models of curriculum theory, curriculum development, and curriculum inquiry and research.

EDUC 555 - Educational and Psychological Research Assessment and Diagnostic Techniques (3 hours)

Prerequisite: EDUC 535

Designed to increase the student's understanding and application of traditional and current techniques of educational assessment. Analysis of educational and counseling data using descriptive and basic inferential statistics.  SPSS will be used for all data analysis.

EDUC 560 - Principles of Instruction (3 hours)

An examination of foundations, principles and concepts inherent in the field of curriculum. Focuses on the qualities of a good instructor, the basic instructional methods, and the kinds of behavior that causes learning to take place. Involves knowledge of, and understanding about learning, methods and strategies for program planning, design, implementation, and evaluation. Includes the development of working skills needed in cooperative planning, curriculum revision and related research in the areas of brain-based learning, styles, and the multiple intelligences.

Educational Leadership Courses

EDAD 505 - Management of School Resources (3 hours)

A course designed to explore the planning and management of school resources. Designed to prepare building level administrators to understand the issues influencing the planning and management of personnel, financial and capital resources at the school building level.

EDAD 510 - Legal Aspects of Education (3 hours)

A philosophical consideration of the ethical principles, legal rights, responsibilities, and liabilities which influence the teacher's professional behavior.

EDAD 515 - Foundations of Educational Administration (3 hours)

Examines the fundamental principles and concepts of organizational theory, structure and climate. There is an emphasis on the administrative processes and professional ethics of leadership, motivation, decision making, communication, organizational change and strategic planning. The course offers opportunities to apply theory to professional practice through the use of case studies. Emphasis on administrative competences and planning for effective change within a complex educational environment for effective administrators.

EDAD 520 - Trends and Issues in Education (3 hours)

Provides students the opportunity to examine the process of educational change and reform from a variety of perspectives. Emphasis is placed upon the understanding of the change process itself, factors producing, facilitiating, and inhibiting change, and the impact of major social, political, economic, and education issues on the role of school leaders and the delivery and quality of programs and services. Highlights the changing role of our educational system in meeting demands of our post-industrial society.

EDAD 525 - Instructional Leadership (3 hours)

Designed for principals, superintendents, and instructional supervisors concerned with the improvement of teaching and learning by professional supervision; the role, aims, and principles of instructional supervision; introductory study of supervisory techniques.

EDAD 530 - Internship in Education (3 hours)

The application of theory, knowledge, and skills in authentic educational settings. Required of all certification candidates and serves as the culminating experience and the capstone of the degree/certification program. During the internship, students will assess the suitability of their skills and dispositions for administrative work; integrate skills and knowledge previously acquired; and become socialized into the administrative role. Grade assigned will be "credit" (CR) or "no credit" (NC). The internship requires 180 hours of experience at either a secondary, middle, elementary, or alternative school site.

Curriculum and Instruction with Reading Courses

EDRE 505 - Reading Diagnosis and Remediation (3 hours)

Students will learn to diagnose problems in reading and explore remedial strategies. The class will review the fundamentals of the reading process and introduce the nature of corrective reading; describe lytic teaching and the analytic process; present foundations of language diversity; discuss reading related factors such as physical, psychological, and environmental correlates; and describe ways to assess and evaluate literacy performance. Specific information will also be provided on instructional techniques for the major literacy domains of oral and written language, word recognition, reading comprehension, meaning vocabulary, strategic reading for narrative text, strategic reading for expository text, and study skills.

EDRE 510 - Composition: Process and Application (3 hours)

The course helps students understand the principles of composition, with special emphasis on modal organization, argumentation, and literary analysis, focusing on how best to help K-12 students improve their writing skills. We discuss theories of composition, including the processes of writing, such as heuristic devices, writing, and editing. Students learn to recognize and mark common errors in grammar and usage. Students will also improve their own writing skills by writing mode-based essays (including literary analysis), poems, and a short story.

EDRE 515 - Advanced Children’s Literature (3 hours)

Students will examine current philosophy and research supporting literature-based reading instruction. The class will review four different models for preparing students for literature circles, using response logs, Post-it notes, and role sheets; address structures for primary, intermediate, middle, and high school grades; present alternative scheduling patterns for group meetings and reading time; develop mini-lessons for training, problem solving, and book sharing; examine tools and materials for assessing and grading literature circles; discuss ideas for using literature circles with nonfiction texts across the curriculum; and address common management problems and solutions.

EDRE 520 - Language: Grammar and History (3 hours)

Students will examine how the history of the English language applies to its modern usage and grammar, particularly in the development of the parts of speech and sentence syntax. In addition, the class focuses on language issues in the current classroom: non-standard usage, ESL differences, and techniques for teaching grammar. Students will produce a graduate research paper as well as a detailed analysis of representative sentences.

EDRE 525 - Advanced Reading Methods (3 hours)

Students will examine current philosophy and research supporting methods of teaching reading. The class will address each of the components of a reading curriculum: independent reading, guided reading, book talks, phonics and word study, reading aloud, strategy mini-lessons, conferencing, leveled readers, reading assessment, and supporting struggling readers. Students will learn to organize and run reading workshops for different age groups. Students will examine some components of good reading, such as comprehension strategies, narrative and information text strategies, and writing about reading.

EDRE 550 - Literacy Practicum (3 hours)

Students will observe reading classes and instruct those classes, under supervision, on the elementary and secondary levels. Each student will arrange for the assessment of one elementary, middle school, or secondary student thought to have potential reading and/or writing difficulty and will provide instruction and support. A case study of the elementary or secondary student will be presented which will include daily lesson plans, reflections, anecdotal records, journal, pre-and post-assessment data, and a summary report.