Master of Education
Advanced Studies

Total cost:

$9,500 View Tuition Details

Application due date for July 11, 2022 term: July 8

Estimated time to completion: 17 Months

Take your career further.

This program is designed to help those wanting to teach at the secondary or college level meet education requirements. With more than 10 majors and more than five Focus of Study areas, it allows you to obtain 18-credit hours in the area of your choosing.

in the nation for most Master's degrees awarded in Advanced Studies*.

Thinking of starting your journey?

Connect with an ACE enrollment counselor who can help you get started.

What you can expect.

  • Intentional Design With eighteen credit hours for every major, you can get the required credits to meet accreditation standards in the area you wish to teach.
  • Customizable This program offers numerous Majors and Focus of Study options—allowing you to customize the degree to suit your individual needs. For example, if you wish to teach math to adult learners, you can pair a Math Major with the Adult and Continuing Education Focus of Study.
  • Flexible Study on your schedule. Our online format allows you to plan your coursework around your life.
  • Accelerated Completion Students who have received a Certificate in Content Area Instruction at ACE can transfer these courses to fulfill the course requirements for the major.

Advanced Studies Majors

Your selected major will require 18 of your credit hours and comprise the bulk of your specialization. View the College Catalog for more details about each major.


Cognitive Science

Early Childhood Education


General Studies*


Integrated Biology

Integrated Chemistry

Integrated Science

Interdisciplinary Leadership


Social Science

*Completely customizable option for students to choose any 10 courses (30 semester credits).

Choose your focus of study.

Twelve of your semester credits will specialize in a focus area of your choice. View the College Catalog for full descriptions.

  • Adult and Continuing Education
  • Community College Leadership
  • Higher Education
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Online Learning and Teaching

A few of the classes you'll take.

  • EBUS5203 Management of Financial Resources 3 semester credits
  • PSYC5273 Performance of the Intellect 3 semester credits
  • EC5403 Foundations of Child Development 3 semester credits
Cathy McKay, Ed.D.

Department Chair

Cathy McKay, Ed.D.
Administrative Faculty and Chair,
Department of Professional Educational Studies
View All Faculty

A degree you can count on.

American College of Education is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission— a federally-recognized accrediting agency. The College’s accreditation includes approval to offer degree programs, in education, healthcare, nursing and business and leadership through distance education via the Internet. Accreditation ensures that an institution’s academic program meets or exceeds acceptable levels of quality and is the most recognized accreditation status for higher education entities. To receive and maintain HLC accreditation and affiliation approval, we must continuously undergo routine peer review cycles and provide proof that our programs meet or exceed HLC accreditation criteria and expectations of quality.

A Note About Licensure:

While this program provides a comprehensive understanding of the intended program outcomes, it does not lead to licensure, certification, or endorsement. ACE offers several programs that do provide a pathway to licensure, certification, or endorsement and they can be found here.

Take the first step towards your future.

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M.Ed. in Advanced Studies

Total Tuition

34 semester credits
x $235 per credit



$50 Application Fee

$1,360 Technology & Library Fee
($40 per credit)

$100 Program Conferral Fee


Total Program Cost*


On average, see how ACE compares to other online universities.

Let’s find a plan that fits your budget.

Even without federal loans, there are plenty of ways to finance your education at ACE. When you’re ready to invest in yourself, explore our flexible payment and financing options. Our Student Services reps are available to help you create a workable plan whatever your financial circumstances.

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1This is an estimated value of the cost for tuition and fees. Amounts may vary depending on number of transfer credits applied to the selected program hours or program pathway credit hours, the pace and satisfactory completion of the selected program or program pathway credit hours, receipt of, or eligibility for, institutional or non-institutional scholarship and/or grant amounts, and adjustments to tuition or fees as described in the Catalog Right to Modify Tuition section.

State of California Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF)

It is a state of California requirement that a student who pays his or her tuition is required to pay a state-imposed assessment two dollars and fifty cents ($2.50) per one thousand dollars ($1,000) of institutional charges, rounded to the nearest thousand dollars, for the California Student Tuition Recovery Fund. For more information and to see if you must pay the state-imposed assessment for Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) click here.

Admission Requirements

M.Ed. in Advanced Studies

ACE General Admission Requirements

  • Complete and submit all application components including the admission application, the enrollment agreement, and the payment agreement.
  • Submit the nonrefundable application fee.*
  • Provide official transcripts from a regionally accredited institution indicating successful completion of the level of education required for entry to the program.**

*The application fee is valid for one year from date of submission.
**Additional evidence may be required to fulfill state requirements, including but not limited to verification of professional experience, test scores, or an interview.

Program Admission Requirements

M.Ed. in Advanced Studies

  • Bachelor's or Highest Post-Baccalaureate degree earned
  • Minimum Grade Point Average 2.50 on a 4.00 Scale for full admission
  • Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.00 on a 4.00 Scale for Provisional Admission
  • Applicants must achieve and maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout their program

International Transcript Requirements

All applicants must submit to the Admissions Office official, sealed college transcripts from each institution attended.

  • Transcripts that are international and/or not in English must be evaluated through an NACES-recommended agency.
  • Texas applicants may only submit evaluations from agencies approved by the Texas Education Agency.
  • International applicants must request the course-by-course evaluation. The evaluation report must show that the non-U.S. education is equivalent to the education/accreditation level required for the program.

English as a Second Language Applicants

All applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate competence in the English language as demonstrated in one of three ways:

  1. Submission of an official transcript showing a degree from a United States secondary school or regionally accredited college/university.

  2. Submission of an official minimum score on the paper or internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exams.
    • The minimum TOEFL score required for the internet-based version is 80, and the paper-based version requires a minimum TOEFL score of 20 for each of the three skills: Reading, Listening, and, Writing.

    • The minimum IELTS score required is 6.5. Note: IELTS is not acceptable for Texas programs leading to certification.

    • The testing agency must send test scores directly to American College of Education.
  3. Applicants to the Texas Educational Leadership program whose first language is not English must submit a minimum scaled score of 24 for speaking, 22 for listening, 22 for reading, and 21 for writing from the Internet-Based TOEFL (IBT) or evidence of an undergraduate or graduate degree earned at an institution of higher education in a country outside of the United States listed in Figure: 19 TAC §230.11(b)(5)(C).


M.Ed. in Advanced Studies

Explore the classes you'll take to fulfill this program's 34 semester credit requirement. For more information, a complete list of requirements, and course options, see the College Catalog.

Research Courses

(3 semester credits)

This course enables students to become informed consumers of research and to develop skills to prepare them to carry out action research in their professional organizations. An emphasis is placed on providing students with knowledge 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. The course places action research within the context of various types of research and examines research in terms of basic concepts and various purposes, methods, data, and paradigms. Emphasis is placed on how research can become a vital and relevant tool for professional practice.

Education and Teaching Core Courses

(1 semester credit)

The Capstone Experience is designed for candidates to demonstrate and document the impact of their knowledge and competencies gained throughout, and as a result of studies related to the Advanced Studies program.



Designed to explore fiscal and budget responsibilities, this course applies budgetary principles to interpret a range of funding and valuation models, including property tax levy. By analyzing the shifts in cash flow, students consider multiple theoretical approaches to effectively manage revenue sources, expenditures, budgetary constraints, and forecasts of resources, with respect to state and federal regulations. Emphasis is placed on the budget process including the support of technology resources, facilities, and applications as it relates to reporting the management and oversight of funds and financial services.
This course establishes the legal foundation of public schooling by examining authority from constitutional through local governance. Issues related to school and public works law are examined in case studies focused on liabilities, disabilities, and facilities delivering educational services. This includes laws related to labor relationships and contract negotiations, and building and construction contracts.
This course develops leaders in a wide range of educational and organizational settings, who can effectively forecast and evaluate financial risks challenging their institutions. To avoid or minimize risk in a proactive manner, students learn to utilize analysis, avoidance, minimization, or elimination of undesirable threats to protect present and future organizational interests. Through the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks, students prepare to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and impact of negative events on an institution in a manner that does not detract from the institutional goals.
In this course, students evaluate models, theories, and evidence-based best practices related to strategic management and innovation in educational entrepreneurship. Students learn the fundamentals of business planning and design, develop, and implement strategic models facilitating innovation and creativity to be used in diverse entrepreneurial endeavors.
Using research, students acquire and utilize multiple resources designed to effectively and efficiently create, collect, filter, process, and distribute data through well-managed information systems. The course provides a solid foundation for maximizing available technological and organizational resources through the enhancement of operations and information systems support while also providing the knowledge, skills, and experience to administer such functions. This course further helps to prepare educational business leaders to successfully analyze and evaluate trends and best practices in information systems.
As an introduction to foundational concepts of marketing, this course considers various perspectives from influencer to consumer. Marketing opportunities are explored for implementing strategic plans through the use of research and analysis. Students examine examples of brand development, positioning, and management of integrated marketing communications (IMC) campaigns, which can be highly beneficial for private and charter schools. Case studies and scenarios frame the examination of managed markets. The intersection of marketing with public and media relations is also explored.

Cognitive Science

Distinguishing between intelligence and the intellect, this course establishes a foundation for examining the role that the intellect, with specific focus on cognition, plays in learning, growth and development, and daily life. Theories of intelligence, including cognitive intelligence and emotional intelligence, are examined in the context of the performance of the intellect. Topics include constructivist and neo-constructivist theories of cognitive development; processes and strategies related to decision making, problem solving, and creative thinking; and the structural features of language, the processes of language acquisition, and the relationship between language and thought.
This course explores the nature of psychological theories and how they relate to real-world applications and explanations of psychological phenomena. Specifically, learners trace the historical development of major ideas in psychology and the work of Freud, Jung, Erikson, Skinner, Piaget, and Thorndike, and others. Students gain an understanding of psychological research and basic quantitative and qualitative methods psychologists use to gather and analyze evidence. Emphasis is placed on the emergence of psychology as an empirical science, ethical considerations in psychological research, the use of reference materials and electronic technologies, and the communication of psychological information in written form.
Principles create a framework for testing the value of information and ideas. Knowing is an intellectual process which shapes daily actions and how individuals relate to the world. This course explores principles, evaluating their performance as an aid to selection of enduring guidelines for making personal and group decisions. Topics include the characteristics of memory, memory storage and retrieval, and factors interfering with the retention and retrieval of memories, and the theories and primary internal and external factors impacting motivation.
This course provides learners insights into the nature of psychology as a profession, the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of the theoretical and research basis of current issues in psychology, and the links between theoretical developments and professional practice. Topics include challenges associated with providing services to complex, vulnerable, and diverse populations; the ethical responsibilities of practitioners; stress and strategies for its alleviation; definitions and characteristics of psychological disorders and their treatment; primary internal and external factors affecting motivation, and political, social, economic, and medical issues related to mental health and behavioral disorders in contemporary society. Comparisons are made between cognitive/perceptual psychology, abnormal psychology, and social psychology. These subfields are related to the diversity of careers in psychology and the tools and theories used by various psychologists to determine and interpret personality and individual differences.
Utilizing theories and principles, this course addresses the stages of human development, factors associated with personality development, and critical issues related to human development from infancy through adulthood. These concerns are woven into physical and social, affective and cognitive domain changes influenced by family dynamics, education, relationships, and individual perspectives. This course addresses the impact of change across time and circumstances as a way to guide life choice responses. Topics include emotions and their effects on perception, cognition, and behavior; the development of moral reasoning, and the effects of heredity and environment on human and personality development.
This course investigates the role of neuropsychology in the context of socio-psychological development with specific focus on the context of socioemotional learning. The distinction between neuroscience and psychology frames the investigation of the course, especially in terms of physiological factors that influence brain development across the lifespan. Learners also explore how the nervous, endocrine, and sensory systems interface and affect thinking, memory, personality, development, and behavior. The effects of alcohol and drugs on consciousness are also discussed.

Early Childhood Education

Focused on development, this course will explore classic theories of child development while investigating emerging theories in the field. This course establishes an understanding of current practices and concerns relating how they influence a child's environment and future learning experiences.
This course will address the traditional stages of development from infancy through early childhood. Concepts will address developmental milestones, domains of thought, and related theories of growth.
This content will focus on curriculum design using learning expectations across different standards and the developmental needs of children. Curriculum design methods, developmentally appropriate practices, and application methods will be explored by relating distinctive age-appropriate ideas.
Addressing content-specific curriculum development, strategies will be introduced to promote development across specific areas of learning. Selected activities will be investigated to promote literacy, social and emotional growth, logical reasoning, and physical development.
This course explores current trends in early childhood education by examining public policy, research, professional development relevant to classroom practices, and program management. Creating a connection between theory and current information will help to maintain relevance for the profession.
Content in this course will include observation strategies and assessment tools used to design curriculum and identify developmental needs of children in the classroom. Methods utilizing assessment and providing guidance for classroom curriculum designed to support the identification of individual learning needs will be considered. Strategies will be aligned to the ongoing development of student portfolios as a form of observation.


Covey's principle of "beginning with the end in mind" sets the stage for developing competencies in using different language strategies to convey meaning, relevance, and purpose for reading and writing within various genres. By exploring theories for developing and interpreting concepts, learners establish a vehicle for integrating content across disciplines as a way to interpret, synthesize, and respond to issues experienced by various audiences. Emphasis is placed on argumentative, informative/explanatory, narrative, and other forms of writing, their structure, and appropriateness to various audiences.
This course aids in understanding the influences on creation of thought and perspective as reflected in personal expressions and professional expectations. By examining literary and commercial works on the same topic, learners consider how personal or professional perspectives can take a dramatic shift depending upon environmental influences and delivery approaches impacting comprehension. Understanding the drama of a personal story gives expression to the human experience.
This course investigates the societal factors impacting literary expression including class, politics, gender, and globalization, as expressed in music, digital devices, images, film, and other technologies. From wars to social media, an understanding is gained of how these have influenced changes in the English language over time, as a backdrop for responding and reflecting upon personal and professional fulfillment.
This course introduces the impact of language in personal and public writing and speaking - including uses of propaganda, contradiction, letters, novels, journalism, poetry, theater, and visual media - on social and political change, including insurrection, legislation, and military conflict. To accomplish a purpose for communicating to a selected audience, the structure and conventions of language are examined.
This course defines ways media has served as a conveyance of ideas, generating responses from the town crier to digital devices. By exploring the theories and psychological factors of developing and interpreting meaning, learners engage in forms of communication based upon research into the patterns of language, ways to determine accuracy and truth, and a best-fit approach for a selected audience.
This course selects influential works from pivotal moments in history which shaped the course of human interaction. "The pen is mightier than the sword" has given way to the tweet of thumbs. Through research, learners explore how the Library of Congress determines what to archive, identifies significance, and sorts content. The nature of new literacies frame the study of exemplary writers and the descriptive writing process.


This course focuses on ways historians view ideas while utilizing a variety of theories and frameworks which define an approach to thinking. With the goal of communicating ideas gathered from research using professional methodologies, emphasis is placed on a historiographical perspective to identify patterns in human behavior, the cause and effect of events. Through academic studies of the past and the application of course theories to public history, students will focus on various approaches to study and teaching of the past.
Roads connect more than trade goods as cultures, ideas, and people groups move along pathways. By investigating the impact of historical routes on the growth of the United States within geographical and economic contexts, learners explore cross-cultural encounters and the influence of trade and exploration via the Old North Trail, the Mississippi River, the Erie Canal, the Transcontinental Railway System, and Route 66 among others. Exploration of pathways into space and the oceans and experiential learning situations are designed to bring historical concepts into 21st century application.
New ideas ignite revolutions across time and location, influential individuals and ideas, cultures and communities. Individuals and groups promote reform, share the emergence of new media, and capitalize on how ideas develop into action. Through the study of various revolutions, the course offers innovative approaches for investigating how past and present civic responsibilities determine the course of a community, country, or global problems and their outcomes.
This course explores the big ideas of history which have shaped Western thought including the concepts of freedom, justice, equality, and liberty. Using primary documents, ideologies are contrasted from a range of perspectives, including political, social, professional, and personal. Through critical analysis, the lives of those who have influenced change are examined in light of issues such as immigration across time or the impact of education.
This course uses the early history of the United States as a framework to examine the development of its government and culture. Consideration is given to special problems including the causes of war, the benefit of diplomacy, and social movements which have changed to course of nations. Through primary documents, records and images, key pieces of legislature, and the reactions of the populace students explore innovative ways to understand and teach American history and culture.
Without history, understanding current issues is problematic. This course offers a more personal approach to historical research as a way to support critical and creative thinking, problem solving, and writing skills. American and world texts are used as the narrative for change. Newspaper clips, photographs, political cartoons, and other media become perspectives to view the legacies of history that surround all of us.

Integrated Biology

This course provides a holistic overview of historical and current issues and trends impacting biology in today's global society. Emphasis is placed on the themes of organization, information, energy and matter, interactions, and evolutionary change. Topics include cellular chemistry and structure, organisms, interdependence, and heredity and genetics. An understanding of essential, underlying themes provides tools to help describe and understand everyday phenomena. Learners gain a comprehensive understanding of the nature of science and the processes of scientific inquiry, and the relationship of biology to the other sciences, engineering, technology, and society. Critical and creative thinking, problem solving, writing skills, and scientific research methods are emphasized.
Biological systems exist from the smallest cells to the biosphere and beyond. As a way to define order and organization, students identify characteristics found in repeatable patterns which predict interactions between systems and their environments. Utilizing a universal view of various systems as they relate to current biological problems, students diagnose potential issues and explore ways to solve problems while determining what and how various forces are influencing the overall system.
Forces act upon the biosphere and its diverse lifeforms, from the flow of water to fields of growing corn. At the cellular level, living "machines" use mechanical forces - push, pull, and resistance - to complete their tasks. Understanding the interaction of these forces generates deeper awareness of the possibilities and limitations of the underlying systems. By examining principles of biological and environmental science, learners identify evidence to support models for sustaining the diversity of life on Earth.
The everyday task of living brings biology into the practical. Through the use of measurement and the interaction of energy, problems in biology are examined as they relate to distribution, complexity, and evolution. The ability to understand how energy and matter are related establishes a cause-and-effect relationship essential to understanding reactions and interactions within living organisms. Using a model-based inquiry approach, learners investigate concepts such as metabolic activity, abiotic factors, and competitive systems.
From the atom to the biosphere, life on Earth follows a hierarchy of organization. This course explores the hierarchical model as a way to examine the many layers and levels of biology. By processing information about structure, substructure, shape, and form, learners examine how living things and their environments can create layers of complexity.
Change is evident across time. Using atmospheric and ecological biology as a backdrop, this course explores a variety of issues of scientific interest and social relevance that are transforming life on Earth today. Among the issues are climate change, the greenhouse effect, pollution, deforestation, and the ozone layer. The course also explains the conditions that make life possible, including the potential for life on newly discovered Earth-like planets.

Integrated Chemistry

This foundations course describes historical and current issues and trends impacting chemistry in today's global society. Topics include atomic and molecular structure, properties of matter, chemical bonds, conservation of matter and stoichiometry, rates of reaction, organic chemistry, thermochemistry, biochemistry, the periodic table, interactions and reactions, and chemical and physical changes.
Systems exist from the contents of a beaker in a chemistry lab to the Amazon rainforests. This course explores the importance of systems and their surroundings to thermodynamics and thermochemistry. Theories guide the identification of characteristics found in repeatable patterns which predict interactions between systems and their surroundings. Topics include open, closed, and isolated systems and the relationships among energy, heat, and work as revealed in the study of systems.
Forces of attraction are at work in chemistry. Understanding the interactions resulting from intermolecular and intramolecular forces generates deeper awareness of the possibilities and limitations of the underlying systems. Topics include the impact of chemical forces on the states of matter, boiling and melting points, vapor pressures, and viscosities. The course also explores van der Waals's forces: dipoledipole interactions, hydrogen bonding, and London dispersion.
The everyday task of candy making brings chemistry into the practical. Through the use of measurement and the interaction of energy, sources of candy are changed yielding predictable results. The ability to understand how energy and matter are related establishes a cause-and-effect relationship essential to understanding reactions and interactions. Using a model-based inquiry approach, learners investigate key terms and concepts related to candy making and chemistry.
This course addresses the fundamental concepts of energy and heat and their association with chemical processes. Beginning with a discussion of thermodynamics in general, the course moves to application specifically related to chemical changes. Topics include atomic structure and energy levels, different forms of energy, energy scales and units, and heat and work.
This course focuses on the environmental aspects of chemistry associated with the atmosphere, soil, groundwater, and surface waters. A major focus is how to fundamentally apply chemistry concepts to environmental issues occurring within social, political, and economic contexts. Learners determine the causes of such problems and recommend evidence-based changes that could potentially be made by individuals, industries, and governments. Ethical issues also serve as a source of discussion. Topics include atomic, molecular, ionic, and radical structures, stoichiometry, gas laws, acids and bases, equilibrium, and oxidation/reduction.

Integrated Science

This course provides a holistic overview of historical and current issues and trends impacting science education in today's global society. Emphasis is placed on the examination of diverse viewpoints and approaches to integrated science education to examine research-based integrative models and strategies for the improvement of student learning. Participants will examine current STEM education initiatives related to policy, method, and engagement. Critical and creative thinking, problem solving, and writing skills are emphasized. While using an integrated approach, this course spotlights content-rich components dedicated to biology, chemistry, and physics.
From the smallest particles to constellations in the universe, systems exist. As a way to define order and organization, theories guide the identification of characteristics found in repeatable patterns which predict interactions between systems and their environment whether these are on earth or in space. This course utilizes a universal view of various systems as they relate to current problems. By examining models to diagnose potential issues, learners explore ways to solve problems while determining what and how various forces are influencing the system. While using an integrated approach, this course spotlights content-rich components dedicated to biology, chemistry, and physics.
The everyday task of cooking brings chemistry into the practical. Through the use of measurement and the interaction of energy, sources of food are changed yielding predictable results. The ability to understand how energy and matter are related establishes a cause-and-effect relationship essential to understanding reactions and interactions. Using a model-based inquiry approach, learners investigate terms such as extraction, denaturation, and transference. While using an integrated approach, this course spotlights content-rich components dedicated to biology, chemistry, and physics.
The everyday task of cooking brings chemistry into the practical. Through the use of measurement and the interaction of energy, sources of food are changed yielding predictable results. The ability to understand how energy and matter are related establishes a cause-and-effect relationship essential to understanding reactions and interactions. Using a model-based inquiry approach, learners investigate terms such as extraction, denaturation, and transference. While using an integrated approach, this course spotlights content-rich components dedicated to biology, chemistry, and physics.
This course explores the formation of natural structures and how these form levels dependent upon the density and type of matter. In a similar fashion, manmade structures are dependent upon the relationship between the properties of materials and how those materials are expected to function. By processing information about structure and form, learners examine how the shape and substructure of objects and living things can create layers of complexity. While using an integrated approach, this course spotlights content-rich components dedicated to biology, chemistry, and physics.
Change is evident across time. What may appear stable at one level may not be static at a different layer. Using weather as the backdrop, this course explores static and dynamic equilibrium, considering how scale and proportion influence a resulting phenomenon such as a flash flood or mass migration. By understanding the influence of size on how or why something occurs, changes in the elements or components of a system can be adjusted to create different outcomes and possible solutions for sustainability. While using an integrated approach, this course spotlights content-rich components dedicated to biology, chemistry, and physics.

Interdisciplinary Leadership

This course emphasizes the importance of understanding state, federal, and other accountability standards in relation to the needs of learners within schools, school districts, and organizational communities. The focus of the course remains on identifying learners' academic strengths and areas in need of improvement to eliminate achievement gaps, improve achievement levels, ensure progress, increase graduation rates, and promote post-secondary and college/career readiness.
Success is attributed to effective decision making, a skill required for professional and personal reasons. An essential ability required by leaders, decision making is a process which identifies critical elements of a choice to determine a course of action. The focus for this course considers ways decisions are made and how these techniques can be evaluated to improve outcomes. Specifically, the course addresses the development of skills to efficiently and consistently make informed decisions using data to maintain awareness of organizational needs, demographics, and performance levels. The role of collaboration in decision making is also a major focus.
Ways to develop and sustain a thriving school culture are examined through the utilization of effective communication and collaboration strategies within and beyond the community. Governance strategies for ethical and legal policies, organizational development and optimization, and decision making are covered. Students explore ways in which their ethical code protects and ensures equity, fairness, tolerance, and respect in various educational and organizational cultures.
This course focuses on the impact of leaders in recognizing and promoting the power a system's culture has in establishing and maintaining the exemplary performance of an organization. Through the development of a shared vision and mission, distributed leadership practices, effective communication, and the use of data to inform decision making, students develop the knowledge and skills to work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, develop civic and global partnerships, and empower leadership skills in others to sustain or, perhaps, re-culture an organization.
This course examines the leadership process in the context of developing and distributing or sharing leadership within an organization. It investigates team and group dynamics, team building, interpersonal and group relations, and effective problem solving and decision-making skills within collaborative environments. The course places particular emphasis on the development of human resources skill sets for leaders, including risk-prone behaviors and conflict management; relationships among leaders internal and external to the organization; and how leaders build other leaders, contributing to effective succession plans to maintain organizational cohesion and performance.
This course focuses on individuals as leaders from an individual perspective, emphasizing  principles and practices of interpersonal relationships for leadership development, professional role modeling for those who look to them for guidance, and advocacy for change within and outside the organizational environment. In the course, students will take an introspective look at their leadership as a personal and professional journey - how their past life experiences set them on a course toward leadership, where they are today in their journey, and how they envision and are preparing for future destinations.


This course enables learners to integrate simple and complex algebra, geometry with trigonometry, and statistics in a coherent manner to solve real-life problems. An emphasis is placed on exploring related concepts and common threads that appear throughout mathematics.
This course emphasizes strategies for mathematical modeling of problems in real-life situations. The six steps of mathematical modeling are used to apply theories and techniques from dynamic systems, statistics, differential equations, game theory, chaos theory, algebraic theory, number theory, and linear, quadratic, exponential, and logarithmic regression models to solve problems.
Learners utilize integrated approaches and key strategies to solve real-life problems while applying tools from calculus, linear algebra, geometry, and functions. Practical problem-solving settings involving motion, light, music, and exponential decay are investigated using strategies such as looking for clues, developing a plan, and checking for mathematical and practical accuracy during the process.
This course challenges learners to investigate historical aspects of mathematics as they relate to diversity and numbers. Different perspectives are explored as seen in the development and applications of elementary and abstract algebra, Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometry, and elementary trigonometry and hyperbolic functions. Investigating culturally significant contributions to historical aspects establishes an appreciation for mathematics as a global experience while helping students to understand the changes in fundamental constructs.
Covering many topics students wished they had learned about equations, this course enables learners to explore commonly used equations while deviating from algorithmic use and seeking a deeper understanding. The Pythagorean Theorem, Quadratic Formula, rate of change, matrices, and linear, quadratic, cubic, radical, exponential, and logarithmic functions are analyzed. Emphasis is placed on examining the often overlooked links among equation, algorithm, concept, and application.
This course uses statistical methods to guide learners to discover, identify, and bring culturally significant aspects of mathematics to the forefront of curricula. The course addresses social issues surrounding mathematics and ways mathematics can be used to make meaning of social issues. Students will use mathematical methods such as ANOVA and statistical tests to explore issues such as gender, race, culture, socioeconomic status, institutional theory, and age.

Social Science

Utilizing theories, standards, and practices in the field, learners explore contemporary issues in sociology using an experiential approach guided by research. Through analysis and evaluation of behavior, social issues are investigated which shape understanding of personal, social, national and global relationships, processes, and interactions. Learners analyze the nature, dimensions, causes, and characteristics of selected social problems of major interest. Consideration is given to theories, research, and programs for prevention and treatment.
Culture is an aspect of human interaction. It is a collection of values, attitudes, behaviors, and social mores expressed by a collection of individuals within a society, organization, institution, or country. The underlying philosophy or principles held by a culture are examined in this course to understand how productivity and performance, personal and professional relationships are established and maintained. These include the influence of organization and power structures and control systems which incorporate procedures and process along with routines and individual stories. Emphasis is placed on diverse learners, collaboration with stakeholders, data analysis and interpretation and its influence on culture, the impact of instructional models, and the role of social-emotional learning.
This course explores the nature of sociological theories and how these relate to real-world applications and explanations of social phenomena. Specifically, learners trace the historical development of major ideas in sociology and the work of important sociologists. Students gain an understanding of sociological research and basic quantitative and qualitative methods sociologists use to gather and analyze evidence and how to analyze and interpret data presented in graphic formats. Emphasis is placed on the emergence of sociology as a social science, ethical considerations in sociological research, the use of reference materials and electronic technologies, and the communication of sociological information in written form. 
This course addresses the development of personal identity and sense of self and the ways in which social groups and institutions impact individual and social needs and provide a context for social interactions. The effects of social, cultural, and economic factors on individual values, beliefs, and attitudes and group dynamics are explored. Topics include race, ethnic, and gender relations and the impact of stereotyping, ethnocentrism, acts of altruism, and discrimination on group interactions; formal organizations and factors influencing their evolution, and the characteristics of bureaucracies. Emphasis is placed on the basic social institutions of family, economics, religion, education, health and medicine, and politics.
This course addresses the causes, functions, and effects of social stratification and inequality including social class, gender, race, ethnicity, and age. Students explore theoretical explanation of deviance, normality, and crime in diverse social and cultural contexts and the sources of conformity, social order, and social control from a global perspective in different types of societies. Current topics include male-female differences and gender issues; aging and the sociology of death and dying, and the types and functions of social mobility in contemporary world societies. 
The purpose of this course is to understand the theories, forms, development, and consequences of social and political collectiveness and movements on contemporary social life and how they are related to the changing nature of society. Topics include birth, death, migration, and other demographics; reasons for population growth and decline; the social and cultural effects of urbanization and industrialization; causes of conflict; the role of the mass media; modernization, and globalization and their impacts on diverse contemporary societies. Connections are made to social psychology and to other fields of study, such as economics, business, and government.

Focus of Study

Customize this degree by choosing a four - course Focus of Study to fulfill the remaining 12 semester credits.

Adult and Continuing Education

This course examines the theory and research of andragogy, with an emphasis on the historical influences, practical applications, and critical analysis. Topics include fields of practice, schools of thought, clarification of concepts, and emerging issues and challenges.
This course examines a variety of learning and teaching strategies to enhance adult learning. Students analyze methods suited for adult learning in different settings, apply knowledge of adult learning theories, and explore ways in which adults learn critical thinking.
This course focuses on theories and processes of measuring student learning to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional programs. Students conduct a program evaluation and apply the results to develop an improvement plan. 
This course provides an introduction to the historical developments, theoretical perspectives, fundamental approaches, and real-world practices of evaluating adult learners. Students learn to apply a variety of methods to assess learning outcomes effectively and to analyze assessment data to improve teaching and learning.

Community College Leadership

Community colleges depend upon models of finance and funding which influence approaches to student engagement. This course explores the impact on operating costs related to a self-service cafeteria style delivery of services contrasted with other models, including a guided pathway option. By comparing cost per student with cost for successful completion, students investigate the merits of changing economic models.
This course addresses the function and purpose of community colleges from a current-to-future perspective, evaluating what has worked with what could be potentially be needed to encourage students to successfully complete a degree of study. Issues related to student choice, credit transfer to four-year programs, and alignment of program outcomes with student goals and assessment are explored.
Faculty and student engagement is related to relationships focused on mission and vision. This course explores critical topics related to governance, building trust through demonstrated integrity, supporting practice founded on policies while addressing crossfunctional teams supporting collaboration and inquiry.
This course investigates critical issues and concerns, emerging roles and functions, and influencing factors helping to redefine the nature of higher education. Societal shifts are probed to determine relevancy. Trends in technology and instructional delivery become the frame for forecasting the possible future of higher education.

Higher Education

This course will focus on examining statutory and regulatory compliance issues impacting institutions. This course is designed to heighten analytical skills to ensure an understanding of the intricacies influencing higher education in today's society. The interrelationship between law and policy is explored through the use of readings, case studies, and scenario analysis, serving to establish a context for practice with the governance of an organization.   
This course considers how to strategically manage human, financial, and data resources. Strategic thinking, planning, and development establish effective ways to 1) strengthen working relationships, 2) engage in financial practices which contain costs and advance the mission of an institution and 3) utilize data for continuous improvement. By comparing and evaluating institutional advancement strategies, activities are assessed to determine how they complement strategic priorities and goals, build and enhance program relevance, and add practical value.
Dependent upon function and service, student affairs influences the relationship between adult learning and instructional outcomes. Leadership practices, as seen through theoretical lens, explore personnel issues, student support, success, and retention, and assessment options which guide decision-making. Consideration is given to ways student perspectives shape the college experience and how these can be leveraged for change.
This course investigates critical issues and concerns, emerging roles and functions, and influencing factors helping to redefine the nature of higher education. Societal shifts are probed to determine relevancy. Trends in technology and instructional delivery become the frame for forecasting the possible future of higher education.

Instructional Leadership

This course focuses on the improvement of curriculum, instruction, and student achievement throughout diverse school and organizational settings. To make these improvements, leaders must first develop the skill set and knowledge base necessary to build leadership capacity among staff members. Instructional leaders can then collaboratively set learner-centered goals to promote higher levels of student progress, achievement, and post-secondary and college and career readiness.
This course promotes the concept of leaders serving as role models of professional development for their staffs to achieve higher levels of performance within the organization. To do so, leaders must utilize effective strategies, programs, and services based on data-driven decisions and the needs of stakeholders in the organizational community. Emphasis is placed on the impact of relevant, high-quality, job-embedded, differentiated, technology-integrated professional learning opportunities aligned to organizational goals. The course also prepares leaders to serve as advocates for sufficient preparation, time, and support for colleagues to work collaboratively in job-embedded professional learning.
This course focuses on theories and processes of measuring student learning to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional programs. Students conduct a program evaluation and apply the results to develop an improvement plan. 
This course explores leadership models to increase teacher leadership through collaboration, mentoring, and shared governance within school organizations. Participants will engage in self-evaluation to identify their leadership qualities and capacity for leadership activity, to improve professional practices positively impacting student achievement. Participants will engage in critical thinking and problem-solving skills to navigate demands from multiple stakeholders and become advocates for continuous school improvement.

Online Learning and Teaching

Students will compare theories of teaching and learning with applications to online instruction. Content includes emerging technology and use of Open Educational Resources.
Students will critique research on social presence and best practices for connecting online with students or colleagues, as well as best practices for social media use within education organizations.
Students will implement and assess the concepts of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for accessible online courses and compare models of instructional design.
Students will demonstrate effective online teaching and assessment; analyze and compare Learning Management Systems; and advocate for professional organizations which provide continuing development for online educators.

General Studies

Students choose 10 courses (30 semester credits) from the courses in the major and focus of study options.  ACE students also have the option to transfer in courses from other ACE Master's level courses if so desired.