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Master of Education in Teaching Learning and Advocacy

mutindi ndunda, Program Director


Program Description

The M.Ed. in Teaching, Learning and Advocacy (MTLA) provides advanced study for certified teachers interested in becoming leaders in their schools, districts, and the profession. It prepares them to develop a deep understanding of issues and policies shaping teaching and learning and provides skills necessary to advocate for students, public schools, and the teaching profession. The program focuses primarily on improving educational practices, policies, and learning environments for students, especially those considered at-risk. The program provides a base for all students to better:

  • understand and apply advanced theories that inform their teaching and work in diverse communities
  • use and critique multiple forms of research and inquiry
  • think systematically about their own practice, provide support for other professionals and communicate clearly with their students, other educators, and parents
  • advocate for students and the profession
  • understand the relationships among educational policies and practices, local context, and learners

The Teaching, Learning, and Advocacy M.Ed. program develops the skills, pedagogy and understanding of educators who either want to improve their own practice or who seek positions as teacher coaches, curriculum specialists, or lead teachers. In these roles, teachers are able to mentor and support colleagues who struggle to work effectively with children who are under-performing.

A set of core courses (18 credit hours) provides students a common focus and support for a culminating research-based capstone. Students also choose an 18 credit hour concentration in one of three areas: Diverse Learners, New Literacies, and Science and Mathematics.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the degree program, an applicant is required to have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent with a GPA of 3.000 or higher in the education major or minor. The applicant must also hold, or have held, initial teacher certification. Additional requirements include a $50 nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework, a fully completed graduate school application (including three letters of recommendation which indicate evidence of potential for success in graduate work), and a 750-word applicant essay describing interest in the program, contributions to it, and anticipated outcomes. Applicants must submit official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores or passing scores on the Praxis II or an equivalent state licensure test approved by the South Carolina Department of Education.

Transfer Credit Policy

An applicant or student of the M.Ed. in Teaching, Learning and Advocacy (MTLA) program can seek approval from the Program Director to accept up to six transfer credit hours. These courses must have a grade of B or higher, and can count toward the M. Ed. in the MTLA degree requirements. Courses with a grade of “Pass” or “Satisfactory” will not be accepted. Also, note that the courses must be catalog courses and not professional development courses to count in a program. See description below for a description of the distinction between these courses.


A number of graduate assistantships are available for full-time students. The awards are normally made by April 15 for the following academic year. Applications are available through The Graduate School.