Go to Graduate Programs in Curriculum & Instruction
H. Elizabeth (Betsy) Rogers, Chair, Assistant Professor
Charlotte Freeman, Professor
Martha B. Ralls, Professor
Tarsha E. Bluiett, Associate Professor
David M. Finn, Associate Professor
Amanda S. Hilsmier, Associate Professor
David C. Little, Associate Professor
Patricia F. Wood, Associate Professor
Karen J. Birkenfeld, Assistant Professor
Robin Duncan, Assistant Professor
Amy Hoaglund, Assistant Professor
Myrtis A. Johnson, Instructor, Clinical Coordinator
Michele K. Haralson, Director of Curriculum Materials and Technology Center
Undergraduate Programs and Requirements
Early Childhood/Special Education/Elementary/Collaborative (ESEC) Major
English Major with Teacher Certification, B.S.E.
History Major with Teacher Certification, B.S.E.
Missions Education Minor
Combined Program (ESEC):
Early Childhood Education (Grades P-3)
Early Childhood Special Education (Grades P-3)
Elementary Education (Grades K-6)
Elementary Collaborative Education (Grades K-6)
Secondary Education (Grades 6-12)
The Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers three distinct undergraduate majors-ESEC (early childhood/early childhood special education/elementary/elementary collaborative), English, and history-all leading to a bachelor of science in education. Teacher certification is available in the combined ESEC program for grades P-3 (early childhood education and early childhood special education) and grades K-6 (elementary education and elementary collaborative education), and in secondary education for grades 6-12 (English and history). In addition, the department offers P-12 certification in world languages and music for students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in those respective departments. The department also offers a minor in missions education, which is available only to students pursuing a teaching certificate.
Each program offered by the curriculum and instruction department complies with teacher certification requirements prescribed by the Alabama State Department of Education. Certification requirements outlined by the Alabama State Department of Education differ slightly from traditional Arts and Sciences majors and must be followed exactly. The bachelor of science in education with a major in English (ENGT) includes a language arts component, with requirements in communication studies, journalism, and theatre, in addition to English and education. The bachelor of science in education with a major in history (HISD) includes a general social studies component, with requirements in economics, geography, and political science in addition to history and education. Information about other programs may be obtained from the department chair or advisement counselor. Students planning to earn certification in secondary education must come to the Orlean Bullard Beeson (OBB) School of Education at the beginning of the freshman year for advisement.
The curriculum and instruction department is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), 2010 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036. This accreditation covers all of the institution’s initial and advanced teacher preparation programs.
All certification programs offered through the curriculum and instruction department are aligned with the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001.
Teacher Certification Subject Areas Offered
|Composite Subject Areas (6-12)
||Major Subject Areas (6-12)
||Major Subject Areas (P-12)
(French, German, Spanish)
(French, German, Spanish)
Certifications or Proficiencies
A summary of special requirements for curriculum and instruction undergraduate students in general may be noted:
- ESEC majors are not required to earn additional majors or minors.
- Those earning P-12 certification in world languages or music and those earning secondary certification in English or history are not required to earn additional majors or minors.
- All ESEC majors must take additional math and science courses.
- All students earning certification must successfully pass an exit examination, currently Praxis II, in their content area.
- All students earning certification must successfully pass the Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program (APTTP)
Admission to Teacher Education
Requirements for admission to teacher education undergraduate programs are:
- Minimum ACT score of 20.
- Grade of C- or better required in all courses.
- Formal application for admission.
- Successful completion of EDUC 221 and EDUC 222 .
- Completion of 60 credits of coursework with a GPA of at least 2.75 for ESEC, secondary, and P-12 majors.
- Completion of projected schedule and agreement form.
- Completion of an interview with a faculty member in the OBB School of Education.
- Two letters of recommendation for ESEC majors.
- Two letters of recommendation for secondary education or P-12 from a professor in the student’s major department and a professor in the curriculum and instruction department.
- Document on file verifying ABI and FBI criminal background checks.
- Passing scores on the Applied Math, Reading for Information, and Writing sections of the Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program (APTTP) examination.
- Demonstration of satisfactory potential for teaching, including evidence of emotional stability and a satisfactory record as to conduct, character, and mental health, to the effect that the applicant does not have any personal qualities prejudicial to satisfactory performance as a teacher.
Acceptance is contingent upon the recommendation of the admissions panel, which meets twice yearly. Applicants will be notified in writing of their acceptance or rejection. Transfer students follow the same admission policies. Education courses may not be transferred into the curriculum and instruction program without permission from the department chair.
Retention in Curriculum and Instruction
Once admitted into the curriculum and instruction program, the minimum GPA requirement (2.75 for ESEC, secondary, and P-12 majors) must be maintained in all of the following three areas: cumulative, major courses, and professional courses. Failure to maintain the required minimum cumulative GPA and the required minimum GPA in the major teaching and professional fields prevents a student from enrolling in specific education courses until that GPA is met. No grade below C- in any course is permitted; in case of a lower grade, the course must be repeated. These GPA requirements also pertain to graduation and certification.
Any student who, in the opinion of the OBB School of Education Hearing Board, is judged to have developed dispositions or characteristics, academic or otherwise, deemed undesirable for the profession may, after appropriate review, be dropped from the program.
Students wishing to take courses from other colleges must obtain permission beforehand. Please note that education courses may not be transferred into the curriculum and instruction program, and independent studies will not be offered. Also, if students take a course through Evening College, they will be billed additional tuition equivalent to the day rate per credit.
Students must complete their program within four years of being admitted to curriculum and instruction or must reapply for admission to the program. Grievances related to grades may be brought before the Curriculum and Instruction Academic Review Board. See the department chair in OBB Room 338 for specific procedures.
All curriculum and instruction majors are required to complete a wide variety of clinical experiences. These begin in the first semester of the education curriculum and extend throughout the program. ESEC majors will complete a minimum of 30 weeks. This includes one three-week Jan Term experience and observing a first day of school. Secondary majors will complete a minimum of 24 weeks. This includes one three-week Jan Term experience and observing a first day of school. Students must maintain satisfactory evaluations of performance in all clinical experiences in order to progress through the curriculum and instruction program.
The student-teaching semester is the final experience in curriculum and instruction. The internship experience includes 15 weeks of student teaching and may be taken in the fall or spring semester.
Students planning on student teaching in the fall must submit the student-teaching application during the preregistration period of the preceding fall. Students planning on student teaching in the spring must submit the student-teaching application during the preregistration period of the preceding spring. Applications must be turned in to the Office of Clinical Experience in OBB Room 322.
To be eligible for student teaching, a student must have been admitted to curriculum and instruction, be in good academic standing, have demonstrated necessary dispositions to be a successful teacher, have successfully completed the required clinical experience, completed 56 of the required 64 convocation credits, and must have had a complete records check. To be in good academic standing, a student must have completed all EDUC-prefix courses and all essential teaching-field courses, have removed all Incompletes from all courses, and have maintained a 2.75 GPA overall and in each teaching field (ESEC, secondary, and P-12 majors). Students are referred to the Clinical Handbook for a complete explanation of the required clinical experience.
Student teachers must observe the guidelines established by Samford University and all the rules set by the school in which the student teaching is done. Failure to do so can result in the student being dropped from the professional semester or removed from his/her school placement. A student may only repeat the student-teaching semester one time.
Students should consult the Clinical Handbook for additional information.
Completion of Program
Students who successfully complete a prescribed program at the baccalaureate level in curriculum and instruction will be eligible for the Alabama Class B teacher certificate in their area(s) of specialization. Completion of the program is contingent upon achieving a 2.75 GPA (ESEC, secondary, and P-12 majors) in the area or areas of specialization, in the professional components, in the higher education GPA, and performing satisfactorily as a teacher during the professional semester. Students must also demonstrate professional dispositions as explained in the departmental dispositions policy. In order to receive certification, all students must be fingerprinted. Students enrolled in EDUC 221 /EDUC 222 will be informed of the ABI and FBI fingerprinting procedures.
Students must also pass an exit examination (currently PRAXIS II) and the APTTP in order to receive certification. If a student successfully completes all program requirements, he/she may graduate, but certification may not be received until all exams are passed.
Special Program for Students Interested in Teaching Overseas
Students interested in serving as missionary teachers or in some other capacity in a foreign culture may fulfill all requirements for an Alabama teaching certificate while earning a minor in missions education. Most countries now expect missionary teachers to hold a teaching certificate from the U.S. or the host country.
The minor in missions education is available only to students earning a teaching certificate. Course requirements are listed below, and students interested in this program may apply some of these courses toward the regular requirements in curriculum and instruction.
Secondary Education and P-12 Majors
Curriculum requirements for secondary education and P-12 education requirements may be obtained from the certification officer/advisor, OBB Room 322; or the head of the academic department involved. All secondary education majors are required to meet with the certification officer/advisor, OBB Room 322 upon admission to the University. This meeting could be during regular orientation program. Subject to change if state and/or federal requirements are revised.
University Core Curriculum and General Education Requirements
See University Core Curriculum and General Education Requirements in the Howard College of Arts and Sciences introductory pages for a list of required courses. General education requirements are detailed in the individual degree tables, with some exceptions. In those cases where a requirement is not specified, consult the University Core Curriculum and General Education Requirements and the Physical Activity Program for a list of applicable courses. For ESEC and history majors, INTL 202 is an acceptable substitution for the fine arts general education requirement.
Graduate Programs and Requirements
Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) - Class A Certification
Elementary Education, M.S.E.
Fifth-Year Non-Traditional Program: Early Childhood and Elementary Education (MSE-ECEL), M.S.E.
Fifth-Year Non-Traditional Program: Physical Education (MSE-FYPE), Class A Certification, M.S.E.
Fifth-Year Non-Traditional Program: Secondary Education (MSE-FYNT), Class A Certification, M.S.E.
Gifted Education, M.S.E.
Secondary Collaborative, M.S.E.
Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) - Class AA Certification
Early Childhood Education, Ed.S.
Elementary Education, Ed.S.
Teacher Leader, Ed.S.
The Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers graduate education programs in six areas (early childhood education, elementary education, gifted education, physical education, secondary collaborative, and secondary education) and at two levels of certification (provided current certification requirements of the Alabama State Department of Education have been met): a master of science in education (M.S.E.) degree with Class A certification and an educational specialist (Ed.S.) degree with Class AA certification. See the Graduate Advisement subsection for contact information.
*See the School of the Arts Music Division section for details on graduate music education programs.
Graduate Admission Standards for Traditional and Fifth-Year Non-Traditional Programs
- Completion of application and payment of application fee.
- Receipt of two official transcripts from all institutions attended.
- Satisfactory score on Graduate Record Exam (GRE) admissions test or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) (not required for fifth-year non-traditional programs).
- Alabama Class B or Class A certification (except for fifth-year non-traditional programs) to be eligible for certification.
- Satisfactory performance on statement of purpose essay.
- Satisfactory performance on scholarly writing sample.
- Three letters of reference. One must be from the applicant’s supervisor.
The admissions committee will evaluate each candidate on a case-by-case basis and may admit students whose qualifications differ from those listed or who have successfully completed a prior graduate degree. Applicants must meet ALSDE minimum admission requirements to apply for certification upon completion of the program.
Additional requirements may apply to specific programs.
Levels of Admission
- Minimum GPA of 2.75 for all college work attempted.
- Minimum of 295 (combined verbal and quantitative) on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or a minimum of 396 on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Applicants submitting a GRE score will be given preference. (Not required for fifth-year non-traditional programs.)
- Satisfactory performance on scholarly writing essay.
- Completion of undergraduate prerequisites or passing score on the appropriate content area Praxis II test (fifth-year non-traditional program only).
In traditional graduate studies, a student may transfer up to six semester hours of graduate credit from an accredited four-year college or university which has a state-approved graduate program in the major and in teacher education for degree programs only.
Please note: Courses may not be transferred into the fifth-year non-traditional program in early childhood/elementary education (MSE-ECEL), nor can any course taken for undergraduate credit be used to count toward graduate credit. No more than two content area courses may be transferred into the fifth-year non-traditional program in secondary education (MSEFYNT).
Graduate Tuition Scholarships
Tuition scholarships are available to all candidates who have been accepted for graduate study at the master of science or educational specialist level. These scholarships are available for courses in education throughout the year.
Retention and Completion
Students on the M.S.E. and Ed.S. level must maintain a GPA of 2.75. All students must follow a prescribed course of study specified on their program checklist as approved by the Alabama State Department of Education. They must complete all work within six years. All graduate students in an approved program must take and pass a comprehensive examination for each certification area following completion of their coursework. All graduate students receiving initial certification must also pass the Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program (APTTP), which includes the appropriate PRAXIS examination. At the end of any semester, a student whose cumulative GPA falls below the required minimum (2.75 for M.S.E. and Ed.S.) may not continue in the program. Any grade below a C- shall not be counted for credit and the course must be retaken.
Frequent meetings with the graduate advisement counselor are required throughout the graduate program. Samford University complies with the requirements of the Alabama State Department of Education concerning the admission, retention, and completion of all requirements for students seeking Class A or Class AA certification.
Requests for information about or applications to the fifth-year non-traditional program in early childhood/elementary education (MSE-ECEL) should be addressed to the Certification Officer, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Samford University, OBB Room 322. For the fifth-year non-traditional program in secondary education (MSE-FYNT) or the program in physical education (MSE-FYPE), requests should be addressed to the Director of Graduate Admissions, phone: 726-2947, e-mail: email@example.com.
Master of Science in Education
The master of science in education (M.S.E.) degree is open to candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Completion of the degree requires 30 credits beyond a bachelor’s degree. Upon successful completion, the candidate is eligible for the master of science in education degree and Class A certification, provided current certification requirements of the Alabama State Department of Education have been met.
The educational specialist (Ed.S.) program is open to candidates who hold a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Completion of the degree requires 30 credits beyond a master’s degree. Upon successful completion, the candidate is eligible for the educational specialist degree and Class AA certification (provided current certification requirements of the Alabama State Department of Education have been met).
- Biology Teaching Field, M.S.E.
- Elementary Education, M.S.E.
- English/Language Arts Teaching Field, M.S.E.
- Fifth-Year Non-Traditional Program: Early Childhood and Elementary Education (MSE-ECEL), M.S.E.
- Fifth-Year Non-Traditional Program: Physical Education (MSE-FYPE), Class A Certification, M.S.E.
- Fifth-Year Non-Traditional Program: Secondary Education (MSE-FYNT), Class A Certification, M.S.E.
- General Science Teaching Field, M.S.E.
- Gifted Education, M.S.E.
- History Teaching Field, M.S.E.
- Mathematics Teaching Field, M.S.E.
- Secondary Collaborative, M.S.E.
- Social Studies Teaching Field, M.S.E.
- Spanish (6-12 Certification) Teaching Field, M.S.E.
CoursesEducation - Graduate (FYNT/FYPE Program)
NOTE: A prerequisite for each of the following courses is admission into the master of science Alternative A fifth-year non-traditional program in secondary education (MSE-FYNT). Selected courses are also available to students in the Alternative A fifth-year non-traditional program in physical education (MSEFYPE). These courses cannot be applied towards a different graduate education program.Page: 1