The Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Northeastern State University focuses on preparing highly qualified teachers in the areas of early childhood, elementary, special education as well as reading specialists and library media specialists (master's-level programs). A master's degree in early childhood is also available. All programs were awarded national accreditation from NCATE and are aligned with national and state standards.
For those entering the teaching field, programs in early childhood, elementary, and special education offer balanced curricula and incorporate practical applications of research-based teaching and learning concepts. Beginning with their first education class, teacher candidates have the opportunity to participate in extensive field experiences in a variety of school settings which prepares them to work with children from all backgrounds and abilities.
Early Childhood Education
The Early Childhood Education major prepares students to teach in diverse and inclusive environments, including homes, schools, and other community settings which serve children from birth to age eight and their families. Graduates will know how to design, implement, and evaluate curriculum in a variety of settings that promotes positive learning outcomes for each child.
An Elementary Education major provides experiences with students 1st through 8th grades. Teachers will be skilled in teaching Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Math and will have knowledge of Art, Music and Physical Education concepts as well. This degree will enable graduates to be highly effective teachers in elementary classrooms.
Teacher candidates earning a Special Education degree learn effective strategies to teach students with varying disabilities on all different levels. Teachers will be skilled in all core content areas. This unique major will allow teacher candidates to be highly qualified in both Special Education and Elementary Education enabling them to be more marketable as highly qualified teachers in schools.
For those interested in working as reading specialists, library media specialists or as early childhood teachers, our graduate programs are designed for completion in the evenings and through various delivery systems including weekend and online to accommodate full time working professionals. Candidates for the reading specialist degree complete a variety of clinical experiences including work in NSU's Reading Clinic and work in K-12 classrooms. The library media and information technology program provides graduates with the professional skills for creating and managing outstanding school library media programs.
Early Childhood Degree
The purpose of the Master of Education in Early Childhood is designed to develop highly competent teachers and others who are dedicated to providing educational leadership in the field of early childhood. Effective instruction, curriculum development and assessment within an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Early Childhood, Reading and Special Education are emphasized. Courses encourage candidates to use current theory and research to make decisions about effective practice.
Library Media Specialist Degree
The purpose of the Master of Science in Library Media and Information Technology is to prepare candidates to be effective school librarians who can carry out the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. They are prepared to provide leadership in the total education program, participate as active partners in the teaching/learning process, connect learners with ideas and information, and prepare students for life-long learning. They know how to instill a love of reading and can develop opportunities for their students to be effective managers of information.
Reading Specialist Degree
The purpose of the Master of Education in Reading is designed to facilitate classroom teachers’ in-depth understanding of the reading process and their knowledge of how children learn to read and write. The major emphasis is on effective instruction, curriculum development and assessment within an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Teaching, Early Childhood, and Special Education. The program is designed to meet all of the International Reading Association’s (IRA) competencies for classroom teachers, reading teachers, reading consultants, and reading supervisors. Students may elect to take the state certification test for Reading Specialists upon completion of their master’s degree.
Special Education -- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
This program aligns with NSU's focused mission of "empower[ing] individuals to become socially responsible global citizens by creating and sustaining a culture of learning and discovery." In like manner, this program empowers teachers to sustain a culture of learning for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and all other disabilities. One in every 68 school-aged children have been identified with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); an increase from one in 88 from just a few years ago (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). The goal of this program is to prepare teachers to effectively educate students with ASD and other disabilities. The program includes three components: professional education, special education, and enrichment courses. These three components lead to a final culminating capstone experience.
For more information, contact the department chair.
Department Chair: Dr. Lisa Tritschler, 918-444-3710
Department Secretary: Brandon Wells, 918-444-3737
Early Childhood: Dr. Denise Daros-Voseles, 918-449-6535
Elementary: Dr. Joan Wipf , 918-449-6540
Library Media: Dr. Kelli Carney, 918-449-6365
Reading: Dr. Mindy Smith, 918-449-6587
Special Education: Ms. Wendy Pharr, 918-449-6402
Curriculum and Instruction Faculty Bio's
Course sequence and plans of study for each program can be accessed by clicking here.