Study Format

  • Online
  • On Campus
  • Hybrid

Program Length

  • 30 Credit Hours
  • 12 or 24 Months

Application Deadlines

Aug, 19

Domestic Students

Fall 2020 Completed File Due. Classes start August 24, 2020.

Jul, 06

International Students

Fall 2020 Completed File Due. Classes start August 24, 2020.


Concordia University Chicago's Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction provides graduate candidates with an innovative, world-class learning experience. Courses are taught by experienced education leaders and scholars, who assist candidates throughout a rigorous degree track by stressing the importance of integrity, competence and servant leadership.

Faculty methods utilize the latest technology and engage students through real-world applications using multiple instructional models. We establish a critical theoretical and practical approach for well-rounded learning environments which prepare candidates for success in the field of education today and tomorrow for education leaders.

The master of arts degree in curriculum and instruction is directed toward the preparation of master classroom teachers. The program enables teachers to increase mastery of curriculum methodology, pedagogy and theoretical applications and apply these skills to their teaching to achieve a deeper penetration into subjects, enhance understanding of the learner and the process of education, and become a resource person for curriculum development.

In addition to the overall mission and vision of the Concordia University Chicago graduate programs, candidates will acquire the following knowledge and competencies in the Curriculum and Instruction program:

  • Have a proactive approach to the principles, practices, and problems in school reading programs with an emphasis on application of current theory and research.
  • Be knowledgeable of curriculum models and theories and the selection and organization of learning experiences. Learn to investigate of contemporary types of curriculum organization, factors affecting curriculum, and pertinent research.
  • Examine contemporary educational issues in the United States. Obstacles and challenges faced by educators. Explore basic assumptions and social forces that influence current educational policy making and reform.
  • Develop knowledge and skills regarding effective teaching and instruction. Thoroughly analyze current and emerging research in pedagogy.
  • Understand effective teacher leadership in classrooms, schools, and other social institutions. Comparative educational systems, organizational theory, and school change and reform processes.
  • Develop and organize curriculum to facilitate acquisition, maintenance and generalization of skills for students with special needs. Instructional planning and design based on knowledge of learning needs, pedagogy and curriculum goals.
  • Examine and apply action research in educational settings. Focus on development of basic action research skills for improved teacher practice. Development of skills for interpreting published research is also emphasized.
  • Examine major perspectives of cognitive development throughout the life span, including the developmental and information processing approaches. Explore the implications for work with various age groups in educational and other settings.

Throughout the program, candidates will be required to integrate their new knowledge, skills and instructional practices into their current educational settings. At the completion of all coursework candidates for the master of arts degree in curriculum and instruction are required to complete a capstone assessment that demonstrates their understanding of content and theory, and their ability to apply this new knowledge to practice.


Program Information

Core: 15 hours

Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction

The course examines the philosophical, historical, social, and psychological foundations in education and their impact on teacher practice in curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Curriculum Construction

Educational objectives and the selection and organization of learning experiences. Investigation and analysis of curriculum development. Enhanced theoretical perspectives as they relate to the process of curriculum. A thorough explanation of pertinent research, curricula issues, and the completion of a curriculum project.

Assessment, Evaluation, and Data-Driven Decision Making

This course will enable teacher leaders to examine assessment as a system of integrated assessment practices in various educational settings. Integrity is fostered as students learn about the elements necessary for an assessment system to be one of high fidelity. This course lays the foundation of a school-improvement conceptual framework upon which assessment systems are designed. Students become competent in the purposes of assessment, assessment cycles, data analysis and how assessment and data can be used to make academic decisions to enhance and improve student achievement. Servant Leadership skills are developed and nurtured as students become more aware of their roles in fostering the assessment literacy of teachers, staff, and other stakeholders in education settings.

Teacher as Practitioner

Knowledge and skills regarding effective teaching and instruction. Analysis of current and emerging research in pedagogy.

Teacher as Leader

This course promotes effective teacher leadership in classrooms, schools and other social institutions. Course content examines comparative educational systems, organizational theory, and school change and reform processes.

Electives: 9 hours (select 3)

Instructional Methods of the Differentiated Classroom

Candidates will develop the knowledge and skills of how to build a democratic learning community inclusive of a broad set of effective teaching strategies. Through this process, the candidates will learn to shape and maintain learning conditions that facilitate effective differentiated instruction, including effective classroom management as an ongoing, maintenance-oriented process which involves motivating students to learn, providing appropriate instruction and feedback, and managing student work. 

Instructional Coaching and Mentoring 

Teacher Leadership In this course students will investigate coaching models and principles of teacher mentorship. This course will examine the critical role the teacher leader has in improvement of instruction and in the professional development of faculty.

Providing Instructional Support 

This course aims to instruct teacher leaders about the distributed nature of professional development; provide a theoretical understanding about concepts of induction, retention and resilience; help manage the anxiety common to new teachers; and develop and apply a teacher support plan based on a case study of their choosing among several case studies provided in the course. These theories and strategies will be practically implemented through the development of an individual action plan that focuses on providing instructional support for teachers.

Integrating Technology Across the Curriculum 

This course is an introduction to the disciplined practice of integrating technology into teaching and learning. It provides an overview of current instructional technologies and theory-based design strategies for effectively using these technologies. 

Assistive Technology: Principles and Practices

This course will address the use of assistive technology within a teaching and learning environment. It will present research and trending developments on how specific technologies address the academic and access needs of individuals with cultural/linguistic, 03/18/20 sensory, social, emotional, cognitive and physical disabilities. Topics include defining and differentiating assistive and educational technologies; identifying the legislative policies connected with such technologies; exploring ethical and legal ramifications of assistive technology usage; and collaboration and implementation of assistive technology-enhanced materials and teaching/ learning opportunities for all learners.

Studies in Literacy and Multiliteracies

Examination of the correlates of effective literacy instruction. Emphasis on application of current theory and research in literacy and multiliteracies as it applies to P-12 classrooms. Not open to candidates in the M.A. Reading program.

Socially, Culturally, & Linguistically Diverse Students 

This course seeks to prepare teachers for teaching culturally and linguistically diverse students and to explore issues of language and culture involved in teaching diverse and/or marginalized students in American schools. 

Special Education Curriculum & Pedagogy

Information and skills necessary to develop and organize curriculum to facilitate acquisition, maintenance and generalization of skills for students with special needs. Instructional planning and design based on knowledge of the disability, pedagogy and curriculum goals.

Capstone Experience

A master’s capstone is required for all master of arts candidates. This culminating project highlights the candidate’s mastery of content throughout his or her studies. Capstones are traditionally a summary of work demonstrating overall growth and specific understandings of the professional standards. The capstone serves as a performance-based evaluation and promotes reflective practice. It also demonstrates the professional’s proficiency in integrating technology and his or her ability to interpret theory into practice.

Teacher as Researcher

Principles of teacher research. Focus on development of basic research skills to carry out action research, self-study, or other practitioner research projects with the goal of improved teacher practice. Skills for interpreting published research are also emphasized.

Seminar in Reflective Practice

A capstone seminar that explores teaching as a reflective practice. Reflection on one's own beliefs and assumptions as they relate to teaching and learning.

Seminar in Higher Education (EDU 6015)

In addition to the base program curriculum, international students attending face-to-face classes on the CUC campus are required to take the Seminar in Higher Education, a 3-credit course.

Course Description

This course will serve as an introduction to the U.S.-based higher education learning environment. Students will work to understand Concordia University Chicago’s academic conventions, technological systems and communication culture while developing English grammar, reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

The Seminar in Higher Education is an excellent opportunity for students to further develop critical skills to help them to be successful in their academic program. This 3-credit course is mandatory for international students attending face-to-face classes on the CUC campus. 

Course Objectives

  • Developing knowledge about local and academic culture
  • Building grammar, reading, writing, speaking and listening skills
  • Conducting graduate-level research with the use of electronic and library resources
  • Developing note-taking strategies for coursework
  • Reflecting on the U.S.-based education system

Academic support for work in students’ current coursework will also be provided during or after class. Guest speakers include representatives from the campus library, writing center and technology services.

Student feedback for the Seminar in Higher Education

  • After taking the Seminar, I have the ability to perform more professionally in my assignments.

  • The instructor was very dynamic and a good listener. He gave feedback and made sure all the students understood.

  • The hands-on activities after the lessons helped my learning experience.

  • The professor truly cares for the students. He helps students individually and encourages us to support our peers.


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