Are you the type of teacher who is always wondering whether your practices are the most effective for meeting the needs of your learners? Are you ready to bring your teaching to the next level?

In the master of arts in education in elementary education you will learn advanced methods for delivering curriculum and assessing students to better allow you to meet the individual needs of your students. In addition to advanced pedagogy, coursework will also include grant writing and development of teacher leadership. You will also have the opportunity to select an area of focus for your degree including content expertise, working with English or other language learners, or licensure in teaching academically and/or intellectually gifted learners.

As part of the degree, you will have the opportunity to conduct research that will inform and enhance your teaching. These projects are conducting in a sequence of coursework that usually occurs toward the end of the program. As a culmination of your study, you will present findings and discuss implications for your future practice. These projects are a source of pride for students and faculty alike as all involved witness the evolution of students as they become researchers and teacher-leaders.

ECU Advantage

In the East Carolina elementary education master of arts in education program, in-service educators work with faculty who are recognized as experts in their field. ECU elementary education MAEd faculty members serve as board members in national organizations, publish in top-level journals, and earn national awards for their work in their respective areas. Faculty members at ECU also understand the busy lives of students and work to make material accessible to students through expertly created online environments.

ECU graduates are highly sought after and can be found working throughout the region and around the United States. Many graduates become Nationally Board Certified and go on to earn doctorate degrees in their area of expertise.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Carol Greene (207 Speight Building; 252-328-5316; greeneh@ecu.edu)

The program requires a minimum of 36 s.h. as follows:

Elementary education teaching area - 24 s.h.
  • ELEM 6000 - Action Research Planning in Elementary Education
  • ELEM 6001 - Action Research Implementation in Elementary Education
  • ELEM 6200 - Leading Curriculum Revision and Implementation
  • ELEM 6400 - Advanced Assessment and Teaching in the Elementary Grades
  • ELEM 6500 - Management and Problem-Solving in the Elementary School
  • Choose 9 s.h. in an elementary strand as follows:
      Academically gifted:
      • SPED 6104 - Introduction to Gifted Education
      • SPED 6401 - Methods and Materials in Gifted Education
      • SPED 6402 - Differentiated Curriculum for the Gifted
      • ( SPED 6403 is a requirement for add-on licensure in gifted education)
      Content pedagogy:
      • ELEM 6406 - The Teaching of Social Studies in the Elementary Grades

      • ELEM 6412 - Emerging Literacy or
      • ELEM 6488 - Advanced Language Arts in the Elementary School

      • MATE 6320 - Advanced Elementary Mathematics Methods or
      • SCIE 6019 - Science in Elementary Education or
      • READ 5316 - Applied Phonics or
      • READ 6421 - Clinical Procedures in the Identification and Evaluation of Reading Disabilities
      Early childhood:
      • ELEM 6412 - Emerging Literacy
      • ELEM 6408 - Collaborating, Teaming, and Leading in the Elementary School
      • ELEM 6410 - Concepts and Principles of Early Childhood Education
      Teacher leadership in the elementary school:
      • ELEM 6408 - Collaborating, Teaming, and Leading in the Elementary School
      • LEED 6805
      • LEED 6830 - Teacher Leadership
      Teaching English as a second language:
      • TESL 6100 - Planning, Implementing and Managing ESL Instruction
      • TESL 6200 - Culture and Language in ESL Instruction
      • TESL 6300 - Assessment in ESL Instruction
      • TESL 6500 - Professionalism and Evidence-Based Accountability
      • Note:

        Praxis is needed for North Carolina add-on licensure in ESL.


      A 6-hour thesis option can be taken instead of 6 s.h. of course work in any concentration. The thesis must be on a topic related to the concentration course of study.

      • ELEM 7000 - Thesis
      Final product requirement:

      A research project with a presentation and written documentation (ELEM 6000 and ELEM 6001) are required.

      For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

      Careers With This Degree

      Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

      • Elementary Education and Teaching
      • Elementary School teachers, Except Special Education
      • Elementary Education and Teaching

      Career Opportunities

      ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

      NC Tower

      This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

      • Self-employed;
      • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
      • Work outside of North Carolina.

      US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

      This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

      Degree-specific internships

      For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.