Areas of Concentration Course Descriptions

In partnership with Learners Edge, Augustana's online Master of Arts in Education degree program features five options for concentration:

  • Instructional Strategies: a focus on practical applications to support student achievement and engagement
  • Reading: a focus on teaching strategies, assessment, and instruction that facilitates deeper comprehension of fiction and nonfiction texts
  • Special Populations: a focus on how to support and teach at-risk students, with an emphasis on Autism, Response to Intervention (RTI) and emotional/behavioral issues
  • STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  • Technology: a focus on utilizing and implementing technology to enhance student learning

Instructional Strategies

Course #1 EDUC 6130: RTI: Response to Intervention (3 credits)

Struggling to address learning difficulties prior to special education services? Learn about the innovative model that is sweeping the country, RTI. Response to Intervention (RTI) assists is raising all student achievement and provides an alternative process for student identification, using proven methods and instructional tools/strategies to support the learner.

Course #2 EDUC 6131: The Brain and Best Practice Teaching (3 credits)

Filled with the latest information on how the brain learns, this course will energize and inspire! Learn how to teach in a more meaningful, powerful manner. Explore the role of emotion, retention, windows of opportunity, the primacy-recency effect, and much more. Regardless of your grade level, you will find a wealth of usable strategies.

Course #3 EDUC 6132: Inquiry Teaching and Learning (3 credits)

Inquiry learning can be effectively integrated into all classrooms (K-12). Explore the critical ingredients of inquiry and inquiry circles, delving into foundational concepts of comprehension instruction, classroom collaboration, and classroom management as they relate to inquiry success. Join with your students to explore rich content inside and beyond the curriculum — to wonder, question, build knowledge, care, and take action in the world.


Course #1 EDUC 6150: Literacy Assessment and Teacher Practice (3 credits)

Assessments, grading and the use of data are the focus of this course. Graduate students will also analyze the use of language and how discourse enhances instruction and student motivation. The course includes strategies and techniques piloted in actual classrooms and grounded in solid research. This course will expand your repertoire of teaching strategies and help all students on the road to literacy.

Course #2 EDUC 6151: Reading for Understanding: Comprehension Instruction K-12 (3 credits)

 This course provides numerous strategies to assist the struggling student with reading comprehension. The first section of the course will focus on the elementary student providing real life examples and dozens of scenarios/examples demonstrate effective ways to: select the perfect books, model think alouds, assist students in making important connections, and empower students to have meaningful conversation about the texts they are reading. The second, addresses first and second draft understandings, explores the use of fix-it strategies, collaboration techniques, the use of metaphors to further understanding and the role reflection plays in comprehension for the intermediate and middle school student.

Course #3 EDUC 6152: Teaching Reading in the Content Areas (3 credits)

This course will enable teachers of all content areas to teach their students how to be better readers. The strategies in the course text will make the teaching of reading a practical, achievable goal in every subject. This course contains dozens of proven strategies that help students develop their vocabularies, comprehend informational and narrative texts, and engage in meaningful discussions of what they read. In addition to reading strategies, this course also explores critical elements of reading, strategic processing, and the creation of a classroom environment conducive to reading.

Special Populations

Course #1 EDUC 6130: RTI: Response to Intervention (3 credits)

Struggling to address learning difficulties prior to special education services? Learn about the innovative model that is sweeping the country, RTI. Response to Intervention (RTI) assists is raising all student achievement and provides an alternative process for student identification, using proven methods and instructional tools/strategies to support the learner.

Course #2 EDUC 6141: Teaching Students At Risk (3 credits)

How can you engage the disengaged, connect with the disconnected, and reach the growing number of students in your classroom that are considered at-risk? Gain a better understanding of the contributing factors that put your students at risk and arm yourself with strategies to reach and teach this challenging population of students.

Course #3 EDUC 6142: Autism Spectrum Pedagogy (3 credits)

Finally, a course specifically designed to help you work with students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Explore the following important components: characteristics and types of ASD, the role of assistive technology, intervention models, proven instructional approaches, parent involvement techniques, and available support services.


Course #1 EDUC 6110: STEM Fundamentals (3 credits)
Educators interested in integrating individual courses toward a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) model, developing a larger-scale STEM initiative in their school or enhancing an existing STEM program will find value in this course.  Learn why STEM matters, the benefits of various STEM models, strategies to overcome challenges associated with a move toward STEM, and what teachers need to know and do to successfully implement STEM initiatives. 

Course #2 EDUC 6111: STEM Bridges (3 credits)
This course considers how STEM education can facilitate connections.  Planning effective STEM lessons requires educators to consider multiple factors which woven together help ensure lessons have the greatest positive impact. Through the context of planning for STEM lessons, teachers will investigate various models of technology integration, evaluate how the teacher role transforms with STEM education, and investigate the untapped potential in community and in-school resources can be used to support students and teachers who want to transition to STEM education.  Additionally, teachers will consider strategies to support students with disabilities and opportunities to embrace and celebrate diversity through STEM education.

Course #3 EDUC 6112: STEM Implementation (3 credits)
This course is designed to help STEM educators move from ideas for STEM implementation to action.  STEM lesson ideas and best practices anchored in science, mathematics, engineering are reviewed.  Educators in elementary, middle and high school will be prepared to take their classrooms to the next level of STEM via investigation of ideas for STEM implementation in specific grade levels.  Finally, best practices for assessing integrated and authentic STEM lessons will be presented to help teachers reflect and revise STEM lessons as they work toward a culture of continuous improvement.


Course #1 EDUC  6120: Technology and the 21st Century Learner (3 credits)

This course takes an exciting look at 21st century themes and concepts. You'll learn tools and techniques that will help you to engage the digital learners in your classroom. Through the development of lesson plans and activities you will gain insight into ways in which you can thoughtfully transform your classroom with meaningful use of technology. You'll have the opportunity to write a lesson plans incorporating 21st century concepts and learn how to use a wiki to house your online content. This course is your guide to building an online environment for your students.

Course #2 EDUC 6121: Web Based Instruction (3 credits)

This course will prepare you to take your classroom to the next level using a host of Google tools. You'll learn how to create and share Google documents and spreadsheets online, access your documents from anywhere on any computer, import your existing documents, and organize your work into folders. You'll also be guided through publishing your documents, and you'll learn how to collaborate online with other users in real time. Using Google Earth you'll fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain and 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places, and share with others. Finally, using Google' SketchUp, you'll quickly learn that there's no limit to what you can create.

Course #3 EDUC 6122: Instructional Technology Tools (3 credits)

The digital world can be overwhelming; this course is designed to help teachers explore the online realm in small, manageable bytes. Teachers gain an understanding of a wide variety of online tools to enhance the classroom and instruction. Overall guidance for the new digital learner and in-depth direction for the more advanced will be provided.