Education college debuts masters for math coaches, behavior analysts

By |

    Print this page Email this page

Lipscomb University’s College of Education announces two new master’s programs for this fall designed to meet the increasing need for teacher-leaders and specialized content knowledge in today’s K-12 schools: the Master of Education in Professional Learning and Coaching in Mathematics and the Master of Science in Applied Behavioral Analysis.

Both of these programs are now enrolling for the fall. They each address an area of education that has proven challenging for teachers and school administrators in the past, said Candice McQueen, dean of Lipscomb’s College of Education and senior vice president.


Master of Education in Professional Learning and Coaching in Mathematics

“As math teachers remain in high demand, school systems are increasing their focus on helping both new and current math teachers improve their skills and boost student achievement,” said McQueen. “To support these efforts, the college has redesigned its graduate program in math instruction to provide a unique blend of mathematics knowledge with leadership and coaching skills.”

“Math coaches are vital to the success of teachers and students as Tennessee reaches full implementation of higher standards in mathematics and as Tennessee students compete academically on an international stage.”

The new master’s program contains core leadership classes to enhance skills in communication, visioning and enacting change, behavior analysis and teaching practice, as well as the legal and ethical aspects of leadership. Additional classes are designed to teach coaching skills specifically needed for math teachers.

The program is structured for math teachers at any grade level or for teachers wanting to move into math instruction. Fifteen hours of the program are devoted to math courses taught with a focus on effective instruction and boosting student achievement.

The 36-hour program can be completed in five semesters with classes offered in the evening, on weekends or online. Working teachers receive a 26 percent educators’ discount on tuition.


Master of Science in Applied Behavioral Analysis

The Lipscomb College of Education is also offering its first Master of Science degree this fall in applied behavior analysis. This is the first master’s degree in applied behavior analysis that has received fourth edition task list course sequence approval in the state of Tennessee.

Applied behavior analysis is a method of behavior management that uses a scientific approach to prevent a child’s disruptive behaviors by identifying and preventing the triggers. This skill has become increasingly important as autism has become more prevalent and inclusion of special education students within the traditional classroom has become more common, said Annette Little, director of the applied behavior analysis program at Lipscomb.

“Students frequently exhibit behaviors that sometimes don’t respond to traditional behavior prevention. If you really understand the triggers of the behavior, then it doesn’t matter what type of behavior it is, you can prevent it,” said Little. "Understanding behaviors and using appropriate feedback and management to respond is such a common need that Lipscomb requires study of these methods in its graduate special education program."

In this master’s program students will study the science of behavior analysis and the systematic application of techniques to change behaviors. The program provides students with the coursework and field supervision necessary to apply for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s national exam. To obtain the BACB certification, students must successfully complete the BACB approved coursework and 1,500 hours of field experience, and pass the BACB national exam.

The program is also valuable for non-classroom educators such as administrators, social workers, therapists or those working in the justice system or in the non-profit sector.

The applied behavior analysis master’s will take between 18 months and two years to complete, with classes meeting on evenings, weekends and online. A 26% tuition discount is available for working teachers.


For more information on the Master of Education in Professional Learning and Coaching in Mathematics and the Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis contact Laura Liszt at or 615.966.1811.