Master of Arts in Educational Psychology
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MISSION AND OBJECTIVES
The Master of Arts in Educational Psychology meets the academic requirements for New York State Professional Teaching Certification and is designed to explore what is known about teaching and learning and to actively practice implementing that knowledge in educational settings.
The M.A. in Educational Psychology program has two tracks. The first track meets the academic requirements for application to Professional Certification in Childhood Education (grades 1-6) for candidates with initial teacher certification in this area. The second track meets the academic requirements for application to Professional Certification in Adolescent Education (grades 7-12) and is designed for candidates who possess initial certification in one of the Adolescence Education areas: Social Studies, Science (Biology or Chemistry), Mathematics, Languages (French or Spanish), and English. Also, the second track meets the academic requirements for initial and professional certification in Middle School Extension (grades 5-6). Upon completing the M.A. in Educational Psychology program, candidates applying for the Professional Teaching Certification in Adolescence Education will thus meet the master’s degree requirements for Middle School Extension (grades 5-6).
Both tracks of the M.A. in Educational Psychology entail the successful completion of 36 credit hours of coursework. Both tracks are oriented around a pedagogical core curriculum described below. All candidates complete this Pedagogical Core curriculum and other required courses as listed in the Curriculum Summary section.
In addition, all teacher education candidates in order to graduate with a Masters degree are required to complete, submit, and defend an electronic portfolio based on the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, as their capstone project for completing the Masters program. The electronic portfolio demonstrates the professional knowledge and skills candidates have developed across the program. This is a multimedia, standards-based document that is stored online. An early course (EPSY 506- Content Area Assessment and Portfolio Development) prepares candidates to use the online Marist system for portfolio development. Candidates are required, in their last semester in the program, to participate in meetings across the semester in order to receive guidance and help to complete their electronic portfolio. Candidates will complete, submit, and defend their electronic portfolio in front of an evaluation committee, no later than five years from matriculation. Completion is recorded when the portfolio is passed. Passing the electronic portfolio is a requirement for the Masters degree.
The teacher education programs at Marist College are designed to develop candidates who are reflective professionals. The program of study integrates a strong critical perspective and liberal arts foundation with research-validated pedagogical knowledge. As members of a community of learners, candidates are expected to master the personal and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to teach and assess K-12 students within the full range of abilities, to evaluate and improve teaching, to develop creative standards-based curricula, and to contribute as effective teachers and leaders in their schools and communities. The roles of research and technology and the importance of critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and multicultural and global perspectives are emphasized.
The M.A. in Educational Psychology program reflects the particular areas of focus for which Marist College teacher education is widely noted, and is defined by our Conceptual Framework.
The Conceptual Framework of the Teacher Education programs identifies its purpose as preparing reflective professionals who think critically and work collaboratively to help all students learn, and is also consistent with Marist’s three ideals: excellence in education; sense of community; and commitment to service. This purpose is further defined in the seven core values/beliefs listed below:
EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION
In keeping with Marist’s commitment to excellence in education, the program strives to prepare school professionals who:
-Use critical thinking and creative problem-solving in their professional practice.Are reflective professionals who examine their -Practice and seek to improve it in a process of continual professional development.
-Use evidence-based practices, adapted to the demands of the specific professional contexts.
SENSE OF COMMUNITY
In keeping with Marist’s commitment to a sense of community, the program strives to prepare school professionals who:
-Are active members of collaborative teams, and work across disciplines.
-Build relationships that support student learning and well-being.
COMMITMENT TO SERVICE
In keeping with Marist’s commitment to service and promoting the dignity and value of every human being, the program strives to prepare school professionals who:
-Promote justice, equity, and access for all students while working to improve schools.
-Base their practice on an understanding of the diversity in human development and cognitive functioning as it impacts learning.
MARIST INITIAL TEACHING STANDARDS
Marist Initial Teaching Standards are based on the INTASC standards and NY State requirements and closely represent our Conceptual Framework in the 12 standards listed below:
Standard 1: The candidate understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry and structures of the discipline(s) within the context of a global society and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students.
Standard 2: The candidate understands how students learn and develop, and provides learning opportunities that support the intellectual, social, and personal development of all students.
Standard 3: The candidate understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.
Standard 4: The candidate recognizes the importance of long-range planning and curriculum development and develops, implements, and evaluates curriculum based upon student, district, and state performance standards.
Standard 5: The candidate uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students' development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills.
Standard 6: The candidate has awareness of the different aspects of literacy development and related teaching procedures for both Native English speakers and students who are English language learners.
Standard 7: The candidate understands and can apply disciplinary knowledge from the humanities and social sciences to interpreting, and bringing normative and critical perspectives to bear on, the meanings of education and schooling in diverse cultural contexts.
Standard 8: The candidate uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
Standard 9: The candidate models effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.
Standard 10: The candidate understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the learner.
Standard 11: The candidate is a reflective practitioner who continually assesses the effects of choices and actions on others. This reflective practitioner actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally and utilizes the assessment and professional growth to generate more learning for more students.
Standard 12: The candidate fosters relationships with school colleagues, parents, and educational partners in the larger community to support student learning and well-being.
PEDAGOGICAL CORE CURRICULUM
The course of study in the Master of Arts program supports the core values of Marist College identified in the institutional Mission Statement. The Master of Arts program is designed around courses and experiences that help teachers expand and build on their professional knowledge and skills. The goal is to prepare innovative, flexible teachers who are collaborative, reflective, and well grounded in current theories, contemporary professional practices, and innovative teaching strategies. The program is oriented around a fifteen credit hour pedagogical core curriculum that cuts across five essential areas of knowledge and skill needed by teachers: 1) Art and Science of Teaching, 2) The Learner, 3) Literacy, 4) Foundations, Context and Purpose, 5) Research and Inquiry.
1. Art and Science of Teaching
Teaching comprises an ever-changing, unique combination of scientific reasoning and artistry intended to promote the highest level of student achievement. Skills that foster student motivation, communication, self-worth, and content mastery provide a foundation for developing artistry to further enhance the learning experience. This domain encourages students to explore the techniques of teaching while developing effective teaching styles consistent with their individual personalities.
2. The Learner
At the center of all education is the learner. In order to provide effective education to all learners, teachers need to understand the specific learning needs of each student, and how those learning needs are affected by differences in development, temperament, cognitive functioning, and social, economic, and cultural contexts. In this domain, contemporary psychological theory and research are applied to learners in the context of the study of development, assessment, and learning. Study in this domain allows educators to create classroom learning communities where everyone, including teachers, are unique and respected learners who participate actively in their own education.
This domain is the cornerstone of all teaching and learning. Here teachers acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for teaching others to become critically literate in all six domains of literacy: reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing, and visually representing. Furthermore, teachers learn to appreciate how the acquisition of critical literacy is a necessary requisite for a lifetime of growth and empowerment. A wide variety of theoretical and practical matters pertaining to literacy are explored in this domain.
4. Foundations, Context, and Purpose
The purpose and meaning of any educational activity is not a given, but must be constructed, articulated, and justified within the particular context in which it occurs. Teachers and other educational professionals must, therefore, have a deep awareness of this context—including its cultural, historical, linguistic, technological, and philosophical roots—in order to engage in purposeful and meaningful teaching. This essential domain of study prepares teachers who are able to reflect critically on teaching practices and educational policies in light of their complex relations to the environing culture. This study aims to equip teachers to make sense of classroom practices through an understanding of the larger social context in which these classrooms are embedded.
5. Research and Inquiry
Teachers, in order to be effective, must be adept researchers and they must be actively engaged in meaningful forms of inquiry. Moreover, teachers must have the capacity to critically examine various research claims and to assess the relative worth of such claims to understanding their own classroom practice and environment, which includes using technology to obtain and evaluate information from the Internet.
Teachers must also be able to foster research skills in their own students and create a learning environment that encourages inquiry and critical thinking. This domain gives teachers experience from which to sharpen their expertise in this key area.
Admissions Requirements for the Master of Arts in Educational Psychology are:
- an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited university;
- minimum grade-point average of 3.0;
- copy of initial teacher certificate;
- a current résumé;
- submission of a written personal essay describing the applicant's background, experiences, and goals, and how these factors relate to the person's work in education;
- two letters of recommendation and where applicable, letter of recommendation from a school principal or from former professors;
- interview with the Director of the Graduate Education programs, which includes a short written task.
NOTE: Cooperating teachers who take graduate education courses as an exchange of a teaching voucher need only to complete an application form, to provide a statement that the course they intend to take is a voucher exchange, submit the original voucher, and receive permission from the Program Director who will advise on the appropriate course. There is no limit to the number of graduate courses a cooperating teacher with a valid voucher may take; however; if the person later decides to become a degree candidate, he/she must then satisfy the requirements for matriculation. It is important to note that a maximum of nine (9) credits may be applied toward the degree using courses taken with a voucher.
Acceptance of credits will be determined on an individual basis:
-No more than six (6) graduate credits will be accepted from another institution.
-A grade of B or better is required for acceptance of any transfer credits.
To qualify for the Master of Arts in Educational Psychology degree, a student must:
- Complete all program requirements not later than five years after matriculation;
- Maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average in graduate courses; and maintain appropriate dispositions associated with responsibilities of a classroom teacher;
- Complete a total of 36 credits as prescribed in the curriculum requirements;
- Complete, present, defend, and pass an electronic portfolio to the satisfaction of the portfolio evaluation committee during the candidate’s final semester.
PROGRAM FORMAT AND DELIVERY MODELS
The Master of Arts in Educational Psychology degree program is designed with three delivery models: fully on campus, hybrid (on campus and online), and 5-year BA/MA.
On-campus model: takes place on the Poughkeepsie campus, and coursework may be completed either through full-time or part-time study. Candidates are accepted in the fall, spring, and summer. A limited number of courses are offered in the summers. The program is designed so that it can be completed by a full-time student in three to four semesters, completing 9 or 12 credits each semester. A full-time student usually attends evening classes and takes 9 credits per semester. Each course is worth three credits and meets one evening per week, and some online course opportunities. Part-time students must complete the program within five years from first matriculation in the program. Study plans can be customized for individual student needs. Some courses are offered both fall and spring, other courses are offered only fall or only spring. The study plans will reflect the order of course offerings. Since graduate education students are currently accepted three times per year (fall, spring, and summer), and students can register as full-time and part-time, at this time there are no specifically coordinated cohorts for the on-campus model. Study plans are customized according to individual needs and availability of courses. Due to course availability and course planning, candidates in collaboration with the Director of Graduate Programs will design a study plan for each student upon their acceptance into the program. Candidates should follow the study plan and consult with the director for any changes.
Hybrid model: is a cohort-based program model. Students start the hybrid model only in summers. This unique 36-credit program is designed to be completed in two years, with two courses completed each semester: summer, fall, and spring. In recognition of the busy and tightly scheduled lives of professional educators today, the program takes advantage of the superior online resources of Marist to combine short, two-week summer sessions on the beautiful campus in Poughkeepsie with online work during the rest of the summer session and the entire length of fall and spring semesters. There are two short summer sessions held at the Marist campus. The summer sessions will take place on campus for two weeks and continue online for other three weeks. All fall and spring semester courses are delivered online. Marist has a long history of collaborative research and development, including Marist/IBM collaboration, to build outstanding online learning environments. As a result Marist now has cutting-edge technology platforms and includes the traditional services of email, chat, discussion groups, web servers, as well as iLearn, a dynamic and flexible system for offering online coursework. This graduate program takes full advantage of these resources. Because this is a cohort-based model, courses are offered in a specified sequence and candidates follow the already set cohort program. Since this is a very intensive program in a hybrid model, students must have good self-management and organization skills.
5-year BA/MA in Educational Psychology model: This model is an extension of the Marist undergraduate Dual Certificate Program in Childhood grades 1-6/Students with Disabilities grades 1-6. Outstanding, academically successful (minimum of 3.2 GPA), and highly motivated Marist undergraduate students in Psychology and the Dual-Certificate education program may consider applying to the five-year program which combines the Psychology in Childhood 1-6/Students with Disabilities 1-6 undergraduate program with the M.A. in Educational Psychology program. Marist students in the five-year program will receive a B.A. in Psychology, earn a New York State Initial Teaching Certificate in Childhood Education 1-6/Students with Disabilities grades 1-6, as well as a M.A. in Educational Psychology. The five-year program is a 36-credit graduate program. In this program candidates complete 12 credits of graduate courses starting in the spring semester of their junior year, prior to the completion of the B.A. degree program. Student teaching will be completed in the Spring semester of their senior year as part of the B.A. degree requirement. The remaining 24 credits are completed in the fifth year, with graduate student status. Admission to this program is granted to qualified applicants in the fall semester of their junior year. The program is a cohort-based program and fits only for undergraduate students who graduate with their Bachelor's in spring. Application should be submitted in the junior year in the fall semester and the application deadline is September 15.
At the time of matriculation, each student will meet with the Director of Graduate Programs to design a Study Plan which candidates are to follow. Candidates will have regular meetings with the Director of Graduate Programs for purposes of discussing academic progress and planning.
Candidates who fail to maintain a 3.0 or higher grade-point average, or do not demonstrate the dispositions necessary to assume the responsibilities of a classroom teacher, will be subject to review by the Teacher Education Candidate Review Board (TECRB) and may be placed on probation or dismissed from the program.
A minimum GPA of 3.0 and no more than one grade of C+ in graduate courses attempted are requirements for graduation. If at any time the student’s GPA falls below 3.0, or has more than one grade in the range of C in graduate courses, the student will be sent a letter notifying him/her of academic review. Academic review will result in assignment of probationary status or dismissal.
A student on probation is expected to take immediate steps to raise his or her GPA. This can be done by (1) earning enough grades of B+ or A, or (2) retaking the course(s) in which a grade of C+ or below was earned and achieving a B or better in this course. NOTE: while a grade of B in any subsequent course may raise a GPA that is below 3.0, it may not by itself be sufficient to raise the GPA to 3.0 or above.
A student is allowed up to 12 credit hours of work to raise his or her GPA above 3.0 after being placed on probation. If after attempting 12 credit hours the GPA has not been raised to 3.0, the student will be dismissed from the program. Any dispositions that are in obvious deviation from the teacher candidate dispositions stated in accordance with our Conceptual Framework and teaching standards may result in assignment of probationary status or dismissal. The candidate will be informed of any decision or recommendation by the TECRB.Teacher candidates will be presented with a list of expected dispositions at matriculation to the program.
A limited number of assistantships are available in research and student activities, as well as tutoring, and require ten hours of experience each week during the fall and spring semesters. Up to $4,500 per year for a graduate assistantship may be awarded, in the form of tuition waiver or stipend, to full-time graduate students in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Candidates may apply for assistantships at the time of application to be accepted in the program. Selection for assistantships is highly competitive and candidates must maintain full time status and a 3.0 GPA.
Fall: April 15
Spring: December 1
Summer: April 1 (for the Hybrid program)