Courses Curriculum and Instruction

Master of Science in Education

Show course with description

Practicum/Internship Experience Requirement(s):

Minimum of 45 practicum hours. See the Practicum/Internship Experience section below for more information.

Core courses:

Foundations of Master’s Studies in Education

This course provides learners with opportunities to acquire and use graduate-level skills, including the ability to critically examine and apply relevant educational theory to professional practice. Learners develop expertise in scholarly writing as well as explore the importance of multicultural perspectives and diversity in professional contexts. Finally, learners articulate and examine their professional purpose and its alignment with their specialization and career aspirations. Must be taken during the first quarter by learners who have been admitted to the MEd in Teaching and Learning, MS in Education, MS in Education Innovation and Technology, and MS in Higher Education degree programs and the Adult Education and Higher Education Leadership and Administration graduate certificate programs. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or credit for prior learning.

4 quarter credits
Survey of Research Methodology

This course is an overview of graduate research methodology. Learners examine fundamental research methodologies and their respective quantitative and qualitative approaches to rigorous scholarly inquiry.

4 quarter credits
Standards-Based Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

In this course, learners examine national and state learning standards related to their content area or grade level. Learners utilize research-based curriculum to craft assessments that are aligned to standards, and implement instruction that is meaningful to students and supports their academic achievement. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district.

4 quarter credits
Understanding Competency-Based Curriculum and Instruction

Learners in this course gain an understanding of the differences between standards, outcomes, and competencies and how they can be integrated into the curriculum. Learners build on this understanding, mapping competencies to outcomes and aligning standards to competencies and outcomes. Learners integrate competency- based curriculum and lesson planning with best-practice teaching approaches and develop competency-based classroom management techniques. This course requires access to an educational setting, students or learners, and/or classroom practitioners.

4 quarter credits
Assessment and Improvement of Instruction

In this course, learners examine instruction and learning improvement strategies and collaborate with students’ families, the community, and other professionals for the purpose of improving instruction. Learners also evaluate instruction to determine how well it promotes professional teaching standards and dispositions. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district.

4 quarter credits
Classroom Management Strategies

Learners in this course apply strategies for managing diverse and challenging student behaviors and develop the skills needed to create classroom environments that maximize the opportunity for each student to learn. This course emphasizes the roles, rights, and responsibilities of all stakeholders under The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Section 504 legislation. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district.

4 quarter credits
Strategies for Eliminating the Achievement Gap

Learners in this course examine the origins and complexities of student achievement gaps within the contexts of gender, race, culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and language difference. Learners also explore current student achievement research and best practices and identify instructional strategies most likely to eliminate achievement disparities. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district.

4 quarter credits

Specialization courses:

Curriculum Mapping: Reflection and Practice

Learners in this course formulate a research-based professional vision for curriculum design and develop a curriculum for a specific content and grade-level application using computer-based curriculum mapping applications. Learners who have taken ED8533 should not take ED5533. Rather, they should choose any other graduate-level education course to fulfill their specialization requirements.

4 quarter credits
ED5538 *
Program Evaluation of Curriculum and Instruction

Learners in this course examine theories, concepts, definitions, and models associated with the improvement of curriculum and instruction. Learners collect and organize research, analyze and report data, and complete a program evaluation that demonstrates the integral role of program evaluation in curriculum and instruction improvement. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. Prerequisite(s): ED5533.

4 quarter credits
ED5546 *
Curriculum and Instruction Practicum for Master’s Learners

This course serves as the capstone course for the Curriculum and Instruction specialization and constitutes the last course in the Curriculum and Instruction master’s program. The purpose of this capstone course is to consolidate and link content and concepts from various courses in the Curriculum and Instruction specialization. Learners serve 45 practicum hours in a site-based setting, demonstrating their proficiency by designing a project which incorporates the five course competencies. Throughout the course, learners maintain a reflection journal and activity log to document progress and challenges in their practicum. Learners also populate and organize their Professional Showcase Portfolio. For MS Curriculum and Instruction learners only. Grading for this course is S/NS. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a 12 school or district. Prerequisite(s): A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and the completion, submission, and approval of a practicum application. Please refer to practicum and internship Campus resource pages for information regarding application due dates and site and supervisor guidelines. ED5006; ED5010; ED5500 or EDT5130; ED5501; ED5503; ED5504; ED5533; ED5538​; EDT5126; EDT5142. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or credit for prior learning. 

6 quarter credits
Collaborative Learning Environments

Learners analyze systems for building, supporting, and sustaining collaborative learning by evaluating structures and systems that leverage technology to provide opportunities for collaborative learning and professional collaboration. Learners identify theories, research, and models that support collaborative learning and professional learning communities and investigate how to create opportunities for students and teachers to work collaboratively within live and virtual settings.

4 quarter credits
Adaptive Instruction and Assessment

In this course, learners analyze theories of constructivism and cognitive flexibility and implement adaptive learning approaches to meet the needs of diverse learners. Further, learners apply the Universal Design framework to instructional design and evaluate adaptive learning dashboards that provide continuous assessment of mastery-based learning. Learners also analyze facilitator-driven and assessment-driven systems and evaluate the effectiveness of mastery-based learning in student needs, including those of students with disabilities, English-language learners, and students who are gifted or talented. The course includes an emphasis on the purpose and impact of computer-aided instruction and assessment on student achievement in competency-based education (CBE). This course requires access to an educational setting, students or learners, and/or classroom practitioners.

4 quarter credits






At least 46 quarter credits

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Learners who do not complete all program requirements within quarter credit/program point minimums will be required to accrue such additional quarter credits/program points as are associated with any additional or repeat coursework necessary for successful completion of program requirements.

This specialization is not designed to lead to license, endorsement, other professional credential, or salary advancement. Contact your school district for a determination on qualifications for salary advancement.

Kentucky residents are not eligible to enroll in this specialization.

Practicum/Internship Experience 

Learners enrolled in the MS in Education, Curriculum and Instruction degree program must  complete  45 practicum hours in ​a site-based setting as a requirement of their program. Learners apply the skills developed through the course of the program at an approved site and  develop  a final portfolio that demonstrates proficiency in curriculum and instruction. ​The practicum course (ED5546) serves as the capstone of their program. 

Practicum and/or Internship hours are considered complete once all program required practicum/internships hours have been successfully achieved.  Partial completion of practicum/internship requirements/hours can't be verified for licensure or transfer of hours.

What can I expect?

Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

Learn more about online learning at Capella.

Transfer Credits

There are many ways to reduce tuition costs, including transferring credits which may help save time and money. You can transfer up to 12 credits into this program.

Ever Wonder What a Capella Course is Like?

Sign up for a GuidedPath Trial Course on us and see all the great each online learning format has to offer.

Get started

Take an individual course

Whether you're completing additional credits for your own education, want to see if online learning is right for you, or are simply interested in a specific topic, you can enroll in many of Capella's online courses without committing to a degree program. We recommend speaking with an enrollment counselor to discuss your goals and ensure that the credits you earn now may be applicable to a Capella degree program.

Learn more about individual courses.

Ready for the next step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.