The Master of Education (M.Ed.) program at York College of Pennsylvania is a professional preparation program designed to build the leadership capacity of regional public and private schools. A result of years of discussion and planning, the M.Ed. program was developed in collaboration with school district personnel and regional advisory groups. After a thorough analysis of local needs, two areas of specialization were identified: Reading Specialist and Educational Leadership.
The M.Ed. program at York College prepares graduates to assume leadership roles in public and private schools. Candidates in the M.Ed. program may specialize in Educational Leadership, leading to Pennsylvania Department of Education Certification as a K-12 Principal, or in K-12 Reading Specialist, leading to certification as a K-12 Reading Specialist.
In addition to the M.Ed. program, professional development courses are available as a means by which educators can enhance and extend their skills and knowledge in a variety of areas. These courses are wide-ranging and designed to meet an array of personal and professional needs. Refer to the Pennsylvania Department of Education Web page at www.teaching.state.pa.us for additional information on meeting the latest certification requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.Professionals wishing to enroll in professional development courses will register through the Master of Education program as a non-degree student.
Both the M.Ed. and professional development programs are oriented toward working professionals. All courses are offered in the evening hours, Monday through Thursday during the regular academic year, and in both day and evening format each summer. Core courses are taught throughout the academic year. Courses are taught by a faculty of full-time and adjunct professors in classes where enrollment has been managed to allow for constructive individual attention. The members of our full-time faculty have held positions in public and/or private education and continue to be engaged in ongoing consulting with other educators. Most of our adjunct professors are currently working in their chosen fields and, therefore, are a valuable resource to the program. By design, the York College M.Ed. model creates continuous opportunities for collaboration and mentoring. Course and field experiences are authentic and directly applicable to the realities of education today.
The Department of Education faculty believes that the challenge to prepare and sustain the finest teachers, administrators, supervisors, and specialists for the changing field of education continues to be a major concern. In our society, educators play an increasingly central role in the social and intellectual development of the child and in the removal of a wide range of barriers to learning. We, therefore, believe that all educators serve as intellectual and affective models to students. Each member of the Department of Education is committed to preparing the best educators possible.
As we move into the 21st century, the need for knowledge will continue to expand rapidly and broaden in its diversification. While it is essential that students acquire the basic skills and information necessary to become effective educators, it is our belief that learning additional skills applicable to living in an increasingly technological and global society are of paramount importance in the education process. Further, we believe that both graduate and undergraduate education should be authentic. Our course work incorporates case studies and other realistic scenarios that explore practical issues in teaching, learning and administration.
We also recognize the need to establish an effective balance between preparing our students for individual self-promotion and preparation to accept a role of responsible citizenship within the larger community. Economic and cultural forces within our society will continue to increase the strain on the dynamic tension that exists between these two objectives. It is our philosophy that we must prepare our students to function independently and cooperatively within the bounds of ethical practices, and with an acceptance of what is in the interest of the public as a whole.
Our graduates will be immersed in the view that as educators we serve as stewards of public trust and resources. It is acknowledged that education agencies will continue to compete with numerous other organizations for limited financial resources and support. In order to compete effectively, it is imperative that only those educators who demonstrate effective communication and teaching skills, a comprehensive understanding of learning principles and community values, and meaningful knowledge of technology, be invited to work in and assume leadership roles in tomorrowʼs schools.
The York College of Pennsylvania Department of Education accepts that the purposes and practices of education will continue to be questioned by professional educators and the public at large. While this process has considerable value, it is the collective view of this faculty that the educational profession itself must seek to upgrade the performance and esteem of all educators. To this end, the Department of Education is committed to continually reflect upon the quality of its program and work to affect changes deemed necessary to improve undergraduate, graduate, and professional development programs.
It is the mission of the Master of Education program to provide specialized knowledge, enhanced professional expertise, and growth in selected educational fields; to enable educators to meet the standards for effective research-based “best practice;” and to develop reflective practitioners who are committed to quality classroom instruction, the relevant use of technology, and ongoing personal and professional development.
Application for admission to the M.Ed. program may be made for fall, spring, or summer sessions. To be considered for admission, applicants must forward all application materials to the M.Ed. program office no later than July 15 for fall admission, November 15 for spring admission, or April 15 for summer admission. Applicants are admitted on a rolling basis.
- A completed Graduate Studies application, which can be found at www.ycp.edu, accompanied by a statement of applicantʼs professional and academic goals
- An official undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate transcript(s) (demonstrating acceptable academic performance)
- A Praxis, GRE, or MAT score (within the past 10 years*)
- 2 letters of recommendation
- Letter from current supervisor verifying two years of satisfactory teaching experience (regardless of location of teaching experience.) (Applicants with fewer than two years of teaching experience will be considered for provisional admission.)
- Memorandum of Understanding between applicantʼs School District and YCP (Educational Leadership/Principal Certification candidates only)
- Current professional resume
- Copy of Pennsylvania Teaching Certificate
- Completed Health Medical Record Packet**
- An interview with the graduate admissions committee
Additional materials may be required in order for the admissions committee to evaluate a degree candidate’s credentials. Request for additional materials is typically limited to applicants who seek acceptance of transfer credits or whose application materials fail to demonstrate efficacy. All applicants to the York College of Pennsylvania Masters of Education program will be subject to approval by the Master of Education Program Office; admission of all candidates to the program will be at the discretion of the Education Department.
* Testing requirement waived for York College alumni who graduated within the last 10 years with a GPA of 3.2 or higher.
** A completed health history, immunization record, and a physical examination by a medical provider is required prior to enrollment. Please use the York College Student Health and Medical Record Form (http://www.ycp.edu/offices-and-services/healthservices/forms/) and return the completed form to the Health Services Office. Questions concerning the form should be referred to the Health Services Office at 717-849-1615.
Types of Admission
There are three types of admission classifications in the M.Ed. program: degree candidate, conditional student, and non-degree student.
Applicants who have satisfactorily met all entrance requirements will be admitted as fully matriculated degree candidates. A fully matriculated student is one who has:
- completed the Graduate Studies Application,
- provided all required admission documents as listed,
- interviewed with the graduate admissions committee,
- signed and returned the Acceptance Agreement form,
- received a letter of acceptance,
- registered to begin courses, and
- remained in compliance with all academic policies governing the M.Ed. program.
Conditional student status is conferred on those students who have applied to the M.Ed. program, have not met the admission requirements but are admitted on a provisional basis. In order for students admitted on a conditional basis to convert to degree candidate status, students must meet all admission requirements of a degree candidate, must have completed no more than nine graduate credit hours and hold a 3.0 cumulative graduate GPA at the time they re-apply for regular admission.
A non-degree student is one who is not pursuing an M.Ed. degree and/or Pennsylvania certification and taking only those graduate level courses that meet his/her professional development or personal needs and/or students who wish to take a course to be transferred to another college or university.
Program of Study
The Master of Education program prepares educators for positions of administrative/nstructional leadership in the public or private school setting. Currently, the Department of Education of York College of Pennsylvania offers a Master of Education degree with specialization in Educational Leadership or Reading. York College of Pennsylvania also offers a course-work sequence leading to certification as a K-12 Principal or K-12 Reading Specialist.
Candidates for the Master of Education degree must complete four core courses as well as the program of study developed for their area of specialization.
During the interview, graduate students are provided with all pertinent program requirements and submission deadlines. This information is also contained in the graduate student handbook, and upcoming events are noted in the biannual newsletter. It is the responsibility of the graduate student to know all pertinent program requirements and submission deadlines. Students will be assigned a program advisor who should be consulted on a regular basis.
Candidates in the Reading Specialist program must complete two semesters (six credits) of practicum experience. All reading specialization courses must be completed prior to the first semester of reading practicum. Reading practica are completed during the spring and summer semesters following completion of specialization coursework. Updated clearances (within one year of summer practicum) are required for summer practicum experience completed in local districts. Guidelines for reading practicum will be provided by a program advisor.
Candidates in the Educational Leadership program must complete a one-semester (three credit) administrative internship. A two-semester (two credits each semester) option is also available. In as much as the internship is a capstone experience for the program, the candidate must complete all course requirements prior to beginning the internship. Each semester of the administrative internship will be graded and must include activities in the elementary, middle, and high school levels. An Administrative Internship Manual may be obtained from the coordinator of the Educational Leadership program.
Program-specific Policies and Procedures
Continuous Enrollment Policy - Master of Education
Students must be enrolled in either coursework or continuous enrollment two out of three semesters of a given academic year. The academic school year is defined as fall-spring-summer. A student may enroll in continuous enrollment for up to two consecutive semesters. Under certain circumstances, as approved by the director, this may be waived or extended. Failure to maintain continuous enrollment will terminate th student’s enrollment in the master’s program.
Grading, Degree Progress, and Dismissal
- Upon completion of required coursework and as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Education Degree, candidates will choose a capstone experience, either a comprehensive examination or a thesis. A degree candidate will notify the M.Ed. program office of his/her desire to take the comprehensive examination at least one semester before the semester in which they plan to graduate. Degree candidates electing to complete a thesis must signal their intent at least a year prior to the semester in which they plan to graduate.
- Candidates for the Master of Education degree are required to maintain a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average to remain in good standing, to be eligible to graduate, and to be recommended for PDE certification.
- Each studentʼs cumulative graduate grade point average is reviewed upon completion of 12 of the 500-level graduate credits and at the completion of each spring semester thereafter. If a studentʼs cumulative grade point average is less than 3.0 at any of these reviews, the student will then be placed on academic probation and must achieve a 3.0 cumulative grade point average during the next nine credits or three graduate level courses.
- Courses in which a student receives a grade less than a 3.0 must be retaken in the earliest semester that the course is offered. A particular course may be retaken one time. The student is permitted to repeat no more than two courses total. If a course is retaken, both grades will be recorded on the transcript but only the highest grade is used in calculating the GPA. Failure to bring the GPA up to the 3.0 level within these parameters will result in the student being suspended from the M.Ed. program. Suspended students have a right to appeal through the Department of Education.
- All students are expected to follow all York College of Pennsylvania policies in regards to academic honesty. Further, all students enrolled in the Department of Education Graduate Education Program are expected to demonstrate the highest standards of ethics and professional behavior. Violation of either the York College Academic Integrity or the Pennsylvania Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators (22Pa.Code §235.1-235.11.) will result in dismissal from the M.Ed. program.