Professional Studies in Education

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This 30 credit graduate program is designed for teachers and other education professionals seeking to meet desired professional advancement goals.

The Master of Education-Professional Development (ME-PD) Learning Community program is based on a learning-in-community, constructivist philosophy.  Teachers who enroll make a commitment to achieve three goals:

  • to improve professional practice
  • to develop increased proficiency in a content specific area
  • to earn a master's degree

The Blended Social Studies Learning Community meets two weekends a semester over two years for a total of eight face to face meetings with your community. 

  • There is one meeting at the beginning of the semester and one near the end. Meeting times, on the designated weekend, are Saturday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.  Some of these meetings may consist of field trips to 
  • In addition, once each year you will attend our Annual Fall for Education Conference at UW-La Crosse, held over same hours as your Learning Community weekends.  There you will be exposed to the best practices in education featuring speakers from across the nation. The conference is held the first full weekend in November.
  • During the time between face to face meetings, your learning is facilitated through Desire2Learn, our online learning management system.

Learning outcomes:

Every UWL ME-PD Learning Community graduate will…

1. Improve content and pedagogical knowledge, including current pedagogical techniques related to social studies education (i.e.  Thinking Like a Historian, Reading Like a Historian, and the National Council for the Social Studies’ C3-Framework)

 2. Experience professional and personal transformation as educators explore both content and pedagogical knowledge they explore resources and techniques that will bring their classrooms alive as each works to develop engaged global citizens

3. Conduct action research related to engaging students in active learning that will promote future engagement as citizens of the world.

 4. Utilize authentic assessment that both develop content knowledge as well as social studies related skills that can be carried beyond the classroom

5. Exhibit teacher leadership through engagement in professional organizations and network building both within the cohort and beyond.

6. Improve pre K-16 student learning through a curriculum focused on the role of social studies education in developing engaged global citizens.

7. Support pre K-16 student development and self-efficacy by engaging students in actively exploring the multiple aspects of social studies education

 8. Create and sustain a professional learning community with each participant sharing their strengths and developing their weaknesses.

9. Examine current pedagogy related to social studies education, including C-3 Standards, Disciplinary Literacy, teaching historical thinking, and more.  

10. Trips and adventures will explore the hidden, and not so hidden, treasures and resources of the upper Midwest and participants will become actively engaged in the social studies process. Trips will be kept to a nominal cost for the students.


Courses: Blended

CourseCourse NameCredits

Term 1
EDU 601 Learning Community 1 credit
EDU 641 Educational Research 1 credit
EDU 621 Best Practice Pedagogy 1 credit
EDU 631 Curriculum Development and Assessment 1 credit
EDU 651 Democracy, Diversity and Social Justice in Education 1 credit
EDU 611 Technology in Education 1 credit
EDU 661 Teacher Leadership 1 credit
Term 2
EDU 602 Learning Community 1 credit
EDU 642 Educational Research 2 credits
EDU 622 Best Practice Pedagogy 1 credit
EDU 632 Curriculum Development and Assessment 1 credit
EDU 652 Democracy, Diversity and Social Justice in Education 1 credit
EDU 612 Technology in Education 1 credit
EDU 662 Teacher Leadership 1 credit
Term 3
EDU 703 Learning Community 1 credit
EDU 743 Educational Research 1 credit
EDU 723 Best Practice Pedagogy 1 credit
EDU 733 Curriculum Development and Assessment 1 credit
EDU 753 Democracy, Diversity and Social Justice in Education 1 credit
EDU 713 Technology in Education 1 credit
EDU 763 Teacher Leadership 1 credit
Term 4
EDU 704 Learning Community 1 credit
EDU 744 Educational Research 2 credits
EDU 724 Best Practice Pedagogy 1 credit
EDU 734 Curriculum Development and Assessment 1 credit
EDU 754 Democracy, Diversity and Social Justice in Education 1 credit
EDU 714 Technology in Education 1 credit
EDU 764 Teacher Leadership 1 credit
TOTAL   30 credits



EDU 601/EDU 602/EDU 703/EDU 704               Learning in Community 
In this course, students will come to understand the value of learning in a collaborative setting.  Students will examine theories and key aspects of community development.  Students will practice creating and sustaining community within the learning community and within their workplace.  Opportunities will also be given to explore developing professional learning communities beyond the program.


  • Students will understand what it means to learn in community.
  • Students will examine theories of community development.
  • Students will create and sustain learning in community within the ME-PD Learning Community.
  • Students will create and sustain learning in community within the professional workplace.


EDU 641/EDU 642/EDU 743/EDU 744               Educational Research 
In this course, students will gain knowledge of action research and implement an action research study in the workplace.  Students will understand and experience all stages of the action research process.  Students will recognize the value of data in making decisions regarding PK-16 teaching and learning.  Students will complete an action research study and disseminate the results.


  • Students will recognize different methods of educational research.
  • Students will identify and implement various data collection tools.
  • Students will understand and implement an action research study.
  • Students will write a scholarly action research article.


EDU 621/EDU 622/EDU 723/EDU 724               Best Practice Pedagogy 
In this course, students will study and apply research-based best practices for teaching and learning.  They will be challenged to reflect upon current practice, incorporate best practices, and improve future practice as they seek continuous improvement.  Students will be provided a variety of forums to investigate, analyze and reflect upon their implementation of multiple instructional methodologies for the purpose of improving PK-16 student learning.


  • Students will study and apply best practices and current research to teaching with the purpose to improve PK-16 student learning.
  • Students will understand brain development as it relates to student learning and the learning environment.
  • Students will align teaching and instruction to the developmental needs of their students.
  • Students will be familiar with and apply instructional strategies appropriate for specific content area subject matter.


EDU 631/EDU 632/EDU 733/EDU 734               Curriculum Development and Assessment 
In this course, students will evaluate current curriculum, investigate curricular frameworks, and align curriculum to teaching standards and academic standards.  Students will experience, investigate and implement various forms of assessment.  Students will design classroom curriculum that aligns curriculum and assessment for the purpose of improving PK-16 student learning.


  • Students will evaluate current curriculum and assessment practices.
  • Students will improve their knowledge of academic content area.
  • Students will align classroom curriculum and assessment with teaching standards and academic content standards.
  • Students will collect and analyze evidence of PK-16 student learning and modify instruction as necessary.
  • Students will utilize ongoing assessments to monitor and promote student learning and to guide curriculum development.
  • Students will critique, identify and develop quality curriculum.


EDU 651/EDU 652/EDU 753/EDU 754                   Democracy, Diversity and Social Justice in Education 
In this course, students will examine social issues that influence the Learning Community, personal behavior, professional settings, and institutional systems. Issues explored will include (but will not be limited to) class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, and religion, as well as harassment and bullying.  Through this exploration, students will understand how social issues influence relationships in order to take action regarding equity and justice in the workplace.


  • Students will examine areas of diversity that influence the Learning Community and current professional settings.
  • Students will examine reflectively the issues of diversity including, but not limited to class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, and religion.
  • Students will promote issues of equity and justice. 
  • Students will understand how diversity influences relationships at a personal and institutional level. Students will understand harassment and bullying.


EDU 611/EDU 612/EDU 713/EDU 714               Technology in Education
In this course, students will distinguish between informational and instructional technology.  They will be exposed to a variety of technology tools and software and gain practical technology skills.  Students will use a variety of online tools and programs to communicate and collaborate.  They will analyze and implement developmentally appropriate instructional technology in their workplace.  They will explore current technology and how it relates to the culture of PK-16 students.  Students will document competency related to student-created goals in a professional development portfolio.


  • Students will distinguish between informational technology and instructional technology.
  • Students will be exposed to various informational and instructional technology tools and software.
  • Students will be able to create, communicate and collaborate online.
  • Students will explore the role of current technology and PK-16 student culture.
  • Students will discover what technology is developmentally appropriate for their students.
  • Students will critically choose when, where, and how to integrate technology within their classrooms.


EDU 661/EDU 662/EDU 763/EDU 764               Teacher Leadership
In this course, students will explore teacher leadership that strengthens professional practice.  They will reflect upon political issues and educational issues in developing their personal and professional identity.  Students will be challenged to demonstrate educational leadership beyond their own classroom.  Students will explore initiatives related to systems and trends that improve and contribute to learning.


  • Students will develop an awareness of and a means of utilizing their personal and professional identities.
  • Students will share newly acquired skills and knowledge with others in the profession.
  • Students will demonstrate leadership in the educational profession beyond teaching in their own classroom.
  • Students will develop political awareness of educational issues.
  • Students will develop an understanding of school systems.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees vary among UW System campuses, and sometimes among programs within a campus.  For the ME-PD Learning Community program, tuition fees are the same for both in state and out of state residents.  Tuition and fees are determined late summer immediately preceding each academic year.  

Credits Rate $450 per credit
Masters or Certificate
WI residents and non-residents
8 Credit Semester $3,600
7 Credit Semester $3,150
6 Credit Semester $2,700

SCHOLARSHIPS ~ take tuition down to only $396/credit
We are pleased to announce the offering of scholarships to our existing and entering students for our Fall programs. Scholarships will be available to students with a minimum 3.0 grade average.  Scholarship will be in the amount of $54/credit. Since our existing tuition is $450/credit, the applied scholarship to qualified applicants will take this amount down to $396/credit. For new students, we will look at your entering GPA at application and use that GPA for qualification standards.  Existing students we will look at your GPA at time of your last term to determine qualification standards.

Other Fees
A $56 application fee is charged at time of application. There will be a
 Fall for Education Conference special course fee of $50 in addition to your fall tuition. Each semester there is also a $25 registration charge and a $2 per credit fee for D2L services.  There is a $38 graduation fee charged your last semester to cover the cost of the diploma, cover and commencement ceremony. 

If you have questions about fees, contact the Cashier's Office or the Office of Admissions.  The Board of Regents reserves the right to change tuition and fees without published notice.

In addition to tuition, book costs will average $100-200 per semester.  Your facilitators will communicate required book lists throughout the semesters.  Also budget for school supplies (paper, pens, folders, etc.).

Financial Aid

Financial Aid - IF APPLICABLE

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at You will be asked to insert the Federal School Code for UW-La Crosse which is: 003919


  • Maximum enrollment is limited to 40 degree seeking students.
  • Your completed Application for Graduate Admission secures a seat in the program.
  • Have a group of interested individuals in our program?  We will bring a Learning Community to your location.

Step One: Application to Graduate School

Complete the Application for Graduate Admission form and remit a $56* nonrefundable application fee online at:
*Nonrefundable: The $56 application fee will be refunded if the class session does not reach the minimum enrollment of 10 students for online or 18 students for blended and face-to-face sessions.

Master of Education—Professional Development Program

  • For Online and Blended Learning Communities, choose “Learning   Community (Online)” Option [SED] when completing the Graduate   Admission form.

For Face-to Face or Blended Learning Communities, the Graduate Admission form does not allow you to note your Learning Community site.  Once you have submitted your application, the ME-PD program will contact you via e-mail within 10 days to confirm your site request and content specific area.

Request ALL OFFICIAL UNDERGRADUATE transcripts from ALL previous post-secondary     institutions attended.  This includes transfer credits even if they appear on another school transcript.  If you attended UW-La Crosse, you do not need to request those transcripts.  Please contact each institution individually to request your academic records. Most universities allow you to request transcripts online.

All official transcripts must be sent directly to:
Graduate Admissions Office
142 Cleary Center
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601

Or by email to:

Step Two: Financial Aid - IF APPLICABLE

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at  You will be asked to insert the Federal School Code for UW-La Crosse which is: 003919

Step Three: Registering for 1st Semester Courses

Registration opens when the Learning Community (LC) is confirmed.  Once the LC is confirmed, registration materials, book lists and other information will be emailed to you a couple weeks prior to the beginning of your first weekend.
Register for your first semester courses using our WINGS system at: