Jun 15, 2024  
ACE Catalog - Volume 40 
ACE Catalog - Volume 40 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Advanced Studies, M.Ed.

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Program Description

Access to information continues to expand each year, providing an unprecedented bank of shared knowledge. The M.Ed. in Advanced Studies program examines the major tenets of a selected discipline, to understand the traditions of thought essential to the given field through the examination of perspectives across time, peoples, and places. The courses are crafted to integrate content while modeling intellectual processes essential for solving real-world problems. The program pursues ways information is designed, displayed, and delivered to impact behavior from various perspectives. By generating critical analysis skills, learners examine the rationale and emergent patterns beneath issues, tracing the cause and effect of cognitive, emotional, social, and physical elements to blend creativity with the practical. Attention is given to strategies to support personal change in thinking, reasoning, and decision making as they influence content, community, and cultural aspects of society.

Program Outcomes

  1. Assess contributions in the field by applying, evaluating, and revising ideas, designs, and approaches to solve problems which promote application of cognitive and psychological foundations to increase personal and corporate productivity. 
  2. Evaluate theories, standards, and principles within the critical frameworks of a discipline to identify appropriate methods for engaging in content, including ways to evaluate and conduct research. 
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of organization or industry standards and collaborative strategies by incorporating multiple resources to ensure the application of diverse viewpoints and ethical reasoning when endeavors require critical and creative thought. 
  4. Devise approaches which exercise multiple perspectives to engage, explain, and express how experts within a field consider evidence as a means to generate new options which also helps to establish and maintain a climate of mutual respect, trust, collegiality, and support. 
  5. Demonstrate awareness of critical issues within a field of study, requiring both a personal response and a professional position, which impact communities, regions, nations, and global concerns. 
  6. Apply advanced skills, including the ability to document, to improve observation and organization of critical elements within a discipline. 
  7. Promote skills in leadership by incorporating collaborative, data-driven decision making which leads to contributions in the field, enhances the function of an organization, or engages in meaningful and relevant endeavors. 

In this program, students can choose one 18-semester credit Major and one 12-semester credit focus of study OR students can choose the General Studies option. 

Major Options

Cognitive Science

Learning how to learn is crucial in a society which continues to change as technology changes. This ability to adapt is an aspect of critical thinking within a situation, whether this is a learning environment or found within an organization. By understanding how the brain processes incoming stimuli, this major investigates ways to improve performance, enhance the ability to make quality decisions, and design environments to accomplish their designated purpose.

Interdisciplinary Leadership

Interdisciplinary leaders must be able to assist their organizations and communities by moving away from less effective traditional views of leadership by embracing a more proactive approach. Interdisciplinary leaders can then make informed decisions and adjustments much earlier in the process, maximize all available resources, and ultimately, foster higher levels of achievement and performance within their organizations. This Major identifies practices of exemplary leadership, asking students to engage in actions leading to change through shared vision, analyzing processes, and enabling others to reach their potential through shared modeling and advocacy. Leaders make a difference as they bring change.

Focus of Study Options

Adult and Continuing Education

This focus of study is designed to help professionals gain the necessary knowledge in the area of adult learning and continuing education. It provides a framework focused on the major theories of adult education, instructional strategies for the adult learner, critical analysis of instructional programs, and assessment of the adult learner. 

Higher Education

This focus of study is intended to prepare administrators in acquiring or enhancing necessary skills to successfully lead higher education institutions. The courses offer a broad perspective of critical issues facing higher education, emphasizing the complexity of student concerns while balancing the demands of outside constituents, e.g. accreditors, state and federal regulators, community, students, and faculty. Designed to complement and support professional agendas, individual studies prepare leadership to understand the integrated aspects of complex systems influenced by modern societal issues.

Instructional Leadership

Instructional or organizational leaders must be able to assist their schools, organizations, and communities in moving away from less effective traditional views of teaching and learning by embracing a more proactive approach of using formative assessment data to build curriculum, design instructional delivery, and teach with the future in mind instead of solely relying on summative evaluations measuring only what has already been taught in the past. Educational and organizational leaders can then make informed decisions and learner-centered adjustments much earlier in the process, maximize all available resources, and ultimately, foster higher levels of achievement and performance within their schools or organizations.

Online Learning and Teaching

This focus of study supports candidates who seek to serve as technology leaders and emphasizes new ways of thinking about technology and the integration of applications. Learning how to design environments which enhance and support organizational goals are considered to maximize learning for both individual and corporate purposes.

Course List (34 Total Semester Credits)

Research Courses (3 Semester Credits)

Capstone Course (1 Semester Credit)

General Studies

Students choose 10 courses (30 semester credits) from the courses in the major and focus of study options.  ACE students also have the option to transfer in courses from other ACE Master’s level courses if so desired. 

Choose a Six-Course Major (18 Semester Credits)

Choose Four-Course Focus of Study (12 Semester Credits)


  • This program is neither designed nor approved (as of the publication date of this Catalog) to prepare students for licensure, certification, or endorsement in any state.
  • Check availability in your state on the Programs by State section of the ACE website.


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