PreK-4 or PreK-4/Special Education (PreK-8)

Director: Foram Bhukhanwala, Ph.D.

Master’s Degrees and Teacher Certification

About the PreK–4 Master’s Degree Program

PreK–4 or PreK–4/Special Education (PreK–8) master’s and certification programs are designed to provide the student with both the conceptual and skill understandings of best practices in working with young children and in designing meaningful learning environments for young children. Students have the choice of pursuing a concurrent masters and certification program in PreK–4 or in PreK–4/Special Education (Prek–8).

The master’s degree is not required for certification, and certification requirements may vary based on academic experience. See Certification Requirements.

Master of Education Degree Requirements (M.Ed.)

(a minimum of 30 credits)

Middle School Education Concentration

1. Foundation Courses (6–9 credits) chosen with the adviser from the following:

  • ED 503 General Foundations of Education in the United States
  • One additional foundation chosen from ED 501–510

2. Concentration Courses (15–18 credits) chosen with the adviser from the following:

  • ED 512 Differentiated Instruction for Inclusive Classrooms
  • ED 514 Assessment in the Classroom
  • ED 517 Human Development: The School Years, K–12
  • ED 521 The Teacher and the Classroom, Elementary
  • ED 526A Learning and Assessment in Elementary/Middle Math
  • ED 552 Issues and Methods in Elementary/Middle Science
  • ED 562A Teaching Citizenship and Social Science, K–8
  • ED 580 Introduction to Inclusive Education
  • ED 585 Positive Behavior Approaches
  • ED 605 Writing to Improve Literacy
  • ED 606 Strategic Instruction for Emergent and Content Area Lit
  • ED 618 Instructional Strategies for Early Childhood

3. Electives (3–9 credits) chosen with the adviser

4. Culminating Activity: (3 credits)

  • ED 596 Curriculum Development Project

Certification

Pennsylvania Instructional Teacher Certification (variable credit depending on previous academic credentials)

PreK–4 Education

  • ED 512 Differentiated Instruction in Inclusive Classrooms
  • ED 517 Human Development: The School Years
  • ED 521 The Teacher and the Classroom, Elementary
  • ED 526A Learning and Assessment in Elementary/Middle Math
  • ED 552 Issues and Methods in Elementary/Middle Science
  • ED 562A Teaching Citizenship and Social Science, K–8
  • ED 564 Creative Expressions
  • ED 580 Introduction to Inclusive Education
  • ED 601 Literacy Foundations
  • ED 606 Strategic Instruction for Emergent and Content Area Literacy
  • Ed 618 Instructional Strategies in Early Childhood
  • ED 621 Home School Community Collaborations
  • ED 622 ESL: Multilingual and Multicultural Literacies
  • ED 471 Graduate Student Teaching Practicum: PreK–4 (6 credits; credits not applicable to: master’s degree or culminating activity), or ED 583B Fieldwork (for students holding a valid Pennsylvania Instructional I or II certificate) (3 credits; credits not applicable to master’s degree)

Please Note: Background courses in content may need to be completed in order to fulfill Pennsylvania Department of Education requirements.

PreK–4/Special Education (PreK–8)


  • ED 512 Differentiated Instruction in Inclusive Classrooms
  • ED 514 Assessment in Classrooms
  • ED 517 Human Development: The School Years
  • ED 526A Learning and Assessment in Elementary/Middle Math
  • ED 552 Issues and Methods in Elementary/Middle Science
  • ED 562A Teaching Citizenship and Social Science, K–8
  • ED 580 Introduction to Inclusive Education
  • ED 584 Supporting Students with Low Incidence Disabilities
  • ED 585 Positive Behavior Approaches
  • ED 601 Literacy Foundations
  • ED 606 Strategic Instruction for Emergent and Content Area Literacy
  • Ed 618 Instructional Strategies in Early Childhood
  • ED 621 Home School Community Collaborations
  • ED 622 ESL: Multilingual and Multicultural Literacies
  • ED 592 Graduate Student Teaching Practicum: PreK–4/Special Education (PreK–8) (6 credits; credits not applicable to: master’s degree or culminating activity), or ED 583B Fieldwork (for students holding a valid Pennsylvania Instructional I or II certificate) (3 credits; credits not applicable to master’s degree)

Please Note: Background courses in content may need to be completed in order to fulfill Pennsylvania Department of Education requirements.

Additional Certification Requirements


  1. Satisfactory completion of all coursework and GPA requirement specified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (3.0 GPA).
  2. Satisfactory completion of full–day fieldwork.
  3. Demonstration of proficiency in the skills of teaching through fieldwork.
  4. Satisfactory completion of University requirements as identified elsewhere in this catalog.
  5. Satisfactory completion of student teaching (“B” or better) in the area of certification and the PDE 430 performance–based assessment rating form. (Note that all practicum prerequisites must be met and the adviser’s approval received before enrolling in the student teaching.)
  6. Obtain qualifying scores on the PAPA Series qualifying tests and the appropriate PECT/PRAXIS required tests (Note: in order for students to receive an Instructional I certificate from the PA Dept. of Education they will need to obtain qualifying scores on all required PECT/PRAXIS tests. Students may retake tests if their scores do not meet the state required cutoff scores.
  7. Updated clearance documentation: PA Criminal Background Check, PA Child Abuse background check and FBI background check.
  8. Completion of Pennsylvania Instructional I certification forms (available in the College of Graduate Studies Office) required by the University and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
  9. Meeting of all the Pennsylvania State Standards for the Preparation of Teachers.

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