UMKC Catalog


Educational Specialist: Curriculum and Instruction

The goal of the educational specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction emphasis in Curriculum Theory and Leadership is to build on the master's degree in curriculum and instruction on the theme of Transformative Leadership.  The degree is designed for educators who want to assume positions in instructional leadership.  The program requires course work in four major areas:

  • Curriculum Theory
  • Diverse Learners
  • Becoming a Learning Leader
  • Transforming Practice

It is assumed that most candidates will have a degree in an area related to the field of education.  Their faculty advisor, however, may require additional course work in a specialty area such as math education.  This would depend upon the applicant's background, previous coursework and anticipated school role.

Students are not currently being admitted for the Early Childhood Education, Elementary or Middle School Specialty, Multicultural Education, or Subject Matter Specialty emphases in the Ed.S. program in Curriculum and Instruction.

Program Goals

The Educational Specialist Degree in Curriculum & Instruction is designed to further enhance the skills and knowledge necessary to collaborate with other educators and lead in the development of learning opportunities which:

  • promote the learning, growth and development of all students, valuing the differences which diverse learners bring to the school experience;
  • demonstrate understanding of how knowledge is created, organized and linked to other disciplines;
  • convey subjects to diverse learners through multiple pathways;
  • equitably manage and monitor student learning;
  • promote reflective teaching and decision-making;
  • encourage the development of learning communities which include education professionals, parents and communities.

Admission Requirements

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and may be obtained from and submitted to the Office of Admissions.

Students are eligible for full admission to the Ed.S. program in curriculum and instruction if they have met two of the three following requirements:

  • Master's degree in an educational area with a minimum grade  point average of 3.25
  • Two years of teaching experience
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) with score of 155 or better on Verbal component


Program Requirements

A minimum of 36 hours of approved graduate work beyond the master's degree is required for the educational specialist degree, with at least 60 percent of the courses numbered 5500 and above.  Any courses on the 300 and 400 level included in the Ed.S. program of study must be accepted by the advisor and taken for graduate credit.

As soon as possible after admission to graduate study, students should seek to meet with a faculty member in the major to plan a program of study.  This program must be filed in the Education Student Services Office and approved by the dean's representative when students still have at least 18 hours beyond the master's degree to complete.  A majority (80%) of new coursework applied to any graduate degree to be completed at UMKC must be taken at UMKC.  Transfer credit not included in a master's degree must not be more than 7 years old at the time of degree completion or graduation. 

Transfer credit may be allowed for correspondence courses, provided the credits meet the criteria for graduate coursework.  A maximum of 6 credit hours of continuing education credit (workshops, special topics) taken for graduate credit may be included on an Ed.S. program.

UMKC credit more than seven years old at the time of degree completion that has not been included on a master's degree is not applicable to an Ed.S. degree unless validated to the satisfaction of the School of Education and the School of Graduate Studies.  A maximum of 30 percent of coursework on the student's program of study may be validated under this procedure.  All validation must be completed by the end of the final semester of enrollment.


Curriculum Summary

The coursework is divided into the following study areas:

  • Becoming a Learning Leader         12 hours
  • Diverse Learners                             9 hours
  • Curriculum Theory                           6 hours
  • Transforming Practice                      9 hours

Becoming a Learning Leader (12 hours)

     EDUC-UL 5523  Administrative Roles for Instructional Leadership

     EDUC-C&I 5513  Effective Communication in the Classroom

     EDUC-R&P 5514  Adult Development

     EDUC-C&I  5570  Curriculum and Instruction in Technology

Working with Diverse Learners (6 hours)

     EDUC-C&I 5563    Multicultural Perspectives in Education 


    EDUC-C&I 5562    Teaching for Equity and Social Justice 

     EDUC-C&I 5510   Differentiated Instruction

Curriculum Theory (6 hours)

     EDUC-C&I 5505  Introduction to Curriculum Theory 


     EDUC-C&I 5506     Curriculum Design

     EDUC-C&I 5618   Survey of Research in Curriculum


     EDUC-C&I 5620   Seminars in Theories Related to Curriculum

Assessment (3 hours)

     EDUC-R&P 5522  Principles of Testing


     EDUC-C&I   Curriculum Evaluation

Transforming Practice (9 hours)

EDUC-R&P 5505 Statistics or
EDUC-R&P 5508 Principles and Methods of Research
EDUC-C&I 5621 Culminating Project in Curriculum and Instruction (6 hours)
EDUC-C&I 5621 Culminating Project in Curriculum and Instruction (3 hours)
EDUC-C&I 5595 Action Research (3 hours)

The culminating project is an experience designed by the student with the assistance and approval of the advisor. The culminating project includes the selection of a topic relevant to the student's course of study, a review of current research and trends, and the design of a plan of action, the implementation of that action and reflective analysis of the experience.

1The Culminating experience is to be taken toward the end of the program just prior to sitting for comprehensive examination.



One full-time summer session or one full-time semester is required.


Program Committee

Final program planning is the joint responsibility of the candidate, the advisor and the candidate's committee. The committee shall consist of three faculty members, all from curriculum and instruction or two faculty members from curriculum and instruction and a faculty member from another division of the School of Education or University.

This committee and the candidate shall work cooperatively in reviewing progress in the program, planning the culminating experience and making arrangements for the comprehensive examination.


Comprehensive Examination

Students are required to pass a comprehensive examination in curriculum upon the completion of the culminating experience. This four-hour examination may be either written or oral, at the discretion of the committee.