M.A. Curriculum and Instruction

Program Description

Designed for practicing educators who want to enhance their teaching skills and develop new strategies for working with diverse global communities, our master’s program in Curriculum and Instruction prepares them to take a crucial step in their professional development. Graduates of this 10-course program emerge as skilled educational leaders with a fundamental understanding of tactics for curriculum development and instruction that promote social justice, cultural relevance, and student-based learning. Core courses reflect a constructivist framework, focusing on multilingual and multicultural methods, educational accountability, research-based best practices, leadership, and student-directed research in the art of teaching.

The MA in Curriculum and Instruction from Pacific Oaks College is one of only a handful of degree programs that prepare candidates for certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching (NBCT). Due to its novel approach that gives particular attention to sound alternative and progressive teaching methods, the program equips educators with new means to empower students by motivating them to direct their own learning, grow personally, and build upon their own experiences within the context of their unique cultural identities. Mirroring this, program candidates are immersed in a learning environment characterized by self-reflection, collaboration, development of respectful and reciprocal relationships, and problem-solving opportunities. At the core of the program is Pacific Oaks belief that every human being has innate value and infinite potential and graduates are prepared to help students discover their fundamental worth and strengths.

  • May be completed in 1 year (full-time) or 2 years (part-time)
  • Graduates will be prepared to seek NBCT certification if they wish to be conferred with the status of master teacher



Total Credits



Upon completion of this program, candidates will be prepared to seek National Board for Certified Teaching (NBCT) credentials if it is their wish to be conferred with the status of master teacher


  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Earned Education/Teaching Credential
  • Applicants should preferably be teaching currently and/or have access to a learning environment where they can implement what they are learning in the program

Sample Courses

Research Best Practices and Teaching for Equity and Justice
Provides research best practices used by teachers in teaching for equity and justice. Prepares teachers to utilize instructional strategies that lead to being the best in accomplished teaching and learning. During this course, candidates will investigate research based strategies and teaching for equity and justice strategies in order to meet the competencies of mastery of knowledge and skills, particularly regarding technology and instructional strategies, responsible and respectful professional dispositions, and individual uniqueness and diversity.

Teacher Leadership

This course involves using a self-assessment of leadership abilities in order to help the candidate prepare a personal leadership plan. The leadership plan is a critically important component of establishing the means by which the candidate synthesizes the five competencies (development, diversity, communication, research, and praxis) and the NBCT standards and subsets learned throughout the program. Candidates will be expected to reflect upon their own practice and values, to observe other educators working with children and their families or with leaders outside education, and to explore the integration of values into practice. Upon completion of this course, candidates will develop a clear sense of their strengths and challenges as educational leaders. In addition to developing a plan for their own professional learning, participating candidates will also learn the skills for assessing and developing other educational leaders within their organization.

Multilingual and Multicultural Educational Strategies
Through multicultural and multilingual theories based on research, this course provides instructional strategies that represent the best in accomplished teaching and learning. Specifically, this course meets the competencies of mastery of knowledge and skills, particularly regarding multicultural and multilingual instructional strategies, responsible and respectful professional dispositions, individual uniqueness and diversity, social justice, and transformational learning.

POC:Pasadena, CA POC