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Programs in Curriculum & Teaching
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Programs in Curriculum & Teaching

In the Department of Curriculum & Teaching

Degrees > Professional Certification In Secondary Education (CUSD, M.A.)

Professional Certification In Secondary Education (CUSD, M.A.)

Program Description

The MA program in secondary education (CUSD) is a 32 point program, which can lead to professional certification as a grades 7-12 teacher in New York State in the areas of English, Social Studies, Science, Technology, or Mathematics. The program supports three shared philosophical stances underlying our long-standing tradition of preparing teachers as education leaders.  These stances include teaching as inquiry, teaching as curriculum making and teaching for social justice.  The overarching intention of the program is to assist educators who expect to exert leadership in their school settings and with their colleagues. With careful planning and advisement, the program can be completed in 12 months starting in the fall semester or the summer, or in 17 months if starting in January.  The program may also be taken part-time.

Point Requirement

The program is a 32 point program for students who have initial teacher certification in secondary English, Social Studies, Science, Technology, or Mathematics.

Required Courses

  1. C&T 4002 Curriculum Theory and History (3)
  2. C&T 4005 Principles of Teaching and Learning (4)
  3. 12 credits of content pedagogy courses (3 point minimum each)
  4. Students are required to take 12 points in the department and program appropriate to their area of initial certification. Students will follow the content/pedagogy courses set by the particular program in one of the following areas.
    1. Mathematics: MSTM 4019, MSTM 4031, MSTM 4032, MSTM 4036, MSTM 5011, MSTM 5020, MSTM 5031, MSTM 5032, MSTM 5035, MSTM 5037, MSTM 5038, MSTM 6030, MSTM 6033, MSTM 6034 
    2. Science: MSTC 4000, MSTC 4044, MSTC 4045, MSTC 4046, MSTC 4047, MSTC 4049, MSTC 4051, MSTC 4052, MSTC 4055, MSTC 4056, MSTC 4059, MSTC 4060, MSTC 4075, MSTC 4151
    3. Technology: MSTU 4052
    4. English Education: A&HE 4057, A&HE 4058,  A&HE 4151 (has co-requisite A&HE 4156) 
    5. Social Studies: A&HW 4032, A&HW 4033, A&HW 4035, A&HW 4037, A&HW 4038, A&HW 4039, A&HW 4040
  5. C&T 4145 Critical Perspectives in Secondary Education (3), taken concurrently with C&T 4502 Master’s Project (1) (Pre-requisite or co-requisite is C&T 4005.)  C&T 4502 is taken for zero credits every semester thereafter until the action research project is completed.
  6. One diversity course selected from the following (2 or 3 credits)
    1. C&T 4000 dis/Ability in Context (3)
    2. C&T 4001 Differentiated Instruction/Inclusive Classroom (3)
    3. C&T 4078 Curriculum and Teaching in Urban Areas (2-3)
    4. C&T 4010 Immigration and Curriculum (2-3)
    5. C&T 5037 Literacy, Culture and the Teaching of Reading (2-3)  (Pre-requisites 4136, 4138, 4139)
  7. One social context course selected from the following (2 or 3 credits)
    1. C&T 4004 School Change (2-3)
    2. C&T 4023 Differentiated Curriculum for Gifted Students (2-3)
    3. C&T 4032 Gender, Difference, and Curriculum (2-3)
    4. C&T 4161 The Teacher: Socio-Historical, Cultural  Context of Teaching (2-3)
  8. Elective courses (0 - 2 points)
  9. Electives may be taken inside or outside the Department. Any of the choices not taken above may be chosen as an elective. A wide variety of electives are available; the elective should relate to your professional development as a teacher in some way. Check with your advisor, if you are unsure if your choice is appropriate.

Breadth Requirement

The content pedagogy courses meet the three required breadth courses.

Integrative Project

The integrative master’s project is an action research project, initiated in C&T 4502 Master’s Project.   It is taken in the fall and completed independently in the spring. The action research project can be conducted in one’s own classroom or in a host teacher’s classroom. Host classrooms are arranged for students, or students may choose their own placement.

Students may enroll in 4502 in the Fall 2012, only if they intend to complete their course work in May 2013, Summer 2013 or December 2013. If coursework is to be completed later than December 2013, they should enroll in 4502 in Fall 2013 or later.

If a student fails to complete an acceptable master’s project by the announced deadlines, the student must retake 4502 for 0 points. If the student fails to complete an acceptable project again, the Department faculty will consider whether or not the student should be allowed to continue in the master’s program and under what circumstances.

Student Teaching/fieldwork/practicum/internship

There is a 50 hour practicum associated with C&T 4005 Principles of Teaching and Learning. There is fieldwork associated with C&T 4502 Master’s Project.

If students are teaching, they can use their own classroom for both 4005 and 4502 field work. Students should consult with the instructor of 4005 in September about setting up practicum and fieldwork placements associated with 4005 and 4502.

Certification and Licensure

This program can lead to NYS professional certification as a secondary teacher (7-12) in the areas of English, Social Studies, Science, Technology, or Mathematics, when the student meets other requirements (e.g., tests, years of teaching experience).  These other requirements are the responsibility of the student.

There may be additional requirements if a student holds an initial teaching certificate from another state. For example, NYS only acknowledges science education coursework that is subject-specific, such as biology or chemistry; “general” science courses are not accepted. It is the student’s responsibility to check this information with the State Department of Education. In many cases, any additional requirements can be worked into the student’s program through electives or some extra coursework.

NCATE Review

All  NCATE assessments are built into the required coursework.

Transfer Credit Evaluation

New York State does not allow any transfer credits into the 32 point MA programs.

Students, who have had two years of teaching experience, may apply for the Ed.M degree, near the completion of their MA degree or later when they have completed two years of teaching experience. All 32 points from the MA degree will be counted toward the 60 point Ed.M degree. Since most of the requirements for the Ed.M degree are similar to the MA degree, the student will have 27 points of electives.

Statement on Satisfactory Progress

The MA degree must be completed within 5 years. If the student has an adequate reason for needing an extension, she/he must petition the program coordinator. At that point, the student’s transcript will be reviewed to ascertain that satisfactory performance (“B” average minimum) has been maintained, that the student has a reasonable plan to complete the degree, and that any current requirements for the degree will be met.  The student must also meet the college requirement that at least 16 credits be completed in the 5 years prior to graduation.  Once a plan has been devised and approved by the program chair and the department chair, the petition will be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office for approval.