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Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum: Graduate Programs

Master of Education in Elementary Education

Program Overview


Reading and Advanced Literacy  4-12 Reading EndorsementTeaching English to Speakers of Other Language (TESOL)      Elementary STEM 


This Department of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum's  graduate program assists learners in developing personal and professional competencies needed for successful instruction in today's public schools. This goal is achieved through programs emphasizing individually meaningful instruction, the use of innovative materials, and the application of theoretical concepts in laboratory and clinical experiences.


The department offers a wide array of graduate studies for teachers and other educational professionals. In meeting those diverse needs, the department offers three categories of studies at the graduate level.

Category I - Master's Degree Programs for Teachers with Professional Certificates

Programs for certificated teachers who desire to extend their professional skills and knowledge leading to the awarding of a master of education degree are the primary means for pursuing graduate study within the department. The central mission of these programs is to extend and enhance the instructional expertise of the professional teacher. These programs make provisions for "add-on" endorsements to the initial teaching certificate and expand the teacher's certified areas of instruction. The areas of M.Ed. in Elementary Education include the concentrations of P-12 TESOL and Literacy.

Category II - Master's Degree Programs for Uncertified Post-baccalaureate Students

These programs are for graduate students who do not hold professional teaching certificates but who wish to obtain a master of education degree. The areas of the M.Ed. in Education include the concentration of the Professional Education with various options of specifications including: Prekindergarten/Primary, Elementary, P-12 TESOL, Technology, and Literacy.

Category III - Non-degree Studies that Lead to a Certificate

These studies are content focused programs that lead to certificates awarded by the University of North Florida. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, either in education or a non-education related field, is required to pursue the certificates.


The Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Education (ECE) emphasizes the professional preparation of students at the graduate levels for a range of careers in early childhood education (children ages 0-8) within diverse community contexts. The completion of six Early Childhood Education graduate courses provides preparation for working with young children and their families and communities. This program prepares candidates for a highly specialized role and offers a dynamic combination of state-of-the-art theoretical courses and practical application of learning in field education.


The Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages(TESOL) provides students with advanced knowledge in the education of ELLs (English Language Learners) of any age. The completion of six TESOL graduate courses awards a candidate a TESOL certificate from the University of North Florida, and qualifies a candidate to apply for ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) endorsement to be added on his/her existing Florida teacher's certificate. Coursework covers the ESOL domains of linguistics, assessment, culture, methods, and curriculum.


Learn more about Graduate Programs in the College of Education & Human Services.


Early Childhood Educational Leadership Master's Degree Program

Program Overview

1. What is the Early Childhood Educational Leadership Master's Degree Program?

The Early Childhood Educational Leadership Program is a graduate level program leading to a Master's degree. The Master of Education program includes a specialization in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Advocacy specifically in the area of early childhood. This specialization is an interdisciplinary program designed for people who work or wish to work as a leader in the field of early childhood education. Information in this degree supports the development of leadership skills to serve in positions within community, state, and national agencies, in both the public and private sector that focus on supporting the healthy development, growth, and education of families and children. This specialization provides grounding in social, historical, philosophical, developmental, educational, and international perspectives of leadership and early childhood education.

Program Goal

The M.Ed. with specialization in educational leadership, policy, and advocacy, with an early childhood focus, prepares professionals with an interest in the early childhood field to take leadership roles in organizations that focus on improving the lives of families and children through the collaboration of public policy, community action, and educational support.

2. Why might someone wish to participate in the program? Participation will be in a program in which:

  1. Students, as a cohort, study, grow, and become close and supporting colleagues over the two-year period of the program and thereafter. In addition to interacting with UNF faculty and with each other, cohort members will have the opportunity to interact with and learn from leaders in the field.
  2. Students and instructors approach learning about the craft of school leadership in both a serious and engaging manner. Respect from the instructors to the students, students to the students, and students to the instructors is expected and practiced.
  3. The program represents more than just a series of courses. It is a cohesively structured approach to help students to grow professionally and personally in a significant manner. Moreover, because the work is explicitly embedded in the systems, structures, and culture of Early Childhood Educational Leadership. Students will learn and practice the craft of leadership in a context they know and one in which they might expect to lead.
  4. Class sessions are conducted online as well as face-to-face.
  5. Engaging, work-related approaches to instruction, learning, and assessment are studied and practiced. Students will leave the program with a rich understanding of these matters - and, importantly, an understanding of the way these matters manifest in Early Childhood Educational Leadership.
  6. Instructors are knowledgeable about both practice and theory. In other words, instructors will help students to learn both the practices of early childhood, school leadership, and the conceptual/theoretical basis of the practices. As a result, students completing the program will not only know and be able to apply best practices, but will be able to make adjustments to the practices based upon the nature of specific circumstances.
  7. Students completing this program tend to perform exceedingly well on the Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE), which is required for certification.

3. When can a student begin studies?

  1. The first Early Childhood Educational Leadership cohort is scheduled to begin in August 2017.

4. Admission Requirements:

  1. To be admitted, an applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or its equivalent from a foreign institution, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all work attempted in the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study.
  2. Applicants not meeting the 3.0 minimum requirement may contact the Educational Leadership Program Director for additional admission options. For additional tools to determine GPA, please visit Calculating Your GPA.

5. Application directions:

  1. This site contains the directions for the application: Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership
  2. The online application process should be initiated here:

  3. When you submit an application on-line, a credit card number or electronic check (U.S. bank only) is needed in order to pay the $30 application fee.
  4. Transcripts:
    • One official (hardcopy) transcript from each university that you have attended should be sent directly to UNF Graduate School.
    • Former UNF students do not need to request transcripts unless they have attended an institution since leaving UNF.
  5. Recommendations:
    • Three recommendations are needed. They should reflect your fitness to participate in the program and/or your potential to lead. A recommendation from your supervisor (for example, a principle or program director) is expected.
    • Recommendations are to be submitted electronically using the UNF online system (applicants will the submit names and email addresses of their references as part of the application process).
  6. Other materials (to be uploaded as part of the application process):
    • A current resume or curriculum vitae.
  7. Manner in which applications are considered: Applications typically are considered only when all of the elements described above have been received.

6. Course Work: The course schedule for the cohort beginning in August 2017 is:

Total credits = 42

Core Requirements (6 credits)


  • EDF 6607 Education in America
  • EDF 6687 Multi & Urban Foundation in Education


  • EDF 6480 Foundations in Education Research
  • EDG 6911 Action Research in Education

Major Requirements (36 credits)

Educational Leadership Courses (18 credits)

  • EDA 6061 Introduction to Educational Leadership (3 credits)
  • EDA 6215 Developing School and Community Resources (3 credits)
  • EDS 6130 Human Resource Development (3 credits)
  • EDA 6196 Leadership and Learning Organizations (3 credits)
  • EDA 6242 Finance (3 credits)
  • EDA 6232 Law and Ethics in Educational Leadership (3 credits)

Early Childhood Courses (18 credits)

  • EEC 6756 (or approved substitute) Social- Emotional Development (3 credits)
  • EEC 6611 Early Childhood Education (3 credits)
  • EEC 6205 Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood (3 credits)
  • RED 6000 (or approved substitute)
  • Language and Cognition Foundations for Reading (3 credits)
  • EEC 6944/EDA 6945 Practicum (3 credits)
  • EEC 6261 Infants and Toddlers (3 credits)

7. Is financial aid available?

Yes. Students are eligible for financial assistance in the form of student loans.


The application can be obtained at


It is usually best to apply for aid after receiving notification of admission to the program.

8. Where can additional information be obtained?

Dr. Christian Winterbottom at

Dr. Anne K. Swanson at

Dr. Katrina Hall at

Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Education

The Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Education is designed for individuals who possess a baccalaureate degree and desire to teach elementary school (K-6th grade). For individuals who are interested in additional funding and can commit to teaching in urban settings after graduation, please refer to our JTR website for additional information.

Program Overview


Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Education

The Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Education is designed for individuals who possess a baccalaureate degree and desire to teach secondary English, Math, Social Studies, or Biology/Chemistry/Physics. For individuals who have degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics, please refer to our JTR website for additional information.

Program Overview 


 Master of Arts in Teaching Exceptional Student Education

The Master of Arts in Teaching Exceptional Student Education is designed for individuals with bachelor's degrees in other areas who wish to become teachers. This program brings individuals with life experiences into the classroom and addresses the needs of ESE teacher candidates to ensure they have the skills necessary to work with students with disabilities (eligible under any of the 13 disability categories) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). For individuals who are interested in additional funding and can commit to teaching in urban settings after graduation, please refer to our JTR website for additional information. 


Program Overview  



Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Program Overview