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MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Trauma and Resilience in Educational Settings

A parent going off to war. A car accident. Abuse. Nearly two out of three students experience trauma and it often openly or subtly affects their focus, behavior, and success in the classroom. These kids need a teacher, a principal, a guidance counselor, a school nurse — someone at school with extensive knowledge on how to recognize and respond to trauma. And if that person is you, building strength in your students is as important as cultivating it in yourself. That’s why Concordia’s groundbreaking new concentration, Trauma and Resilience in Educational Settings, is unique, imperative, and timely; in one year, you could bring life-changing knowledge to your school and, at the same time, care for yourself.

Open to a wide range of education professionals, Concordia’s MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Trauma and Resilience in Educational Settings will help you examine what is becoming a central concern and focus for public schools — effective responses to student trauma and the resilience necessary to thrive in the classroom. You’ll learn how to become a school, district, or community leader with the understanding and use of trauma-informed and resilience-building practices, and you’ll also study the importance of self-care throughout it all.

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.

March 23rd
Program Length 1 Year
Credits 30 Credit Hours
Accreditation NWCCU
SCHOLARSHIPS* Up to $3,000
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
Curriculum is up-to-date and relevant
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
20,000-strong alumni
20,000-strong alumni network
93% of our online MEd grads say they are satisfied with their overall academic program experience

MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Trauma and Resilience in Educational Settings Program Goals

In addition to meeting the objectives and requirements for the MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Trauma and Resilience in Educational Settings 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



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: Trauma and Resilience in Educational Settings requires 30 credit hours

MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - Core Courses
12 credits

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 - Trauma and Resilience in Educational Settings
12 credits

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

The Master of Education culminates with the choice of either EDGR 698-Action Research or EDGR 696-Practitioner Inquiry. Either option 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:

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.


In addition to fully online, Concordia offers several Master of Education programs in an on-campus or hybrid format. See the options here.

Is the Master of Education in Trauma and Resilience in Educational Settings concentration right for me?

Consider choosing this path if:

  • You want to be a leader in developing strategies for recognizing, understanding, and responding to trauma and toxic stress in your school and your community
  • You want to lead and train others in your school and community in trauma and resilience strategies
  • You want to help children develop resilience so they can cope with whatever they’re experiencing and realize their full potential
  • You want to better care for yourself and demonstrate the importance of self-care to others in your school

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

Child Learning
If you’re thinking about a university where teachers care and are progressive, Concordia University-Portland is the place to be. They are cutting edge on all education technologies.
CASMORE SHAW, MEd in Curriculum &amp Instruction:
Reading Interventionist '18

Additional Trauma Facts

Why it's critical to address trauma in the classroom

After exploring Concordia’s new concentration, read on if you’re still wondering whether trauma and resilience is the right area for you to dive into—or if traumatic experiences really are affecting your students.
  • Nearly 700,000 children are abused in the U.S. annually. An estimated 683,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect in 2015 (unique incidents).
  • According to a 2013 study:
    • Nearly 14% of children repeatedly experienced maltreatment by a caregiver, including nearly 4% who experienced physical abuse.
    • 4 of every 10 children in America say they experienced a physical assault during the past year, with one in 10 receiving an assault-related injury.
    • 1 in 4 children were the victim of robbery, vandalism, or theft during the previous year.
    • 1 in 5 children witnessed violence in their family or the neighborhood during the previous year.
  • 26% of children in the U.S. will witness or experience a traumatic event before they turn four.
  • 60% of adults report experiencing abuse or other difficult family circumstances during
  • Among 536 elementary and middle school children surveyed in an inner-city community, 30% had witnessed a stabbing and 26% had witnessed a shooting.
  • More than 60% of youth age 17 and younger have been exposed to crime, violence, and abuse either directly or indirectly.

Sources: The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Mental Health Connection of Tarrant County, National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, JAMA Pediatrics, National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, Medical University of South Carolina

Here are a few examples of traumatic events or experiences that could affect kids:

  • Sexual, physical, or emotional abuse
  • Neglect
  • Witnessing a death or dealing with loss
  • Natural disasters
  • Illness or injury
  • Community or school violence
  • Terrorism
  • Being the victim of a crime
  • Bullying
  • Divorce
  • Parent going off to war
  • Witnessing domestic violence
  • Invasive medical procedures or treatments

Every child processes traumatic events differently. Some may act out, while others exhibit subtle behavior changes. Here a few possible reactions you may notice in your class:

  • Startling easily
  • Development of new fears
  • Excessive temper or aggressive behavior
  • Excessive crying or screaming
  • Sexual knowledge beyond child’s age
  • Acting out in social situations
  • Acting withdrawn
  • Decline in schoolwork
  • Fearing select adults
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Exhibiting memory problems
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Stomachaches, headaches, and other physical complaints
  • Inability to trust others or make friends
  • Fatigue
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Separation anxiety
  • Anger or irritability

It can be difficult for any educator—who so often are overtasked and under-resourced—to prioritize self-care. But doing so is incredibly important and beneficial, both for the educator and their students—especially when it comes to supporting those affected by trauma. Educators in this role run the risk for secondary traumatic stress, also referred to as compassion fatigue.

According to The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, compassion fatigue is “the emotional duress that results when an individual hears about the firsthand trauma experiences of another.” This can lead to changes in memory and perception, and reduce a sense of self-efficacy, independence, and more.

Concordia’s program tackles this issue head-on with ways you can cope, care for yourself, and prevent burnout. That way, you can continue to model the compassion and resiliency needed for any survivor of trauma to succeed in the world.

Sources: American Psychological Association; Healthline; JAMA Pediatrics, McInerney and McKlindon, 2014; National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention; National Children’s Alliance; The National Child Traumatic Stress Network; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Latest Room 241 posts about Trauma & Resilience in Educational Settings


See where a Master's in education focused on trauma and resilience 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:

  • Higher education instructor in the teaching of trauma-informed care
  • Advisor to publishers of trauma-informed care textbooks
  • Trauma-informed care professional development leader
  • Division or department chair (middle/high school)
  • Trauma-informed care program advisor to local, state, or national policymakers
  • Leader in trauma-informed care, school and district
  • Consultant and information source regarding trauma-informed care
  • Public or private school supplemental educational services (SES) provider

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