Master of Arts in Educational Psychology
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MISSION AND OBJECTIVES
The Master of Arts in Educational Psychology is designed to explore what is known about teaching and learning and to actively practice implementing that knowledge in culturally diverse educational settings.
Two tracks of the Master of Arts in Educational Psychology degree are offered. The first track leads to Professional Certification in Childhood Education (1-6) for students with initial teacher certification in this area. The second track meets the needs of those students who possess initial certification in one of the Adolescence Education areas and leads to initial certification in Middle Childhood Extension (5-6). Students completing this Middle Childhood Extension (5-6) will thus meet the master's degree requirements for professional certification in Adolescence Education. Both tracks of the Master of Arts in Educational Psychology degree entail the successful completion of 36 credit hours of coursework. Both tracks are oriented around a pedagogical core curriculum described below. All students complete this Pedagogical Core curriculum and other required courses as listed in the Curriculum Summary section. All students complete, submit, and defend an electronic portfolio based on the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.
The teacher education programs at Marist College are designed to develop students 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, students are expected to master the personal and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to teach and assess 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 role of research and technology and the importance of critical thinking, creative problem solving, and multicultural and global perspectives are emphasized.
The course of study in the Master of Arts in Educational Psychology program supports the core values of Marist College identified in the institutional Mission Statement. The program is oriented around a fifteen credit hour pedagogical core curriculum that reflects this mission by cutting 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. The pedagogical core domains are described as follows:
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.
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 is 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.
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.
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 with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale;
- prerequisite courses: Introduction to Psychology and Introductory Statistics;
- strongly recommended: Research Methods in Psychology or the Social Sciences;
- copy of initial teacher certificate;
- submit a written personal statement of at least 500 words describing your background, experiences, and goals, and how these factors relate to your work in education;
- two letters of recommendation;
- where applicable, letter of recommendation from school principal;
- an on-campus interview with the program coordinator.
To qualify for the Master of Arts in Educational Psychology degree, a student must:
- complete all requirements no later than five years after matriculation;
- complete a total of 36 credits as prescribed in the curriculum requirements including an electronic portfolio;
- maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average in graduate courses.
PROGRAM AND CLASS SCHEDULE
There are two ways to complete the program as a full-time student: Hybrid cohort and the traditional full-time schedule.
The Hybrid Master of Arts in Educational Psychology is a cohort that has a two-week residency on campus for 2 Summers with all Fall and Spring semester courses delivered online. The program is designed so that it can be completed by a full-time student in three to four semesters. A full-time student attends classes four evenings per week and takes 12 credits per semester. Each course is worth three credits and meets one evening per week. Part-time students must complete the program within five years.
At the time of matriculation, each student is assigned a faculty advisor, generally the Coordinator of the Graduate Program. Students are encouraged to have regular meetings with their faculty advisors for purposes of discussing academic progress and planning.
A minimum GPA of 3.0 in graduate courses attempted is a requirement for graduation. If at any time the student's GPA falls below 3.0, 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.