The Curry School of Education has two major missions. The first is to prepare individuals to work in America’s educational system, pre-kindergarten through collegiate levels, and to conduct research and scholarship that address problems and issues of importance to our education system. Through partnerships with other organizations and educational institutions, the Curry School is committed to developing exemplary and innovative approaches to address those issues and problems, and to improving instruction and schooling in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The second major mission of the Curry School is to enhance human potential and and well-being, and performance by preparing professionals and conducting research in such areas as psychological/emotional development, physical development and positive youth development, and speech/language/auditory development. These areas contribute to the betterment of the human condition and are directly related to increased learning and successful experiences in the world-at-large.
The Teacher Education Program has provided national leadership in the preparation of beginning teachers, as well as advanced training for experienced teachers and personnel related to teaching. The five-year Teacher Education Program is an integrated program between the College of Arts and Sciences/School of Engineering and Applied Sciences/Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Curry School of Education. It combines strong subject matter preparation with professional training that leads to teacher licensure and results in the simultaneous receipt of a bachelor’s and master’s degree after a total of five years of study at the University. Programs leading to initial teacher licensure include specializations in elementary education, health and physical education, early childhood special education for general curriculum, K-12 special education, K-12 foreign language (Chinese, French, German, Latin, Spanish), and secondary education. Specializations in secondary education are available in English, mathematics, sciences (biology, chemistry, earth science, physics), and social studies. Add on endorsement areas include gifted education, English as a Second Language, and Algebra I.
The Curry School of education offers the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), Educational Specialist (Ed.S.), Master of Education (M.Ed.), and the Master of Teaching (M.T.). Students in each program are encouraged to pursue individualized research interests and pedagogical techniques through various research centers and laboratories.
The Ph.D. program prepares scholars who engage in original research. Students participate in research apprenticeships, assisting their faculty mentors in such activities as conceptualizing research projects, collecting and analyzing data, and writing for publication. Coursework includes topics covering research foundations (e.g., rules of inference, logic, philosophy of science, etc.), quantitative and qualitative research methods, and in‐depth seminars focused on seminal and cutting‐edge scholarship and evidence‐based practices in their respective fields. Students also complete a pre‐dissertation research project resulting in a manuscript submitted for publication, a written comprehensive exam covering the knowledge base and methodology of their disciplinary area(s), and a traditional dissertation or a three‐ paper option, described in the Curry Dissertation Manual.
The Ed.D. program prepares practitioner‐scholars to become leaders within their professions. Students participate in coursework, research, and fieldwork that focus on the problems faced by educators in schools and other educational institutions. Students participate in internships that involve the challenges of identifying and developing solutions to the difficulties that educators face on a daily basis. Coursework includes topics covering a variety of professional skills, research approaches and seminars focused on seminal scholarship and evidence‐based practices. Students complete a written comprehensive exam covering the knowledge base and the methodology associated with solving field‐ based problems and a capstone project that documents a problem‐solving project or program that was initiated or evaluated and is designed to transform practice. Additional details regarding the Ed.D. capstone project can be found in the Ed.D. Capstone Project Manual.
The Ed.S. is a 30‐credit (minimum) post‐master’s program in which candidates are expected to attain a broad and systematic understanding of professional education, a definitive knowledge of a particular field of specialization, and an ability to integrate and apply theoretical concepts of education in an actual educational context. In each program area students must pass a comprehensive written examination, or a thesis, as determined by program faculty.
The M.Ed. is also a minimum 30‐credit program that focuses on advanced training in disciplines related to education. Included among these are administration and supervision, counselor education, curriculum and instruction, educational psychology (applied developmental science, research, statistics and evaluation and social foundations), higher education, kinesiology (athletic training, exercise physiology, kinesiology individuals with disabilities, pedagogy), and speech communication disorders. All students must complete a culminating experience such as a comprehensive exam or a thesis, as determined by the faculty advisor.
The M.T. program is a state‐approved educator preparation program that blends full‐time Curry coursework and on‐going school‐based experiences. According to the Student Handbook for Teacher Education, “the [teacher education] program integrates varied and extensive field work with professional coursework at conceptual and practical levels to prepare candidates to connect content, practice and research into best practices that they then use to inform instructional decision‐making. With the ultimate goal of meaningful and measurable impact on student learning, the [teacher education] program fosters an environment where candidates use data and reflection as tools in effective teaching practice.”
Programs within the Curry School are among the best professional education offerings in the country. Faculty hold offices in professional organizations, are scholars of international renown, and are numbered among the University’s finest teachers. Students score well above the national norms on the national examinations, and are members of such student honorary societies as Chi Sigma Iota, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Delta Kappa, Outstanding Students in America, and the Raven Society. Extensive information about the Curry School of Education and its graduate programs is available on the web (http://curry.virginia.edu).