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Curriculum and Instruction, Ed.S.

The Curriculum and Instruction program, leading either to a Master of Education (M.Ed.) or a Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) degree is designed to foster the development of teaching skills that result in increased pupil performance. By analyzing curriculum choices and strategies, along with best teaching practices, those who complete either of these programs will be better equipped to provide an environment in which students engage in relevant and meaningful learning activities. Upon enrollment in a Curriculum and Licensure program, students will select either the research path or the practicum path. MTSU offers a specialization in secondary education licensure. This specialization offers a path for non-licensed degree-holding individuals seeking licensure to teach in secondary public schools. The Womack Educational Leadership department also offers a non-licensure generalist Curriculum and Instruction major.

What We're Doing

Grad named National Teacher of the Year

Grad named National Teacher of the Year

Terry Weeks, a full-time professor and graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, exemplifies the excellence of the Womack Educational Leadership department. Weeks is the only National Teacher of the Year in history to hail from Tennessee! This is quite an accomplishment considering that the Council of Chief State School Officers created the program more than six decades ago in 1952 in an effort to highlight and reward excellence in teaching. Weeks was teaching social studies at Central Middle School, Murfreesboro, in 1988 when he was named National Teacher of the Year. He had graduated from MTSU in 1972 with his undergraduate degree and in 1974 after completing his master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. He had a tremendous impact on individual schoolchildren while he was a classroom teacher, as well as an impact on the profession as a whole. Weeks works diligently in his role as a professor within the Curriculum and Instruction program to prepare the teachers of tomorrow. His students are taught to go out into the workforce and take jobs in classrooms across Tennessee, the South, and the nation.

Degrees made possible by cohort groups

Degrees made possible by cohort groups

“Living in a rural part of southern middle Tennessee has many perks, but the downside is that you are quite a drive from most activities,” says Kim McFall of Collinwood, who began teaching in 1985 and finished her master's in 1988 before having a family. “With the added responsibilities of children, it never seemed feasible to pursue an advanced degree. Several different times, I sought programs that might fit into my schedule, but that became increasingly difficult especially after I accepted a 12-month position outside the classroom,” she remembers. In 2012, a fellow teacher contacted her about joining a cohort seeking an Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction. “I hesitated to make the commitment, but at the very first meeting I was assured that the professors would work to help each student succeed,” McFall says, adding that they received their degrees in Spring 2014. “It would not have been possible had the classes not been brought to my home county! I was amazed at how much I learned from our professors as well as the others in our cohort. The program is designed for teachers who are working on the front lines, allowing them to readily implement the concepts and practices being discussed. This creates a perfect balance between instruction and practice, theory and practicality,” McFall says. More recently, both her niece, Ragan Greer, and her daughter, Amelia McFall Baer, have pursued additional degrees through cohorts that brought classes to them. “MTSU has helped my family of teachers sharpen their skills and be better informed, more knowledgeable educators,” McFall concludes.

Related Media

  • MTSU College of Graduate Studies

    MTSU College of Graduate Studies


Graduates from the Curriculum and Instruction programs may be employed in a variety of positions. Examples include, but are not limited to,

  • Central office personnel
  • Department chairs
  • Instructional leaders or supervisors
  • Team leaders

MTSU graduates are employed through various school districts throughout Tennessee; examples include

  • Cannon County Schools
  • Coffee County Schools
  • Franklin County Schools
  • Franklin Special School District Schools
  • Murfreesboro City Schools
  • Rutherford County Schools
  • Tullahoma Schools
  • Van Buren County Schools
  • Warren County Schools
  • Wayne County Schools
  • White County Schools
  • Williamson County Schools
  • Wilson County Schools

The Womack Educational Leadership Department offers the Specialist in Education degree (Ed.S.) with a major in Curriculum and Instruction with both on- and off-campus cohorts. A Master of Education (M.Ed.) with a major in Curriculum and Instruction is offered. Specializations include secondary education licensure, offering a path for non-licensed degree-holding individuals seeking licensure to teach in secondary public schools. The department also offers a non-licensure generalist Curriculum and Instruction major.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS button to the right. 

Also available under the Curriculum and Instruction major is a concentration in English as a Second Language leading to an M.Ed.

The department offers the Ed.S. with a major in Curriculum and Instruction and a specialization in Culture, Cognition, and the Learning Process.

Other graduate degrees

Under the Administration and Supervision major, Womack Educational Leadership offers the M.Ed., as well as a concentration in Agricultural Education Leadership. Administration and Supervision programs leading to an Ed.S. include specializations in Higher Education and Instructional Leader Licensure.

The major in Library Science leads to a Master in Library Science (M.L.S.).

A major in Professional Counseling includes programs leading to an Ed.S., with concentrations also available in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

The Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) College of Education’s teacher licensure preparation programs are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and are eligible for accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The Master of Education (M.Ed.) and Specialist in Education degree (Ed.S.) in Curriculum and Instruction programs at MTSU are designed to meet the licensure requirements set by the Tennessee Department of Education. Students should be aware that licensure requirements vary from state to state and are subject to change. MTSU has not made a determination whether a specific program will meet all of the requirements of another US state or territory. MTSU recommends that students who plan to seek licensure outside the state of Tennessee contact the appropriate licensing agency and discuss their plans with their advisor. To obtain current information about each state’s and territory’s licensure requirements and any additional regulations, students should consult the US Department of Education’s website for state contacts at

Graduates of MTSU teacher education programs certified to teach in Tennessee are eligible for certification reciprocity in many states. Reciprocity is not an automatic or complete transfer of certification, thus individuals should consult the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) site at and the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) site at as well as the US Department of Education state contacts site for information about any additional state requirements.

Curriculum and Instruction, Ed.S.

Marvin Peyton, Off-Campus Program Director
(615) 898-5710

The Curriculum and Instruction program is designed to foster the development of teaching skills that result in increased pupil performance.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Educational Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction programs requires

  1. a satisfactory score on the Miller Analogies Test, the Graduate Record Examination, or the Praxis II (Principles of Learning and Teaching) or a valid Tennessee Teacher license;
  2. an earned master's degree from an accredited university or college;
  3. a grade point average (GPA) in previous academic work that reflects potential for success in the Ed.S.;
  4. a valid teaching license. The licensure requirement may be waived under special circumstances.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
  2. submit three letters of recommendation;
  3. submit official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or copy of valid Tennessee Teacher License.
  4. submit official transcripts of all previous college work.

Degree Requirements

The Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction requires completion of 30 semester hours.

Once admitted to the program, candidate must

  1. complete 30 semester hours, with a minimum of 15 at the 7000 level (see specifics in Curriculum section below);
  2. successfully complete a written comprehensive examination or oral presentation of research project during the semester of graduation (exam may be retaken once).

Curriculum: Curriculum and Instruction

The following illustrates the coursework requirements.

Required Courses (12 hours)


  • SPSE 7130 - The Curriculum: Structures and Functions

    3credit hours

    Scope, sequence, organization, and priorities involved in the development of "continuity of educational experience" from kindergarten through grades 13-14.

  • FOED 7060 - Seminar in Educational Foundations

    3credit hours

    Opportunities to think reflectively and critically on the historical, philosophical, and psychological foundations of education and attendant implications.

Select either research path

  • SPSE 7010 - Educational Research Methodology

    3credit hours

    Designing research studies, including development of understandings, as well as skills and techniques needed in gathering, structuring, interpreting and presenting data required for educational research. SPSE 7010 is a prerequisite for enrollment in FOED 7610, which is recommended to be taken the following semester.

  • FOED 7610 - Directed Individual Educational Research

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: SPSE 7010. It is recommended that this class be taken the semester following enrollment in SPSE 7010. Culmination of research sequence (FOED 6610 and SPSE 7010) which requires studying a professional educational problem through completing and presenting a research project.

or practicum path


  • SPSE 7190 - Professional Field Experience

    6credit hours

    Provides direct field experience in appropriate areas of education in collaboration with the University, the school mentor, and the student.

Specialized Core (12 hours)

Selected with approval of advisor (at least 3 hours must be at 7000 level)

Electives (6 hours)

Selected in consultation with advisor

Program Notes

Students taking courses for licensure renewal, add-on endorsements, or "plus 30" upgrade on teacher licensure should register as non-degree-seeking students. Students enrolling in 6000-level courses must hold a bachelor's degree, and students enrolling in 7000-level courses must hold a master's degree. Non-degree-seeking students cannot register for 7000-level courses without departmental permission.

Our adjunct faculty bring outstanding professional experience to our programs. Many are industry leaders with decorated careers and honors. Importantly, they are innovative educators who offer hands-on learning to our students to prepare them to enter and thrive in a dynamic, and oftentimes emerging, industry and professional world. They inspire, instruct, and challenge our students toward academic and professional success.

Elementary Education

ELED 1001 - Becoming a Paraprofessional Literacy Tutor
1 credit hour

Overview of the effective components of literacy tutoring. Six modules cover the important aspects of literacy instruction as defined by the Common Core Standards. Modules will be delivered in an online format while instructional practice will take place in onsite sessions. Offers preparation to individuals without an educational background to deliver high quality literacy instruction.

ELED 3000 - The Contemporary Classroom through the Lens of Diversity
3 credit hours

Corequisite: ELED 3100. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the teacher education program. Provides a foundation for teaching for social justice and equity. A field-based component included.

ELED 3100 - Experiencing Elementary Education
1 credit hour

Corequisite: ELED 3000 with C or better. Prerequisite: Admission to Teacher Education. Field-based course that builds upon previous experiences and coursework. Students will implement content pedagogical strategies into teaching as well as other field experiences in elementary schools.

ELED 3150 - Mathematics Methodology
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Admission to teacher education program; General Education math with C- or better; MATH 1410 and MATH 1420 with C or better. Offers preparation to pre-service elementary and middle school teachers for teaching mathematics. Field-based experiences required.

ELED 3300 - Digital Applications for Teaching and Learning
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Admission to Teacher Education program. Designed to better prepare teacher candidates specifically in the areas of emerging technologies and how best to utilize them for teaching and learning. Explores characteristics of digital age learners, creation and application of emerging technologies, digital communication strategies, safe use of information, and technology integration within the curriculum that enhances the learning environment.

ELED 3400 - Teaching Science and Social Studies through Literacy
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Admission to Teacher Education; ELED 3000 and ELED 3100 with grade of C or better; PSCI 4030 or BIOL 3000. Corequisite: READ 4015. Teacher candidates introduced to issues and trends that influence the areas of science, social studies, and English language arts (ELA) as well as methods, techniques, strategies, and materials that will enable them to integrate and teach these content areas successfully. Explores these topics via lecture, investigations (problem-based learning projects and scientific inquiry), lab, and field experiences in local elementary schools.

ELED 4070 - Writing to Learn
2 credit hours

Corequisites: ELED 4350 and READ 4130. Familiarizes teacher candidates with writing-to-learn techniques that can be used across the curriculum to assist students in thinking and processing new and existing knowledge.

ELED 4110 - Directed Teaching, Grades K-8
12 credit hours

Prerequisite: Permission of department. Full-day supervised teaching experience of 15 weeks duration in a public school classroom. Pass/Fail.

ELED 4130 - Academic Interventions for Elementary School Learners
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Permission of department; admission into Residency I coursework. Corequisites: ELED 4350, ELED 4340, and ELED 4200. Designed to better prepare teacher candidates specifically in the areas of academic success for all learners, differentiated instruction, assessment, and intervention frameworks such as RTI2. Teacher candidates must be officially admitted into the K-5 Residence I program and will work with elementary students at a local school.

ELED 4200 - Assessing the Elementary Level Learner
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Permission of department; admission to Residency I semester. Corequisites: ELED 4130, ELED 4340, and ELED 4350. Integrates elementary level content with classroom and standardized assessments to enable the planning, design, and implementation of assessment driven instruction.

ELED 4260 - Problems in Elementary Education
1 to 3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Permission of department. A problem-oriented course, on or off campus, planned and designed for individuals, a school faculty, school system, or other professional groups, which will provide opportunities for in-service education related to assessed needs. Credit toward an undergraduate degree will be limited to six semester hours.

ELED 4340 - Managing Learning Environments
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Admission to teacher education program. Familiarizes teacher candidates with classroom management strategies.

NOTE: Students must select a specific Residency I section and sign up for all corresponding classes in that particular section. Classes may not be selected from multiple sections.

ELED 4350 - Theory to Practice
6 credit hours

Prerequisite: Admission to Teacher Education program; ELED 4130, ELED 4200, and ELED 4340. Strategies and techniques for guiding the learning of elementary school children. Development and use of materials in elementary classrooms with emphasis on explanation and experimentation. Laboratory work and weekly seminar.

NOTE: Students must select a specific Residency I section and sign up for all corresponding classes in that particular section. Classes may not be selected from multiple sections.

ELED 4410 - Effective Instruction: Integrating Social Studies and Assessment
4 credit hours

Prerequisite: Admission to teacher education program. Familiarizes teacher candidates with classroom management strategies:4-8, best practices of social studies instruction, and the integration of both with classroom and standardized assessments to enable the planning, design, and implementation of a standards-based social studies curriculum.

NOTE: Students must select a specific Residency I section and sign up for all corresponding classes in that particular section. Classes may not be selected from multiple sections.

Online or Hybrid Programs at a Glance

This program is available .

For More Information or Explore Your Options​

Contact your department / program coordinator or advisor for more details about the program. OR Work one-on-one with your advisor to explore your options.

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The Online Advantage​

With over 25 years of experience in online teaching and learning, MTSU Online offers students access to innovative, high-quality programs. Designed with students in mind, our courses allow maximum flexibility for those unable to participate in person. ​

Resources and services for online students are available from MTSU Online or contact us at

Contact Information

Dr. James Huffman

Who is My Advisor?

Dr. James Huffman

Mailing Address

Department of Educational Leadership
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 91
Murfreesboro, TN 37132 

College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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