MASTER'S DEGREE, M.ED.

Experience, Exploration, Implementation & Inquiry

Beginning from and building upon the ongoing legacy of the IMPACT intern teacher program, the Teachers College of San Joaquin was founded. Teachers College of San Joaquin is the first WSCUC accredited college housed within a California county office of education and, since its inception in 2009, has graduated more than 400 masters candidates. With a vision to develop a workforce of innovative and reform-minded educators, the college includes opportunities for veteran educators to advance their understanding of the needs of 21st century learners and refine their practice as they earn a masters degree in education. Graduate candidates are challenged to consider and design new models of schools, carry out action research, develop curriculum, hone leadership skills, and reflect on the outcomes of their practice.

The master’s degree program at Teachers College of San Joaquin includes a set of core courses that are required within all M.Ed. concentrations. These courses are designed to prepare students to explore innovative teaching and leadership practices; engage with reform models of schools; use Design Thinking to create curriculum; and, gain knowledge in research methods in order to design and implement individualized teacher action research. Students become masters in their research area and are informed agents to lead change within their school communities.

CURR321 Research Methods and Application (3) The purpose of the Research Methods and Application course is to expose candidates to the role of various types of research literature and learn to be informed consumers of research. Topics in this course that help candidates deepen understanding of techniques of research design include, but are not limited to, empirical research constructs, review of evaluation research and policy analysis, how to read quantitative and qualitative research reports, descriptive and inferential statistics, and basic understandings of the scientific method (problem, hypothesis, data collection, and data analysis). Candidates develop a research proposal in this course with essential elements of effective research methodologies.

CURR341 Preparing Students for the 21st Century (3) Exploration of the context of 21st century learning environments are researched, observed, and discussed. The recent reforms and innovations in P-12 education, especially focusing on college and career readiness initiatives and implications to schools, are examined. Design Thinking is used to challenge candidates to reimagine solutions to complex educational issues and invent innovative models of schools and classrooms. What would a truly innovative, reform oriented, 21st century classroom look like? What are the implications to teachers who need to prepare students to be engaged in civics and global awareness? These issues are among the topics and questions considered in this course.

CURR343 Curriculum for the 21st Century (3) Candidates extend their understanding of how to transition from conventional teaching practices to identifying and practicing strategies necessary to design 21st century learning environments. Application of Design Thinking for the development of integrated, real-life, inquiry based Project Based Learning units provide the major focus of the course. Candidates consider topics such as authentic assessment and how to embed rigor, relevance, reflection and relationships to enhance P – 12 students’ learning. Candidates are challenged to reflect on the critical need to reinvent how TK-12 students are prepared for their futures.

CURR345 Teacher Action Research (3) The purpose of the Teacher Action Research course is to help candidates understand a research that is defined to be any effort towards reflective and disciplined inquiry. Course content includes learning the processes of action research, how to conduct action research, and that research can involve a wide array of methods derived from both the quantitative and qualitative domains. The focus of the action research project will be defined by the candidate and will follow guidelines related to the teaching and learning process, be within an appropriate scope of influence, and with a purpose of initiating action to understand or solve a problem.

CURR384 Writing the Literature Review (2) Candidates will participate in conversations with faculty, experts, and colleagues on a variety of topics related to the development of a literature review. Specific attention will be paid to topic development, keyword searches, adequate sources, writing style, development of an outline, and correct citing of research in accordance to the American Psychological Association (APA).

Program Highlights

  1. Rolling admissions; begin the program when the time is right for you
  2. Learn from experienced teachers and administrators in the field
  3. Develop an individualized academic plan with an advisor to meet your needs
  4. Understand and have the ability to work collaboratively with others
  5. Apply theory and knowledge
  6. May be eligible to transfer 8-12 units of equivalencies

TCSJ offers 6 M.Ed. Program concentrations that range from 32-38 units. Learn more about the individual concentrations below.

Masters Project

M.Ed. Candidates: Candidates pursuing their M.Ed. in Early Education, Educational Inquiry, Educational Leadership and School Development without an Administrative Services Credential, Special Education, or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM); are required to complete a Masters Project as their capstone assignment for the masters program. Each candidate will work with an advisor to determine an appropriate culminating project. The project will culminate in a written document suitable for an educational audience. This project will be presented to his/her masters committee for evaluation prior to graduation. The masters committee will include the candidate’s advisor, two faculty members, a member of the greater educational community, and at least one fellow student.

Candidates in the Educational Leadership and School Development with an Administrative Services Credential M.Ed. are required to complete a Literature Review (CURR384) on a related topic appropriate for administrators, as well as an Administrative Portfolio, as their culminating project.

Continuous Enrollment for the Masters Project: It is expected that most students will complete the Masters Project in 1-2 semesters. Enrollment in CURR385, EADM385, ECED385, SPED385, or STEM385 (4 units) is for those semesters. Students who require more time must pay for and enroll in CURR385a, EADM385a, ECED385a, SPED385a, or STEM385a (1 unit) for each additional semester needed to complete the Masters Project. Enrollment must be continuous. This option is not available for students who received a failing score on a completed project. In the event of a failure, students may re-enroll in CURR385, EADM385, ECED385, SPED385, or STEM385 and complete a new project.

Candidates in the Educational Leadership and School Development with an Administrative Services Credential M.Ed. are required to complete a Literature Review (CURR384) on a related topic appropriate for administrators, as well as an Administrative Portfolio, as their culminating project.

Joel Blomenkamp, Ed.D.

Joel has a BA in Social Science, M.A. in Educational Leadership and an Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership. He holds a single subject credential and an administrative credential. Joel has professional expertise in establishing and implementing CTE academies and all the implications to designing and implementing integrated curriculum (CTE and core academic content). His research interests include career academies, curriculum design and teacher effects on student engagement and achievement. Joel helped design the masters core courses at TCSJ and has taught at the college from it’s inception.Joel helped design the masters core courses at TCSJ and has taught at the college from it’s inception.


Katherine Burns, M.Ed.

Katie has a BA in Sociology, M.Ed. in Educational Inquiry and STEM, and is currently pursuing her Ed.D. at UOP. She holds multiple subject and science credentials, as well the MIAA. Her professional interests and expertise include STEM, PBL, middle school students, charter and rural school settings, and PLCs. Katie has a wide research background that includes under-served student populations, equity, goal-setting, inquiry learning, impacts of poverty on learning, and the effects of professional learning on teacher performance.


Shane Conklin, Ed.D.

Shane has a BS in Cultural Anthropology, M.Ed. in Educational Leadership, and studied Autism in Early Education for his Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. He holds a single subject credential in social science. His professional interests and expertise include K-12 principal positions, Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS), and Autism in elementary education. Shane’s research interests also include action research, autism, and the effects of teachers’ professional learning.


Natalie Dragoo, M.Ed.

Natalie has a BA in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Special Education, and a M.Ed. in Educational Inquiry. She holds Educational Specialist credentials in Early Childhood as well as in mild/moderate and moderate/severe. Her expertise and professional interests are focused on early childhood autism and the current evidence based practices. She avidly follows current research regarding blending structured and naturalistic evidence based interventions with young children with autism.


Amanda Gomez, M.Ed.

Amanda has a BA in History from UC Davis, and M.Ed in Educational Leadership. She holds Education Specialist credentials for both Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe. Her professional interests and expertise consist of working with students with Emotional Disturbance, curriculum development, PBLs, technology, and professional development/learning. She has experience researching administrative strategies and helping TCSJ students hone their research and writing skills.


Andrew Griggs, M.Ed.

Andrew has a BS in Food Management and a M.Ed. in Educational Inquiry. He holds a CTE credential and is keenly interested in research focused on school reform, CTE, personalized learning, and authentic assessment. Andrew has expertise in designing curriculum that integrates CTE and core academic content, and long term success with increasing students’ reading comprehension using expository text.


Sheila Harrison, Ed.D.

Sheila has a BS in physical education and biology, M.S. in Educational Administration, and Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership. She has taught science, P.E., and dance, served as a high school principal, and held several high level positions at the district level (Personnel, Instruction, and Educational Services). Sheila enjoys teaching our literature review and personnel courses. Her research interests include pedagogy for teaching science and effective leadership in education.


Elizabeth Jara, M.A.

Elizabeth has a BA in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Special Education, a MA in Special Education, and is currently working on her doctorate in Specialized Educational Leadership with a cognate in Curriculum and Instruction. She has multiple subject and education specialist credentials and is currently in her 20th year of teaching in a special education setting. Her professional expertise includes working with emotional disturbance and mental health diagnoses for grades 7 – 12 students. She has can support and advise candidates who are studying all implications and considerations of an education specialist. Beth’s research interests include reflexivity, analysis and change of philosophical and theoretical programming practices for students with emotional disturbance, resilience building, academic and social-emotional outcomes for ED students, effects of education specialist teacher training and preparation, systems theories for student outcomes and retention of quality teachers, SWPBIS, and MTSS.


Crescentia Thomas, Ed.D.

Crescentia has a BA in Psychology, M.A. in Education, with an emphasis on Special Education, and Ed.D. in Educational Administration. She holds an education specialist credential. Her professional interests and expertise include special education design and curriculum interventions, teacher efficacy, cultural proficiency, group processes/ collaboration, special education law, and teacher leadership. Crescentia’s research interests include peer mentoring, curriculum interventions, social capital, cultural capital, teaching minority and disadvantaged youth, and addressing equity and access for all students.


Yvonne Thornton, M.Ed.

Yvonne has a BA in Mathematics and M.Ed. in Educational Leadership. She holds Education Specialist credentials for both Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe. Her professional interests and expertise include working with the ED student population, instructional technology. Yvonne has research background in social-emotional learning and developing mathematical mindsets in students.


Sylvia Turner, Ed.D.

Sylvia has a BA in mathematics, M.Ed. in Educational Leadership, and Ed.D. in Mathematics Education. She holds single subject credentials in mathematics and music, as well as a multiple subject credential. Her professional interests and expertise include curriculum design, PBL, action research, program evaluation, STEM, and professional learning. Sylvia’s research interests include effects of interventions, effects of poverty on learning, professional learning impacts, impacts from teacher action research, and discourse.

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