ASTL Graduate Degree Program

The Master’s Degree in Advanced Studies in Teacher Leadership (ASTL) is a 30-credit hour online degree program designed to enhance and expand your existing knowledge, skills, and dispositions while further developing the core competencies expected of advanced educators. The ASTL degree program prepares graduates with opportunities to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to and beneficial for:

  • Responding positively to classroom practices that enhance student learning.
  • Critically analyzing classroom practices and appropriately responding to the findings.
  • Articulating the rationale for decisions regarding professional practice, classroom instruction, and classroom/school policies and procedures.
  • Making informed decisions by reflecting on experiences both past and present to improve teaching practices that enhance student learning.
  • Becoming change leaders for the improvement of their schools.

Program Tracks

The ASTL program of study consists of five core courses (ASTL 6302 Models of Teaching, ASTL 6303 Teacher Leadership, ASTL 6305 Classroom Assessment, ASTL 6380 Research Methods, and ASTL 6315 Investigation of Learning and Development through Multiple Contexts) followed by five courses from one of eight tracks. The tracks are as follows:

  • Teacher Leadership Track (Fully Online) – This track is designed for all teachers wishing to become teacher leaders within their own schools and districts
  • Gifted and Talented Track (Fully Online) – This track is designed for classroom teachers wishing to add a gifted and talented endorsement to their licensure.
  • Content Area / Generalist Track - This track is designed for teachers who want to improve their classroom practice using the most current knowledge. Some teachers will want to increase content knowledge with pedagogy, add the English as a Second Language Endorsement, or gain more knowledge about the national board certification process so that they can become knowledgeable candidates as they apply to achieve national board certification.
  • English as a Second Language Track – This track is designed for teachers who want to add the English as a Second Language endorsement to their licensure.
  • Career Orientation Track – This track is designed for teachers who want to add the Career Orientation endorsement to their licensure.
  • Elementary Math Specialist Track - The Elementary Mathematics Specialist (EMS) Track is designed to prepare candidates to help elementary teachers, administrators and students by providing mathematics coaching, professional development, and other services. They will play an important role in mathematics education, especially with the transition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in mathematics. The EMS may be asked to provide remedial or enrichment support services at schools, strengthen teachers’ understanding of mathematics content, help in developing effective instruction and assessment practices, or develop curriculum and policy. With so many potential responsibilities, the EMS needs (1) deep and broad understanding of mathematical content, including the specialized knowledge needed for teaching, (2) solid knowledge of the elementary context, (3) knowledge of mathematical learning trajectories, (4) knowledge and skills for working with adult learners, and (5) leadership skills necessary to influence and support educational efforts to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics. The content includes domains of the Common Core Mathematics Standards involving number sense, algebraic thinking, geometry, measurement, and data modeling. The expectation is that prerequisite to this mathematics track, the candidate would have teaching certification in a grade band within K – 8.
  • Writing Track – This track is designed for teachers who want to enhance their knowledge of the current theory and practice of teaching writing through courses in linguistics.
  • Early Childhood Track – This track is designed for teachers interested in advancing their knowledge and practices in behavior guidance, action research, curriculum design, and educational programming to all children, including those with mild disabilities. The track builds upon teachers’ knowledge and practices to expand their leadership skills, knowledge and dispositions beyond the classroom and into the school to become agents of change for young learners. Teachers completing this track may also add the B-K endorsement to their teaching license.
  • Dyslexia Track - This track is designed for teachers interested in advancing their knowledge of Dyslexia and add the Dyslexia Therapists endorsement to their teaching license.

Portfolio Requirements

As a culminating experience in the graduate preparatory program, candidates must satisfactorily complete and exit a portfolio that includes an annotated video assignment, an electronic presentation describing the candidate’s growth throughout the program, and seven reflective essays aligned to each of the seven teacher leadership standards. The program portfolio will be completed during coursework and must be formally presented at least two weeks prior to graduation to the ASTL faculty for approval (those planning to graduate in the summer MUST COMPLETE THEIR ANNOTATED VIDEO DURING THE SPRING SEMESTER PRIOR TO SUMMER GRADUATION). The annotated video lesson, reflective essays, and electronic presentation will be scored as the final key assessment.

General Field Requirements

Two courses in the ASTL program contain a field assignment (ASTL 6302 Models of Teaching and ASTL 6303 Teacher Leadership). The field placement for these assignments will be the degree candidate’s own classroom. If the candidate is not currently teaching or if the candidate’s classroom may not be used for the field assignment, then the candidate must notify the instructor at the beginning of the semester. Candidates are NOT allowed to make field placement arrangements.

Key Assessments

As you complete your selected program of study you will compile evidence to demonstrate mastery of gained knowledge and skills through completing key assessments in some select courses. The key assessments must be loaded into your Chalk and Wire electronic portfolio. You may purchase a subscription of Chalk and Wire at the UCA bookstore. You must purchase a subscription when taking your first course containing a key assessment. Rubrics for all key assessments can be found at the end of this handbook.

Information Technology

Many of the courses in the ASTL program are offered in an online format. Although the instructors provide instruction and material through the online format, they are not technology experts. If you require technological help with the UCA Blackboard, please contact the Information Technology Help Desk. The Information Technology Help Desk exists to better respond to your requests and to schedule necessary service. If you are not able to find the answer to your problem or question(s) on the IT web page you can send an e-mail to them at or call them at 501-450-3107. The IT Help Desk is located in Burdick Hall room 106.

Courses Offered in the ASTL Tracks

ASTL 5311 Career Orientation ASTL 5312 Learning Experiences in Career Orientation ASTL 5325 Application of Computers in Education and Work ASTL 5340 Cultural Diversity: Applications for the Classroom and Workplace ASTL 6310 Integrating Media and Technology into Teaching and Learning ASTL 6325 National Board: Processes, Procedures, and Products ASTL 6330 Methods of Action Research and Collaboration ASTL 6385 Curriculum Development

ECSE 6328 Strategic Instructional Model/Content Enhancement Routines ECSE 6329 Instructional Facilitation /Teacher Leadership ESCE 6350 Collaborative Teaching, Inclusive Settings, and Intro. to Strategic Instruct. Model Learning Strategies ECSE 6366 Educational Programming for Mild Disabilities

GATE 6353 Introduction to Gifted and Talented GATE 6355 Curriculum for Gifted Programs GATE 6357 Creativity for the Gifted and Talented GATE 6358 Strategies for the Gifted and Talented GATE 6391 Advanced Practicum in Gifted Education

MATH 5308 Mathematical Thinking for K – 8 Teachers MATH 5309 Algebraic Thinking for K – 8 Teachers MATH 5335 Geometry and Measurement and their Applications MATH 6307 Advanced Topics for Mathematics Educators MATH 6312 Data Modeling for K – 8 Teachers

SMLA 6310 Foundations of School Leadership SMLA 6330 Curriculum and Program Planning

ITEC 6368 Technology Planning and Leadership

WRTG 5320 Teaching Creative Writing: History, Theory, and Practice WRTG 5325 The Teacher as Writer (Great Bear Writing Project) WRTG 5330 Contemporary Composition: Theory and Application WRTG 6310 Advanced Topics in Discourse Analysis

WLAN 5313 Methods of Teaching Second Languages WLAN 5325 Second Language Acquisition WLAN 5330 Second Language Assessment LING 5320 Grammatical Structures

Cost & Fees

Tuition Rates

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30 hours
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