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American Education Studies

Study the American Education System as an Urbana University Student

So how exactly does the education system in America work? How do students learn? Is it different than other countries? Students, teachers, parents, administrators, psychologists and many other members of society all have opinions on the education system, its successes and failures, its strengths and its faults.   

Ideal for international students, this program teaches you how the American education system works through firsthand experience with public school students, educational research and best practices so you can bring that specialized knowledge back to your home country. If you have an interest in education or in education-related programs such as law, social work, psychology, educational research, policy and leadership our American Education Studies major may be the perfect fit for you.

Enhance Your Study Abroad with Urbana’s Mentoring Program

You can earn a college degree anywhere – but you won’t find the same quality mentoring experience that you’ll find at Urbana University. Our American Education Studies major teaches you the fundamentals – and lets you roll up your sleeves and put that knowledge into practice with valuable field experiences.

Curriculum & Course Descriptions

120 Semester Hours
Fundamental General Education Core (24 hours)
English Composition (3 hours)

Choose a minimum of 3 semester hours from:

ENG 120 - College Writing (4)
In this course, students acquire the writing competence necessary for conducting and presenting research. A variety of assignments, beginning with personal reflections, build upon one another, as students develop ideas that respond to, critique, and synthesize the positions of others. Students systematize and organize knowledge in ways that will help them in all of their courses. The course also emphasizes the elements of good writing style, appropriate grammar and mechanics, clarity of language, and logical and cohesive development. It culminates in submission of a documented research paper.
Mathematics (3 hours)

Select:

MATH 215 - Statistical Concepts (4)
This course introduces the student to statistics with business applications. The course covers both descriptive and inferential statistics. Topics included are: measures of central tendency; measures of dispersion; graphical displays of data; linear regression; basic probability concepts; binomial and normal probability distributions; confidence intervals; and hypothesis testing. These topics will be covered using a basic knowledge of algebra and Microsoft Excel.

*Choose either MATH 140 Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning or MATH 150 Fundamental Algebra as the prerequisite to MATH 215. Course can count as a University Elective.

Sciences (6 hours)

Choose a minimum of 6 semester hours from the Science discipline.

One must have a laboratory component.

Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 hours)
PSYC 110 - General Psychology (4)
A survey of the various fields of study comprising modern scientific psychology. The course examines the theories, research findings, and applications in each of the major areas of psychology, with the goal of providing students with practice information they can apply to their personal and professional lives. The topic areas covered in the course include learning and memory, motivation and emotion, human development, theories of personality, psychopathology, and social behavior.
HIST 201 - United States History I: 1492-1865 (3)
A survey of United States history from its colonial beginnings through the Civil War (1865). The general political, constitutional, social-intellectual, and economic development of the nation will be examined. Special attention will be given to the following topics: Americanization of the colonies, the institution of slavery, emerging nationalism, reform movements, industrialization, continental expansionism, sectionalism, and the Civil War.

 

Arts and Humanities (6 hours)

A minimum of 6 hours of Arts and Humanities coursework is required.  Choose from the Art, English Literature, Fine Arts, Humanities, Music, Philosophy, Religion or Theater disciplines.

Additional General Education Requirements (12 hours)
UNI 199 - University Seminar (2)
A mandatory course for entering full-time, degree-candidate students at Urbana. This course is designed to help freshmen adjust to the Urbana University and develop strategies for success by providing a "support group" during this critical period of adjustment and examining problems common to the freshman experience. Students must pass the course or be required to repeat it.
COMM 150 - Interpersonal Communication (4)
By using applied critical and creative thinking, students in this course will develop a set of communication skills that will enhance their personal and professional relationships and endeavors. This course will focus on skill development in key areas such as self, perception, listening, verbal messages, conversations, relationships, conflict management, persuasion, and public speaking.
OR SPCH 100 - Speech Communication (4)
This public-speaking course emphasizes the fundamentals of extemporaneous speaking. Skill-building activities and assignments focus on research, organization, reasoning, style and delivery of presentations as well as listening and audience engagement.

General Education Electives (3)

Major Area (39 hours)
EDUC 110 - Introduction to Education (2)
This survey course is an introduction to the teaching profession and is required for all students desiring to major in Education. Candidates engage in a variety of experiences that broadly explore the profession of education; purposes of schools in society; examines the state, federal and institutional standards that guide the profession; and the knowledge, dispositions, and performances required to be an effective teacher today.
EDUC 112 - Education in a Diverse Society (3)
This course explores the profession of education in the context of key social, political, and cultural issues, examines the historical origins of American public education, and discusses the role of educators in creating equality of opportunity for all students. Topics of discussion and analysis include individual differences; developing an educational atmosphere of respect; understanding student needs, and meeting the needs of diverse learners.
EDUC 230 - The Teaching of Phonics (3)
This course is required for prospective teachers seeking the Provisional Early Childhood License, the Provisional Middle Childhood License, and the Provisional Intervention Specialist License or the Reading Endorsement. The course introduces the prospective classroom teacher to the elements of phonics. It explores the English sound system and its relationship to reading and spelling. It acquaints the student with the specific terminology used to describe the various aspects of phonics. It also assists the student in determining the proper place of the phonic's instructor in the reading program. The course emphasizes the methods of teaching phonics. It also assists the prospective teacher in selecting appropriate commercial materials and in developing teacher-made materials to teach phonics in the classroom.
EDUC 309 - Technology in the Classroom (3)
This course is designed to emphasize the connectivity of technology to the classroom and the general curriculum. Students will explore programs that will aid them in classroom management, data collection, student-produced work, creating instructional tools, and administration of classroom responsibilities. Students will develop products that can be used to support their teaching and the learning process of their students.
EDUC 331 - Teaching Early Childhood Reading (FE) (3)
This course is required for teacher candidates seeking the Resident Educator Early Childhood License or the Intervention Specialist: Mild/Moderate Disabilities License. This course examines how children's oral language develops, how they learn to read and write and the teacher's role in this process. Using a balanced approach to literacy instruction, candidates learn how to select instructional materials, utilize strategies to meet the cognitive and affective literacy needs of all children, create, utilize and interpret assessment data to inform teaching and learning. The candidates learn the role of parents in literacy acquisition and the link between play and learning.
EDUC 332 - Reading in the Content Area (FE) (3)
This course is required for prospective teachers seeking the Provisional Middle Childhood License, the Provisional Adolescent/Young Adult License, the Provisional Intervention Specialist License, or Reading Endorsement. The course explores the development from learning-to-read to using reading-to-learn. It investigates the role of vocabulary instruction, comprehension, study skills, and the writing process. It also addresses the assessment of textbooks, the reading process, and student motivation.
EDUC 369 - Research, Data and Measurement (2)
This course introduces students to action research methods and procedures as they relate to seeking solutions to instructional problems within the field of education. Research techniques, the analysis of research results, and the uses of research are explored. Students will also explore how to use data to influence classroom decisions; guide and improve teaching skills and tailor instruction to individual learning needs. This course will also show the connection between constructive evaluation skills such as constructive feedback; helping students monitor their own progress; influence students' continuing motivation; perception of self efficacy as learners and their positive effect on student learning.
EDUC 402 - Differentiating Instruction (FE) (2)
This course will provide students with the opportunity to explore research and theory on the effectiveness of differentiated classrooms; examine the importance of differentiating instruction for today's diverse student population; recognize the need to increase variety in teaching, learning, and assessment to respond to individual student needs; utilize strategies including assignment tiering, graphic organizers, critical thinking skills, reflection and assessment strategies customized for a mixed-ability classroom; diagnose student needs and prescribe tasks that create better matches between learning needs and preferences and plan and implement methods appropriate for assessing individual learning needs in a performance-based curriculum.
EDP 405 - Educational Psyc for the PK12 Learner (3)
This course provides students the opportunity to apply the principles of education and teaching and learning theory to instructional design.
EDP 421 - Child & Adolescent Literature (3)
The course explores literature for the early and middle childhood aged student with an emphasis on standards for selection of materials with reference to the interests, needs, and abilities of children at the different levels within these ranges of ages. Attention is given to books and their uses in all subject matters. Special emphasis is placed on activities that will motivate early and middle childhood students to read. The goal of creating life-long readers is stressed.
PSYC 203 - Child Development (3)
A survey of the biological, social, psychological and cultural influences in human development from conception through childhood. A developmental perspective will be utilized in the examination of the multiple influences on growth and change during childhood.
PSYC 205 - Adolescent Development (3)
A survey of the biological, social, psychological and cultural influences in human development from adolescence. A developmental perspective will be utilized in the examination of the multiple influences on growth and change during adolescence.
SED 200 - Intro Students Mild/Moderate Educ Need (3)
This course provides students the opportunity to develop an understanding of the philosophical, historical, and legal foundations of special education as well as an understanding of the characteristics of learners who have special needs. Students explore and define the concepts of special education in schools and society, acquire knowledge about the legal and procedural aspects of special education, and develop an understanding and respect for individual needs and diversity.
SED 201 - Cognition, Learning, & Intelligence (3)
This course provides students the opportunity to develop an understanding of the theories of cognition, intelligence, and learning, especially as it relates to identifying children with special needs. Students begin the process of relating the theories to instruction and assessment processes.
SED 203 - Role of the Intervention Specialist (2)
This course provides students the opportunity to develop an understanding of the role of the intervention specialist in the issues relating to communication, collaborative practices, professionalism, and ethical practices. Students develop and use effective communication and collaboration skills in relating to students, parents, and other educational providers and develop an understanding of the role of the intervention specialist as part of the total educational experience. This course also deals with other issues involving the role of a teacher, networking skills, and resources accessibility.
Focus Area
Early Childhood Education
EDUC 220 - Introduction to Elementary Education (2)
This course is required for prospective teachers seeking the Resident Elementary Education License. This course explores the history, philosophy, purposes and societal needs for elementary education. Appropriate organization and curriculum for PK-5 will be discussed. Readiness for learning will be investigated.
EDUC 250 - Instruc Planning Elementary Education (4)
This course is required for prospective teachers seeking the Resident Elementary Education License. The course examines all aspects of instructional planning and examines the common strategies teachers employ to conduct their lessons. It assumes students have a deep understanding of the content they will teach and an extensive understanding and appreciation of the students with whom they will work. The overriding purpose of the course resides in the transformation of content and behavioral objectives into sequences of instructional activities that make it accessible to students.
EDUC 421 - Class Gdnce, Fam, Schl, & Comm Partner (3)
Presents an overview of classroom organization and management, and systematic behavior change techniques required for the effective teaching and enhanced students learning for all children in Pre-K through Grades 5. This course explores the social and emotional development of young children; investigates the causes of young children's various behaviors and prepares teacher candidates to support young children in developing self-regulation skills needed to support learning and communicating with others. This course will also focus on classroom management practices necessary to build an effective classroom learning community that supports student learning; establishing and maintain collaborative partnerships that are sensitive to family composition, language, and culture with each student's family to foster student learning and development in all settings and skills needed to establish relationships with and use resources of the students' communities to support student learning and development.
Middle Childhood Education
EDUC 225 - Intro to Middle Childhood Edu (FE) (2)
This course is required for prospective teachers seeking the Provisional Middle Childhood License. The course is designed to provide opportunities to explore characteristics and issues of middle childhood learners, family concerns and structures, various school organizations designed specifically for the middle childhood learner, and techniques to help provide a successful learning experience to middle childhood learners. This course will guide the prospective teacher through the National Middle School Association standards and the Interstate New Teachers Assessment & Support Consortium standards.
EDUC 260 - Instruct Planning Middle Child Education (4)
This course is required for prospective teachers seeking the Resident Educator Middle Childhood License. The course examines all aspects of instructional planning and examines the common strategies teachers employ to conduct their lessons. It assumes prospective students have a deep understanding of the content they will teach and an extensive understanding and appreciation of the students with whom they will work. The overriding purpose of the course resides in the transformation of content and behavioral objectives into sequences of instructional activities that make them accessible to students.
EDUC 425 - Collaboration and Management (2)
This course provides students the opportunity to develop skills in planning and managing the teaching and learning environment; managing student behavior and social interaction skills; communicating effectively; developing collaborative partnerships and in demonstrating professionalism and ethical practices. Students become familiar with daily management skills, safety and health issues in the classroom, creating and modifying a supportive learning environment, and behavior management skills. The course also focuses on the development and interaction of the educational team, on methods and models of collaborative practives with parents, students, and educational personnel, and members of the community and incorporates this into the instructional process.
Adolescence to Young Adult Education
EDUC 228 - Intro to AYA Education (FE) (2)
This course is required for prospective teachers seeking the Provisional Adolescent & Young Adult Education License. The course is designed to provide opportunities to explore characteristics and issues of adolescent and young adult learners, family concerns and structures, various school organizations designed specifically for the secondary learner, and techniques to help provide a successful learning experience to middle childhood learners. This course will guide the prospective teacher through the Interstate New Teachers Assessment & Support Consortium standards.
EDUC 270 - Instructional Planning AYA Education (4)
This course is required for prospective teachers seeking the Resident Educator Adolescence to Young Adult License. The course examines all aspects of instructional planning and examines the common strategies teachers employ to conduct their lessons. It assumes prospective students have a deep understanding of the content they will teach and an extensive understanding and appreciation of the students with whom they work. The overriding purpose of the course resides in the transformation of content and behavioral objectives into sequences of instructional activities that make them accessible to students. The delivery of the Ohio model curriculum will be explored. All types of instructional technology will be utilized, including computer applications.
EDUC 425 - Collaboration and Management (2)
This course provides students the opportunity to develop skills in planning and managing the teaching and learning environment; managing student behavior and social interaction skills; communicating effectively; developing collaborative partnerships and in demonstrating professionalism and ethical practices. Students become familiar with daily management skills, safety and health issues in the classroom, creating and modifying a supportive learning environment, and behavior management skills. The course also focuses on the development and interaction of the educational team, on methods and models of collaborative practives with parents, students, and educational personnel, and members of the community and incorporates this into the instructional process.
University Electives (34 hours)

Any undergraduate courses offered by the University except developmental education courses.

Careers

Prepare for Broad Social Learning Roles or Graduate School

American Education Studies is designed specifically around the needs of international students who come to the United States to study. Graduates in American Education Studies have career options as trainers, tutors, historical interpreters or could attend graduate school for further studies in law, social work, education, policy and leadership.

Program Outcomes

  1. Program completers will be able to identify and describe student milestones and related variations in all domains of student development.

  2. Program completers will be able to create engaging instruction that leads students to take ownership in learning.

  3. Program completers will be able to match instructional methodologies to students' needs and progress.

  4. Program completers will be able to create learning goals, objectives, and strategies aligned with specific standards and district priorities.

  5. Program completers will demonstrate the ability to establish a classroom culture this is inclusive to all students.

  6. Program completers will be able to help their students make significant connections with various aspects of the subject matter and other topics within their area of licensure in authentic and technology-related ways.

  7. Program completers will be able to identify ethical dilemmas, legal disparities, and policy gaps on district and state levels, and apply solutions within the appropriate parameters.

Undergraduate Studies Admission Requirements

Each applicant seeking admission to Urbana University is individually evaluated. Factors considered are past academic achievement, aptitude, extracurricular activities, and any additional evidence supporting the prospect of academic success.

To qualify for admission, applicants seeking an associate or bachelor's degree must present evidence of high school completion in the form of a high school diploma or GED. Careful consideration is given to the applicants academic record to include the curriculum, courses, and/or state mandated graduation tests. Results from standardized testing (either ACT or SAT) are required for first-time freshmen. Students who wish to apply for admission, but do not meet the minimum standardized test scores used for placement in University courses may be required to undergo placement testing.

Undergraduate admission requirements and materials:

A student who meets at least one of the following criteria is eligible for admission as a degree-seeking student:

  • Has provided official documentation of graduation from an accredited high school or its equivalent (see documentation required below), or
  • Has an associate, bachelor or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, an institution recognized as a candidate for accreditation, or an institution recognized by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation

Documentation required:

1. Documentation of high school graduation or equivalence is required for applicants who are transferring fewer than 24 semester hours that apply towards a degree.

2. If the student has transferable hours of 24 credit hours or more from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, then they will not have to provide a high school diploma or equivalence. Acceptable forms of documentation of high school graduation or high school equivalence for undergraduate admission must include one of the following:

  • Official high school transcript listing the date of graduation
  • Official GED certificate
  • Official documentation of having passed a State High School Equivalency examination
  • Official documentation of a home school completion certificate/transcript
  • Official transcripts from all educational institutions (college, universities, professional schools, etc.) attended

3. Any applicant seeking to be a first-time freshman undergraduate degree-seeking students at Urbana University must supply standardized test scores (ACT SAT) to be used for placement in courses., to determine athletic eligibility, and/or determine institutional scholarship qualification.

At any time the University may require an applicant to meet with the Admissions Committee to address questions that arise in the application review process. If an applicant requests transfer credit, official transcripts from any other regionally accredited institution are required.

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