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M.A. in Education, Educator Effectiveness

M.A. in Education, Educator Effectiveness

Master of Arts in Education

Degree Type

Emphasis, Added Endorsements

Department

M.A. in Education

Over the course of your career as a teacher, you deserve the opportunity to focus on your personal and professional development goals in a supportive, flexible and personalized setting.

Program Overview

education program teacher

Take the time to focus on your goals.

Western’s Educator Effectiveness Program is a personalized, online master’s degree program designed to help currently-licensed teachers meet their professional development goals. This program is the first of its kind in Colorado and has been praised by the State Department of Education. In the program, you’ll have the opportunity to take courses directly related to your professional development goals rather than a predetermined course list. You’ll gain knowledge and skills through online coursework that you can implement in your classrooms to promote more effective learning. Additionally, the Educator Effectiveness program is where you can prepare for several CDE approved added endorsements.

Effective educators

Educator Effectiveness at Western is a personalized, online master’s degree program designed to help licensed teachers meet their professional development goals.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Western’s Education Department's mission is to prepare knowledgeable, effective, and inclusive practitioners committed to providing equitable learning opportunities for all students. We are committed to supporting students' understanding of schools' cultural, social, and economic realities and guiding all students to be engaged citizens in an increasingly diverse and globalized world.

The Master of Arts in Education degree program combines online learning with practical and applied learning in the K-12 classroom. The master’s candidate must earn and successfully complete 30-45 semester credits of graduate coursework specific to the emphasis or endorsement chosen. A summer on-campus or online program orientation must be completed before coursework is begun.

Upon acceptance to the program, an advisor will be assigned to assist the applicant in developing a degree plan, which includes a graduate capstone or final comprehensive examinations in the form of professional portfolios that are required for graduation.

Western’s Education Department provides graduate pathways for an initial teaching license in the following endorsement areas:

  • Elementary Education (K-6)
  • Secondary (7-12) Endorsements: Agriculture and Natural Resources; Business and Marketing Education; English Language Arts; Family and Consumer Science; Mathematics; Science; Social Studies; Technology Education
  • K-12 Endorsements: Drama and Theatre Arts; Health; Instructional Technology; Music; Physical Education; Visual Arts; World Languages
  • Special Education Generalist (K-12)

Program Information

Western’s Education Department offers several Masters pathways for initial licensure, as well as opportunities to add endorsements onto existing teaching licenses:

  • Candidates seeking an initial teaching or principal license will be eligible to apply for an initial license after the first year and can then pursue the additional 16-19 graduate credits to earn a Master of Arts in Education with emphasis in: K-12 Online Teacher Leadership, Reading Leadership, Teacher Leadership, Culturally Linguistically Diverse Education or Educational Administration.
    • A candidate intending to pursue the Master of Arts in Education with endorsement in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education will complete the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse added endorsement program as part of the MA degree.
    • A candidate intending to pursue the Master of Arts in Education with emphasis in Educational Administration will complete the Principal Licensure program as part of the MA degree.
  • Candidates who already hold a teaching license who are intending to pursue an added endorsement and/or the Master of Arts in Education with emphasis in Educator Effectiveness are required to hold an initial or professional teacher license as a prerequisite for admission. Colorado Department of Education endorsements available for currently licensed teachers are: Reading Specialist, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education, Special Education, and Mentor Teacher.
  • A candidate intending to pursue the Master of Arts in Special Education will be eligible to apply for a Special Education Generalist license after the first year and can then pursue the additional 10-13 graduate credits towards the MA in Special Education. For more information, please see Special Education, Master of Arts.

Completion of Western’s licensure program makes a person eligible for an initial Colorado teaching license or added endorsement. The Colorado Department of Education is solely responsible for the processing and final approval of all Colorado teaching and administrative licenses and endorsements.

Western Colorado University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Western’s education program is regionally accredited and Colorado participates in licensing reciprocity agreements across the country; however, specific licensing requirements vary by state. If you are seeking a teaching license outside of Colorado, contact Western’s education department for assistance with each individual state education department’s requirements.

Requirements for Full Admission to the MA in Education with Teacher Licensure

  1. Candidate must submit:
    • Proof of fingerprint clearance and background check by state agency
    • Two professional recommendation forms
    • Resume
    • Payment of university application fee
    • Official transcript of conferred bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university showing recommended 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher
    • Personal statement
  2. Candidate must demonstrate knowledge of the content area by:
    • passing a Praxis Subject Assessment (Special Ed. and Elementary Ed. must pass the Praxis Subject Assessment for Elementary Education Content Knowledge #5001); OR
    • a conferred degree in the content area; OR
    • a content evaluation of 24 semester hours of transcripted college coursework.

Additional Requirements for Alternative Teacher Licensure Candidates

  1. Secure a full-time teaching position in your endorsement area and submit your employment contract with your application.
  2. Submit Statement of Assurance to CDE after being admitted

For more information on the requirements of the Alternative Licensure program, see the  Colorado Department of Education Alternative Teacher Program webpage.

Requirements for Full Admission to the MA in Education Program with Principal Licensure

  1. Candidate must submit:
    • Proof of fingerprint clearance and background check by state agency
    • Two professional recommendation forms
    • Letter from principal or HR office confirming employment as licensed teacher or counselor for two years upon starting the program (Note: This requirement does not apply to Alternative Principal Licensure Candidates.)
    • Payment of university application fee
    • Official transcript of conferred bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university showing recommended 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher
    • Personal statement
    • Statement of mentor principal support 

Additional Requirements for Alternative Principal Authorization Candidates

  1. Obtain a Statement of Eligibility from CDE.
  2. Secure a full-time principal or assistant principal position.
  3. Submit a letter from a mentor principal agreeing to act as your mentor for 1-2 hours/week for school year.

For more information on Alternative Authorization, see the Colorado Department of Education Alternative Principal Authorization webpage.

Requirements for Full Admission to the MA in Education, Educator Effectiveness Emphasis

To be successful in coursework in this emphasis, the candidate is a practicing teacher working in his or her own classroom while pursuing the program.

  1. Candidate must submit:
    • Copy of current teaching license
    • Two professional recommendation forms
    • Professional Resume
    • Personal statement
    • Official transcript of conferred bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university showing 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher

Provisional Admission to the MA in Education program

An applicant who does not meet the requirements for full admission to the Master of Arts in Education program may be required to submit additional materials in order to be considered for provisional admission upon the recommendation of the program director and approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies. These may include evidence of relevant professional experience, post-BA coursework, professional development, recommendations, and any other experience that demonstrates history of work, study, volunteering or other professional activity demonstrating potential to be a quality educator and successful graduate student.  The program director may request a phone interview with the applicant. A provisionally admitted student will have a maximum of one calendar year to complete any pre-requisite academic coursework. The program director or Dean of Graduate Studies may set additional timeline requirements.

International Students: see Graduate Academic Catalog section, Criteria for International Admission.

Program Requirements

Teacher Licensure Areas

Students seeking the MA in Education with emphasis in Teacher Leadership, Reading Leadership, or K-12 Online Teacher Leadership must complete 27 credits of coursework in their first year of the MA Program. Students may choose to seek a Colorado Initial License or an added Colorado Endorsement, or to pursue further investigations in their current licensure area. Licensure areas include Elementary, K-12 (Art, Foreign Language, Music, and Physical Education), and Secondary (Business, English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies). 

Elementary Education Licensure

Course List
Code Title Credits
EDUC 600Foundations of Literacy Development3
EDUC 601Methods and Strategies of Effective Reading Instruction3
EDUC 604Learning Environments3
EDUC 605Curriculum Development and Assessment3
EDUC 608Methods and Strategies of Effective Writing Instruction3
EDUC 613Methods and Strategies of Effective Mathematics Instruction3
EDUC 619Elementary Student Teaching (taken twice)6
EDUC 628Pedagogies for English Learners3
Total Credits27

Secondary or K-12 Licensure

Course List
Code Title Credits
EDUC 603Content Area Learning3
EDUC 604Learning Environments3
EDUC 605Curriculum Development and Assessment3
EDUC 606Reading and Writing Across the Content Areas3
EDUC 607Rethinking Learning in the 21st Century3
EDUC 624Managing to Differentiate3
EDUC 629Inclusion and English Learners3
Appropriate Student Teaching Course:6
EDUC 609
Secondary Student Teaching (must be taken twice)
EDUC 610
K-12 Student Teaching (must be taken twice)
Total Credits27

Education with emphasis in K-12 Online Teacher Leadership, Master of Arts

K-12 Online Teacher Leadership is defined as the work of an individual (an online-teacher leader) teaching online in a virtual school and/or in a blended K-12 learning environment who knows federal and state policies related to online and blended teaching and learning; has advanced knowledge of the development, implementation, and evaluation of quality online teaching and instructional design; and can work effectively with other online or blended instructional staff to meet the targeted learning needs of all students. The K-12 online teacher leader provides professional guidance and expertise to virtual or brick and mortar schools on effective curriculum, instruction, and assessment programs in relation to online and blended learning.

To earn the MA in Education with emphasis in K-12 Online Teacher Leadership, the candidate must successfully complete 43 graduate credits of education course work in conjunction with in-classroom/school practical experience. Already licensed teachers have the option of adding an endorsement in one of the licensure areas above during their first year of study. Successful completion of the K-12 Online Teacher Leadership emphasis will result in earning the MA degree. 

Completion of the Emphasis in K-12 Online Teacher Leadership

Course List
Code Title Credits
27 credits of Teacher Licensure course work is required in addition to the following: 27
EDUC 621Creating Effective Online & Blended Learning Environments3
EDUC 622Using Data to Plan for Online & Blended Learning and Targeted Interventions3
EDUC 623Designing and Delivering Effective Online & Blended Instruction3
EDUC 680Action Research for Educational Leaders4
EDUC 693Conduct, Reflect, and Present Action Research3
Total Credits43

Education with emphasis in Reading Leadership, Master of Arts

Reading Leadership is defined as the work of an individual (a reading-leader) situated in the classroom or in a school or district-level position who has advanced knowledge of federal and state policies related to literacy; has deep understanding of the development, implementation, and evaluation of scientifically-based reading programs; and can work effectively with other instructional staff to meet the literacy needs of all students. The reading leader provides professional guidance and expertise to classroom teachers, school and/or district literacy curriculum, instruction, and assessment programs; and develops and conducts in-service programs related to literacy.

To earn the MA in Education with an emphasis in Reading Leadership, the candidate must successfully complete 43 graduate credits of education coursework in conjunction with in-classroom/school practical experience. Successful completion of the Reading Leadership emphasis will result in earning the MA degree. To be recommended for a Colorado Department of Education Reading Specialist endorsement, the candidate must also take EDUC 689 Reading Specialist Internship. Additional requirements to be endorsed as a Colorado Department of Education Reading Specialist are to hold a Colorado initial or professional teacher license and have three or more years of full-time, demonstrated classroom teaching experience. Applicants can wait to apply to the Colorado Department of Education for the endorsement until they have met these additional requirements. 

Completion of the emphasis in Reading Leadership

Course List
Code Title Credits
27 credits of Teacher Licensure course work is required in addition to the following: 27
EDUC 602Literacy Assessment Informed Instruction3
EDUC 680Action Research for Educational Leaders4
EDUC 685Assessing, Evaluating, and Instructing At-risk and Struggling Readers3
EDUC 687School-Wide Comprehensive Literacy Program Development3
EDUC 693Conduct, Reflect, and Present Action Research3
Optional coursework for Reading Specialist endorsement:
EDUC 689Reading Specialist Internship3
Total Credits46

Education with emphasis in Teacher Leadership, Master of Arts

Teacher Leadership is defined as the work of an individual (a teacher-leader) within a school who is regarded as an excellent educator; is well respected by peers; is recognized for his or her leadership capacity; holds a lifelong learning orientation; and has been identified to facilitate, advocate, and advance school reform and improvement of student learning. The work of a Teacher Leader is typically carried out through informal and formal venues and processes; for example, with teachers in their classrooms, and district level task forces, committee, and/or membership in district level professional development projects. In order to earn the MA in Education with emphasis in Teacher Leadership, the candidate must successfully complete 43 graduate credits of education course work in conjunction with in-classroom/school practical experience. Already licensed teachers have the option of adding an endorsement in the licensure areas listed above during their first year of study. Successful completion of the Teacher Leadership emphasis will result in earning the MA degree.

Completion of the emphasis in Teacher Leadership

Course List
Code Title Credits
27 credits of Teacher Licensure course work is required in addition to the following: 27
EDUC 680Action Research for Educational Leaders4
EDUC 693Conduct, Reflect, and Present Action Research3
Additionally, completion of the Teacher Leadership emphasis requires nine 600 level education elective credits. Students may select 3 courses from the following:9
EDUC 632
Overview of Special Services
EDUC 669
Formal and Informal Methods of Assessment
EDUC 681
Instructional Program Evaluation
EDUC 682
Shaping School Culture
EDUC 697
Special Topics
EDUC 697 may only be taken upon instructor approval. Students interested in EDUC 697 must consult with the graduate advisor prior to enrolling in this course.
Total Credits43

Education with Endorsement in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education, Master of Arts

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) teaching is defined as the work of an individual (a CLD Interventionist or CLD Teacher Leader) who serves as a liaison between various constituents accountable for meeting the needs of CLD learners in the school and community settings. This individual is aware of state, national, and local cultural norms, legalities, and policies that impact student learning and the acquisition of English language proficiency. The CLD teacher has the ability to guide and support stakeholders associated with serving CLD learners to sustain high levels of productivity, collaboration, and achievement.

To earn the MA in Education with an endorsement in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education, the candidate must successfully complete 46 credits of education coursework in conjunction with in-classroom/school practical experience. The candidate must be a licensed teacher and will be eligible to add a CLD endorsement at the conclusion of the following sequence of MA coursework.  

Course List
Code Title Credits
27 credits of Teacher Licensure course work is required in addition to the following: 27
EDUC 616Language Acquisition for Linguistically Diverse Students3
EDUC 617Linguistically Diverse Student Literacies3
EDUC 618Linguistically Diverse Student Teaching3
EDUC 680Action Research for Educational Leaders4
EDUC 693Conduct, Reflect, and Present Action Research3
In addition to the courses listed above, candidates must take 3 credits of 600-level education electives.3
Total Credits46

Education with emphasis in Educational Administration, Master of Arts

Educational administration is defined as the work of an individual serving in an administrative capacity at the school/district level. This individual is aware of local, state, and federal laws and policies that affect student learning and school/district management, understands the needs of students and staff, and has the ability to lead a school/district to sustain high levels of productivity, collaboration, and achievement.

To earn the MA degree, the candidate must successfully complete one year of principal licensure coursework and at least one concurrent year-long contractual or internship experience in school administration. First-year coursework requires 25 credits. The candidate must also successfully complete 12 credits of administrator licensure coursework during the second year. The Master of Arts in Education with emphasis in Educational Administration requires 44 credits. At the conclusion of the first year, the candidate is eligible to become licensed as a principal. Successful completion of the second-year results in earning the MA degree, as well as eligibility to become licensed as a district administrator.

Course List
Code Title Credits
First year Principal Licensure course work requires 25 credits
EDUC 670Introduction to School Leadership4
EDUC 672Personnel Selection and Development3
EDUC 673School Safety and Management3
EDUC 674Family and Community Involvement3
EDUC 675Student Learning and Accountability3
EDUC 678Principal Internship I3
EDUC 679Principal Internship II3
EDUC 683Legal and Ethical Issues in Education3
Second Year Administrator Licensure course work requires 12 credits
EDUC 681Instructional Program Evaluation3
EDUC 682Shaping School Culture3
EDUC 695RESOURCE MGMT IN EDUCATION3
EDUC 696Engaging External Stakeholders3
Completion of emphasis in Educational Administration requires 7 credits
EDUC 680Action Research for Educational Leaders4
EDUC 693Conduct, Reflect, and Present Action Research3
Total Credits44

Education with emphasis in Educator Effectiveness, Master of Arts

The MA in Education emphasis in Educator Effectiveness delivers a curriculum that provides a customized and relevant program of study based on the candidate's specific needs as measured by Colorado's Teacher Quality Standards and the individual’s professional growth goals. Courses are generally limited to the fall and spring semesters because coursework is designed to be completed and applied within a classroom setting for maximum internalization and improvement. Candidates may complete the program in either fall or spring semesters. Upon acceptance into the program, candidates will identify up to three professional growth goals and work with an academic advisor to register for the most applicable sequence of courses to meet those goals.

To earn the MA in Education with an emphasis in Educator Effectiveness, the candidate must successfully complete 31 graduate credits of 600-level education coursework. Degree completion also requires a capstone presentation of the candidate’s evidence of growth toward their professional growth goals. The capstone presentation will coincide with the end of the candidate's final semester. If additional time is required to complete the capstone, students are required to enroll in one credit hour of EDUC 699: Research Problems to ensure continual progress toward the required capstone presentation.

Candidate will complete 31 credits from the following.

Course List
Code Title Credits
The following two courses are required:
EDUC 680Action Research for Educational Leaders4
EDUC 693Conduct, Reflect, and Present Action Research3
Select 24 credits from the following:24
EDUC 600
Foundations of Literacy Development
EDUC 601
Methods and Strategies of Effective Reading Instruction
EDUC 602
Literacy Assessment Informed Instruction
EDUC 603
Content Area Learning
EDUC 606
Reading and Writing Across the Content Areas
EDUC 607
Rethinking Learning in the 21st Century
EDUC 608
Methods and Strategies of Effective Writing Instruction
EDUC 611
Strategies for Teaching Students with Exceptionalities
EDUC 612
Assessment and Programming
EDUC 613
Methods and Strategies of Effective Mathematics Instruction
EDUC 614
Inclusivity with Collaboration
EDUC 616
Language Acquisition for Linguistically Diverse Students
EDUC 617
Linguistically Diverse Student Literacies
EDUC 618
Linguistically Diverse Student Teaching
EDUC 621
Creating Effective Online & Blended Learning Environments
EDUC 622
Using Data to Plan for Online & Blended Learning and Targeted Interventions
EDUC 623
Designing and Delivering Effective Online & Blended Instruction
EDUC 624
Managing to Differentiate
EDUC 625
Relevant Data Analysis to Inform Instruction
EDUC 626
Defining and Defending Evidence of Professional Mastery
EDUC 627
Exploring Educational Technology
EDUC 628
Pedagogies for English Learners
EDUC 629
Inclusion and English Learners
EDUC 630
Inclusivity in the Content Areas
EDUC 631
Inclusive Methods and Strategies for Literacy
EDUC 632
Overview of Special Services
EDUC 633
Differential Literacy Assessment
EDUC 640
Acclimation of Beginning Teachers
EDUC 641
Professional Growth for the Beginning Teacher
EDUC 669
Formal and Informal Methods of Assessment
EDUC 681
Instructional Program Evaluation
EDUC 682
Shaping School Culture
EDUC 684
Materials and Motivation for Reading
EDUC 685
Assessing, Evaluating, and Instructing At-risk and Struggling Readers
EDUC 686
Student-Focused Coaching and Mentoring
EDUC 687
School-Wide Comprehensive Literacy Program Development
EDUC 689
Reading Specialist Internship
EDUC 694
School Law for Teachers
EDUC 695
RESOURCE MGMT IN EDUCATION
EDUC 696
Engaging External Stakeholders
EDUC 697
Special Topics
EDUC 699
Research Problems
Total Credits31

K-12 Online Teacher Series

The following three courses may be taken in series to provide the student with a sequential learning experience of nine credits, in which the student will become prepared to teach K-12 Online and Blended classes in the virtual classroom. These courses are offered as professional development only and may not be transferred into the MA in Education. Upon successful completion of the nine credit series, participants will earn a Certificate of Completion from the Office of Graduate Studies. 

Course List
Code Title Credits
EDUC 5353
EDUC 5363
EDUC 5373
Total Credits9

Careers


Top Skills

  • Classroom Management Skills
  • Curriculum Development
  • Instructional Design
  • Leadership and mentorship skills
  • Management Systems
  • Research and Evaluation Skills



Career Pathways

  • Adult Education Instructor
  • Education Policy Analyst
  • Educational Researcher
  • Elementary, Middle or High School Teacher
  • Online Course Developer
  • School Principal or Administrator

Take the first steps toward your academic and personal growth.

Fostering your intellectual development is the primary focus of every academic program at Western. Our professors and Office of Career Services will help you identify your strengths, hone your skills, define your goals, and prepare for a fulfilling and enriched life after graduation. Wondering how you can apply your program of choice to your intellectual and personal journey? Check out our “What Can I Do With This Major?” tool to explore the diverse opportunities and pathways within any degree program.

How It Works

Teacher Leadership Emphasis

Gain a thorough understanding of the program.

While completing this program, you will work closely with an experienced faculty advisor to build a degree plan based on your own interests and professional development goals. You will attend a multiday Summer Session to network with other Educators with similar goals and to learn about the research process and the benefits of utilizing action research within your classroom. To finish your degree, you will complete a final capstone project designed to assess the extent to which you achieved your professional development goals.

One-of-a-kind

Western’s M.A. in Education, Educator Effectiveness program is the first of its kind in Colorado and has been praised by the State Department of Education.

Education teacher

Optional Added Endorsements

Take advantage of these additional opportunities.

Reading Teacher

The Reading Teacher endorsement will prepare you to work more effectively with students who struggle to learn how to read. This endorsement is available to currently licensed teachers with two or more years of teaching experience. Additional requirements for the Reading Teacher endorsement are available on the Colorado Department of Education’s website.

Reading Specialist

The Reading Specialist endorsement will allow you to work as a literacy specialist and instructional coach in your school or district. This endorsement is offered to currently licensed teachers who have three or more years of full-time, demonstrated classroom teaching experience. Additional requirements for the Reading Specialist endorsement are available on the Colorado Department of Education’s website.

Special Education

The Special Education endorsement will help you to work more effectively with students who have Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs). This endorsement is available to currently licensed teachers who would like to teach special education students.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education (CLD)

A CLD Endorsement provides teachers with a solid background in the principles and practices of second language acquisition, culturally informed and responsive pedagogy, and acquire the necessary skills to differentiate instruction in the classroom to meet the needs of Colorado’s increasingly diverse student population. Grounded in the most current theory, research and practice, candidates leave this program with the skills they will need to be effective educators, as well as building leaders and advocates for their CLD students.

Administrator License

The Administrator License prepares you for a position as a district-level leader (superintendent, director of special education or director of gifted education). This license is only available to currently licensed principals.

Western is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. This regional accrediting agency is responsible for accrediting degree-granting post-secondary institutions in a 19-state region.

Apply to the M.A. in Education

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Additional Resources

Costs and Admissions

Learn more about admissions requirements and tuition costs for our affordable and effective M.A. in Education program.

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Frequently Asked Questions

View a list of frequently asked questions answered by our knowledgeable faculty to familiarize yourself with what you can expect as an M.A. in Education student.

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Summer Licensure Orientation

Summer Licensure Orientation For Summer 2020, we will be reimagining and recreating our typical face-to-face session into an engaging and exciting virtual experience. We can’t wait for you to join …

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Optional Added Endorsements

Supplement your master’s degree in education with additional endorsements to enhance your resume and your professional experience. Program Overview Bolster your credentials and gain a competitive …

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Residency Information

Know what to expect and how to prepare for your yearlong teaching residency experience.

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Initial Licensure Content Areas & Post-Licensure Added Endorsements

Western Colorado University is approved by the Colorado Department of Education to prepare students for licensure or added endorsement in the 24 content areas.

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Department Information

M.A. in Education

Department Chair

Brooke Hanks, M.A.

Senior Lecturer

Graduate Program Coordinator

Marilyn Krill

Department Support Coordinator

Contact Information

970.943.2030

khinze@western.edu

Campus Location

Crawford Hall 118
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81230

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