The Illinois College Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.) program is designed to accommodate the professional development needs of in-service teachers. This degree will provide teachers with advanced knowledge of research, theory and practice in the field of teaching and learning; for assuming leadership roles in mentoring, curriculum and instruction and staff development; and for obtaining their National Board Certification. Earning a master's degree in education at Illinois College will add a depth of understanding to the broader liberal arts education received in studies leading to a bachelor's degree.
The M.A.Ed. is a two year, 32 credit-hour, on-campus degree program consisting of 28 credits from seven four-credit-hour core courses and a one-credit action research capstone experience. The remaining three credits may be earned by taking a variety of elective courses designed specifically for the program. Up to four graduate credits taken prior to the start of the program may be transferred into the program as electives.
Delivery of the program is course-based, engaging the adult learner in a rigorous and relevant learning experience. Candidates enroll in cohorts of 12 to 15 students each fall semester for this one-course-at-a-time program. Classes are held on the Illinois College campus and most are held on one day, weekly, in the late afternoon and early evening. Some Saturday morning classes may be scheduled to accommodate candidates’ school calendars and work schedules. Both required and elective courses are offered during the summer to provide candidates an opportunity to complete these courses in two years. The action research capstone experience is typically completed the fall semester following the second set of summer core courses, although candidates can conduct the literature review and plan the study design as they progress through the pertinent core courses in the program.
The courses focus on providing degree candidates with attitudes, skills, and knowledge to become better teachers and leaders in their classrooms, schools and districts. Students examine educational theory and research and are guided through the development of applications to enhance their current educational practices.