Master's Option in Whole Child Approaches

The Master's degree in Education with an option in Whole Child Approaches integrates education, human development, and health fields to foster holistic approaches to student-centered learning. The program prepares elementary and secondary educators to engage families and communities in creating positive and healthy school climates that promote student wellness and academic achievement. Graduates will be prepared to implement the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model to advance K-12 students' social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development through evidence based practices.

Program Details

The Master's (M.Ed.) degree in Education with an option in Whole Child Approaches is a 30-credit graduate program aimed at enhancing the preparation and skills of practicing educators in K-12 settings. Students are able to complete the program in five (5) semesters, including one summer, beginning each Fall.

Curriculum (pending approval)

Program curriculum is based upon the CDC's Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model. Students will complete 27 credits of core and elective coursework in the following areas:

  • Whole Child Learning (3 credits)
  • Family & Community Engagement (6 credits)
  • Social and Emotional School Climate (6 credits)
  • Physical Education and Physical Activity (3 credits)
  • Health, Nutrition Environment and Services (3 credits)
  • Cultural Diversity & Diverse Learners (3 credits)
  • Counseling and Psychological Support (3 credits)

Additionally, students will complete a 3-credit, competency-based practicum experience to apply program content to positively impact their professional experiences and goals.

Application Process

In order to be considered for admission, prospective students should submit the following items, via the application system on the NDSU Graduate School website, by July 15th each year:

  • A statement of experience and goals using the Components of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) as the framework. The statement should:
    • Be 3-4 pages, double-spaced;
    • Explicity connect your experiences and career goals to the WSCC components; and
    • Explain how NDSU's Education Master's program with a focus in Whole Child Approaches will help you achieve your career goals.
  • Official transcripts verifying all undergraduate coursework and degrees earned from accredited institutions; and
  • Contact information for three individuals who can provide letters of recommendation concerning your academic ability and proficiency.

Note: Your GPA for post-secondary coursework must meet one of the following conditions:

  • Cumulative undergraduate GPA is 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale);
  • GPA for the final 30 semester credit of graded undergraduate coursework is 3.25 or higher; or
  • GPA for 10 semester credits of graduate coursework, if applicable, must be 3.0 or higher.


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