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Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies (2002-2003)

Admission | Courses | Program | Requirements

Department Chairperson: Sandra A. Nelson
Graduate Committee Chairperson: Reinhard Lindner
Department Office: Horrabin Hall 80
Department Telephone: 309/298-1183 Fax: 309/298-2222
WWW Address:
Location of Program Offering: Macomb, Quad Cities

Graduate Faculty

  • Professors
    • J. Q. Adams, Ph.D., University of Illinois
    • Georg Gunzenhauser, Ed.D., North Carolina State University
    • Reinhard Lindner, Ph.D., University of Connecticut
    • P. Lance Ternasky, Ph.D., Cornell University
  • Associate Professors
    • Thomas J. Cody, Ph.D., Southern Illinois University
    • Gloria Delany-Barmann, Ed.D., Northern Arizona University
    • Maria de Lourdes Kuthy-Saenger, Ph.D., Michigan State University
    • Gregory P. Montalvo, Jr., Ph.D., University of Oklahoma
    • Sandra A. Nelson, M.A., Southern Illinois University
    • Marshall Parks, Ph.D., University of Virginia
    • Carolyn M. Ward, Ed.D., University of Missouri–St. Louis

Associate Graduate Faculty

  • Assistant Professor
    • Rodney J. Greer, M.S., Southern Illinois University–Carbondale
    • Yuki Hasebe, Ph.D., University of Illinois–Chicago
    • Eric Mansfield, Ph.D., University of Northern Colorado
  • Instructor
    • Jeanne A. Serven, M.S., Western Illinois University

Program Description

The Department of Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies at Western Illinois University offers a Master of Science in Education degree in Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies. The chief strength of this degree program lies in the flexibility it provides students in developing a focused sequence of course work, drawing from a variety of academic disciplines.

The department recognizes that the issues facing society and its institutions are complex and that complex problems typically require complex solutions. Inquiry into and the resolution of such problems are, therefore, enhanced when multiple perspectives are employed. The Department of Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies is comprised of scholar-practitioners representing several core disciplines including educational psychology, sociocultural studies, and philosophical/historical studies. Faculty members utilize their distinctive disciplinary orientations and accompanying methodologies to collectively address pressing educational, intellectual, and social concerns. It is the union of an unusually diverse faculty and an uncommon approach to inquiry that makes the department and its degree option interdisciplinary.

Currently, the department offers the following interdisciplinary foci: a) professional advanced study in teacher education; b) bilingual/English as a second language (ESL); c) adult education; d) community college; e) multicultural education; f) educational psychology; and/or g) individualized studies in cooperation with other departments.

Through co-advising and the employment of national professional standards, students also have been able to pursue concentrations in other areas. Particular interdisciplinary foci can be constructed out of course offerings in the department, across the college, and across colleges in the University as long as departmental core requirements are met and the concentration of courses selected are directed toward clearly defined personal/professional goals.

  1. The objectives of the program are achieved by providing degree candidates with:
    The opportunity to construct a discipline grounded knowledge base regarding contemporary psychological, sociocultural, and philosophical theories and research as they pertain to educational problems and related areas of concern;
  2. The opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for the consumption, analysis, and evaluation of scholarly literature pertaining to specific programs and problems within one’s profession;
  3. The opportunity to explore and investigate educational and related relevant topics, skills, programs and issues outside of one’s current area of professional focus;
  4. The opportunity to grow personally and professionally through in-depth analyses of issues and problems in contemporary education and related areas of concern;
  5. The opportunity to extend, activate, and apply one’s knowledge and skills through either an action based or theoretically driven culminating investigation of a student-selected problem, issue, or program, or the completion of a portfolio and additional course work.

Admission Requirements

Students seeking admission must formally apply to the School of Graduate Studies declaring Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies as their area of study. Students must meet general admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and have a minimum cumulative GPA for all undergraduate work of 2.75. Prior to consideration for acceptance into this degree program by the Departmental Graduate Committee, a student must interview with a member of the Graduate Committee or the department chairperson and must submit a rationale statement identifying the degree suitability to his/her personal and professional goals and objectives.

Degree Requirements

Students choosing this degree program must complete a minimum of 32 semester hours of course work within six consecutive years. A minimum of eighteen semester hours must be selected from the core areas offered by the Department of Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies.

  • Core Requirements: 18 s.h.
    • EIS 500 Methods of Research: 3 s.h.
      • Sociocultural Foundations of Education (Select one): 2-3 s.h.
        • EIS 435G Cultural Studies and the Classroom*
        • EIS 507 Social Change and the Multicultural Aspects of Schooling
        • EIS 586 Adult Education and the Culturally Diverse
      • Assessment, Evaluation and Statistics (Select one): 3 s.h.
        • EIS 453G Assessment of Bilingual and ESL Students*
        • EIS 503 Educational Statistics
        • EIS 523 Advanced Measurement and Evaluation
      • Educational Psychology (Select one): 2-3 s.h.
        • EIS 502 Advanced Educational Psychology
        • EIS 508 Seminar in Learning Theory
        • EIS 512 Strategies for Teaching the Adult Learner
        • EIS 587 Human Development Throughout the Life Span
      • History/Philosophy of Education (Select one): 2-3 s.h.
        • EIS 427G Foundations of Language Minority Education*
        • EIS 501 Philosophy of Education
        • EIS 585 Seminar in the Intellectual History of Education
      • Culminating Project/Portfolio and Additional Course Work (Select one): 4 s.h.
        • EIS 584 Action Research in Interdisciplinary Studies
        • EIS 601 Thesis
        • Portfolio and two additional graded EIS courses (4 s.h.)**
  • Directed Electives: 14 s.h.
    TOTAL PROGRAM: 32 s.h.

*Intended for students seeking bilingual/ESL emphasis. Note that no more than 50% of the degree plan may be at the 400G level.

**Students choosing the additional course work option must submit a portfolio of their best work, including one artifact from each core course, no later than the completion of 28 semester hours of graduate work as stated on the degree plan. Portfolios must be approved as satisfactory before a student may proceed to complete the additional course work, a minimum of four hours and two courses taken in the Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies Department.

In addition to the 18 semester hours of core course work taken in Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies, students must select 14 semester hours of graduate course work related to their identified goals or professional objectives in pursuing the degree. Such courses may be selected from any department or discipline, including specialized courses in the Department of Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies. Courses selected must be based on a coherent and focused rationale and degree plan. For instance, an adult education focus would include EIS 501, 512, 523 and 586 plus directed electives in consultation with the graduate adviser.

The Degree Plan and accompanying rationale statement, including action research culminating project, thesis, or portfolio plus additional course work in Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies, must be developed in consultation with the student’s adviser and approved by the Departmental Graduate Committee. Any substitutions for courses on the Degree Plan must have the approval of the adviser prior to enrollment in the course. Substitutions must be proposed by petition, approved by the adviser, and submitted to the Departmental Graduate Committee for final approval.

A maximum of nine hours of graduate course work completed within the six year period before a student is admitted to the Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies program may count toward meeting the requirements of this master’s degree. These nine hours are subject to approval by the Departmental Graduate Committee. Only nine hours of transfer credit from another institution will be accepted.

Students in the M.S.Ed. Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies degree program must complete all requirements in an incomplete course within six months after course ending. The only exception to this policy is in regard to the completion of EIS 584 or EIS 601 which is to be completed no more than two years after initial enrollment.

Students who have taken courses, but have not been actively enrolled in course work in the last three years, will be placed on inactive status and will be required to petition the Graduate Committee for reactivation.

Course Descriptions

Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies

405G Classroom Management. (2) Study of classroom management models applied to educational settings. Organization and management to facilitate learning. Legal policies, procedures, and strategies for dealing with behavior, disruption, and conflict resolution. Prerequisites: Prior or concurrent prestudent teaching instructional field experience, concurrent student teaching, or graduate status.

427G Foundations of Language Minority Education. (3) An introduction to the historical, philosophical, political, social, and educational issues that have contributed to policy regarding public school services for language minority populations.

430G Methods and Materials for Teaching in Bilingual Programs. (3) Acquaints students with methodology and materials, with instruction on the preparation of audio and visual teaching aids, lesson plans, learning objectives, and the inquiry teaching methods for the bilingual/ESL classroom. Portion of content presented in Spanish. Clinical experience-15 hours required. A grade of C or higher must be earned for teacher certification.

435G Cultural Studies of Second Language Learners in the Classroom. (3) Study of classroom techniques used by bilingual/bicultural/ESL teachers to demonstrate the importance of culture and relevancy to education for second language learners. Clinical experience–15 hours required.

453G Assessment of Bilingual and ESL Students. (3) Selection, administration, and interpretation of measurement instruments. Description of testing: multicultural, bilingual, ESL language competency tests; language proficiency/achievement testing; linguistic/cultural aspects of intelligence testing; assessment in classroom. Clinical experience of 15 hours required.

457G Methods and Materials of Teaching English as a Second Language. (3) Analysis of language learning processes of bilingual children. The appropriate order for learning basic skills in two languages will be discussed and techniques of teaching English as a second language will be introduced and practiced. Clinical experience-15 hours required. A grade of C or higher must be earned for teacher certification.

458G Linguistics for the Teacher of Limited-English-Proficient (LEP) Students. (3) The study of linguistics applied to teaching limited-English-speaking students. Includes English and non-English phonology, syntax, analysis, and application of linguistic theory. Clinical experience-20 hours required.

500 Methods of Research. (3) An introduction to the nature and techniques of contemporary social scientific research (including educational and human service). Emphasis placed on developing research literacy through critically reading, examining, and evaluating the characteristics of both quantitative and qualitative research. Additional emphasis on the critical issue of the nature of the relationship between research and its application to practice. Prerequisite: Some exposure to the basic nature of statistical reasoning recommended before enrolling in the course.

501 Philosophy of Education. (3) Historical and analytical study of cultural, social, political, and economic trends of civilization in relation to education.

502 Advanced Educational Psychology. (3) Introduction to the relationship between psychological theory and educational practice through critical examination of current theories and models in the field.

503 Educational Statistics. (3) Introduction to the practice of statistical analysis in contemporary social science. Topics include exploratory analysis, measures of central tendency, measures of variability, probability, correlation and regression, chi square, and analysis of variance.

506 Community Resources and Educational Alternatives. (3) Identification, characterization, and implementation of resources in the community used to augment programs of educational alternatives. Attention may focus on certification, funding, and legal determinations.

507 Social Change and the Multicultural Aspects of Schooling. (3) Designed to provide students an in-depth examination and evaluation of important views of society and social change as they relate to schooling. Theories will be examined with attention to their possible influences on schooling. The multiethnic and multicultural aspects of schooling will be studied in their relationship to contemporary issues.

508 Seminar in Learning Theory. (2) A study pertaining to the influence of learning theories on educational practice. Reference will be made to psychological systems, the nature of man, transfer of learning, teaching, key proponents of theories, etc. It is especially designed for teachers and other scholars working in education.

510 Community Education: Concepts and Practices. (3) Examination of the concepts and social forces leading to the wide range of educational services outside of traditional schooling and the procedures for implementing and operating such programs, focusing especially on educational options and community education. Discussions will include philosophies and theories as well as specific implementation strategies and operational procedures for a variety of different popular program types.

512 Learning through Adulthood. (3) Study of psychological development and instructional theory applied to adult learners. Special emphasis on skills, perspective, and cognitive, affective, and social challenges encountered by learners throughout the adult years.

513 Teaching of Adult Literacy Skills. (3) Designed to provide an in-depth exploration of effectual methods of literacy instruction for adult learners. The course will focus on various student populations, their learning styles, and their literacy survival skills (writing, reasoning, communicating).

520 Computers in Research and Evaluation. (1) A course designed to introduce graduate students to the use of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) for the coding and analysis of quantitative data.

523 Advanced Measurement and Evaluation. (3) Study of theories and applications of measurement in education including testing and evaluation. Attention to measures of central tendency, data collection, and analysis.

533 Special Problems in Education. (1–3, repeatable to 6) Designed to provide students the opportunity to enhance professional growth and development by gaining familiarity with current thinking in the field in regard to specific educational problems as they pertain to actual educational settings.

535 Adolescent Psychology for Educators. (2) Study of developmental theory focusing on specific issues/concerns facing early, middle, and late adolescents in today’s classroom. Emphases include social/emotional, cognitive and physical development with particular attention to the affective elements of adolescence. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

536 Seminar in Cognition. (2) An examination of contemporary cognitive models of learning, problem solving, and cognitive factors (beliefs, ability, strategies, etc.) that mediate learning and problem solving, including their application to the design and delivery of classroom instruction. Prerequisites: Prior completion of EIS 535 with a grade of “B” or better and graduate standing.

538 Seminar in Individualized Education. (3) Current psychological theory and best practices applied to characteristics and assessment of, and individualized instruction for, gifted, at-risk, and special needs students in compliance with federal and statutory law. Prerequisites: Completion of EIS 535, EIS 536, and EIS 507 with grades of “B” or above.

539 Instructional Methods for Secondary Teachers. (3) Study and application of prevailing instructional methodologies, curricular theory, and planning identified as effective in meeting the cognitive, social, and behavioral needs of high school students. Prerequisites: Prior completion of EIS 535 and EIS 536 with a grade of “B” or better, or permission of instructor.

550 Professional Workshop. (1–3) Course is for graduate students only. Workshops deal with topics in the broader areas of educational and interdisciplinary studies. Students will participate in a variety of activities including reading, research, reports, etc.

552 Strategies for Teaching the Content Areas to Bilinguals. (3) Analysis of culturally and linguistically appropriate strategies for effective bilingual teaching in the content areas.

555 Community Resources and Parental Involvement for Language Minority Populations. (2) A study of effective techniques for involving parents and other community members and organizations in implementing bilingual education.

570 Seminar in College Teaching. (3) Designed for new faculty and graduate students who are interested in preparation for college teaching. Topics will address ethical issues, instructional strategies, and other components for effective practices. An asynchronous course offered on the World Wide Web.

580 Current Problems in Education. (2) Course is designed to acquaint the student with current issues in today's educational programs; to analyze trends in the development of teaching methods; to evaluate techniques, to evaluate curriculum planning, to consider educational administration; and to examine critically the significant issues and problems of contemporary educational practice.

582 Comparative Education. (2) A study of the theory and practices underlying the administration and organization of education, the preparation of teachers, the curriculum and methods of instruction in schools of selected foreign countries.

584 Action Research in Interdisciplinary Studies. (4) Applied research specifically focused on solving site-specific, practical problems using the conceptual and methodological tools of the researcher. Enrollment is contingent upon approval of the student's graduate academic adviser.

585 Seminar in Intellectual History of Education. (2) Intellectual history of education and the emergence of democratic society in the West, social change, and the expansion of the educational enterprise.

586 Adult Education and the Culturally Diverse. (2) Analysis and critique of U.S. historical, cultural, linguistic, demographic, sociological, economic, and political issues impacting the education of culturally diverse adult learners.

587 Human Development Throughout the Life Span. (3) Relationship of various aspects of developmental theory (analytic, behavioral, cognitive, and psychosocial) to human development throughout the life span.

590 Field Study Projects. (1–3 each) Extensive readings, observations, and interpretations of educational systems in the United States and selected foreign countries. Prerequisites: Permission of the student's adviser and the Department Graduate Committee.

592 Field Experience in Education. (1–4, repeatable to 4) Supervised field experience in off-campus education situations including public or private school or alternative education programs. Prerequisites: Permission required. Prior or concurrent course work appropriate to the assignment.

599 Independent Study. (1–4, repeatable to 4) Investigation of problems related to the student's major area. A substantial written report, as well as informal oral report, will be required. Students will meet with an instructor during the course on a periodic basis.

600 Internship in Teaching. (5, repeatable to 10) A culminating, 10-week, school-based clinical experience in the student’s major area(s) of specialization under the supervision of a department faculty member and a senior teaching professional. Prerequisites: EIS 507, EIS 535, EIS 536, EIS 538, EIS 539, and EIS 592; 100 clock hours of clinical experience; and recommendation of EIS Graduate Committee.

601 Thesis. (4) Capstone project to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills gained through the degree program. Focused toward investigating a problem or extending the current state of knowledge in an area of interest, employing formal quantitative or qualitative research methodology. Enrollment is contingent upon approval of the student's graduate academic adviser.

607 Implications of Diversity for Educational Leaders. (3) Rapidly changing demographic patterns hold implications for school policy. Effective educational leaders understand diverse cultures and communication styles, and practice collaboration and dialogue. This course will provide resources necessary for administrators to establish themselves as facilitators who offer an inclusive educational vision for the community. Prerequisites: EDAD 600, EDAD 640, and admission to candidacy in the Education Specialist program, or permission of instructor.

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