The Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction Program is characterized by the array of options it provides students in developing a focused sequence of course work, built on a strong core of foundational courses. With the assistance of their advisors, students are able to pursue specific tracks of their choosing designed to enhance their professional preparation and expertise as well as afford them the opportunity to explore, understand, critically examine, and solve problems pertaining to their lives as professional practitioners. Faculty members together utilize their distinctive disciplinary knowledge and skill to support students to impact and empower the lives of others in a positive, productive, and powerful way.

Why Choose Curriculum and Instruction at IW Online?

The Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction Program is built upon a strong core of foundational courses which will support you in your career in the education field. Effective Teaching and Instruction is the first track offered with additional tracks to follow. Instruction will include the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) Iowa Instructional Framework.

The Iowa Wesleyan Online Program is designed to be flexible and convenient to meet the needs of today’s students. Our online classroom allows you 24/7 access to your coursework when and where it’s convenient for you. We are a non-profit, regionally accredited and nationally ranked.

  • Eight-week terms with six start dates during the year
  • Courses are taught by faculty with practitioner experience
  • Accept up to 9 credits in transfer

Discover more reasons why IW Online is the right choice!

Program Objectives

  • Development of a discipline-specific knowledge base related to today’s educational problems and areas of concern
  • Development of knowledge and skills necessary in analysis, and evaluation of educational research and the ability to make data-driven decisions
  • Investigation of educational topics and issues to include all forms of media and instruction
  • Application of knowledge and skills through either an action-based or thesis research investigation of a student-selected educational problem or issue.



Our graduates have rewarding careers throughout the United States and around the world. Join the ranks in careers such as:
  • K-12 Teacher Leaders
  • Curriculum Specialist
  • Instructional Coordinator
  • College Instructor
  • Anyone wishing to move up in their organization with increased skills and credentials

Note: This degree does not lead to teacher licensure.

Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction Curriculum



Admissions Requirements

To be accepted in the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction Program, you must:

  • Have earned a bachelor’s degree with a minimum grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale).
  • Have held teacher licensure or a degree/experience in a related field.
  • Provide two (2) professional letters of recommendation from a combination of former professors and/or education professionals. Each letter should include the writer’s assessment of the applicant’s ability to succeed in graduate program.
  • Include an Educational Rationale/Philosophy and Statement of Interest – The applicant should provide a personal philosophy related to prior experience in the field of education. Also included should be an explanation as to why the prospective student is pursuing an IW graduate degree including possible career applications of the degree.

Required Professional Foundational Courses:

(21 Credit hours)

This course will introduce you to applications of important learning and assessment theory in shaping practice. You will explore the theoretical underpinnings of behaviorist and constructivist traditions in designing assessment of student development; targeting objectives to appropriate levels of a taxonomy; designing, managing, and assessing classroom environments conducive to student learning; developing appropriate strategies for implementing instruction; and exploring assessment theory and applications of both formative and summative assessments. You will critically evaluate the role and impact of high stakes assessments on learning and teaching. Additionally, you will begin to explore methods of assessment of your own practice as well as the use of research methodology to evaluate innovations in practice and curriculum.

Students will build a conceptual understanding of the model of differentiated instruction (DI), including the philosophical underpinnings of this model. They will explore characteristics and key elements of differentiated instruction, as well as beliefs that guide the DI model and the five non-negotiables of differentiated instruction: high-quality curriculum, welcoming classroom environment, ongoing assessment, flexible grouping, and respectful tasks. Students will also discover how differentiated classrooms differ from traditional classrooms and what concerns teachers have about practicing differentiated instruction. Finally, they will review the steps for getting started with differentiated instruction and obtaining buy-in from students, parents, and other stakeholders.

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to empirical research and a variety of research approaches common to the field of education. Upon completing the course, participants will be able to locate, understand, evaluate, and interpret qualitative as well as quantitative educational research and use these skills to identify possible Thesis or Project topics. A review of statistics for educators will be provided and students will examine how data collection and analysis affects their work on educational Data Teams.

This course examines several areas where teachers are experiencing leadership opportunities: peer coaching, best practices, curriculum design, communication, and professional learning communities. The course will examine each of these areas and their alignment to the goals of the TLC System in Iowa: 1) Attract able and promising new teachers by offering competitive starting salaries and offering short-term and long-term professional development and leadership opportunities, 2) Retain effective teachers by providing enhanced career opportunities, 3) Promote collaboration by developing and supporting opportunities for teachers in schools and school districts statewide to learn from each other, 4) Reward professional growth and effective teaching by providing pathways for career opportunities that come with increased leadership responsibilities and involve increased compensation, and 5) Improve student achievement by strengthening instruction. As a result, students will be better prepared to secure teacher leadership roles.

This course introduces graduate students to the process of curriculum design and assessment. Students will have the opportunity to develop a definition of curriculum and assessment that reflects their own personal philosophy of education. Various curriculum development models will be explored so students can compare models to their own personal philosophies of education. Students will develop their own model of curriculum development and assessment.

Through this course students will develop preventative, supportive, and intensive strategies for efficiently managing a classroom while focusing on learning outcomes. Emphasis will be placed on effective communication with students, families, and support personnel through a school-wide discipline approach. Various theoretical perspectives of classroom management and behavior analysis will be explored and students will learn methods to support children to manage their own behavior.

Through carefully chosen readings and assignments, this course will provide candidates with the knowledge and skills needed to use action research as a basis to make curricular and instructional decisions both school-wide and at the classroom level. Additionally, the course will help candidates learn how to develop an action research project to address a school or 52 classroom problem and increase the dialogue within a learning context. This course will be a capstone and an oral presentation will be required.

Effective Teaching and Instruction Track:

12 credit hours

In this course, learners will evaluate coaching models and techniques that focus on solutions, not problems. Learner will implement different coaching models and learn to distinguish between the effects of various techniques. In addition, learner will plan, set goals, monitor progress and implement accountability strategies for professional growth and improvement. At the end of the course, learners will be able to: Apply coaching models and techniques to improve professional practice. Apply professional growth and improvement strategies.

This course examines the three-tiered system of prevention and intervention currently mandated for public school districts. Upon completion of this course, students will have a thorough understanding of the historical and research-based foundation for a multi-tiered system approach, as well as how to implement the three levels in their schools with appropriate levels of intensity. Specific areas of concentration include curriculum and instruction, assessment and progress monitoring, and social-behavioral support while ensuring fidelity of implementation school- or district-wide.

New findings from the neuro- and cognitive sciences have the potential to inform classroom instruction and influence educational practices for children at all developmental levels. Translating this research to practice, however, is often challenging for educational practitioners. This course will offer a pedagogical framework for using research in the neuro- and cognitive sciences as well as research-based effective instruction to guide teachers in planning, implementing, and assessing a sound program of instruction for all learners. Participants in the course will examine research from the brain sciences that can inform educational practice and be able to implement research findings using the instructional framework or “brain targets” of the teaching and learning process. The components include (1) establishing the emotional climate for learning, (2) creating the physical learning environment, (3) designing the learning experience, (4) teaching for the mastery of content, skills, and concepts, (5) teaching for the extension and application of knowledge, and (6) evaluating learning. A central theme of the model is the integration of the arts to foster retention of new information, conceptual development, and higher-order thinking and creative problem-solving.

This course is designed to teach the fundamentals of instructional design, including the principles of learning theory, and instructional strategies that are relevant to instructional design. Students will learn the purpose and approach to completing each phase of the instructional design process and will produce a set of outputs from each of these phases in accordance with requirements specified in a final course project.


To graduate from the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction Program, you must:

  1. Complete 21 credit hours of core course work and the remaining 12 hours on one of the tracks with an overall GPA of 3.0.
  2. Complete a minimum of 33 credit hours
  3. Complete at least 24 credit hours from Iowa Wesleyan University.

All degree requirements are subject to change. Please see the current Graduate Course Catalog for degree requirements


  • Federal Financial Aid
  • Military/Veteran’s Benefits
  • Tuition Reimbursement/Employer Assistance Programs
  • Payment Plans

Discover more details regarding options to finance your education at Financial Aid Information