Curriculum & Instructional Foundations (CIIF)

Program Description and Overview 

The Curriculum & Instructional Foundations Program (CIIF) leads to a Master’s of Science in Education Degree with an option in Instructional Foundations. This program option consists of the following three concentrations: Adult Education, Community Leadership, and Teacher Leadership. Completion of coursework related to these program options does not qualify candidates for licensure by entitlement or a recommendation for licensure.                                                                                             

Adult Education

The Adult Education concentration prepares professionals to work with and teach adults in a variety of contexts and settings. A key objective in adult education is to develop programs to meet the needs of individuals. Careful attention is paid to reviewing previous experience and analyzing the career goals of each candidate in order to design a meaningful and relevant educational experience.

The required course work in the adult education concentration is designed to provide candidates with the knowledge and skills needed to become competent practitioners in the field of adult education. The Adult Education concentration emphasizes knowledge and skill development in four areas: 1) technical knowledge and skills, 2) business knowledge and skills, 3) interpersonal knowledge and skills, and 4) intellectual skills. 

Community Leadership

The Community Leadership concentration is designed to provide candidates with the knowledge and skills required to meet the growing need for leadership expertise in community agencies and non-profit organizations, both locally and abroad, according to workplace projections and expected job growth.

Required coursework in the community leadership concentration is designed to enable candidates the opportunity to develop expertise in vital leadership, organizational management, and strategic planning skills needed in non-traditional educational settings. 

Teacher Leadership

The Teacher Leadership concentration prepares candidates for the state endorsement in Teacher Leadership. The need for school reform and transformation, especially urban school transformation, has created a widespread recognition that principals cannot do their job alone. School leadership also comes from teaching faculty. Teacher leaders perform crucial roles in the school from induction and mentoring new teachers to coaching seasoned teachers to providing professional development and expertise on curriculum reform.

Depending upon the concentration chosen, the curriculum provides candidates with the background and skills necessary for employment as a curriculum specialist, educational consultant in adult education, community leader, and/or teacher leader.

To apply for admission to this program, candidates should click here and follow the instructions provided on this homepage in submitting their application online. Official transcripts from all institutions previously attended, except CSU, are required. Questions about the application process should be directed to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies at Chicago State University, (773) 995-2404 or

To request for more information:  Please Click here.

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the university’s general admission requirements, the applicant must:

  1. Have an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. Have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (on a 4-point grading scale). A 2.75 GPA is needed for conditional admission.
  3. Provide (in the online application system) a written and concise statement of purpose, describing his/her academic and research background, career goals, and reason for applying to this degree program. Please be specific in explaining how the course offerings and faculty expertise of this program fit your educational and career objectives.
  4. Provide two letters of recommendation, (which need to be uploaded directly by the referees into the online application system), from persons familiar with his/her educational background and work experience.

Additional Required Documents for International Applicants Only:

  1. A course-by-course transcript evaluation from Education Credentials Evaluators (ECE) or World Educational Services (WES).
  2. Proof of English Proficiency: TOEFL/IELTS Official Score Report or Waiver Application.
  3. International Student Packet: - Bank Statement; and Notarized Financial Statement Form and Certificate of Sponsorship.


Core Courses (15 credit hours):

ELCF 5010; ELCF 5320; ELCF 5410; ELCF 5640; & ELCF 5950.

Concentrations Courses (15 credit hours):

Adult Education: ED 5312; ELCF 5390; ELCF 5620; ELCF 5900; & ED 5960.

Community Leadership: ED 5312; TPS 5110; ELCF 5130; ELCF 5800; & ELCF 5900.

Teacher Leadership: ELCF 5150; ELCF 5720; ELCF 5726; ED 5960; & ELCF 5985.

Additional Requirements for Degree Completion:

  • The candidate must successfully complete all required credit hours for the program.
  • A GPA of 3.0 or better must be maintained in the program and is required for degree completion.
  • All coursework for the degree, including transfer credits, must have been completed within the six years allowed for program completion.
  • The candidate must successfully complete required practicum experience ((24 credit hr. prerequisite**)
  • Professional Portfolio (required by the end of the practicum experience, which is completed during ELCF 5950. This portfolio must be uploaded into Live text for grading purposes.

Note: Candidates must abide by all College policies stated in this catalog unless exceptions or adherence to higher expectations are noted in program documentation.

Dr. Florah Luseno, Chairperson

Department of Advanced Studies in Education

Chicago State University/ College of Education Building, Room 319

9501 South King Drive

Chicago, Illinois 60628-1598

Telephone: (773) 995-2086


Fall, Summer, and Spring semester of each year.

  • Yes. Student may transfer 9 credit hours of graduate credit earned at other accredited colleges and universities that were not used towards degree requirements or applied to a degree program at Chicago State University.
  • For an evaluation of transfer credit taken prior to admission at CSU, the student must indicate on the application for admission any transfer credit he/she wishes to have considered.
  • All courses must have been taken within the six-year time limit given for completing the degree program prior to the conferral of the graduate degree. Grades earned must be at least a B or above.

The teacher leadership option is standards based. Adult education and community leadership are not.

The degree will require a minimum of four (4) semesters, and a maximum of two (2) years. Students are given a six-year time limit within which to complete their degree.

Core coursework consists of a total of 30 credit hours.

Yes. The master’s degree can only be awarded to candidates who have achieved a 3.0 cumulative GPA or better in all required and elective courses applied toward the master’s degree. Students who fall below this standard will be placed on academic probation.

A course in which a grade of D of F was obtained can be repeated once to obtain a grade of C or better.

Once admitted to a degree program, no more than two grades of C can be earned in any graduate or professional course taken within the curriculum offered in that graduate program, whether or not the courses are part of the student’s program. Where a student has two grades of “I” outstanding on the graduate record, the student will be reviewed for probationary status.