Curriculum & instruction
This course of study is the most flexible master’s online option at the University of San Diego (USD). It allows you to choose your specialization courses from across the School Leadership, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), Inclusive Learning: Special Education and Universal Design, or the Literacy and Digital Learning offerings. With these courses, you will focus on the design, delivery, and assessment of lessons, units, and programs.
The School Leadership specialization is designed for experienced K-12 educators who aspire to leadership roles within their schools and communities. It features a five-course specialization sequence that addresses essential areas of school leadership including data driven decision-making, instructional leadership, professional learning communities, meaningful engagement with families and communities, and ethical and professional norms. All courses are grounded in a social justice foundation and are designed to prepare leaders who advance equity and excellence in their schools and communities.
The STEAM specialization takes STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to the next level by adding Arts (liberal, social, manual, physical and fine arts) to the framework for integrated instruction. STEAM empowers teachers to employ a project-based learning approach that crosses all of these disciplines in solving everyday problems. This approach aligns with Common Core Standards and has been shown to engage students and allow them to use both left and right brained thinking in the same exercise.
Inclusive Learning – Special Education and Universal Design
Inclusive learning provides all students with access to flexible learning choices and effective paths for achieving educational goals in spaces where they experience a sense of belonging. As special and general education teachers move toward creating more inclusive classrooms, the frameworks of Disability Studies in Education and Universal Design for Learning employ strategies to meet the expectations of IDEA and expand understanding of student ability. Collaboration and critical insight remain crucial while considering the role of the Common Core Standards in this context. This specialization is appropriate for K-12 special education and general education teachers.
Literacy and Digital Learning
This specialization helps you integrate new media into your classroom to improve reading, writing and language development. Designed for English and Language Arts teachers, elementary educators, and content area teachers, it responds to Common Core State Standards and supports the development of evidence-based best practices. Coursework will strengthen your ability to effectively engage students in reading and responding to complex texts, accessing and critically evaluating information, and sharing their ideas through written work, oral presentations, and multimodal media communications.