Graduate Catalog

2012 – 2013

Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education
McKelvie Hall, 102 W. Rosedale Avenue
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-2943
Fax: 610-436-2763

Revised June 2018

Elementary Education

106B Recitation Hall
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Dr. Baloche, Interim Chairperson
Dr. DiLuccio, Graduate Coordinator

Professors [top]

Lynda Baloche, Ed.D., Temple University
Gail Bollin, Ph.D., University of Delaware
David F. Brown, Ed.D., University of Tennessee
Wei Wei Cai, Ed.D., Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Martha Drobnak, Ed.D., Nova University

Associate Professors

Connie DiLucchio, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania
Donna Sanderson, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania
Frances Slostad, Ed.D., Immaculata University
Sally Winterton, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania

Assistant Professors

Karen Everett, Ph.D., University of Albany
Linda Hanna, Ed.D., Immaculata University
Sara Lamb Kistler, Ph.D., University of Delaware
Heather Leaman, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
Vicky M. Patton, Ph.D., Temple University

Programs of Study in Early Childhood Education [top]

The Department of Elementary Education offers graduate programs in the following: a post-baccalaureate certification program in elementary education; a master of education degree in elementary education with an emphasis in applied studies in teaching and learning; and a certificate of advanced graduate study. Courses are available to teachers desiring Level II Pennsylvania elementary certification, Act 48 credits, or professional growth.

On June 1, 1987, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education implemented revisions to the Pennsylvania School Code. These revisions require all students who apply for Pennsylvania teaching certificates to pass competency tests in basic skills, general knowledge, professional knowledge, and specific knowledge of the subjects in which they seek teacher certification. Students also must demonstrate that they have met the requirement for computer literacy.

As changes are made in requirements for elementary certification, it is the student's responsibility to satisfy the new requirements.

The State Board of Education adopted changes that affect all of Pennsylvania's teacher certification programs by adding nine credits or 270 hours or equivalent combination for adaptations and accommodations for diverse students in an inclusive setting, and three credits or 90 hours or equivalent combination to meet the instructional needs of English language learners. Although these regulatory changes became effective on September 22, 2007, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has not yet developed final requirements for colleges/universities to follow. Therefore, additional program requirements will be developed and incorporated into the certification programs to comply with new regulations that become effective January 1, 2013.

The State Board of Education also adopted changes specific to early childhood, elementary (K-6), and special education. New certification guidelines will apply January 1, 2013 regardless of a candidate's enrollment date. Candidates seeking current certifications must complete their program by August 2012.

After the student's application has been submitted to West Chester University's Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education and appropriate transcripts have been received, the student will be mailed information regarding the program and advisement.

Level I Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification Program - Elementary Education

(For students completing the program by August 2013)

This program is designed for students who did not major in elementary education as an undergraduate. The program consists of a coherent group of courses and field experiences that are designed to help students attain the competencies required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for Level I certification. Successful completion of the program qualifies one for the K-6 Pennsylvania Instructional I certification.

Once a student is accepted into the certification program, his/her transcripts are evaluated by the graduate coordinator to determine what course work would be required to complete certification requirements. The student is sent a checklist of courses required for the completion of his/her individual certification program in his/her acceptance letter from the department.

Certification Information

Pennsylvania Certification Requirements
Any person seeking an Instructional I Certificate in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must achieve the scores established as passing by the Pennsylvania Department of Education on the Praxis PPST 10710: Reading, 10730; Math, 20720; Writing (taken as part of admission to the program and formal admission to teacher education process); Praxis 30511: Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (to be taken and passed prior to admission to the program); and Praxis 10011 Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (to be taken prior to student teaching and passed for certification).

Certification Process
Students must apply for certification. Application forms for, and information about, certification are available from the Certification Office in the College of Education which is located in Recitation Hall. This office provides information on Pennsylvania certification regulations and assists students seeking information on certifications in other states.

Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants are expected to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required. If an applicant possesses a master's degree, the GPA requirement applies to that degree.
  3. Applicants must have earned three credits in college-level English composition, three credits in English literature, and six credits in college-level mathematics.
  4. Applicants must submit passing scores (as defined by PDE) on the Praxis I: Pre-Professional Skills Tests (PPST), and Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge.
  5. Applicants must submit a completed and signed "Approved Program of Study" form to be filed in the Teacher Certification Office.
  6. Applicants must submit two letters of professional reference.

Students must successfully complete the curriculum, obtain passing scores on the state-mandated Praxis II test (currently Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment) plus any additional state-mandated requirements.

They also must achieve an overall minimum GPA of 3.0.

Students applying for the certification program should be aware that a limited number of spaces are available in the program. Some students who meet the minimum requirements may not be admitted due to this space limitation.

To maintain active graduate status, students enrolled in the initial elementary education teaching certification program are required to maintain continuous enrollment in the graduate program by registering for GSR 799 during any semesters they do not register for courses. If students register for undergraduate courses only during any semester, they must also register for GSR 799 to maintain active graduate status. GSR 799 is not a course and, therefore, does not incur any cost to students.

Refer also to "Formal Admission to Teacher Education for Certification" under "Academic Information and Requirements."

Certification Requirements

Curriculum (minimum 54 semester hours)

  1. Group one (to be completed during first 18 hours)
    EDE 551, EDF 510 or 589; EDP 550 and 531,
    EDE 526 (early field experience)
  2. Group two
    Students may enroll in group two courses upon completion of early field experience and at least six additional credits of courses in group one.
    EDA 511; EDE 533, 544; EDR 509, 510, and 515; EDT 500; MTE 553; SCE 595
  3. Group three
    Students may enroll in group three upon completion of all other course work.
    EDE 410-411 (student teaching)

Credit summary: Without considering analysis of undergraduate and/or transfer courses for equivalency, students complete 54 semester hours for certification.

For the post-baccalaureate program, students must take the Praxis II Curriculum Instruction and Assessment Examination before admission to student teaching and pass the Praxis II CIA examination as a means of completing the teacher education program. (Post-baccalaureate applicants must submit passing scores on the Praxis II Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge as an admission requirement.)

Master of Education in Elementary Education

The elementary education master's degree with an emphasis in applied studies in teaching and learning gives experienced educators an opportunity to advance the knowledge and skills needed to be practitioner-leaders within their profession. This program recognizes the value of experience; it has been developed to strengthen and deepen the practice of educators through course work designed to emphasize reflection, collaboration, and classroom-base inquiry.

This 36-credit program includes an 18-credit core requirement, a 12-credit area of focused inquiry, the development of a professional portfolio, and a six-credit, classroom-based inquiry project.

Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants for the degree program are expected to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university, Pennsylvania Level 1 Teaching Certification or its equivalent, and evidence of study in special education and/or inclusion (students without this evidence will be required to complete such a course during their M.Ed.).
  2. Applicants must have one year of full-time, satisfactory K-12 teaching experience in public or private schools. (All other cases will be considered by the department on an individual basis.)
  3. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is also required. (If an applicant possesses a master's degree, the GPA requirement applies to that degree.)

Degree Requirements [top]

  1. Satisfactory completion of the curriculum as given below. Both the selection and the sequence of courses should be determined in consultation with an appointed adviser. Workshop credits (EDE 580-589) are not permitted. Up to six credits of "Special Topics" courses (EDE 591-593), within an area of focused inquiry, may be counted towards the degree.
  2. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
  3. Development of a professional portfolio. (The portfolio will be formally evaluated during EDE 571.)
  4. Completion of a classroom-based inquiry project in EDE 611.

Curriculum (36 semester hours)

  1. Initial courses (6 semester hours)
    (to be taken during first 15 hours of study)
    EDE 532 and 554
  2. Intermediate courses (9 semester hours)
    EDE 556, EDF 583, and EDR 535
  3. Area of focused inquiry (12 semester hours)
    Students are to complete a 12-credit area of focused inquiry; students should confer with the assigned adviser to determine an appropriate and desirable area of focused inquiry.
    Areas currently include the following:
    • Culturally responsive education
    • Inclusion/special education
    • Literacy
    • Technology
    • Teaching English as a second language
    • 3E Institute: Entrepreneurial Educator
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Open area: Students are encouraged to propose their own focus areas based on personal interests and needs and available graduate-level offerings at West Chester University. These areas would be developed with faculty in the student's area of interest and approved by the elementary education graduate coordinator. Workshop credits may not be used to satisfy requirements for the area of focused inquiry.
  4. Culminating courses (9 semester hours)
    EDE 571 and 611

Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study

The certificate of advanced graduate study (CAGS) is designed for students who already possess a master's degree and who want to expand their knowledge in a given area, or to broaden it to include other areas. Such students normally do not wish to undertake a doctoral program but, at the same time, prefer the guidance and structure offered by a program such as the CAGS.

Important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended this program.

Admission Requirements

A student who wishes to pursue the CAGS must:

  1. Possess a master's degree from an accredited institution.
  2. Have attained a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 in a master's degree program.
  3. Present two professional letters of recommendation.
  4. Acceptance for study toward the CAGS will be determined by the faculty of the Department of Early and Middle Grades Education. However, prior to formal admission to the program, the student is required to develop a proposed plan of study with the supervising committee (consisting of the major adviser and one additional member) that has been appointed by the department chairperson or a designee.

Program of Study

A minimum of 30 semester hours earned beyond the master's degree is required. Students accepted into the program will pursue a plan of study to meet their individual needs. Plans will be developed with the major adviser and be approved by the student's supervising committee. Previous course work taken will be considered in the development of the student's program. Also, the suggested program will be presented to the departmental graduate committee for approval. Course work may be arranged as follows:

  1. Area of specialization (18-24 semester hours)
    (Examples: early childhood education, elementary education - general, language arts, mathematics, reading, science, social studies, gifted education)
    Programs will be individually tailored for each student by an adviser.
  2. Course work in complementary areas (0-6 semester hours)
  3. Seminar in research (3 semester hours)
  4. Research report (3 semester hours)

Transfer Credits

A maximum of six hours of approved transfer credit earned after the master's degree may be applied to the proposed program if the courses complement the area of specialization and if the credits were earned within a period of three years before entering this program.

Certificate of Approval

Successful completion of the program requires that the student:

  1. Achieves a minimum GPA of 3.25 in all course work in the area of specialization and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all course work taken outside the College of Education.
  2. Successfully passes an oral examination in the area of specialization, as well as completes a research report. All requirements, including the research report, must be completed before the student will be allowed to take the oral examination.
  3. Meets all program requirements.
  4. Completes the program within six years following the date of the first enrollment.

Course Descriptions [top]

Symbol: EDE

520 Writing Development and Instruction (3) Strategies for teaching the language arts. Methods, materials, and resources for organizing creative programs in school settings. This course is crosslisted as EDR 520.

526 Professional Dimensions of Teaching and Learning (3) An introduction to the dimensions of teaching and learning in the context of the culturally responsive, elementary classroom. Observations and supervised experiences in field-based settings are required.

530 Social Studies in Elementary Education (3) Interdisciplinary and multicultural strategies for developing concepts, skills, and values in the social studies program.

532 Teaching and Learning: Linking Theory to Practice (3) This course is intended to help teachers connect knowledge of curriculum design and learning theory with the development of culturally responsive curriculum and effective classroom practice.

533 Social Studies and Health Education in the Elementary School (3) An interdisciplinary overview of the content, context, purpose, and strategies for teaching history, geography, the social sciences, and health education in the elementary classroom. National, state, and local standards are used as frameworks for exploration.

543 Creative Expression in the Elementary School (3) Theories and techniques to promote creative thinking and enhance children's creative potential in all areas of the school curriculum.

544 Integrating Creativity and the Arts Across the Curriculum (3) An examination of creativity theory and the arts disciplines, with emphases on the purposes and processes of integrating arts skills and knowledge across the elementary curriculum.

548 Curriculum Theory and Trends in Elementary Education (3) Theoretical frameworks of elementary school curricula; curriculum development and change. To be taken after 15 hours of work.

549 Theory and Trends in the Language Arts (3) Analysis and evaluation of language arts programs, including reading in the modern elementary school. PREREQ: EDE 548. This course is crosslisted as EDR 549.

551 Child and Adolescent Behavior I (3) A survey of characteristic development and behavior of children between 5 and 13 years of age, situated within theories of human development with emphasis on application to classroom settings. Open to elementary education majors only.

552 The Middle School Child (3) Development, behavior, and specific needs during late childhood and early adolescence (10-15 years); applies to working with children in the middle school. PREREQ: Recent course in child/human development.

553 Child and Adolescent Behavior II (3) Review of principles of growth and development. Theories of personality development; clues to identifying children with problems; therapies applicable to elementary and adolescent school children. Case study may be required. PREREQ: A recent course in child development and completion of 15 hours of course work.

554 The Reflective Teacher: Examining Cultural Paradigms in the Contemporary Classroom (3) An investigation of the origins of popular, personal, and theoretical constructions of teaching and learning processes and how these constructions influence contemporary practice.

555 The Classroom as Content and Context for Learning (3) Exploration and application of models and theories to facilitate analysis of the classroom with emphases on the complex intra- and interpersonal processes that determine the personal, social, and ecological contexts for learning.

556 Human Development (3) Study of cross-culturally evolving perspectives on healthy developmental processes in children and adults. Application of findings to interaction between teachers and learners within the contexts of family, school, and community. PREREQ: EDE 554.

557 The Foundations of Cooperative Learning (3) Exploration of various theories, models, and strategies for cooperative learning, with the goal of systematic implementation into all areas of the school curriculum.

560 Culturally Responsive Education (3) This course is designed to help educators address issues related to diversity in the classroom. Students will explore their own cultural self identity and the importance of valuing multiple perspectives in preparing and implementing instruction.

562 Integrating Thinking Skills into the Curriculum (3) Provides the rationale and theory base for including thinking skills in instructional strategies. Opportunities to apply thinking strategies to curricula are provided through models of teaching.

563 Teacher as Leader (3) This course will provide students with an opportunity to study further their own role in change processes through an examination of teacher leadership.

565 Effective Classroom Management (3) Dynamics of interpersonal relations in planning and facilitating classroom instruction.

570 Supervision in the Elementary School (3) Concepts and practices in supervision of teachers, student teachers, and aides. PREREQ: Course work in elementary education and child development.

571 Educational Change: A Systemic View (3) Exploration of theories and models of educational change, with emphases on systems thinking and the central role of the teacher in the change process. PREREQ: EDE 532, 554, 556; EDF 583; EDR 535.

580-589 Workshops in Elementary Education (1-6) Additional course numbers will be assigned as new areas of study are announced. Credits vary. The series currently includes:

580 Workshop in Elementary Education

583 Workshop in Creativity

585 Workshop in Language Arts

586 Workshop in Curriculum Enrichment

588 Workshop in Gifted and Talented

589 Workshop in Humanizing Teaching and Learning

590 Independent Study (1) Enrollment by permission only; number of credits determined by instructor.

591-593 Special Topics (1-3)

598 Workshop in Elementary Education (3)

600 Research Report (1-2)

610 Thesis (4-6)

611 Teacher as Classroom Researcher (6) This course explores the role of classroom research in the professional life of the teacher. With the goal of informing personal practice and collegial discourse, participants review existing literature, design and carry out an investigation in their own setting, and report results to professional colleagues. PREREQ: EDE 532, 535, 554, 556, 571; EDF 583.