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Equitable Curriculum and Instructional Leadership, MA

The Master of Arts in Equitable Curriculum and Instructional Leadership is a new program that focuses on building educators’ skills and capacity to advance social, racial, and educational justice. The ECIL program is designed for teachers who seek to redesign their school and the education system for equity; enhance their knowledge of curriculum and instruction; refine their pedagogical skills in culturally responsive and anti-racist practices; influence equitable classroom practices; redefine curriculum using contemporary design principals; and engage in action research to implement and measure systemic change efforts in education. The program adheres to the CAEP standards.

The goal of the Master of Arts in Equitable Curriculum and Instructional Leadership program at Delaware State University in the Department of Education is to develop candidates in three distinct strands: Equity Literacy, Pedagogical Practices for Cultural Responsiveness, and Authentic Engagement Through a Social Justice Lens. Graduates of the program will be empowered to lead in inclusive schools and generate solutions to persistent inequities in real school contexts. Currently, the program offers two pathways: 

  1. The two-year traditional masters program: This program is for candidates who have earned a bachelor’s degree and currently teach at any school level. 
  2. The 4 +1 MAT program: This program is for those students currently matriculating at Delaware State University in a designated education major. These students begin their master’s coursework as early as their junior year of studies in their undergraduate program. 

All pathways consist of the same coursework in curriculum, instruction, assessment, learning development, and learning environment and include field experiences where the theory and skills gained in coursework can be applied in an educational setting.

This program does not lead to a teaching certification or leadership certification in the state of Delaware.


The goals of the program are as follows: 

  1. Engage and facilitate conversations about race and equity and courageously confront inequity and injustice
  2. Establish learning environments to reach diverse students through culturally responsive and anti-racist curricula that reflect an asset mindset toward students and families
  3. Provide practical strategies and tools to advocate for and lead more socially just actions and empower through thinking, faith, and hope
  4. Lead in inclusive schools and generate concrete solutions to persistent inequities in real school contexts
  5. Build intentional relationships with community partners and families


Delaware State University commits itself to preparing highly qualified classroom teachers. Through 36-credits of coursework, educators will engage and facilitate conversations about race and equity and develop their capacity to establish learning environments that reach diverse students through culturally responsive and anti-racist curricula. Through scenario-based instruction, candidates will interrogate the most current theories around equity, culturally relevant pedagogy, and systems change while applying their skills in designing curriculum, addressing students’ social, emotional, and behavioral wellness, and cultivating change at the school and system levels.

Delaware State University graduates will be able to: 

  • Program SLO1: Apply a deep knowledge of equity, social justice, and diversity to promote inclusive, equitable, and culturally responsive instructional and behavioral support practices in education.
  • Program SLO2: Notice subtle biases, show curiosity, and skillfully confront issues related to inequities, social justice, and multiculturalism to conduct critical self-appraisal of these practices.
  • Program SLO3: Evaluate diverse perspectives to navigate the ambiguity and complexity that comes with multiple perspectives to ensure a culturally sustaining curriculum and high instructional expectations.
  • Program SLO4: Harness the power of diversity, equity, and social justice, as a source for creativity, innovation, and productive collaboration.
  • Program SLO5: Develop the professionalism and dispositions appropriate to equity, social justice, and diversity by working inclusively with a diverse learning community.
  • Program SLO6: Create an environment where each diverse perspective is considered for the cooperative purpose of making progress toward common goals.
  • Program SLO7: Evaluate the inequities and disparities in real educational contexts.
  • Program SLO8: Design the implementation of data-driven efforts that encourage social equity and inclusion.
  • Program SLO9: Exhibit intercultural communication skills that are scholarly, culturally sensitive, equitable, and self-reflective.
  • Program SLO10: Connect theory to practice in the areas of equity, diversity, and social justice while establishing partnerships with stakeholders.


Application Deadlines: 

  • Applications are due by June 30 for fall admission and November 15 for spring admission.
  • Enrollment is contingent upon receipt of all required documents no later than two weeks prior to the enrollment period for all applicants.

Educators who wish to seek admission in the ECIL program are required to submit the following for consideration of unconditional admission: 

  1. An earned baccalaureate degree in education or an allied field with a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.00.
  2. A valid Delaware Initial, Continuing, or Advanced License; or a Limited Standard, Standard or Professional Status Certificate issued by the Department prior to August 31, 2003, OR a such or similar licensure from another state.
  3. The applicants not holding the licensure may also be admitted into the program but on a clear understanding that the masters’ degree will not fulfill the requirements of any licensure and they will still have to follow the individualized plan to meet the licensure requirements.
  4. Resume and statement of philosophy of teaching and learning. 
  5. Two letters of recommendation, one of which must be an evaluation of the applicant’s instructional ability and attitude toward the teaching/learning process. Applicants who lack teaching experience should ask for a recommendation from a college instructor in their major discipline or an employer familiar with their teaching potential.


To earn a Master of Arts in Teaching degree, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete 36 graduate credit hours of coursework.
  • Complete 3 credits of field experience.
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.00. 
  • Complete the Capstone with passing scores.


Students are required to: 

  • Design an action research plan directly aligned to one of the three strands of the program: Equity Literacy, Pedagogical Practices for Cultural Responsiveness, or Authentic Engagement through a Social Justice Lens. The plan will be implemented in an educational setting and students will present their findings at a research symposium.


Applicants who have earned a grade of “B” or higher in graduate courses taken at an accredited institution and related to their proposed Program of Study can request consideration for transfer of credit. These courses will be evaluated on an individual basis by the respective Graduate Program. Applicants admitted to the Master of Arts in Equitable Curriculum and Instructional Leadership program may transfer a maximum of 6 graduate credits from another accredited institution toward the master’s degree provided these credits have not been used to meet the requirements of a degree previously earned. 

Applicants must provide supporting documentation, as may be required by the Coordinator, The Master of Arts in Equitable Curriculum and Instructional Leadership Program, at the time of admission. The Coordinator, The Master of Arts in Equitable Curriculum and Instructional Leadership Program, will review all the submitted documentation and note the allowable course waivers in the program’s recommendation to the Dean, School of Graduate, Adult and Extended Studies, who will approve the hours allowed to be transferred.


The Department of Education’s distinguished faculty members include nationally and internationally known authors, researchers, and academicians. The faculty members have achieved notable distinctions in their respective fields. The faculty combines academic expertise with direct experiences in the field of education. Their knowledge, skills, and experience enable them to offer practical guidance and mentorship, helping students adapt to the professional world and make wise career choices. 


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