Curriculum and Instruction Course Descriptions

Bilingual Studies

BILC 7362: Principles of Curriculum Development in Dual Language and ESL Classrooms.

Students will connect research and theory to best practices for English Language Learners in dual language and ESL settings. This includes an understanding of how culture influences language learning and school achievement. Students will apply their understanding of best practices to planning curriculum.

BILC 8340: History, Politics, and Models of Bilingual Education.

Historical, theoretical, and legal foundations of bilingual/ESL education, including the evolution of program models will be investigated.

BILC 8341: Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition.

Theories and research in bilingualism, multiculturalism, and second language acquisition will be addressed. Specific emphasis will be given to the linguistic, cognitive, and motivational factors in language acquisition.

BILC 8342: Content Area Instruction in Bilingual Programs.

This course studies the rationale, theory, and research that support content-based instruction in bilingual education. Student projects will include dual language and ESL research and practice.

BILC 8343: Literacy and Biliteracy Development.

This course is taught in Spanish, reviews literacy practices in bilingual education and addresses the theory and research related to the development of biliteracy. Students explore literacy in its broader sociocultural context and review the history of the teaching of reading and writing in both Spanish and English.

BILC 8344: Language Use in Bilingual Classrooms.

Students will examine and compare the linguistic structures of Spanish and English, including phonology, morphology, and syntax. Students will analyze discourse patterns in bilingual education such as dual language and ESL.

BILC 8345: Seminar in Bilingual Studies.

This course focuses on the curriculum development process in nursing. Examines the philosophy, conceptual framework, objectives and program evaluation in curriculum development. Explores the relationship and significance of these elements and their impact on curriculum implementation. Examines external factors that impact decisions about curriculum design. Prerequisite: Graduate student status.

BILC 8346: Issues and Assessment in Bilingual/ESL Programs.

Students will be provided with the knowledge and strategies to evaluate Bilingual/ESL Programs, related materials, methodologies, and assessment. It addresses a number of issues in the assessment of English language learners, including purpose, validity, reliability, and bias. It also reviews guidelines for appropriate test use.

Early Childhood Education

ECED 6301: Major Theories in Early Childhood Education.

This course will include major historical and current theoretical perspectives of early childhood education. These foundations will be used to examine special educational program models, family-focused initiatives and curriculum development. The application of theoretical principles will be examined through group and individual projects, classroom practice, research and reflection papers.

ECED 6302: Developmentally Appropriate Practices, Planning, and Curriculum.

This course will include the major principles of curriculum planning, organization, scope, and sequence of a constructivist model. Special emphasis will be given to research on developmentally appropriate learning materials and resources. A major portion of this course will include field-based experiences.

ECED 6306: Literacy in Early Childhood Education.

This course will focus on a constructivist model of literacy, how early childhood teachers integrate best practices, and family literacy learning in the classroom. This course will incorporate a framework of bilingual and multilingual learners. Students will engage in individual and group projects. Prerequisite: ECED 6301.

EDEC 6311: Problems in Early Childhood Education.

Topics will include analysis of theory, research, policy and practice such as: Children’s Play and Play Environment, Peer Relationships: Personality and Social Development, Parent and Community Involvement for the Early Childhood Classroom, and Early Childhood Education for the Exceptional Child.

ECED 8350: Advanced Theories in Early Childhood Education.

This course will involve a collaborative exploration of major theories related to early childhood education. The focus of the course is on learning fundamental theories with historical perspectives and expansion on theoretical frameworks regarding current educational practice and policy. Current and critical theories in education will be discussed. Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral program.

ECED 8351: Research in Early Childhood Education.

. This course will cover current and historical research in early childhood education. The historical research will include foundations of early childhood research. Current research will include topics such as research methodology and ethics for researching young children. Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral program.

ECED 8352: Advanced Curriculum in Early Childhood Education.

This course will examine the foundations related to early childhood curriculum. The major curriculum models/approaches in early childhood education will be presented. Currently accepted best practices in early childhood education will be analyzed and critiqued. Research in Early Childhood curriculum development will be interpreted. Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral program.

ECED 8353: Families, Schools and Community Partnerships.

This course examines the role families, schools, and community partnerships play as a critical element of whole-school educational reform. As a learning community, we will examine our own beliefs about each role; analyze the research on the impact of home/school and community partnership on student learning. Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral program.

ECED 8354: Leadership in Early Childhood Education.

This course focuses on the major principles of leadership, ethics and advocacy in Early Childhood Education. It involves research into models of leadership, ethics, personal leadership qualities and skills, cultural and personal inclusion and effective collaboration. Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral program.

Curriculum and Instruction

EDUC 6325: ESL for International and Intercultural Settings.

This course will emphasize comparative international and intercultural teaching practices, stressing second language instruction in an international setting. Cooperation with community agencies, selection and assignment of personnel, allocation of resources, pupil personnel management and other instructional programs will be emphasized.

EDUC 6336: Problems in Education.

This course’s major emphasis is on current innovations in education. Students will conduct research related to selected problems. This research may include conducting action research, working with educational determinants, and new education programs, and/or working with classroom researchers and other people in the community to improve the education program.

EDUC 7336: Topics in Higher Education.

Major emphasis is on current innovations and demands in education and education related settings. Students will conduct research related to selected problems and new developments. This research may include conducting action research, working with educational determinants, new education programs, and/or emerging philosophies intended to improve the education programs. Credit may be applied toward graduate and post-graduate programs in education when the student chooses or is provided an appropriate problem. Course may be used for all Specializations in the Ed.D. C&I Program. Prerequisite: Approval of Graduate Advisor and/or Specialization Coordinator.

EDUC 7353: Teaching and Learning Algebraic Concepts.

This course covers learning theories related to the teaching of school algebra, as well as strategies for teaching algebraic concepts. Topics include best practices based on research, development of materials for supporting the learning of foundational algebraic concepts. Students will utilize technology and tools.

EDUC 7360: Teaching and Learning Space, Dimension and Measurement Concepts.

This course examines research related to learning concepts on space, dimension and measurement concepts and pedagogical content knowledge, and technology. Contemporary issues on the teaching and learning in K–12 classrooms including standards and assessments are emphasized.

EDUC 8320: Advanced Curriculum Design and Development.

Planning the implementation and evaluation of curriculum and instruction as innovations in educational settings. This includes design, development, and evaluation of program materials.

EDUC 8321: Adult Learning Strategies.

Study of learning in adulthood, how to facilitate that learning, and the characteristics of adult learners will be addressed. Particular emphasis will be placed on models, goals, organization, methodology, career development, and evaluation of adult learners in P-16 environments.

EDUC 8323: Advanced Models of Teaching.

Social, information processing, personal, and behavioral systems models will be examined, synthesized and applied. Research in teacher effectiveness and demonstration of models is required.

EDUC 8324: Literacy Across the Curriculum.

This course will focus on reading and writing across the curriculum. Additional emphasis will be placed on research and current classroom implementation.

EDUC 8325: Mentoring and Professional Development.

Research and models of mentoring, induction, and professional development will be explored. Local, state, and national programs will be analyzed in terms of meeting the needs of adult learners, effecting change, and long term instructional improvement.

EDUC 8340: Technology in the Science Classroom.

This course provides an in-depth study and analysis of the constantly changing use of technology applications in the science classroom, focusing on cognitive theory and assessment. Methods for evaluating the impact of emerging science classroom technology to improve student understanding of science concepts will be investigated.

EDUC 8342: Addressing the Needs of English Language Learners in the Science Classroom.

The course explores instructional strategies that simultaneously promote science learning and English proficiency for ELLs. It also addresses specific areas of research such as ELL students’ “funds of knowledge” as a foundation for learning scientific ideas and practices.

EDUC 8344: Diversity Issues in Science Education.

Students will explore diversity issues that lead to marginalization of students in science and technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. The course will focus on equity issues related to gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and special education in science education.

EDUC 8346: Instructional Change and Reform for Science Education Leaders.

Critical analysis of state, national, and international reform initiatives is the focus of this course. The course develops student's an understanding of policy and practices that have shaped reform at various levels and develop expertise in forming new polices and directing successful implementation.

EDUC 8348: The Historical Context of Science and Science Teaching.

The course explores the growth of scientific knowledge over time and its adoption in schools and universities. The course includes a substantial hands-on component in which students recreate some of the landmark experiments in the historical development of the physical and life sciences.

EDUC 8350: Selected Topics in Science Education.

Group and individual projects in science education research design, assessment strategies, research methodologies and research execution in response to student needs, interests and faculty expertise.

EDUC 8361: Theories of Learning and Teaching Mathematics.

This course presents theoretical bases for the learning and teaching of mathematics, including an examination of the research supporting the theoretical bases.

EDUC 8362: Assessing Cognitive, Conceptual and Fluency Structures Related to Learning and Teaching Mathematics.

This course introduces diagnostic and assessment procedures in mathematics and their potential for identifying problem areas related to children’s acquisition of mathematical skills; number and quantity concepts.

EDUC 8363: Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Diverse Learners.

This course examines the pedagogical strategies to meet the needs of diverse learners through the use diagnostic and assessment procedures in mathematics for identifying problem areas related to children’s acquisition of mathematical skills; number and quantity concepts.

EDUC 8364: Teaching and Learning Data Analysis and Probability.

The course examines the pedagogical content knowledge, technology and research on teaching and student learning of concepts and skills in probability, and statistics, including discussion of contemporary issues in K–12 curriculum, standards, and assessment.


EDCI 8380: Dissertation I.

Data collection will be conducted and analysis of results will occur, as well as further development of the literature review. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the Comprehensive Examinations.

EDCI 8390: Dissertation II.

Candidates will prepare a prospectus for approval by the dissertation committee. Candidates will prepare a protocol for review and approval by the Institutional Review Board. Prerequisite: EDCI 8380 and permission of advisor.

EDCI 8391: Dissertation III.

Continue data analysis, results and conclusions completed. Enrollment in this course is required each semester through program completion. Prerequisite: EDCI 8390.

EDCI 8191: Dissertation IV.

Continue data analysis, results and conclusions completed. Enrollment in this course is required each semester through program completion. Prerequisite: EDCI 8390.


EDFR 8300: Research Methods and Design.

This course introduces the research process and focusses on the various quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods inquiry strategies including the epistemological differences between these approaches. Attention is given to formulating problem statements, posing research questions and hypotheses, devising appropriate research designs.

EDFR 8301: Qualitative Research.

An examination of qualitative research methods including ethnography, case studies, grounded theory, narrative and other qualitative inquiries applied to education is the focus of this course. Prerequisite: EDFR 8300.

EDFR 8302: Quantitative Research.

This course is an introduction to quantitative research methods in education, including descriptive, experimental, correlational, and other inquiries. Strengths, weaknesses, and appropriate uses of these quantitative methods of inquiry will be stressed.

EDFR 8303: Advanced Qualitative Research.

The purpose of advanced qualitative research is to develop a deeper understanding of qualitative designs, and data collection. Prerequisites: EDFR 8300 and EDFR 8301.

EDFR 8304: Advanced Quantitative Research.

The purpose of this advanced quantitative research is to develop a deeper understanding of qualitative designs, data collection, and analysis methods. Prerequisites: EDFR 8300 and EDFR 8301

EDFR 8305: Program Evaluation.

Methods related to planning and implementing evaluation of educational programs, including formative and summative evaluation are the focus of this course. National standards are examined for assessing the quality of evaluations relative to utility, feasibility, propriety, and accuracy. Prerequisites: EDFR 8300, EDFR 8301, and EDFR 8302.

EDFR 8306: Multivariate Analysis in Educational Research.

Heuristic review of univariate and bivariate data analysis, multiple regression analysis, canonical correlation, cluster analysis, discriminant analysis of variance, factor analysis, and related topics are covered. Prerequisites: EDFR 8300, EDFR 8302, and EDFR 8304.

EDFR 8307: Selected Topics in Research.

Group and individual projects in research design, research methodologies, and research execution in response to student needs and interests, and faculty expertise. Prerequisites: EDFR 8300, EDFR 8301, and EDFR 8302.

EDFR 8322: Advanced Historical and Sociocultural Inquiry in Education.

. A sociocultural and historical analysis of education as a social institution and a setting for social interaction, to include such topics as social stratification, gender, ethnicity, race, social organization, social change, cultural diversity, group dynamics, religion and leadership.

EDFR 8380: Comparative Higher Education.

Current knowledge of the methodology and traditions of the field of Comparative Education applied to national systems of higher education compared to U.S. Analysis of emerging concepts surrounding globalization, Birth-12 or PK-16 education, postgraduate, scientific research and innovation worldwide with special emphasis in North, Central and South America and Europe.

EDFR 8382: History and Philosophy of Higher Education.

An overview of historical development of Higher Education is focused on American education and its growth and development since the founding of Harvard. Philosophical issues, e.g., access to higher education, undergraduate curriculum, academic freedom, role of universities in society, and the balance of teaching, research and service will be addressed.

Educational Technology

EDTC 6320: Instructional Technology.

This course provides a history and overview of the field of instructional technology. Demonstrations of technologies in different educational settings are explored. Practical and theoretical means for ascertaining the needs of learners, implementations of specific technologies to meet those needs, and assessment of effectiveness of those technologies in meeting learner's needs are presented.

EDTC 6321: Instructional Design.

This course uses an instructional systems design model to guide the student in systematically developing effective Instruction. Theoretical and practical issues in instructional systems design are examined. Other instructional design models are introduced.

EDTC 6323: Multimedia/Hypermedia.

This course concentrates on the development and utilization of hypermedia and multimedia in education. Students are expected to demonstrate the ability to develop an interactive instruction by utilizing audiovisual technologies and computer-based/Web-based technologies in a meaningful, educational context. Prerequisite: EDTC 6321.

EDTC 6325: Educational Communications.

This course addresses the development of instruction for e-learning environments. Learners will use a research-based rationale for the selection and utilization of technologies for designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating instruction using an open source courseware management system. Learners will also explore the potential of 3-D virtual environments for instructional applications.

EDTC 6329: Selected Topics in Educational Technology.

This course addresses the study of significant topic related to utilization of technology in educational settings. With approval of advisor, course can be repeated if topic varies.

EDTC 8371: Theories and Practices in Effective Online Pedagogy.

This online course examines contemporary research relevant to the theoretical foundations of teaching and learning online. Through examination of current literature relevant to effective online instruction, students will analyze the pedagogical implications for teaching and developing effective online courses and learning communities incorporating current and future technological tools.

EDTC 8372: Advanced Instructional Design.

This online course is designed to extend students’ knowledge and application of the instructional design process in K-16 e-learning environments. Emphasis is placed on the selection of appropriate pedagogies, processes, and tools for designing, developing, and evaluating online instructional materials. Students will solve a real-world instructional or performance problem.

EDTC 8373: Evaluation and Assessment in Instructional Technology.

The online course is intended for students to become competent in mainstream and alternative models of evaluation. Students will also target a real life instructional system within an organization, propose an appropriate evaluation model with a research-based justification, and appraise the target system professionally to meet the organization’s goal.

EDTC 8374: Course Management and Instructional Systems in K-16.

This entirely online course proved a framework by which distance educators can analyze three core issues involved in successfully implementing course ware/learning management systems in K-16 environments. Students will research the managerial and administrative, technical, and pedagogic issues involved in offering instruction at a distance using CMS/LMS or similar systems.

EDCI 8340: Technology in the Science Classroom.

This course provides an in-depth study and analysis of the constantly changing use of technology applications in the science classroom, focusing on cognitive theory and assessment. Methods for evaluating the impact of emerging science classroom technology to improve student understanding of science concepts will be investigated.

EDTC 8375: Trends in Educational Technology K-16.

This course investigates approaches, techniques, tools, and philosophies as they apply to current and future trends in educational technology and online learning in the K-16 educational

EPSY 8318: Advanced Human Development and Cognition.

This is a seminar course in advanced applications in Educational Psychology. A variety of topics in relevant and current research in the fields of cognition, motivation, and perspectives within the domains in human development through the life span will be discussed.

Higher Education Teaching

HIED/EDUL 8340: Higher Education Law.

Overview of historic and contemporary influences of the United States and state constitutions, federal and state statutes, case law and agency regulations that impact higher education institutions and their administrators, faculties and students.

HIED/EDUL 8341: Student Affairs in Higher Education.

Study of the professional foundations and conceptual models for student affairs administration, programs, and services in community colleges and four-year institutions. Also included will be the development of higher education administrative skills, including those of particular relevance to student affairs.

HIED 8381: Advanced Human Learning and Motivational Development.

The course focuses on advanced theories and current research in learning and motivation. Readings and discussions will focus on the implications of major learning and motivational theories on our understanding of cognitive, emotional, and social‐cultural growth to foster a working knowledge of a doctoral‐level scholarly inquiry, research, and writing.

HIED 8383: Higher Education Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity.

Students will critically examine historical and contemporary issues related to equity, inclusion, and diversity, as well as analyze current trends and coming challenges in higher educational research, theory, policy, and practice.

HIED 8384: Current Issues in Higher Education.

The study of contemporary higher education as a specialized field of inquiry and as a professional area in which to work will be addressed. Students will explore institutional missions as well as entities such as teaching and administration in relationship to current issues centered on faculty and students.


RLIT 6300: Foundations of Reading and Digital Literacies.

This course focuses on research and theory related to New Literacy Studies and the foundations of digital literacy, while building on traditional literacies.

RLIT 6301: Digital Literacies and Reading for Young Children.

This course focuses on digital literacies for young children of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Students will research digital literacies. They will reflect on instructional practices and materials involving traditional and digital literacies, as well as how digital literacies can impact change in educational contexts.

RLIT 6302: Adolescent Digital Literacies and Reading.

Candidates learn and teach strategies to address the multi‐modal literacy needs and practices of adolescents from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds across all content areas. Metacognitive and collaborative strategies for adolescents’ 21st Century success are addressed.

RLIT 6303: Diverse Learner Digital Literacies and Reading.

This course examines how diverse learners engage with traditional and digital literacies. Candidates understand: dyslexia, accessibility mandates, local support personnel, online privacy, language, background, and learning style needs. They develop differentiated online lesson plans and interventions for diverse K‐12 learners, and ensure equitable multi‐modal instruction and assessment.

RLIT 6305: Conducting Literacy Research.

Students design and implement a research study as they examine major traditions of literacy research, with a focus on contemporary research of interest to teachers and researchers in the Rio Grande Valley. Strategies in interpreting and analyzing the professional literature will also be emphasized. Prerequisite: EDFR 6300.

RLIT 6306: Assessment Practices in Digital Literacies.

This course highlights reflective assessment and instruction in traditional and digital literacies. Candidates assess and teach diverse learners using formal and informal assessments. Candidates develop leadership skills, create and teach an online course, and interact with parents and struggling learners.

RLIT 6308: Digital Literacies and Reading Leadership.

This course focuses on leadership in digital literacies and reflective practice in schools and programs serving linguistically and culturally diverse students. Students examine policy and research in organizational change, mentoring, and leading adult learners. Literacy and digital literacies program evaluation as well as parent and community involvement are highlighted.

RLIT 6310: Children’s and Adolescent Literature.

This course will provide a broad knowledge of quality children’s and adolescent literature including theoretical perspectives and issues in the field such as transactional theory, critical literacy, multimodal experiences with literature, and issues of authenticity and representation. Participants will also engage with methods for using literature in the monolingual, bilingual, and multilingual literacy classroom.

RLIT 6311: Crossing Borders with Literature for Young People.

Participants will explore children’s and young adult literature that crosses physical, cultural and linguistic borders. This includes multicultural and multiethnic literature, Latino literature, and literature reflecting the immigrant /transnational experience, and bilingual texts. Issues pertaining to cultural authenticity and representation, translation and language use, and global literature will also be discussed.

RLIT 6313: Literacy Development and Language Study.

This course examines theories of oral language development in monolingual, bilingual, and multilingual contexts and the role of language as a foundation for literacy. Participants will explore phonology, morphology, orthography, syntax, and semantics. In addition, participants will explore instructional methods for teaching students how words and language works.

RLIT 6320: Writing in the Reading Classroom.

This course examines the integration of reading and writing processes in monolingual, bilingual, and multilingual contexts. Participants will explore writing development, the interconnections between reading and writing, strategies for teaching writing in K‐12 reading classrooms, and writing across the curriculum.

RLIT 6330: Teaching Struggling Readers.

Participants learn cognitive, neurological, emotional, and sociocultural reasons some students struggle with literacy. Participants will explore what curricular structures and instructional strategies will build on student strengths to support these students in monolingual, bilingual, and multilingual contexts. Fluency and comprehension will also be addressed. Prerequisite: RLIT 6329.

RLIT 8370: Literacy Research, Assessment and Theory.

Students will develop an advanced understanding of diverse models and theories, and assessments of literacies through a critical examination of research and historical trends. They will research the instructional and curricular implications of the different models and theories, and assessments, as well as their application for diverse learners. Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral program.

RLIT 8371: Transnational and Border Literacies.

In this course students will gain advanced knowledge in community and family literacy practices in transnational settings. Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral program.

RLIT 8372: Traditional and Digital Literacies.

This course examines the role of reading, writing, and digital literacy in education through evaluating practices, politics, problems, and possibilities, and enabling a deeper understanding of ways to incorporate traditional and digital literacies into 21st century education. Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral program.

RLIT 8373: Critical Literacies.

Contextualized uses of literacy, multiple ways of knowing, and language and power will be course foci. Students will construct and deconstruct texts from critical perspectives; reconsider the potentiality of texts, literacy, and signs from multiple perspectives; and develop theoretical tools for interpreting and producing scholarship and critical literacies. Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral program.

RLIT 8374: Literacy Policy and Leadership.

This course focuses on analyzing, implementing and leading literacy programs based on best practice research. The issues of change, professional growth, and policy at local, state, and national levels will be explored as they relate to the successful development and implementation of literacy programs. Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral program.