M.A. in Education, Educator Effectiveness


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Faculty & Staff


Alissa Axtell, J.D. headshot
Director of Licensure
Phone: 970.943.3092
Office Location: Crawford Hall 122
Brian Coppess, Ed.D headshot
Assistant Professor, Director of Principal Licensure
Phone: 970.943.2135
Office Location: Crawford Hall 108
Caroline Powders Forrest, M.Ed. headshot
Lecturer, Clinical Coach
Phone: 970.943.7035
Office Location: Crawford Hall 122
Brooke Hanks, M.A. headshot
Senior Lecturer
Phone: 970.943.2504
Office Location: Crawford Hall 105
Jeff Hulbert, M.S. headshot
Lecturer, Clinical Coach
Phone: 970.943.2141
Office Location: Crawford Hall 107
George Kamberelis, Ph.D. headshot
Professor, Chairperson
Phone: 970.943.2033
Office Location: Crawford Hall 103
Jackie Luft, Ed.D. headshot
Phone: 970.943.7043
Office Location: Crawford Hall 110
Ian  Parker Renga, Ph.D. headshot
Assistant Professor
Phone: 970.943.2244
Office Location: Crawford Hall 106
Jennifer Whitacre, M.S. headshot
Lecturer, Clinical Coach, Director of Summer Teacher Institute
Phone: 970.943.2120
Office Location: Crawford Hall 104
Cori L. Woytek, M.S. headshot
Lecturer, Clinical Coach
Phone: 970.943.3019
Office Location: Crawford Hall 122


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.

 EDUC 600 - Foundations of Literacy Development (3 cred.)

Provide in-depth understanding of the reading acquisition process and current issues in reading research related to preliterate and emergent readers through observation and analysis of reading and written language development.

 EDUC 601 - Methods and Strategies of Effective Reading Instruction (3 cred.)

Provide in-depth understanding and application of scientifically-based methods of teaching reading comprehension vocabulary, and fluency.

 EDUC 602 - Literacy Assessment Informed Instruction (3 cred.)

Screen, diagnose, and monitor student progress in reading and writing to inform instruction and build home-school partnerships that promote reading and writing.


Apply concepts, methods, and practices related to curriculum, assessment of learning, and teaching in content areas.

 EDUC 606 - Reading and Writing in the Content Area (3 cred.)

Analyze, evaluate, and apply methods for developing effective reading and writing strategies that improve student academic achievement in the content area.

 EDUC 607 - Rethinking Learning Through 21st Century Skills (3 cred.)

Investigate the research and theory of 21st Century Skills as they affect the education program. Develop effective teaching strategies through theory and simulation.

 EDUC 608 - Methods and Strategies of Effective Writing Instruction (3 cred.)

Provide in-depth understanding and application of research based methods of teaching writing as they apply to cognitive processes and socio-cultural context for diverse students.

 EDUC 611 - Strategies & Techniques for Teaching Students with Support Needs (3 cred.)

Address critical issues, content, and pedagogy needed by special education professionals. Apply these theories to the daily activities of the teacher.

 EDUC 612 - Behavioral Analysis & Intervention (3 cred.)

Use critical thinking and problem solving skills to study and apply current behavioral research and school law regarding the education of students with emotional/behavioral disabilities.

 EDUC 613 - Methods and Strategies of Effective Mathematics Instruction (3 cred.)

Examine and apply research-based teaching strategies that promote mathematics learning.

 EDUC 614 - Collaborating for Students with Support Needs (3 cred.)

Use data and collaboration process to develop Individual Educational Plans, and provide support needs and technologies for students with disabilities.

 EDUC 616 - Language Acquisition for Linguistically Diverse Students (3 cred.)

Develop and apply understanding of language acquisition and awareness of the historical, legal, social and educational background surrounding linguistically diverse education.

 EDUC 617 - Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency in the Content Area (3 cred.)

Differentiate social and cognitive academic language and use research to develop cognitive academic language for English Language Learners.

 EDUC 618 - Linguistically Diverse Student Teaching (3 cred.)

Work in a K-12 school setting with linguistically diverse students over the course of the year, in collaboration with mentor teachers. This course can be repeated twice for credit.

 EDUC 620 - Engaging Diverse Learners (3 cred.)

A study and application of research-based instruction to engage diverse learners. Focus is on creating learning experiences to maximize student engagement and achievement, while evaluating and reflecting on teaching practice.

 EDUC 621 - Creating Effective Online Learning Environments (3 cred.)

An inquiry into how K-12 educators can best develop relevant and engaging blended and online instructional contexts to meet the needs of all K-12 learners. Focus is on exploration of tools, resources and emerging technologies to determine how to build and manage learning environments which maximize student achievement.

 EDUC 622 - Using Data to Plan for Online Learning and Targeted Interventions (3 cred.)

A study of best practices in creating, implementing, and using assessments in the online environment. Focus is on analyzing real-time data and findings from assessments to make instructional decisions and to plan targeted interventions to ensure student success.

 EDUC 623 - Designing and Delivering Effective Online Instruction (3 cred.)

Online field-based experience in design, delivery, and evaluation of standards-based instruction in an appropriate K-12 setting. A collaborative approach will be fostered among students, teachers, and school-level administrators to support existing or emerging online or blended instructional needs.

 EDUC 624 - Managing to Differentiate (3 cred.)

This course provides a study of cognitive development as it impacts different learners’ ability to access academic content. Participants will build a foundation of understanding from which they will develop skills, strategies and resources that they can then apply in their teaching to address the complex challenges of meeting the diverse learning needs of all students.

 EDUC 625 - Relevant Data Analysis to Inform Instruction (3 cred.)

Identify and utilize all levels of data to inform instructional decisions. Daily measures of student performance are analyzed along with summative assessments to develop relevant plans for instruction that may include interventions and differentiation. Explore resources to assist in tracking of student progress and develop evidence of effectiveness relative to Teacher Quality Standards.

 EDUC 626 - Defining and Defending Evidence of Professional Mastery (3 cred.)

Using the educator effectiveness growth goals developed in EDUC 625, students will design strategies and plans to ensure the mastery of each goal. One action plan to address a problem of practice will be fully developed and implemented. Approaches to examine and reflect on data gathered during the implementation process will be developed. Finally, an ongoing, living web-based document will be created. This document will serve as a means to demonstrate learner mastery of effectiveness in teaching. Prerequisite: EDUC 625.

 EDUC 681 - Instructional Program Development and Evaluation (3 cred.)

Investigate theories and trends in curriculum and instruction while understanding their relationship to student data and performance at the school and district levels. Evaluate teaching and assessment as they affect student growth. Assess best practices for developing teachers and schools to increase student learning outcomes.

 EDUC 682 - Shaping School Systems (3 cred.)

Understand the characteristics of effective organizational culture from various perspectives. Explore systemic structures and issues within a school and district. Examine and apply critical analysis and creativity related to educational group dynamics that advocate for all students, staff, and stakeholders within an educational community.

 EDUC 684 - Materials and Motivation for Reading (2 cred.)

Select and evaluate materials, develop independent readers, involve the community, and establish and manage the literacy environment.

 EDUC 685 - Assessing, Evaluating, and Instructing at-risk & Struggling Readers (3 cred.)

Develop in-depth understanding of scientifically based reading research and instruction for at risk and struggling readers. Provide the tools necessary to diagnose, evaluate and teach struggling readers. Assignments will include the development of intervention programs and the implementation of progress-monitoring reading assessments.

 EDUC 686 - Literacy Coaching and Mentoring (2 cred.)

Examine roles and functions of literacy coaching and mentoring to provide professional development for literacy in the school setting.

 EDUC 687 - School-Wide Comprehensive Literacy Program Development (2 cred.)

Prepare educators for school-wide comprehensive literacy program development and delivery.

 EDUC 688 - Reading Teacher Internship (3 cred.)

Complete supervised practicum(s) or internship(s) as a reading teacher at the appropriate grade level(s) for Colorado Department of Education Reading Teacher graduate endorsement. This course can be repeated twice for credit.


Complete supervised practicum(s) or internship(s) as a reading specialist at the appropriate grade level(s) for Colorado Department of Education Reading Specialist graduate endorsement. This course can be repeated twice for credit.


Examine laws and state/national policies affecting schools. Demonstrate an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of teachers and students. Explore the differences between legal and ethical issues in education.

 EDUC 695 - Resource Management in Education (3 cred.)

Explore and apply the characteristics of effective school and district leadership and resource management for education-specific programs and initiatives. Identify potential funding agencies and local/state/national partnerships that could help to build resources based to meet school and district needs. Utilize the characteristics of effective grant writing for education-specific programs and initiatives.

 EDUC 696 - Engaging External Stakeholders (3 cred.)

Identify stakeholders that support the education system and develop processes for meaningful involvement in activities and decision making. Explore and apply methods for communicating to a variety of audiences. Understand the political and financial nature of community partnerships with schools and districts.





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.  

  • Teachers take courses directly related to their professional development goals rather than a predetermined course list. 
  • Teachers gain knowledge and skills through online coursework to implement in their classrooms to promote more effective learning.
  • Teachers’ growth relative to their professional development goals is assessed through action research projects they conduct in their classrooms.

How It Works  

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 complete a final capstone project designed to assess the extent to which you achieved your professional development goals.

Optional Added Endorsements 

Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Education (CLD)

The CLD endorsement will prepare you to work more effectively with diverse groups of students and their families. The clinical experience required for this endorsement can often be completed in your own school. 

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. 

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

Learn More

Reach out for more information about the program.

Headshot of Deanna Banker
Graduate Program Coordinator
Office Location: 
Crawford Hall 111

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