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    American University
    Mar 24, 2023  
American University Catalog 2019-2020 
American University Catalog 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Programs in the School of Education

The School of Education (SOE) offers graduate programs that prepare teachers, educational leaders and managers, education specialists, cross-cultural exchange professionals and researchers for careers in schools, school districts, colleges and universities, federal, state and local government agencies, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, business, and non-profit, community and professional organizations. SOE graduate program curricula is designed to include innovative, inclusive, and evidence-based teaching approaches, cutting-edge research, and active partnerships. Through courses, internships, practica, and research, students collaborate with professionals in public schools, educational organizations, and state and federal agencies. SOE graduates leave ready to join an American University alumni network of talented professionals who are working to transform both domestic and international education spaces.

The Education Policy and Leadership division includes certificate, masters and doctoral programs focusing on cultivating a new generation of leaders throughout the education system.

The Post-Masters School Administration, Supervision and Leadership (Graduate Certificate)  is designed for students wanting an approved program of study for pre-K-12 administration, supervision and/or leadership endorsement. Students build and sharpen skills required to be leaders of schools (public, private, charter), districts, charter systems, or education-related organizations. Students learn to lead change systemically, ethically, and equitably. This program provides an exciting learning experience that combines rigorous academic work with actual practice. 

The Education Policy and Leadership (MEd)  has two tracks: Policy Studies and Teacher Leadership. The Policy Studies track prepares educators and other professionals to serve as leaders in education organizations. Students gain the knowledge and skills in leadership, policy, law, economics, and research to effectively administer education programs and policies at all levels. The Teacher Leadership track prepares current educators to provide support and shape school-improvement efforts in areas of literacy, dyslexia, or STEM. Students develop deeper knowledge about how to support teachers and school-wide change, including learning about coaching, data use, curriculum design, and research methodology. The Policy Studies track is offered both online and on-campus.

Students learn from faculty with real-world experience in the education policy space. A distinguishing feature of the degree is the proseminar course where students are matched with a government agency, district, or nonprofit to work on a policy related project. Students learn how to manage a project, collaborate in groups, and work effectively with a partner client.

Students in the online Education Policy and Leadership (EdD)  hone their leadership skills and are prepared to systematically lead in education, so that education systems are re-designed, re-imagined, and enhanced for the purposes of the success of every learner. The doctoral program brings cohorts of leaders together to explore and consider how to transform and disrupt education with the promise of education as a reality for all learners, regardless of race, class, ethnicity, and zip code.

Students will take courses to build their knowledge and skills in multiple domains, including policy navigation, organizational leadership and change, personal mastery and leadership, fostering social justice and inclusion, and innovation in education. The design of the program brings leaders together from schools, districts, policy shops, entrepreneurial ventures, and foundations so that they can identify a problem of practice within their organizations, research and prototype solutions in their work, and connect with their cohort around issues of practice, real world experiences, and issues of personal and organizational leadership. 

The International Training and Education (MA)  program is focused on cross-cultural global training and program design. The program prepares skilled and knowledgeable practitioners to work in diverse, cross-cultural, and global education contexts and settings. As a comparative and international education (CIE) program, the curriculum gives students a deep understanding of critical social, cultural, economic, political and policy issues in education nationally and internationally. 

The Special Education: Learning Disabilities (MA)  program is committed to preparing teachers to work with students with high prevalence learning disorders and specific learning disabilities including dyslexia, ADHD, mathematics disorders, non-verbal learning disabilities, speech and language disorders, and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The P12 learners with disabilities who are placed at partner school sites represent a diverse range of these conditions and provide SOE special education teacher candidates with experience of hands-on work in school-based settings. Graduates of the program are equipped with diagnostic and prescriptive techniques which they in turn put to use teaching students with disabilities in a range of placement settings, including mainstreamed co-teaching classroom, inclusion programs, and resource rooms. During these observations, candidates use a method of non-discriminatory data collection during these experiences to organize notes and then provide a reflection about the student and the student’s educational and social experiences. Completers also develop the knowledge and skills to collaborate with general educators, related service personnel, and families. The program is designed to prepare teachers for Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade, in alignment with the District of Columbia’s Special Education Teaching License. In the program, candidates complete their student teaching/internship experience in local schools in the Washington DC region (including Maryland and Northern Virginia) that serve students with cognitive and language-based disorders in inclusive and self-contained settings. Special Education is recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).

The Teaching (MAT)  program prepares highly skilled teachers who are dedicated to providing equitable education and instruction to all students. The programs’ foci on social justice, learning sciences, and high leverage practice skills are core components of SOE’s Teacher Education program philosophy. The Teacher Education programs prepare students interested in Early Childhood Education (PK-3), Elementary Education (1-6), English as a Second Language (K-12) and Secondary Education (7-12).

Students who complete an undergraduate or graduate degree in teacher education earn a DC Standard Teacher Credential, which has reciprocity with 47 states. Through two distinct field-based settings in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia schools, teacher candidates complete over 500 hours in an elementary education classroom. The two-day per week practicum, which spans 14 weeks is completed in conjunction with methods coursework and results in over 100 hours of classroom experience. The five-day a week, full-time student teaching experience is completed during the candidates’ final 14-week semester at the university and results in over 400 hours of classroom experience. The unique diversity of the Washington DC regional area enables candidates to complete field experiences in different types of settings, which allows teacher candidates to develop their knowledge, skills, and dispositions relative to teaching in more than one type of classroom.

Clinical experiences are able to bridge the gap between theory and practice and provide ample opportunity for candidates to reflect on and enact their beliefs and practices. Candidates reflect on issues pertaining to their high leverage practice skills, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the community and school-based settings. A common element across all field experiences is clinical supervision. Every candidate is provided on-site supervision by a clinical faculty member. One hundred percent of clinical supervisors are former teachers. In addition to supervision from a clinical faculty member, candidates also receive support from a cooperating teacher or mentor. All cooperating teachers are licensed teachers with at least three years of experience teaching in the elementary education setting.


    Master’s Program (GR)Certificate (GR)Doctoral Program (GR)