Eastern Michigan University
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Social Foundations

Program Theme
The Master of Arts in Social Foundations of Education program seeks students with a broad range of experience and goals both within and outside of professional education. SOFD students are eager to explore issues pertaining to quality of life: social and ecological justice, globalization, and the ethics of teaching in schools and society. The goal of the program is to strengthen and inform a commitment to education for participatory democracy in a pluralistic society. Graduate students in social foundations are expected to assess the complex forces—economic, historical, social and political—that shape the structure and control of education both nationally and internationally. Students also engage in a theoretical analysis of cultural diversity as it impacts the practices and processes of education and life in a democratic society.

This program is in compliance with the Standards for Academic and Professional Instruction in Foundations of Education, Education Studies and Education Policy as defined by the American Educational Studies Association.

Program Description
Students pursuing the M.A. degree in Social Foundations of Education may choose one of three concentrations:

  • Cultural Studies, Education and Urban Contexts, which allows students to pursue individualized research interests, and provides an excellent preparation for advanced graduate study;
  • EcoJustice and Education (Offered Online, Hybrid, and Face to Face), which emphasizes analysis of the increasing destruction of the world’s diverse ecosystems, languages and cultures by the globalizing and ethnocentric forces of Western consumer culture, and explores reforms within public schools and universities required to stem the tide of these problems; and
  • Teaching for Diversity and Democracy, which explores issues such as gender, social class, and ethnicity as they relate to education by using theoretical frameworks and practical applications.

All concentrations equip students with the skills in qualitative or quantitative research so that they can analyze the social implications of educational policy, and can better understand the cultural, historical, political and ethical dimensions of education in a pluralistic society.

Model
Eastern Michigan University’s advanced professional education program promotes inquiry, advocacy and leadership in education for a diverse and democratic society.

Admission Criteria:

  1. Meet the Graduate School admission requirements;
  2. Hold a 2.75 undergraduate GPA or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate work or 3.3 GPA in 12 hours or more of work at the graduate level or a minimum 50th percentile on the Graduate Record Examination writing. International students must have a minimum score of 550 on the TOEFL; 
  3. For Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education (ECE) , elementary education, middle level education, secondary education, curriculum and instruction, and for students in educational media and technology who are pursuing the NP endorsement: hold a valid teaching credential. For international students who do not intend to teach in the United States, this requirement can be waived. Teaching certification is NOT required for the programs Master of Arts in Educational Psychology (EPDL) Master of Arts in Social Foundations of Education (SFND) , or for students in Master of Arts in Educational Media and Technology (EDMT)  not pursuing the NP endorsement;
  4. Furnish an analysis of professional goals written by the candidate. This analysis should include a description of how the chosen degree program will help meeting the selected goals and how the candidate’s life experiences, accomplishments and interests will contribute to his or her success in the program; and
  5. Request and have submitted two letters of recommendation that address the candidate’s professional commitment, experience and potential. The transcripts, analysis of goals and letters of recommendation should give evidence of potential for graduate-level scholarship.

Retention Requirements:

Retention requirements can be considered a mid-point check in the master’s degree program. It is necessary to successfully complete all retention requirements before proceeding with the remainder of the program.

To gain approval to proceed with exit requirements, each student must:

  1. Complete a total of 12 but no more than 15 hours of graduate credit with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better;
  2. In consultation with the advisor, establish a mid-point review committee consisting of three or four faculty members, two of whom must be from social foundations;

As a formative element of the student’s program, she/he will take and successfully complete a 1-credit thesis/culminating project planning course with her/his advisor. Part of this 1-credit course will entail a formative written assignment: The student will demonstrate understanding of key program learning outcomes by broadly situating her/his potential thesis/project in the context of the required SOFD courses. This assignment is intended to function formatively for the student, in the sense that it hoped to provide the student with an opportunity to develop the material required for a thesis/project proposal. This 1 credit course and assignment must be completed before the student can enroll for her/his thesis/culminating project course.

Master of Arts in Social Foundations of Education:

Option III: EcoJustice and Education: 11 hours

*offered online through EMU Extended Programs, see department for additional information.

Required Courses: 6 hours
  • SOFD 660 - Teaching for Social and Ecological Justice 3 hrs
  • SOFD 661 - EcoJustice and Education 3 hrs
Restricted Elective Courses: 5 hours

(Please consult with your advisor on appropriate electives other than those listed below)

Five hours from the following:

  • GEOG 531 - American Cultural Landscapes 2 hrs
  • SOFD 540 - Field Studies in Education 1 hr
  • SOFD 541 - Field Studies in Education 2 hrs
  • SOFD 542 - Field Studies in Education 3 hrs
  • SOFD 560 - Anthropology and Education 3 hrs
  • SOFD 640 - Peace Education 3 hrs
  • SOFD 655 - Education for Justice: Toward a Diverse, Democratic and Sustainable Society 3
  • SOFD 684 - Workshop in Social Foundations 3 hrs
  • WGST 526 - Topics in Feminist Philosophy 3 hrs