Graduate School - Education

Contact Information

Lloyd Goldsmith, Advisor
ACU Box 29009

Abilene, Texas 79699-9009

Phone: 325-674-2946
Fax: 325-674-2123


Page Links:

Admission Requirements

Programs in Educational Leadership

     • Leadership of Learning (MED)

     • Superintendent Certification

Professional Certification Programs

     • Reading Specialist (MED)

     • Educational Diagnostician (MED)

     • Certificate in Conflict Resolution 
        for Educators

     • Master Reading Teacher Certificate

     • Post-Baccalaureate Internship


Ed Coates, Professor
Lloyd Goldsmith, Associate Professor
Dana Hood, Associate Professor
Karen Maxwell, Assistant Professor

Donnie Snider, Associate Professor





The Abilene Christian University Department of Graduate Studies in Education offers a Master of Education (MEd) degree in the following areas:
          • Educational Diagnostician
          • Reading Specialist
          • Leadership of Learning
          • Higher Education (see the Higher Education section of this catalog)

The department also offers certification as a superintendent beyond leadership of learning (school principal certification). A 9-hour program leading to certification as a Master Reading Teacher is available. Students in the Leadership of Learning program will also be able to complete the requirements for the graduate certificate in conflict resolution. See the Conflict Resolution section for certificate information.

The purpose of these programs is to prepare successful personnel for roles as administrators, reading specialists, and diagnosticians for public and private elementary and secondary schools.

The teacher education programs are approved by the Texas Education Agency and are accredited by the State Board for Educator Certification. Three years of teaching experience, in addition to the master's degree, are required to receive a professional certificate.

The Department of Graduate Studies in Education at ACU seeks to prepare individuals who have a thorough mastery of the technical and practical aspects of education and are skilled in both the art and science of teaching and learning. The faculty and staff of the department seek to accomplish this within the context of Christian values and principles.

Education is one of the largest programs at ACU, with approximately 700 graduate and undergraduate students each year involved in some aspect of educator preparation. With a student-faculty ratio of 17:1, each student receives individual attention from top-quality faculty members.

Faculty members author teaching materials, publish articles and papers, present at state and national conferences, serve as officers in professional organizations, and conduct numerous workshops and seminars for school professionals.

Admission Requirements
For admission criteria, please refer to the Graduate School Admission Requirements section of this catalog. In addition to the general Graduate School requirements, applicants to the MEd program must submit:

          1. A satisfactory GRE score;

          2. An official document indicating 2 years of teaching experience in an accredited public
              or private school; and

          3. A purpose statement (2 pg. dbl sp. typed) including philosophy of education.

Post-baccalaureate students working toward initial teacher certification must be admitted to the Teacher Education Program. (See requirements for the Post-Baccalaureate Internship at the end of this section.)

Departmental Requirements
A student must earn 36-39 hours of graduate credit, at least half of which must be in 600-level courses. Meeting the requirements of a master’s degree in education does not necessarily qualify the student for professional certification. Each student’s professional certification program must be planned to meet individual needs and to ensure competence in the chosen area of professional endeavor.

Students seeking Texas certification must pass the state-required Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) prior to certification. The state of Texas awards professional certification only to persons with at least three years of verified teaching experience.

Students are cautioned that states continually change credentialing requirements. It is the responsibility of the student to stay abreast of their state’s credentialing requirements. Not taking credentialing exams in a timely manner can create lengthy certification plans for the student to meet changing credentialing requirements.

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Programs in Educational Leadership


Major Code: LEAD

PLEASE NOTE: Because most courses are offered online, students must have access to a computer with an internet connection and have sufficient technical proficiency for the online environment.

Requirements for the MEd in leadership of learning, 39-hour non-thesis program, are:

CONR 601Conflict Theory and Communication 
CONR 603Negotiation: Principles and Practice
CONR 604Mediation: Principles and Practice
CONR 615Managing Conflict in the Schools
Residency Session*
EDUC 681Nurturing School Culture to Create a Learning Community
EDUC 687Managing Data to Improve Student Learning
EDUC 680Allocating Resources and Structuring the School for Learning
EDUC 682School Law and Ethics
EDUC 640Implementing Continuous School Improvement
EDUC 640Facilitating Effective Learning
EDUC 640Ensuring Quality Education for Students with Diverse Needs
EDUC 640Enhancing Teacher Capacity and Commitment
EDUC 640Meeting the Literacy Challenge
Completion of internship requirements.

*Fo students seeking the Certificate in Conflict Resolution for Educators. Requires travel to one-week residency session location. See the Certificate in Conflict Resolution for Educators information at the end of this section for details.



15 hours in addition to the principal certification

Major Code: SUPT

Requirements for the superintendent certification are:
     EDUC 662 The Superintendent of Schools
     EDUC 668 Practicum in the School Superintendency
     EDUC 670 Politics in Educational Administration
     EDUC 671 Policy Planning and Development in Education
     EDUC 672 Educational Facilities Practicum

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Professional Certification Programs


Major Code: RDSP

Requirements for the MEd for reading specialist, 36-hour non-thesis program are:
     • Professional Core
        EDUC 640 Special Topic: Human Developmental Theories
        EDUC 643 Curriculum and Assessment
        EDUC 653 Educational Research
        EDUC 657 Human Relations: Family and Community Partnerships
        EDUC 682 School Law and Ethics

     • Specialization
        ENGL 532 Introduction to Linguistics
        READ 614 Foundations in Reading
        READ 615 Assessment and Correction in Reading
        READ 616 Teaching Content Area Reading
        READ 622 Reading Clinic
        SPED 577 Teaching Students with Mild Disabilities

     • Elective

     • Comprehensive Exam



Major Code: EDDG

Requirements for the MEd for educational diagnostician, 36-hour non-thesis
program are:

     1. Professional Core (12 hours)
         EDUC 640 Special Topic: Human Developmental Theories
         EDUC 643 Curriculum and Assessment
         EDUC 653 Educational Research
         EDUC 657 Family and Community Partnerships

     2. Specialization (24 hours)
         EDUC 667 Practicum in Educational Diagnostician
         PSYC 642 Cognitive Assessment
         READ 615 Assessment and Corrective Reading
         SPED 571 Teaching Students with Special Needs
         SPED 574 Emotionally Disturbed Child
         SPED 577 Teaching Students with Mild Disabilities
         SPED 581 Teaching Students with Moderate Disabilities or
              SPED 585 Assessment and Behavior in Special Education
         SPED 683 School Consultation

     3. Comprehensive exam.

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The Center for Conflict Resolution offers a 12-hour graduate certificate in Conflict Resolution designed especially for educators. This unique program includes on-line course work and a one-week residency session for the development of practical skills and for training trainers of mediators in the school setting. Special materials for trainers will be provided. Students may apply the 12 hours toward the Master of Education in Leadership of Learning degree.

PLEASE NOTE: Because most courses are offered online, students must have access to a computer with an internet connection and have sufficient technical proficiency for the online environment.

Admission Requirements
All candidates for the certificate must complete an application for the certificate program with the Graduate School and must submit an official undergraduate transcript that shows a completed bachelor’s degree.

Requirements for the certificate in conflict resolution for educators are:

CONR 601Conflict Theory and Communication
CONR 603Negotiation: Principles and Practice
CONR 604Mediation: Principles and Practice
CONR 615Managing Conflict in Schools
Residency Session(Requires travel to one-week residency session location)                   

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The Master Reading Teacher program is designed to meet the State requirements for the Master Reading Teacher certificate. To be recommended by ACU for the state certificate, teachers must have a valid teaching certificate, three years teaching experience, successful completion of the courses listed below and must pass the Master Reading Teacher Certification Examination. ACU offers the following courses to meet the state requirements:

          • READ 614 Foundations of Reading Instruction
          • READ 615 Assessment and Correction in Reading
          • READ 622 Reading Clinic

If you already hold a Texas Reading Specialist certificate, requirements will vary.

The following materials are required for evaluation for admission to the Master Reading Teacher program:

          1. Name, address and phone number
          2. Copy of teaching certificate
          3. Copy of service record
          4. Official transcript(s) showing baccalaureate degree and any graduate work
          5. Two letters of reference from persons with knowledge of academic/teaching experiences
          6. Essay of no more than two pages discussing teaching experiences in language arts and   
              relevant professional development activities
          7. Non-refundable $50 application/assessment fee

Send the above materials to Myra Holmans, ACU Box 28228, Abilene, Texas 79699. When application materials are received, an interview will be scheduled.

Upon acceptance into the Master Reading Teacher program, an application and $25 fee must be completed for the Graduate School. For more information, contact Myra Holmans, 325-674-2423.



This program is designed for individuals who have held a bachelor’s degree in another field and who want to obtain teaching certification. Prerequisites for the post-baccalaureate program: bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution; an undergraduate GPA of 2.7 or higher (cumulative and content field); a minimum of 24 hours in a subject taught in K-12 schools; passing scores on all three sections of the THEA, with a minimum score of 260 in reading, 240 in math and 220 in writing; an interview with the certification officer; and three recommendations concerning education and experiences.

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