Master of Education in Elementary Education

M.Ed. in Elementary Education

The Master of Education in Elementary Education provides K-5 educators with an in-depth study of topics specific to elementary students.

Elementary students are developmentally different from pre-school and adolescents, requiring instructional strategies to meet their cognitive, social and emotional needs. With this degree, you can strengthen your expertise in elementary teaching with additional courses in literacy and specific content areas.

Become a master elementary educator with this online degree program.Start your application, or check admission requirements.

Gain the skills needed to advance your career, potentially becoming a lead teacher, department chair or elementary specialist. Students in the M.Ed. in Elementary Education program will:

  • Design curricula and evidence-based instruction responsive to student diversity
  • Use assessment results to inform instructional practices and decision making
  • Collaborate with others in a professional community of learners

The M.Ed. in Elementary Education is specifically designed for educators who already possess teacher certification, not for those who require initial certification. If you are interested in a degree plan designed for pre-service elementary educators, click the following link to learn more about our Master of Arts in Elementary Teaching.

Dual Degree Program

Graduates of American College of Education with an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership or M.Ed. in Elementary Education may continue their knowledge and development with a dual degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

Program Summary

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Elementary Education is designed for already licensed elementary educators who seek to build their understanding of elementary pedagogy, integrate digital technology into instruction, and use assessment methods effectively to respond to students’ needs. Students will learn how to increase student achievement during the critical early years by evaluating and designing instructional methods appropriate for the developmental needs of elementary learners.

View our faculty here

Program Outcomes

  • Design curricula and deliver evidenced-based instruction that is responsive to student diversity and differences and promotes high achievement for all students.

  • Apply standards-based, data-driven decision making and integrated, differentiated instruction using appropriate technologies and tools to improve the achievement for all students.

  • Develop and implement evidence-based assessment strategies and use assessment results to inform instructional decision making.

  • Demonstrate the requirements for well-organized, student-centered, positively managed, and safe learning environments and analyze their impact on instructional effectiveness and student achievement.

  • Participate in continuous professional learning and inquiry and collaborate with others in a community of learners to improve student achievement.

  • Conduct research to improve practice and apply knowledge of scientifically based research to plan and deliver instruction for the purpose of improving the achievement of all students.

  • Describe areas of the law that are relevant to teaching and learning and demonstrate behavior that reflects the high ethical standards of the teaching profession.


(3 semester credits each unless noted otherwise)

ED5193 Foundations of Education
DL5013 The Digital Learner
ED5023 Assessment Strategies
RES5153 Research Methods
CI5353 Standards-Driven Learning
CI5103 Curriculum and Instructional Design for Diversity
LEAD5393 Teacher Leadership
DL5023 The Digital Educator
EE5091 Capstone Experience for Elementary Education

Focus of Study Courses (3 semester credits each).
Choose one from the following focus of study options:

Focus of Study: Literacy

LIT5053 Emerging Literacy for Elementary Teachers
LIT5073 Developing Literacy: Integrating Skills of Elementary Teachers
LIT5223 Strengthening Literacy for Elementary Education

Focus of Study: Content

SCI5073 Science Instruction for Elementary Education
MATH5083 Mathematics Instruction for Elementary Education
LIT5143 Social Studies and Language Arts for Elementary Teachers

Total: 34 semester credits

Students who enrolled prior to February 22, 2016 should refer to the College catalog for course overview and requirements.

Core Courses

ED5193 Foundations of Education

This course introduces students to the historical, political, and social influences on the development of the U. S. educational system. Topics include major philosophies of teaching and learning, the impact of educational theories on educational practice, legal aspects of education, and school effectiveness and student achievement.

DL5013 The Digital Learner

This course examines the impact of technology on learning as well as how today’s student navigates a media-rich world. Topics include the human-computer interface, technology and the brain, diffusion of innovations, and connectivity through social media. The course considers trends and issues in educational technologies as well as research into the effects of technology on society.

RES5153 Research Methods

This course enables students to become informed consumers of educational research and to develop skills that prepare them to carry out action research in their schools and classrooms. An emphasis is placed on providing students with knowledge that they can apply in determining whether particular research findings are relevant to their leadership and instructional practices and to distinguish between trustworthy and non-trustworthy research. Throughout the course, students identify the elements that scientifically-based research and action research share. Emphasis is placed on how research can become a vital and relevant tool for teachers and school leaders.

ED5023 Assessment Strategies

Embracing the value of assessment and evaluation is the first step in improving learner outcomes through data-driven decision-making. This course develops relevant competencies and promotes a healthy balance of utilizing formative and summative assessments, evaluation practices, and data to inform and guide integrated curriculum development and instructional delivery. Assessments can provide facilitators with the knowledge and skills required to meet the needs of diverse learners in a variety of school and organizational settings.

CI5353 Standards-Driven Learning

This course focuses on the major theories, strategies, and applications utilized in P-12 standards-driven learning environments. Participants review and apply current literature and educational research studies concerning standards-based curriculum and implementation strategies and tools.

CI5103 Curriculum and Instructional Design for Diversity

This course assists in the development of rigorous, appropriate curriculum and instruction. Multiculturalism, culturally relevant pedagogy, differentiated instruction, and thematic, interdisciplinary unit planning are emphasized. Using a curricular framework, students plan, evaluate, reflect on, and adapt curricula experiences to build successful learning environments for all learners.

LEAD5393 Teacher Leadership

This course explores the leadership models and frameworks required for teacher leaders to share governance and work collaboratively with principals and other adults to achieve school goals for student learning and achievement. Recognition is given to the critical roles teachers assume in decision-making through the perspective of multiple stakeholders and the need for teacher leaders to assist in harnessing this collective knowledge to make a difference in teaching and learning.

Learners engage in leadership interactions to develop instructional leadership, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and the ability to become advocates and change agents for continuous school improvement. Emphasis is placed on understanding teacher evaluation systems and communicating this information to colleagues.

DL5023 The Digital Educator

This course uses a project-based approach in studying technology in education, best practices for classroom teachers, and strategies for professional development in light of emerging technologies. The course addresses 21st century standards for education, educators’ digital presence, cloud computing, and digital ethics

Focus of Study: Literacy Courses

LIT5053 Emerging Literacy for Elementary Teachers

This course builds key concepts and principles related to phonemic awareness and phonics, shaping an emerging understanding of the connection between language and the written code. Essential components of effective reading instruction will be explored using a Response to Instruction (Rtl) model. Learners will analyze critical elements of emerging skills to foster the use of appropriate strategies across developmental stages, content areas, technology, and diversity issues in learning to read.

LIT5073 Developing Literacy: Integrating Skills for Elementary Teachers

This course examines issues related to integrating reading skills to enhance fluency, vocabulary development, and comprehension in a variety of text structures and across content areas. A range of instructional strategies for assessment, intervention, and enrichment will be evaluated as to their effectiveness for supporting engagement and motivation in reading to learn. Key dimensions for the development of differentiated instruction will promote blending of resources from the school environment, community, and abroad, including the use of technology.

LIT5223 Strengthening Literacy for Elementary Education

This course prepares students to implement a school-wide leadership initiative to improve a comprehensive range of literacy skills. Specific principles and theories of emerging and developmental reading instruction are evaluated in relation to currently employed practice so teachers can immediately strengthen instruction. Students examine the scientific research base underlying different models of reading instruction. Special attention is given to curriculum mapping, alignment, and the development of an implementation plan to strengthen literacy.

Focus of Study: Content Courses

SCI5073 Science Instruction for Elementary Teachers

This course provides a foundation for teaching science to diverse elementary students. Students examine current standards in science, as well as the process of aligning curriculum and lesson plans to standards. Students develop a repertoire of content-specific instructional methods for planning, delivering, assessing, and remediating diverse elementary students' understanding of the fundamental concepts and mastery of essential process skills associated with science, engineering, and technology. This course provides an integrated scientific inquiry approach using critical-thinking skills, literacy, and technology to explore social, cultural, and ethical aspects of science, including an investigation of the foundational concepts in the physical, Earth and space, and life sciences.

MATH5083 Mathematics Instruction for Elementary Teachers

This course provides a foundation for teaching mathematics to diverse elementary students. Students examine current standards in mathematics, as well as the process of aligning curriculum and lesson plans to standards. Students develop a toolkit of content-specific instruction and assessment strategies. Students demonstrate computational skills and understanding of fundamental concepts and processes of mathematics, including number systems and operations, algebraic thinking, measurement, geometry, and statistics and probability.

LIT5143 Social Studies and Language Arts for Elementary Teachers

This course considers how to develop an appreciation for the world beyond the classroom as found in writings and other literacies in relation to significant historical events and global perspectives. Principles and methods of inquiry to foster critical and creative thinking are utilized to explore methods for introducing genres and core ideas which have shaped regional, state, national, and global understanding from past eras to present day. Response to Instruction (RtI) procedures will engage strategies and methods appropriate for the delivery of English language arts and social studies through the use of differentiated instruction.

EE5091 Capstone Experience in Elementary Education (1 semester credit)

The capstone experience provides an opportunity for students in the M. Ed. in Elementary Education program to demonstrate and document the impact of the knowledge and competencies gained throughout and as a result of the program. In the capstone experience, students select artifacts produced along with or as a result of course application assignments. These artifacts serve as the centerpiece of a culminating project that demonstrates competency.

Semester Credits Tuition Per Credit Total Tuition
34 $235 $7,990

Applicable fees

  • Application fee: $50
  • Technology and library fee: $20.00 per credit hour (for a total of $680)
  • Program conferral fee: $100

Total program cost: $8,820. For more information, visit the tuition section.

Total program cost for students who were admitted, re-entered, or changed programs before the February 22, 2016 term: $8,475.

I was a kindergarten teacher before ACE. Since I earned my master's degree, I am now grade level chairperson and PTA Coordinator.

Denise Steudlein M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction 2011