Lead others through one of the biggest changes in education yet.

There’s no question that the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Initiative is shaking up classrooms in the U.S. like a never-ending tidal wave. Teachers are changing the way they teach math and English language arts, students are changing the way they learn, parents are openly voicing their opinions, and districts are desperately seeking educators who can surf through it all with ease. That’s your cue to step up.

Our fully online MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Common Core State Standards Instructional Leader program is designed to prepare K–12 educators as leaders in the understanding and implementation of the CCSS. Graduates emerge with an in-depth knowledge of this much-debated topic that enables them to bring forth optimal outcomes for their students and community.

Accredited, nonprofit, and taught by practitioners, all of Concordia’s online MEd programs reflect the same meaningful experience we’ve been delivering on campus since 1905. The convenience of 100 percent online, clearly defined coursework—paired with realistic deadlines and the ability to immediately apply what you learn in your classroom—makes our programs ideal for busy lifestyles. And the potential career benefits—from higher pay to promotions—are second only to the reward of having an everlasting impact on the lives of your students.


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100% online
100% online (no in-person field work required)
One year
Earn your MEd in one year, one class at a time, with built-in breaks
Updated curriculum
Constantly updated curriculum
Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Concordia is one of the most respected names in learning today
Positive career benefits
87% of our online MEd grads report positive career benefits as a result of their degree
10,000-strong alumni
10,000-strong alumni network
93% of our online MEd grads say they are satisfied with their overall program experience

MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Common Core State Standards Instructional Leader Program Goals

In addition to meeting the objectives and requirements for the MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Common Core State Standards Instructional Leader online degree program, successful candidates will also demonstrate:

Expertise in Evaluating Progress

Expertise in Evaluating Progress

Expertise in the utilization of new methods of authentic assessment and strategies as tools to evaluate student learning progress in relation to Oregon’s Common Core State Standards and specific district standards

Effective Instructional Skills

Effective Instructional Skills

Effective instructional skills in planning, implementing, and assessing instruction in settings that include diverse cultural populations and special needs students

Classroom Diversity Skills

Classroom Diversity Skills

An understanding of the ways that the specific curricular/instructional area has the potential to be responsive to classroom diversity

Moral Leadership

Moral Leadership

A clear understanding of the moral leadership required of them as advanced scholars in the chosen area of curriculum and instruction

Modification Abilities

Modification Abilities

The ability to modify instructional plans and promote alternative goals and strategies when necessary, particularly in relation to assessment results


The MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Common Core State Standards Instructional Leader is a 30 credit-hour program

MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - Core Courses
12 credits
EDGR 502 (3)
Developing Character Through the Curriculum

This course will provide teachers with the resources and skills necessary to integrate character themes and character development into their school curriculum. It provides a forum in which to discuss and develop one's own moral perspectives on the basis of generally accepted criteria.

EDGR 535 (3)
Theories of Teaching and Learning
This course is designed to provide leaders with the latest psychological research about learning and guide them in exploring ways to directly apply these precepts to their current work setting. Topics will include cognitive science, learning theory, and relevant teaching theories that utilize this information. The course will fuse the latest biological and psychological understanding of how the brain learns so candidates can harness this knowledge and apply it directly to learning situations.
EDGR 595 (3)
Community of Learners
Relationships constructed on trust are critical for an efficient, collegial, collaborative workplace. This course challenges candidates to confront the tremendous diversity in their current environment and develop strategies to build community in the midst of the social, ethnic, economic and alternative lifestyle differences that permeate today's 21st century workplace. In sum, this course stresses the critical importance of creating community in the workplace and illustrates how that community, once established, can generate an efficient, supportive, and positive work place.
EDGR 602 (3)
Contemporary Educational Thought

Candidates identify, review, and analyze major trends and issues impacting the contemporary state and national educational scenes. Each class session provides students with an opportunity to evaluate the advantages and liabilities of current educational reforms and issues from the perspective of prevailing educational research as well as from their own personal beliefs and current work environment. Candidates will also consider how they can impact and influence change in their own workplace.


Please note: Completing a Master of Education degree program does not lead to state certification or licensure. The MEd is not designed or intended to lead in any way toward a teaching license, endorsement, or administrative credential.

MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - Common Core State Standards Instructional Leader
12 credits
EDCI 554 (3)
The CCSS: Real-World Standards
This course is an in-depth study of the evolution and design of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). An understanding is developed of the knowledge and skills needed for America's children to be successful in college and careers and to compete in a global economy that are addressed in the CCSS. An emphasis is placed on the need for high levels of rigor along with high levels of student engagement in teaching and learning, supported by the CCSS.
EDCI 555 (3)
What's Common about the Common Core State Standards?
The focus of this course is the CCSS Initiative and its establishment of a single set of K-12 educational standards, based on the existing foundation of standards states have already built. How the standards have been developed and the education infrastructure needed to continue the development, implementation and sustainment of the CCSS initiative is assessed. The significance of the goal of the CCSS - setting clear, concise standards and expectations that all U.S. education stakeholders can understand: students, parents, teachers, policy makers - is thoroughly examined. The intended impact on the post high school preparation of America's students entering college and/or the workforce is also considered.
EDCI 576 (3)
Common Core State Standards (CCSS): Transformative Teaching and Learning
This course begins with an examination of the substantial body of research collected on the significant effect the classroom teacher has on student achievement. Following this analysis is a comprehensive study of the Common Core strands and organizing elements that are the basis of the adopted CCSS. Learning the basics - such as how to read the standards (e.g., Reading: Strand, Organizing Element, Grade Level Column, Standard), shifts in content and coherence across grade levels - is a critical component of this class. A focus on developing curricula, lessons and units and aligned assessments is included. In addition, the process of evaluating the alignment of instructional resources to the CCSS will be studied.
EDCI 578 (3)
Leading the Implementation of the Common Core State Standards
Leadership in operationalizing the Common Core State Standards in the learner's workplace is the focus of this course. An ever-growing expanse of resources that is available to CCSS Instructional Leaders is accessed and reviewed. The primary outcome of this course is an opportunity for each individual to design resources relative to implementing the CCSS in the individual's school, school district, or workplace.

Please note: Completing a Master of Education degree program does not lead to state certification or licensure. The MEd is not designed or intended to lead in any way toward a teaching license, endorsement, or administrative credential.

Research Course 1
3 credits
EDGR 601 (3)
Educational Research

This course provides students with the basic competencies necessary to understand and evaluate the research of others, and to plan their own research with a minimum of assistance. This course includes the basics of both qualitative and quantitative research.

The Master of Education culminates with one of three courses: EDGR 696-Practitioner Inquiry, EDGR 698-Action Research, or EDGR 699-Thesis. Any one of these options provides candidates with an understanding of the role of research in the field of education as a tool to solve problems and as a way to improve student learning.


Research Course 2
3 credits   Select one of the following:
EDGR 696 (3)
Practitioner Inquiry

Practitioner Inquiry focuses on the reflective acts of the candidate as an educator seeking to improve teaching practice. Premised in the self-study research methodological traditions (Samaras, 2011), Practitioner Inquiry provides the opportunity to reflect on teaching practice and generate improvements based on classroom observation. Practitioner Inquiry focuses on the educator and her/his own practices, developing skills of inquiry, observation, reflection, and action in teachers. Prerequisite: Successful completion of EDGR 601 Educational Research

EDGR 698 (3)
Action Research

Action research is one of the capstone projects for the Master of Education program. During this five-week course, candidates will learn more about the action research methodology, complete final edits of the Literature Review, and design a complete Action Research proposal including data collection methods and analysis approaches. (During this course, the proposal will NOT be implemented with students/participants.)
This design provides students with the requisite skills and means to pursue the transformative practice called "Action Research" in their classroom, school, district or other work environment. The design method for the capstone project closely aligns with current classroom realities, with district and school requirements, and the needs of teachers and students.

EDGR 699 (3)

The Thesis offers the graduate student the opportunity to investigate, in depth, a topic in the field of education. The student, working with his or her thesis instructor, will explore relevant literature and present a thesis following the procedure established by the College of Education.

Please note: Completing a Master of Education degree program does not lead to state certification or licensure. The MEd is not designed or intended to lead in any way toward a teaching license, endorsement, or administrative credential.

Is the MEd in Common Core State Standards Instructional Leader concentration right for me?

Consider choosing this path if:

  • Your school needs help getting students to reach the new specific goals for each grade
  • You’re not completely familiar with CCSS, but really want to be
  • You could see yourself becoming a leader in CCSS, in and out of the classroom

Still unsure? We know we offer a lot of programs! Let’s talk more about your professional and personal goals.


Child Learning
I pursued the MEd because I feel that one who is not learning is not really teaching, and my core professional goal is to consistently be the best teacher I can.
CARLA BURTON, MEd in Educational Leadership


See where an MEd focused on Common Core state standards could take you

Planning to stay in your current teaching job? Many MEd graduates do! But in addition to potential benefits like increased salary and more self-confidence, an MEd could also expand your career opportunities within the education industry.

Potential careers include:

  • Common Core State Standards (CCSS) leadership role in the school, district, or community
  • Higher education instructor in CCSS
  • CCSS education consultant (public or private)
  • Division or department chair (K–12)
  • Department chair—community college (various divisions)
  • CCSS education advisor (K–12)
  • CCSS advisor, district superintendent's cabinet (K–12)
  • Director, curriculum & instruction
  • Director, professional development
  • Coach, CCSS implementation teacher support & development

(Some states may require specific licensure for some of these positions. Check with your state’s Department of Education for more details.)