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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.

Program Admissions 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 3.0 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.

Professional Development and Catalog Courses

Certified educators can enroll in professional development courses through the School of Education, Health and Human Performance Office of Professional Development in Education (OPDE). These courses, known as Professional Development Courses (EDPD) are used to modernize instructional strategies and offer content enrichment opportunities while leading to recertification points and pay scale advancements. These professional development credits although offered through the College of Charleston and OPDE do not count toward the completion of an advanced degree such as the Master of Education or Master of Arts in Teaching. For more information regarding professional development courses, contact the OPDE Office at 843.953.7651.

Please note that EDPD courses differ from catalog courses. Courses that appear in the College of Charleston graduate catalog are considered catalog courses and have been approved as part of a course of study in a graduate-level program. These courses are typically offered at the downtown or north campuses. In some cases, schools or districts contract with the College of Charleston to offer catalog courses that can lead to M.A.T. or M.Ed. degrees or to certificates (i.e., English for Speakers of Other Languages, Special Education, Gifted and Talented Education).


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.

Master of Education in Teaching Learning and Advocacy Degree Requirements

The M.Ed. in Teaching, Learning, and Advocacy is awarded to candidates who successfully complete an approved program of study consisting of 36 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 including an approved 3 credit hour capstone project. At least 30 of the 36 hours must be taken at the College of Charleston.

Core Courses (18 Credit Hours):

All candidates will complete 18 hours of core courses

MTLA 601

Class Race and Gender

MTLA 602

Policies and Issues in Contemporary Education

MTLA 607

Teachers as Advocates for Children and Youth

EDFS 632

Learning, Cognition and Motivation

EDFS 635

Educational Research

MTLA 702

Research and Developmental Project (Capstone)

Diverse Learners Concentration (18 Credit Hours):

Required Courses:

MTLA 711

Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners in P-12 Schools and Classrooms

Required for English for Speakers of Other Languages Certificate

EDFS 670

Principles and Strategies of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

EDFS 671

Teaching Reading and Writing to Speakers of Other Languages

EDFS 672

Linguistic/Cultural Diversity in Education

EDFS 673

Assessing Student Performance

Required for Special Education Certificate

EDFS 710

Introduction to Exceptional Children and Youth

EDFS 720

Educational Assessment of Students with Disabilities

EDFS 724

Reading and Language Arts Instruction for Students with Disabilities

EDFS 725

Classroom and Behavior Management

EDFS 730, 740, 750

Characteristics of Individuals with Emotional Disabilities (730), Learning Disabilities (740), Mental Disabilities (750)

EDFS 731, 741, 751

Educational Procedures for Individuals with Emotional Disabilities (731), Learning Disabilities (741), Mental Disabilities (751)

Optional Courses

MTLA 603

Family and Community Involvement

MTLA 706

Special Topics in Education

New Literacies Concentration (18 Credit Hours):

Required Courses:

MTLA 605

Instructional Foundations & Assessments of Early Literacies

MTLA 678

Instruction & Assessment of Older Literacies Learners

Optional Courses:

MTLA 648

Teaching Content Area and Disciplinary Literacies

MTLA 663

Texts and Tools for Consuming and Producing Literacies

MTLA 665

Literacies, Identities, and Pop Culture

MTLA 667

Issues & Trends in Literacies Education & Advocacy

EDFS 671

Teaching Reading and Writing to Speakers of Other Languages

EDFS 724

Reading and Language Arts Instruction for Students with Disabilities

MTLA 706

Special Topics in Education

Science and Mathematics Concentration (18 Credit Hours):

Required Courses:

EDFS 660

Nature of Science, Mathematics and Science/Mathematics Education

SMFT 670

Advanced Methods in Science and Mathematics

Optional Courses

SMFT 510

Problem Solving

SMFT 511

Introduction to Probability and Statistics

SMFT 514

Geometry for Elementary and Middle School Teachers

SMFT 516

Applications Across the Mathematics Curriculum with Technology

SMFT 523

Earth Science for Teachers

SMFT 548

Atomic Theory of Matter from Lucretius to Quarks

SMFT 555

Applications of Physics for Teachers: How Things Work

SMFT 639

Genetics and Molecular Biology for Teachers

SMFT 647

Determination of the Structure of Matter

SMFT 697

Special Topics in Science or Mathematics for Teachers

EDFS 703

Curriculum, Policy and Systems in Science and Math