SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
For an overview and important information, including application information, about outcomes for graduate students in the master of education degree program, click here.
Master of Education (M.Ed.)
It has been said that there is no medicine like hope; no incentive so great and no tonic so powerful as
expectation of something better tomorrow. Education is a prime giver of hope. It brings light to dark places,
reveals options never before considered, and equips individuals with precise tools for lifelong learning. To
impart that hope as an educator is a high privilege.
The graduate programs in the School of Education will provide teachers with the opportunity to enhance
their knowledge of the classroom. Should they desire to become a principal or school counselor, Seattle
Pacific University offers a master's degree and/or certificate program.
The master of education (M.Ed.) program represents a carefully articulated sequence of advanced courses
that are natural extensions of the student's undergraduate academic and professional coursework and
teaching experience. Courses emphasize both theory and practice. A successfully completed Seattle
Pacific master's degree in education gives an individual the following:
- An understanding of the historical, social, economic, legal, political, and technological forces that
shape the American educational system.
- A knowledge of, and the ability to apply, theories of teaching and learning to classroom, school,
and related settings.
- Extensive knowledge of the literature, research, and trends in an area of professional
- The ability to communicate effectively using the written and spoken word.
- The necessary information and skills to access, interpret, apply, evaluate, and contribute to the
research and related literature of education.
- An appreciation of the diversity found in our culture and other cultures.
- A view of education as a helping profession supported by the unique contribution of a Christian
university helping to shape those views.
All degrees are accredited through the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
and the Washington State Board of Education.
POLICIES FOR SUMMER COURSES
No more than 6 graduate (6000-level) credits may be taken in one four-week Summer Session term. Since
most graduate education courses are 3 credits and extend one four-week session only, a maximum of 12
credits can be taken in most summers.
Exception: If students enroll in EDU 6975 Interpreting and Applying Educational Research I or EDU 6976
Interpreting and Applying Educational Research II during the summer, they are permitted to take only one
additional 3-credit graduate class per session because the courses, Interpreting and Applying Educational
Research I and Interpreting and Applying Educational Research II, extend the full eight weeks of Summer
Session. EDCO 6672 Organization and Administration of PK-12 Guidance Programs also extends the full
eight weeks of Summer Session. This limits the maximum credits to 9 for that summer.
Graduate education courses in school administration are offered at such off-campus locations as the
Olympic Educational Service District in Bremerton and ESD #113 in Olympia, in Mt. Vernon/Burlington. Check the online schedule to determine
when these occur.
Academic year. To accommodate working students, on-campus courses are scheduled in the evenings,
either from 4:30-7:05 p.m. or from 7:10-9:45 p.m. Off-campus courses are usually scheduled from 4:30-7:05 p.m. Course schedules for the coming year are available beginning in April for the subsequent
Summer Session. Summer Session consists of two four-week sessions. Session One
begins late June and ends mid-July. Session Two begins late July and ends mid-August. Graduate
education classes generally meet during one session only, from Monday through Thursday, for a designated
two-hour period. Interpreting and Applying Educational Research I, Interpreting and Applying Educational
Research II, and Organization and Administration of PK-12 Guidance Programs meet twice weekly, for
designated two-hour periods, over both sessions (i.e., the entire eight weeks of Summer Session).
The master's thesis is a formal investigation into a research question that involves original data and primary
sources, thus resulting in a scholarly manuscript suitable for binding and possible publication. It is not a
requirement for a master of education degree, but an elective only. Examples include the following: (1)
empirical research with results of interest and importance to the profession as a whole; (2) action or
evaluation research that uses qualitative or quantitative data and provides results useful for local or state
purposes; (3) a thorough review of literature and research on a topic important to the profession; and (4) an
historical or philosophical analysis of recurring themes and issues in education.
Thesis research is conducted under the direction of a three-person committee, with a chairperson (selected
by the student) responsible for the majority of guidance given to the student. Mentoring of the student is a
primary concern. A copy of the thesis will be bound and kept in the SPU Library. Students may, but are not
required to, order one or more copies for their own use.
A thesis should be at least 6 credits, but may be as many as 15 and is strongly recommended for those
intending to apply for doctoral studies in the future. Individuals wishing to complete a thesis should contact
the graduate program manager well in advance for written procedures.
EDU 6975 Interpreting and Applying Educational Research I, EDU 6976 Interpreting and Applying
Educational Research II, and EDU 6977 Accountability Research and Measurement are prerequisites to the
The master's project is a 3-credit activity involving the practical application of knowledge and skills resulting
in a product usable in the individual's professional or potential role. It is not a requirement for a master of
education degree, but an elective only. Hence, it is not an option for some programs. Examples of projects
include the following:
- The development of district or school educational goals based upon needs assessment and
- The development of a curriculum and curriculum materials for a given set of district or school
- The compilation of teaching resources and materials for a given curriculum.
- The design of a program development and evaluation model for use in a school or district setting.
Projects are not bound or retained by the School of Education.
The master's project is conducted under the direction of a faculty supervisor (selected by the student), who
is responsible for the majority of guidance given to the student. Mentoring of the student is a primary
A project should not exceed 3 credits. Individuals wishing to complete a project should contact the graduate
program manager well in advance for written procedures.
EDU 6975 Interpreting and Applying Educational Research I and EDU 6976 Interpreting and Applying
Educational Research II are prerequisites to the master's project.
A comprehensive exam is required for most graduate education and superintendent certification programs, with the exception of the master
of arts in teaching and the non-degree program for school-principal certification. This examination process is
designed to help the student synthesize and apply information gained throughout the course of the graduate
education program in which he or she was enrolled. The exam is usually taken during the last quarter of
coursework or the first quarter thereafter. In all cases it is written. Details about comprehensive exams for specific programs can be found in the respective program descriptions. The educational leadership degree also
includes an oral defense of the written responses. An application for the comprehensive exam should be
submitted to the graduate program manager in the School of Education two quarters before the test will be
taken. After the application is received, a student is sent instructions regarding the writing of the exam in his
or her program.
The School Counseling and Reading/Language Arts comprehensive exams are conducted on campus. The schedule for the exams is published quarterly in the SOE Graduate Bulletin.
Continuing Teacher's Certificate.
Any SPU master's degree within the School of Education may be used to fulfill the academic requirement for
the continuing teacher's certificate. Applications for this credential can be requested from and processed by
the ESD (Educational Service District) that served the individual's school district.
Professional Teacher's Certificate
The Professional Certificate will replace the continuing teacher's certificate for those teachers who originally
obtain the residency certificate and for those whose initial certificate renewals expire before completion of
the continuing certificate. (It is possible to coordinate work toward the Professional Certificate with master's degree work. See additional information in the Curriculum and Instruction master's degree
Other Washington State Certificates
Students who need to renew an initial teacher's certificate during their course of study, or who complete a
program resulting in a specific type of state certification (e.g., residency teacher, school counselor, or school
administrator) must formally apply for the credential as follows:
- Residency teacher. (Applies to master of arts in teaching only.) Students pursuing the master of
arts in teaching will apply as part of the completion of the "initial certification" portion of this degree.
- Initial teacher (renewal). Those who need to renew an initial teacher's certificate apply while his or her
graduate program is in progress, provided 15 quarter credits have been completed since the
current and valid credential was issued.
- Residency school counselor (ESA). Students enrolled in a program meeting qualifications for school
counselor's certification (ESA) will receive an application and directions from the graduate program manager at the end of each student's internship.
- Residency school principal. Students enrolled in a program meeting qualifications for school principal
certification will receive an application and directions from the graduate program manager at the end of each student's internship.
Request applications for these certificates from The Graduate Center by calling 206.281.2091 or
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