Program Requirements

The Master of Education - Professional Development (ME-PD) degree in the College of Liberal Studies offers graduate programs in two areas:
1) professional development, which is designed for graduate students who want to develop education-related competencies specifically for job needs and professional growth, and 2) initial certification, which is designed for students who wish to obtain a license to teach in early childhood, elementary, middle level, and secondary classrooms. Graduate students in the ME-PD program must complete a culminating project chosen from the following options: thesis, seminar paper, or comprehensive examination.


The ME-PD non-certification option has the flexibility to meet the individual, intellectual needs and professional goals of many graduates with baccalaureate degrees. Certified teachers seeking to meet desired professional advancement goals or students wishing to pursue a master's degree for other career goals may, with the assistance of an adviser, plan individualized programs of study in coordination with a prescribed set of core courses totaling 12 graduate credits (listed below). Students typically choose two to three areas of concentration and have the option of creating an interdisciplinary program of study. Each program must contain a minimum of either a) 30 graduate semester hours, including at least 15 credits at the 700-level and completion of a seminar paper/thesis or b) 36 graduate semester hours, including at least 18 credits at the 700-level and completion of the comprehensive examination.

Required Core
(12 credits) Credits
C-I 630 Understanding Diverse Learners 3
EFN 705 Human Relations in School and Society 3
C-I 752 Principles and Problems of Curriculum Development 3
EFN 701 The Teacher and the Educational Community 3
EFN 760 Theory and Practice in Educational Research 3

In addition to above courses, each student must develop a study plan before obtaining 12 graduate credits. This plan includes the following criteria and must be personally presented to the ME-PD Board of Review for final approval:

  1. Written statement of professional goals and objectives.
  2. List of courses to be completed that address the goals and objectives.
  3. Selection of seminar paper/thesis or comprehensive examination option.
  4. Student's graduate faculty adviser's signature indicating approval.


The ME-PD degree leading to initial certification is for students possessing a baccalaureate degree who wish to obtain licensure to teach early childhood through middle childhood (birth to age 11), middle childhood through early adolescence (ages 6-12/13), early adolescence though adolescence (ages 10-21) or early childhood through adolescence (ages birth-21) while simultaneously earning a master's degree. Students may, with the assistance of an adviser, plan graduate programs that meet licensure requirements in certifiable major and minor areas.
Admission to the ME-PD initial certification program is competitive; students meeting the following requirements are not guaranteed admission into the program. Successful applicants are usually required to begin their programs during the fall semester. Applications are accepted between January 1 and March 1. Minimum requirements for admission include:

  1. Have earned and maintained a 3.00 cumulative grade point average in all college course work and a 3.00 or better in any major and/or minor in which certification is sought.
  2. Have earned passing scores on the PPST, (Reading - 175, Mathematics - 173, Writing - 174). submitted to the College of Liberal Studies (CLS) directly through the PPST examination center.
  3. Complete an application for admission to the professional program in teacher education.
  4. Submit a 300-500 word personal statement per application guidelines.
  5. Submit at least one (1) letter of recommendation from someone who can best address your potential as a future teacher.
  6. Complete an application for admission to Graduate Studies at UW-La Crosse.


The ME-PD Learning Community option, designed for school professionals or educators, enables students to develop successful teaching and learning strategies while weaving research and reflection into a continuous process that fosters the highest academic application. During the first year of the program, participants develop an understanding of professional teaching and content standards focused on the contemporary needs of elementary and secondary classrooms. During the second year, professional development plans will be written for the standards. This program is offered through a partnership with the College of Liberal Studies and the Office of Continuing Education and Extension. This unique program is offered during the academic year beginning each semester. Students come together as a community cohort one weekend each month for two years (summers excluded). This integrated approach to learning is made up of 30 credits that equal 480 hours of weekend courses and time within one's classroom school. Students complete the following four-semester spiraled curriculum as well as a graduate capstone project, which serves as their culminating activity.

Year 1 - Semester I Credits
C-I 752 Principles and Problems for Curriculum Development 3
EFN 715 Issues and Trends in Education 3
EFN 750 Guided Learning: Understanding Learning Communities 1
Year 1 - Semester II
C-I 590 Teaching Thinking Skills 3
C-I 751 Teacher Inquiry: Assessing Classroom Practices 3
EFN 630 Understanding Diverse Learners 2
Year 2 - Semester I
EDM 602 Instructional Technology 3
EFN 750 Guided Learning: Implementing Action Research in the Classroom 2
EFN 760 Theory and Practice in Educational Research 3
Year 2 - Semester II
EFN 739 Special Problems in Education 3
C-I 761 Seminar Paper 2
EFN 750 Guided Learning : Professional Development For Educators 2