Become A Master

For teachers who intentionally challenge and support students to create confident learners.

Master of Science of Education in Differentiated Instruction


Building on what you already know and do, this program will help you increase the effectiveness of your practice, using your own classroom and students. We offer one- and two-year options as well as a graduate certificate in differentiated instruction.

What You'll Learn

Exclusively for practicing teachers, the Master of Science of Education in Differentiated Instruction at Jewell will help you design learning environments, create assessments and plan lessons that enable students with a variety of skill levels and learning profiles to succeed in a standards-based classroom. Drawing on the best thinking about how to promote individual learning through purposeful instruction, this program will help you:

  • Select and implement specific strategies from a range of research-based, effective instructional and assessment practices to target specific learning outcomes.
  • Utilize differentiated instructional techniques with any curriculum.
  • Manage a range of instructional activities within the same classroom when students are all working toward the same objectives but are working at different levels.
  • Provide a professional learning community where you can learn from peers throughout the metro area.

The Program Provides

Convenient week-long classes on-campus held in summer and hybrid/in-school classes during the school year.

Courses, schedule and tuition designed to meet the needs of working teachers:

  • 30 credit M.S.Ed. can be earned in 14 months (summer, fall, spring, summer); OR
  • 30 credit M.S.Ed. can be earned in two years with fewer courses each semester; OR
  • Choose any 5 courses you need to earn a Jewell Graduate Certificate in DI.
  • Cost is $400/credit hour with most courses being 3 credit hours.
  • Payment plan available.

Kendra Weatherford Terranella, B.S.Ed. '12, M.S.Ed. '16


William Southern Elementary (Independence), 3rd grade

"The choice to attend my alma mater for graduate school was an easy one. Not only was there a level of comfort because I was already familiar with the faculty and their expectations, but ...they knew exactly where my strengths and weaknesses lay and how to challenge me to become an even better educator."

Allison O'Leary Lassiter, BS.Ed. '12, M.S.Ed. '16


Assistant Adjunct Professor, Academic Achievement Center, Johnson County Community College

"This degree program is really a way for teachers and students to both be successful: teachers by gaining a toolkit that helps them to adapt to the vast range of learners they come across, and students by gaining access to previously difficult (or easy) subjects because they’re being explained in their own learning style and on their own level."

M.S.Ed. Options and Admission Requirements

We offer one- and two-year completion options. For the practicing teacher who desires to take only some of these courses, we also offer a five-course Graduate Certificate in differentiated instruction.

  • 1- and 2-year Completion Options

    Successful completion of the nine required courses (30 credit hours) is required for the Master of Science in Education degree. The courses are sequential but the program of study has been laid out so that practicing teachers can select either an intense one-year of study or a more manageable two year program of study. Both sequences are below.

     

    14-Month Program of Study - 30 Credit Hours

    Summer 1 Fall Spring Summer 2

    EDU 501
    Introduction to Differentiated Instruction (4)

    EDU 502
    Differentiated Instruction Toolkit (4)

    EDU 601
    Defining Research in Education (4)

    EDU 503
    Effective Assessment and Teaching for Mastery (3)

    EDU 602
    Teacher Action Research (3)

     

    EDU 504
    Meeting the Needs of Every Student (3)
    or
    EDU 610
    Special Topics in Education (3)
    AND
    EDU 603

    Research Analysis, Synthesis and Presentation (3)

    EDU 505
    Differentiating the Curriculum (3)
    or
    EDU 610
    Special Topics in Education (3)
    AND
    EDU 506

    Using Student Data to Inform Instructional Practice (3)

     

    2 Year Program of Study - 30 Credit Hours

    Summer 1

    EDU 501
    Introduction to Differentiated Instruction (4)

    EDU 502
    Differentiated Instruction Toolkit (4)

    Fall 1

    EDU 503
    Effective Assessment and Teaching for Mastery (3)

     

    Spring 1

    EDU 504
    Meeting the Needs of Every Student (3)
    or
    EDU 610
    Special Topics in Education (3)

     

    Summer 2

    EDU 601
    Defining Research in Education (4)
    AND
    EDU 505
    Differentiating the Curriculum (3)
    or
    EDU 610
    Special Topics in Education (3)
    AND
    EDU 506

    Using Student Data to Inform Instructional Practice (3)

    Fall 2

    EDU 602
    Teacher Action Research (3)

     

    Spring 2

    EDU 603
    Research Analysis, Synthesis and Presentation (3)

     

    Summer 3
    (if not taken in Summer 2)

    EDU 506
    Using Student Data to Inform Instructional Practice (3)

     

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  • Graduate Certificate in Differentiated Instruction

    Select any five courses that contribute to your professional development to earn the Graduate Certificate in Differentiated Instruction. A logical sequence for someone new to differentiated instruction would be EDU 501-505. The number of credits required for the certificate will vary between 15 credits and 18 credits depending upon the courses selected. We advise that the research courses be taken in order if those are selected. After you complete the graduate certificate, you may subsequently apply for the master’s degree program and complete the remaining courses to earn the degree if you are admitted.

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  • Admission Requirements

    William Jewell College seeks candidates for this program who desire to be teacher leaders. Applicants must be willing to do action research in his/her own class to investigate issues of differentiation. Candidates will be critical thinkers of high character who are dedicated to the profession of teaching.

    To be admitted to the M.S.Ed. in Differentiated Instruction at William Jewell College applicants must meet the following requirements and provide appropriate documentation:

    • Must be a certified educator currently employed in a school with an assigned classroom.
      • Evidence of certification
      • Evidence of employment with a school for the following school year
    • An articulate and persuasive candidate essay discussing expected program outcomes and how this program will enhance the applicant’s role as a teacher leader in his/her school.
    • Evidence of baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a 3.0 overall grade point average based on a 4.0 scale.
    • Official transcripts from all other colleges and universities attended, whether as an undergraduate or graduate student and whether or not credit was awarded.
    • Two professional recommendations: one from administrative supervisor; second from colleague or other supervisor.
    • A completed application form on which the applicant specifies the one- or two-year cohort OR the graduate certificate option.
    • A professional resume/vitae.
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  • M.S.Ed. Curriculum

    Web-enhanced Course (5%-24% of course occurs electronically)
    Hybrid Course (25%-74% of course occurs electronically)
    Online Course (75%-100% of course occurs electronically)

    EDU 501 Introduction to Differentiated Instruction (4 credits)  [Web-enhanced course]
    Teachers will:

    • demonstrate understanding of backward design and the ability to use that instructional practice.
    • effectively articulate in depth why it is important to differentiate & be able to communicate this to other publics and colleagues.
    • examine their own growth mindset and determine how they need to change their mindset and instructional practice to promote the growth of every individual in their classroom.
    • summarize effective differentiated instructional practices including:
      • Creating an environment that promotes differentiated instruction while promoting effective classroom management.
      • Developing appropriate KUDs for a unit of study targeted to a particular grade level and/or subject.
      • Addressing the readiness, interests and learning profiles of each student.
      • Adapting resources, activities, assessments so that every student meets learning objectives.

    EDU 502  Differentiated Instruction Toolkit (4 credits)  [Web-enhanced course]
    Teachers will:

    • explain and implement a variety of strategies for differentiating instruction according to the readiness level, interests, and learning profiles of their students that align with specific learning goals (KUDs).
    • discuss the roles of the teacher and students within the DI-centered classroom, and describe how a DI-centered classroom should look and sound.
    • describe and utilize effective techniques for managing a DI-centered classroom.
    • create and use pre-assessments in order to collect data on the readiness levels, interests, and learning profiles of their students.
    • adopt a cyclical model of instructional analysis wherein data is gathered and analyzed on a continuous basis to improve instruction and advance student learning of targeted learning goals.
    • design an effective learning environment according to the principles of DI and UdL.

    EDU 503 Effective assessment and teaching for mastery (3 credits) [Hybrid course]
    Teachers will:

    • explore the range of assessment techniques and appropriate use of each for measuring and understanding student growth and progress.
    • understand when and how to use assessments throughout the instructional process (pre-, formative and post-assessment) to derive the best information about student performance and how to use that information to drive future instruction.
    • demonstrate the ability to adapt assessment instruments to track student growth and development accurately.
    • use data to make differentiated instruction decisions.
    • explain standards-based grading and develop strategies for:
      • helping students to self-assess their progress toward objectives, and
      • standards based grading that accurately represent what a student knows and is able to do.
    • explore ways to promote mastery learning in a standardized curriculum.

    EDU 504 Meeting the Needs of Every Student (3 credits) [Hybrid course]
    Teachers will:

    • explore the varying needs of a variety of classroom populations (including but not excluded to English language learners, learners living in poverty, undiagnosed struggling learners, homeless learners, the variety of diagnosed special education learners, gifted learners).
    • modify existing instructional plans and prepare new plans that address the needs of every student in a given student population.
    • implement instruction to meet the needs of every student in a given student population and gather data to analyze the effectiveness of specific instructional strategies.
    • develop a system for continuous examination of student performance and needs which informs instructional design and decision-making.

    EDU 505  Differentiating the Curriculum (3 credits)
    Teachers will:

    • unwrap standards to identify the big ideas that students must acquire and use that information to plan instructional activities and assessments.
    • map a standardized curriculum considering pacing and adjusting for the readiness, interests and learning profiles of a classroom population aligned to specific KUDs.
    • write multiple units that complement the curriculum map and incorporate differentiated activities, assignments, and assessments given the attributes of the classroom population and the unit goals and lesson objectives.
    • implement instruction that addresses the readiness needs, learning preferences, and interests of each student in a classroom to advance each individual’s learning of important learning goals.
    • utilize curriculum maps to modify instruction and inform future instructional planning.

    EDU 506 Using Student Data to Inform Instructional Practice (3 credits) [Web-enhanced course]
    Teachers will:

    • interpret student growth percentile data and define individual student growth given a data set.
    • utilize the value-added statistical technique to measure and analyze student achievement over time.
    • use data to drive instructional decision-making for whole class, small group, individuals, and flexible groupings.
    • practice professional learning community examination of class and grade level data to inform grade-level, class-level or school-wide instructional decision making.
    • differentiate between status and growth data and understand how to appropriately use both.

    EDU 601 Defining Research in Education (4 credits) [Hybrid course]
    Teachers will:

    • describe a problem in their own teaching practice and discuss its implications within a DI framework.
    • connect recent educational research and theory on DI to a practice-based education problem they experience in their own teaching.
    • articulate a practice-based, researchable, and important action research question they are able to pursue in their classroom.
    • provide a rationale for and explain the components of teacher action research as a strategy for solving problems in the K-12 classroom.

    EDU 602 Teacher Action Research (3 credits) [Hybrid course]
    Teachers will:

    • propose, design, and implement an original action research study using their own teaching, students, and/or classroom.
    • collect data on their instructional practices, the performance of their students, and their classroom environment while teaching.
    • analyze data on their instructional practices, students, or classroom in order to implement effective, on-going DI interventions.
    • explain to students, parents, colleagues, and administrators the rationale for and benefits of action research in their classrooms.

    EDU 603 Research Analysis, Synthesis and Presentation (3 credits)
    Teachers will:

    • collect data on their instructional practices, the performance of their students, and their classroom environment while teaching.
    • analyze data on their instructional practices, students, or classroom in order to implement effective, on-going DI interventions.
    • reflect on the effectiveness of DI interventions on their instruction, classroom design, and/or relationships with students using the results of an action research project.
    • propose future DI interventions or practices for their instruction, classroom design, and/or relationships with students.
    • present the results, implications, and key understandings of their action research projects to colleagues and other education professionals.

    EDU 610 Special Topics in Education (3 credits) [Hybrid Course]
    Teachers will:

    • study an educational topic of interest or related to the teaching profession. Study and analysis is broadly construed in order to facilitate a variety of student projects (i.e., documentary research and historical analysis; applying psychological theories to educational practice; analysis of public policy; comparative educational practices, etc.). Topics will vary and the course may be taken more than once under a different topic.

    View the course catalog.

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