Online Curriculum & Instruction, MA Ed | University of Nebraska at Kearney

Curriculum & Instruction, MA Ed (Early Childhood Education)

Master of Arts in Education

University of Nebraska at Kearney

  • Course Delivery
    Fully Online
  • Total Credits
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit

Earn your degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney

Get the same diploma as on campus students

The online Curriculum and Instruction, Master of Arts in Education (MA Ed) with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education program is designed to prepare you with best practice knowledge to develop and assess curricula to maximize student learning.

Through coursework, students gain: 

  • Knowledge and skill in the design, development and evaluation of school curriculum.
  • Greater expertise in the area of early childhood education, focusing on instructional strategies for teaching children ages 0-8.
  • Credentials for career advancement.

More about the Curriculum and Instruction, MA Ed Program:

The Curriculum and Instruction program is designed to provide educators with the opportunity to gain knowledge and skill in the design, development and evaluation of school curriculum. The program requires four core courses covering areas of research, democracy, diversity and technology in accordance with the College of Education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Course options are available for students who already have a teaching permit as well as those seeking to qualify for a transitional teaching permit through the Curriculum and Instruction program.

The Curriculum and Instruction, MA Ed program offers the following specializations:

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education
  • English as a Second Language
  • Instructional Effectiveness
  • Montessori Early Childhood
  • Montessori - Elementary I
  • Reading/Special Education
  • School Librarian
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) 
  • Secondary Education
  • Transitional Certification

Career Outlook:

Curriculum specialists support teachers by providing foundation materials for courses and giving constructive feedback on how teachers are implementing those materials. Sometimes they are called instructional coordinators.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of instructional coordinators is projected to grow 11% between 2016 and 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. As states and school districts put greater emphasis on student achievement data, schools may increasingly turn to instructional coordinators to develop better curriculums and improve teachers effectiveness.

This program is accredited by National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and Nebraska Department of Education
This program has been ranked by US News and World Report for excellence in online education
Dawn Mollenkopf, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Dawn Mollenkopf earned her doctorate in Special Education Policy Integration with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education. She directs the Early Childhood Unified (ECU) program and has worked with five different Federal U.S. Department of Education grants to help early childhood teachers and young children. Mollenkopf is passionate about teaching the next generation of leaders in education.

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree

  2. 2.75 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

  3. Official transcripts from all previous schools

  4. A professional biography

NOTE: If you reside in state(s) KY, please contact a program adviser before applying.

To apply to this program:

  • Complete and submit the online application for admissions
  • Pay the $45 non-refundable application fee
Apply Now

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester
July 10
Spring Semester
November 10
Summer Sessions
April 10

Program of study includes nine credit hours electives; available elective course examples listed.

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
TE 800Education Research3

Course Number: TE 800

This introductory online course in educational research focuses on evaluating and interpreting educational research and applying its findings to educational practice.

TE 803Philosophy of Education3

Course Number: TE 803

Survey of the philosophical foundations of western culture and their relation to the development of earlier and contemporary educational philosophies.

TE 804Curriculum Development in Multicultural Education3

Course Number: TE 804

Students learn to evaluate, create, and implement multicultural lesson plans, unit plans, textbooks, curriculum guides, classroom rules and regulations, and school policies.

TE 805POverview of Assistive Technology3

Course Number: TE 805P

This course examines the applications of assistive technology for individuals with disabilities as it relates to teaching and learning. Existing research with students with special needs will be reviewed and new applications of existing and developing technology will be explored.

TE 816GPracticum: Curriculum & Instruction Graduate Practicum3

Course Number: TE 816G

This course focuses on the application of the knowledge and skills in the student's Curriculum and Instruction Graduate Program and Concentration Area. The course includes the development of an instructional project involving the collection and analysis of P-12 student learning data and also includes supervised teaching.

TE 851Principles of Early Childhood Education3

Course Number: TE 851

Acquaints students with the knowledge and skills required to develop, administer and supervise early education, childcare, and early intervention programs, serving children with and without disabilities, birth to age 8. Students will implement a strengths-based approach and apply cultural sensitivity to support families from diverse cultural, linguistic, and economic backgrounds and situations.

TE 852Issues and Trends in Early Childhood Education3

Course Number: TE 852

This course is designed to provide graduate students with an understanding of the political and social issues facing the early childhood field, how these are effecting systemic change, and ways to respond to those changes. Students will also examine a number of historical and current early initiatives and their effect upon young children and families, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of various models of early childhood programs.

TE 853AImprovement of Instruction in Early Childhood Education3

Course Number: TE 853A

This course is designed to present the most recent research literature and teaching strategies as they relate to the curriculum content advocated for young children, with and without exceptionalities, including those from low-income families or who are linguistically or culturally diverse. Students will learn to evaluate curriculum, and to design, adapt, and implement quality instruction for young children with diverse educational needs.

TE 857Early Communication, Language and Literacy3

Course Number: TE 857

Students will gain an understanding of early speech and language development and related emergent language and literacy skills, and how these may be influenced by cultural, linguistic, or exceptionality factors. Students will learn how to develop, evaluate, and implement early literacy materials and assessments for children with diverse educational needs ages 0-5 in program, school, and clinical settings.

TE 886PTechnology Tools for Teachers3

Course Number: TE 886P

This course is a general introductory course for using computers and other technology to promote student learning. Students will learn how to integrate computer-based instruction programs into their curriculum and be introduced to electronic library and other on-line resources. In addition, students will investigate other current hardware and software technologies for use in teaching and learning.

Elective Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
ART 807PArt Methods for Young Children3

Course Number: ART 807P

This interactive course is designed to give you a new perspective on planning and implementing developmentally appropriate art programs for children from birth through age eight. Topics include curriculum, assessment, evaluation, and program planning in addition to several historical perspectives and theories of child development and best practices for early childhood art education. We will examine key concepts as they relate to specific art activities. Graduate students will conduct research on a selected topic. Recommended prerequisite of a basic or advanced design course which provides fundamental training in art elements and principles with an emphasis on art materials, processes and the development of a basic art vocabulary.

ENG 847/847PChildren's Literature3

Course Number: ENG 847/847P

Establishing criteria for selecting, evaluating, and reading a wide range of literature for children.

PE 871Physical Education for Students with Disabilities3

Course Number: PE 871

Survey of prevalent disabilities which affect motor performance of school-age students. Special consideration is given to techniques accommodating students with disabilities in physical education classes.

TE 809PCurriculum Implementation3

Course Number: TE 809P

Survey of prevalent disabilities which affect motor performance of school-age students. Special consideration is given to techniques accommodating students with disabilities in physical education classes.

TE 810Design and Development of Instruction3

Course Number: TE 810

This course deals with the principles of instructional design and how to apply these principles in instructional development projects. The course utilizes a systems approach to the instructional design process by focusing on a series of interrelated procedures and techniques to design, develop, implement, and evaluate instruction for diverse learners.

TE 815PThe Effective Teacher Enhancing Classroom Instruction3

Course Number: TE 815P

This course is designed to provide participants with research and experience based information, strategies, techniques and "hands-on" activities they can use to improve and enrich the quality of their teaching and to increase the probability of learning and success of their students.

TE 845Contemporary Theory & Practice in Reading3

Course Number: TE 845

This course will provide students with an opportunity to investigate the theoretical background of the reading process and analyze instructional practices in developmental reading at the elementary school level.

TE 853CImprovement of Instruction in Elementary School Language Arts3

Course Number: TE 853C

Attention is directed to the newest innovations in language arts instruction and to the selection of materials for diagnostic and instructional programs. Students will evaluate the various teaching techniques through a comparative study of current programs in elementary language arts.

TE 853FImprovement of Instruction in Mathematics for Grades PK-33

Course Number: TE 853F

This course will focus on improving classroom instruction in the Pimary grades (PK-2nd) as advocated by the National Council of the Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Students will be provided with the opportunity to become familiar with many of the resources available to mathematics teachers as they broaden their understanding of developmentally appropriate learning experiences for your students (which utilize the latest research-based teaching and assessment methods). Students will also examine and revise their personal philosophy of teaching mathematics in a classroom in this supportive, interactive and collaborative course.

TE 877Developing Web-Based Educational Environments3

Course Number: TE 877

This course is for teachers and instructional technologists who wish to design, implement and evaluate learner-centered instructional environments. Students will create, implement and evaluate nonlinear, student-centered interactive web-based projects, based upon their students' assessed learning needs.

TE 896Thesis3-6

Course Number: TE 896

Student investigates a research problem related to special education, following APA style of reporting the research. The student enrolls with the faculty member directing the thesis. One to 6 credit hours per semester, with a total of 6 hours.

TESE 821PNature and Needs of Exceptionalities3

Course Number: TESE 821P

This introductory course surveys the various disability areas in the field of special education and associated educational implications. Major influences from litigation and legislation are discussed along with contemporary issues and trends in special education and gifted education.

TESE 822PPsychology & Education of Gifted & Talented Learners3

Course Number: TESE 822P

Topics for this introductory course will include the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical characteristics of gifted/talented learners, methods of identification, implications of cultural diversity, appropriately differentiated education, working with families, historical perspective of the field, and major research studies contributing to the knowledge-base. Emphasis will be placed on characteristics and differentiated instructional strategies.

TESE 837PMedical Aspects of Individuals with Disabilities3

Course Number: TESE 837P

This course provides students with a general knowledge of the medical conditions seen in children with disabilities. It will familiarize students with terminology, medications, procedures, equipment, and interventions used for children with medical complications. Teacher responsibilities in regards to medical conditions will be covered.

Cost for Nebraska Residents

  • Per Credit Hour

  • Tuition: $309.00
  • Fees: $52.25
  • Total: $361.25
  • 3 Credit Hours

  • Tuition: $927.00
  • Fees: $156.75
  • Total: $1083.75

Cost for Out of State Residents

  • Per Credit Hour

  • Tuition: $435.00
  • Fees: $52.25
  • Total: $487.25
  • 3 Credit Hours

  • Tuition: $1305.00
  • Fees: $156.75
  • Total: $1461.75

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What's it like to take a program online?

  • Quality learning experience

    The University of Nebraska has offered distance education courses for more than 100 years so you can expect a quality, rigorous experience. Online courses are often highly interactive with faculty and students communicating through e-mail, discussion forums and chat groups. You’ll have direct access to world-class faculty – researchers who are experts in their fields or practitioners with real-world experience. Also, you’ll be part of a community of learners and can benefit from the perspectives of students from across the globe.

  • Flexibility

    Online learning gives you the flexibility and freedom to attend your classes wherever is convenient to you. You can save time and money by being able to continue to work and by avoiding relocation or travel costs. You will be required to complete assignments in a certain timeframe, but in most instances, you can log in and complete coursework during the time of day that works best for you. You aren’t tied to a specific class time.

  • Service you expect from a leading University

    Online learners at the University of Nebraska have access to the same student services available to on-campus students. An academic adviser will guide you along your journey, library services are available to help you excel in your program and career services are available when you are ready to take your next step. These are just a few of the services in place to help you succeed.

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