Professional Development: Learning Community Emphasis - Master of Science in Education

The Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) Professional Development: Learning Community Emphasis Program is a 32-credit degree program offered in face-to-face, hybrid, and online delivery formats. The face-to-face program meets twenty weekends (15 hours/weekend) over two years. The hybrid program combines ten face-to-face meetings with online delivery over two years. The online program combines three semesters of online delivery with two summer institutes over eighteen months. Learners are expected to apply their knowledge, skills, and dispositions to the professional work setting (minimum of four hours/week) and to communicate via an online communication system (minimum of two hours/week). Face-to-face and hybrid learning communities may begin in the fall or spring semester. Online communities may have spring or summer start times. The curriculum is integrated and spiraled throughout each semester and facilitated by a team of educators to communities of 10-15 students. A classroom action research project/seminar paper and professional development plan portfolio are the culminating projects of this program.

Learning outcomes: Every UWL Professional Development: Learning Community Emphasis graduate will…

  1. Improve content and pedagogical knowledge
  2. Experience professional and personal transformation
  3. Conduct action research
  4. Utilize authentic assessment
  5. Exhibit teacher leadership
  6. Improve pre K-16 student learning
  7. Support pre K-16 student development and self efficacy
  8. Create and sustain a professional learning community


(32 credits)

The Professional Development: Learning Community Emphasis Program starts in either the spring or summer terms. Sequenced courses occur over five academic terms, three semesters and two summer terms. The program can be taken online, as a blend of online and in-person courses, or be taken entirely in-person. To view the current course sequences for the different modes of instruction, visit the Learning Community Program's website.

Admission requirements

To qualify for unconditional admission to graduate study, you must have:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  • An overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.85 on a 4.00 scale; or an average of at least 3.00 in the last half of all undergraduate work; or an average of at least 3.00 for no less than 12 semester credits of graduate study at another accredited graduate school.
  • Departmental or school/college approval to enter the graduate program chosen.

Required courses (listed in numerical order)

EDU 601Learning in Community I: Introduction1
EDU 602Learning in Community II: Exploration1
EDU 611Technology in Education I: Introduction1
EDU 612Technology in Education II: Exploration1
EDU 621Best Practice Pedagogy I: Introduction1
EDU 622Best Practice Pedagogy II: Exploration1
EDU 631Curriculum Development and Assessment I: Introduction1
EDU 632Curriculum Development and Assessment II: Exploration1
EDU 641Educational Research I: Introduction2
EDU 642Educational Research II: Exploration2
EDU 651Democracy, Diversity and Social Justice in Education I: Introduction1
EDU 652Democracy, Diversity and Social Justice in Education II: Exploration1
EDU 661Teacher Leadership I: Introduction1
EDU 662Teacher Leadership II: Exploration1
EDU 703Learning in Community III: Integration1
EDU 704Learning in Community IV: Action1
EDU 713Technology in Education III: Integration1
EDU 714Technology in Education IV: Action1
EDU 723Best Practice Pedagogy III: Integration1
EDU 724Best Practice Pedagogy IV: Action1
EDU 733Curriculum Development and Assessment III: Integration1
EDU 734Curriculum Development and Assessment IV: Action1
EDU 743Educational Research III: Conduct2
EDU 744Educational Research IV: Publication2
EDU 753Democracy, Diversity and Social Justice in Education III: Integration1
EDU 754Democracy, Diversity and Social Justice in Education IV: Action1
EDU 763Teacher Leadership III: Integration1
EDU 764Teacher Leadership IV: Action1
Total Credits32

The Professional Development: Learning Community Program's total of 32 credits includes two culminating projects:

  1. A classroom action research/seminar paper.
  2. A professional portfolio showcasing the completed professional development plan.

University graduate degree requirements

After being admitted to the program of one's choice, candidates for a graduate degree must:

  1. Complete any preliminary course work and deficiencies.
  2. Complete all courses and other program requirements, including residence requirements prescribed for the degree desired in the respective school or college within a seven-year period from the date of initial enrollment, with the exception of students enrolled in the Student Affairs Administration and Leadership Ed.D. (SAA Ed.D.) graduate program. SAA Ed.D. students must complete all degree requirements within ten years from the time of initial enrollment in the graduate program.
  3. Earn a minimum of 30 credits for a master's degree; 54 credits for a doctorate or post-master's degree. Earn at least one-half of the minimum number of credits required in the program in graduate-only level courses (700, 800, 900, and non-slash 600 level courses). Some UWL graduate programs require more than 30 graduate credits. Please review the individual program requirements listed in the catalog for the exact number of credits required.
  4. Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.
  5. Satisfy dissertation, thesis, seminar paper, terminal/graduate projects and internships, or comprehensive examination, where applicable. A dissertation or thesis approved by the committee must be submitted to Graduate & Extended Learning for editorial review and approval by the Dean of Graduate & Extended Learning. The recommended initial submission date for review is two weeks before commencement. Ordinarily, a seminar paper or project report does not have to be approved by the Dean of Graduate & Extended Learning. However, if the seminar paper or project report is to be archived in Murphy Library, the student must follow the same rules as they apply to the dissertation/thesis requiring approval from the Dean of Graduate & Extended Learning. For further research/dissertation/thesis guidelines, see Graduate & Extended Learning.
  6. File a completed "Intent to Graduate" form online via the WINGS Student Center immediately following registration for the final semester or summer term in residence. December graduates and winter intersession should file by May 1. May and summer graduates should file by December 1.
  7. Pay the graduation fee and remove all other indebtedness to the university. Payment of graduation fees does not imply readiness for graduation and does not take the place of applying for graduation.
  8. Complete all requirements within 30 days after the official ending date of a term in order for a degree to be awarded for that term. (See #5 above for separate deadline for written capstone experience.)