Although diploma programs in elementary education are rare, students in Missouri who desire to earn an award in elementary teaching may choose to complete a program leading to bachelor's or master's degrees, as well as post-baccalaureate certificates; the certificate programs are designed for students who hold bachelor's degrees in fields outside of teaching. In addition to classroom instruction, such teaching programs often include practicum and/or students teaching opportunities. Individuals schools' admission requirements may vary and are detailed below.
All of these schools' bachelor's degree and post-baccalaureate certificate programs prepare graduates for teaching certification.
Lindenwood University is located in St. Charles. The School of Education offers a wide variety of degree programs and employs around 90 faculty members. In order to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, students must complete 69 credit hours in the major and 21 credit hours in a content emphasis area in addition to upper- and lower-division general education classes. Field experiences for this degree program include two practicums and a semester of student teaching; students may augment this degree plan with a K-12 special education add-on program. The Master of Arts in Teaching degree program provides individuals who have bachelor's degrees in a subject or content area, but who do not have certification, with the necessary coursework to become teachers.
Missouri State University - Springfield
Springfield is the home of Missouri State University - Springfield, which offers the largest elementary education teacher training program in the state. Undergraduates enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Education program must maintain a GPA of 2.75 and submit a professional portfolio before beginning student teaching. This institution also offers a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program for those who have already obtained a bachelor's degree in a content area.
Students can also combine certification in elementary education with a Master of Science in Education. Students in this program will apply up to twelve hours of graduate-level certification work to the master's degree. Upon receiving certification recommendation, they will complete eighteen more hours of graduate-level credit to earn the master's degree.
Northwest Missouri State University
The College of Education and Human Services at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville offers 23 different major and minor programs, thirteen master's degree programs, and three specialist programs. Undergraduate students may choose from four different degree plans combining elementary education with an elementary subject area concentration, early childhood education, special education or special education with cross-category instruction in elementary education. The latter option consists of classes in such topics as cross-categorical theory, diagnostic reading, assessment, and teaching of children with language, speech and hearing challenges. All four programs require at least twelve credit hours of student teaching.
At the graduate level, certified teachers with an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75 who have passed the Analytical Writing Assessment exam may enroll in a 32-credit Master of Science in Education program. Northwest Missouri State also offers an add-on certification in elementary mathematics. This 24-credit hour program, available only to those who have a teaching certificate and two years of experience in teaching math, includes classes in such subjects as data and probability, algebraic reasoning and mathematical leadership for elementary mathematics specialists.
Park University in Parkville offers a Bachelor of Science in Education that is approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Students can choose an option for early childhood education (birth-third grade) or elementary education (grades 1-6). To complete the elementary education program, students must complete 78 credits in the major, which includes classes in such topics as child psychology, classroom management, and technology in education. Students must also complete 21 credit hours in an area of concentration. The early childhood education option consists of courses in child development, language development and science and literacy for elementary and early childhood teachers, among other areas. Both programs require practicums and student teaching.
Southeast Missouri State University
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities has chosen the education program of Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau as one of 20 model teacher-training programs in the nation. Students complete multiple classes in teaching techniques as well as elementary field experiences and student teaching. Elementary education majors also complete courses in a content specialization area, such as mathematics, language arts or music. Alternatively, students may earn certification in elementary education as part of a degree plan in exceptional child education. Graduate students may enroll in one of three degree programs leading to a Master of Arts in Elementary Education. Each degree program consists of 33 credit hours in either online or blended classes; students may choose an emphasis in reading, math, and science or early childhood education. The reading emphasis program requires two practicums.
University of Central Missouri
The University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg offers three undergraduate degree programs leading to teacher certification in elementary education: an early childhood option (birth-third grade), an elementary education option (first-sixth grade), and a dual-certification option that combines elementary education with special education, health education, family and consumer sciences. All programs require students to begin field experiences in the sophomore year, culminating in sixteen weeks of student teaching in the senior year.
Coursework for the early childhood education level covers methods of teaching in various subjects, technology in education, child psychology and development through play. Students in the elementary option take courses in class management, educational psychology, children's literature and teaching methods in various subjects. They also choose a concentration from the areas of English, mathematics, speech communication and theatre, modern languages, instructional technology, social studies or science.
University of Missouri - Columbia
The University of Missouri - Columbia, located in Columbia, was the first public university in the nation to establish a separate college for teacher education. Undergraduate students complete a four-phase degree plan that includes 21 hours in a subject concentration and 65 hours in professional education courses. Required field experiences begin in phase one and culminate in a full-time teaching internship in the senior year. Graduate students may enroll in a Master of Education degree program in elementary education. This program requires 30-32 credit hours and is completed by passing a comprehensive exam.
University of Missouri - Kansas City
Kansas City's University of Missouri - Kansas City offers two teacher education programs with field experiences set up through partnerships with nine school districts. Students in the undergraduate program take classes in the curriculum, language acquisition, and teaching subject content during the fall of the junior year. During the semester between junior and senior year, all students participate in a summer community immersion experience. Senior year is the apprenticeship year; students take nine credit hours of classes, an eight-credit internship and twelve hours of student teaching.
Those who already have a bachelor's degree may complete the 98-credit post-bachelor's certification program. This requires participation in the immersion experience and two teaching apprenticeships; students can earn a master's degree simultaneously by taking four additional classes.
University of Missouri - St. Louis
The University of Missouri - St. Louis, which is located in St. Louis, offers multiple teacher training programs. The undergraduate teaching segment proceeds in three levels: exploring education as a profession, analyzing the nature and processes of education and synthesizing theory and practice in education. This last level incorporates the field experiences, some of which may be set up through UMSL's Studio Schools for Learning program. College graduates may earn post-baccalaureate licensure in elementary education; after completing 27 prerequisite credits in lieu of level one, this degree program is identical to that of the undergraduate training program. UMSL also offers a 33-credit master's degree program in elementary education. Students have specialization options, including early childhood and reading emphasis.
St. Louis is also the home of Washington University, which offers three ways to earn teacher certification in elementary education. Undergraduate students must complete 48 credit hours in education courses as well as a second academic major in a liberal arts subject content field. College graduates can become certified by enrolling in the post-baccalaureate program, which requires a minimum of 48 hours in education courses covering three areas: foundations of education, curriculum and instruction, and student teaching. The master's degree program requires 49 hours of professional education coursework over the course of three semesters. This includes thirteen hours of courses in foundations of education and 36 hours in curriculum and instruction.
According to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, individuals who wish to teach elementary school in the state must complete an accredited four-year degree program in the field of education and gain experience through student teaching. Those who have already earned a bachelor's degree in a content area may obtain a provisional two-year certificate by enrolling in a teacher training program, which generally requires about 30 credit hours, and teaching while taking courses.
Both options require completion of an exit exam to obtain the initial teaching certificate. The initial certificate is a four-year license; teachers undergo one year of beginning teacher assistance, two years of mentoring, annual evaluations and 30 contact hours of professional development training in order to earn the career continuous certificate.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Elementary Teaching Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Lindenwood University||Four-year, private not-for-profit; small city|| Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education,
Master of Arts in Teaching
|Missouri State University - Springfield||Four-year, public; midsize city||Bachelor of Science in Education,
Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification Program,
Combined Elementary Education Certificate/Master of Science in Education
|$7,376 in-state, $15,326 out-of-state*|
|Northwest Missouri State University||Four-year, public; remote town|| Bachelor of Science in Education in Elementary Education (multiple program options),
Master of Science in Education
|$7,844 in-state, $13,166 out-of-state*|
|Park University||Four-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb|| Bachelor of Science in Education in Elementary Education,
Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education
|Southeast Missouri State University||Four-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Science in Education in Elementary Education,
Bachelor of Science in Exceptional Child Education with Elementary Certification,
Master of Arts in Elementary Education (multiple program options)
|$7,418 in-state, $13,155 out-of-state*|
|University of Central Missouri||Four-year, public; distant town|| Bachelor of Science in Education (multiple program options)
||$7,673 in-state, $14,442 out-of-state*|
|University of Missouri - Columbia||Four-year, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Science in Education - Elementary Education,
Master of Education in Elementary Education
|$9,972 in-state, $27,042 out-of-state*|
|University of Missouri - Kansas City||Four-year, public; large city|| Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education,
Post-Bachelor's Certification Program
|$8,178 in-state, $20,207 out-of-state*|
|University of Missouri - St Louis||Four-year, public; large suburb|| Bachelor of Science in Education - Elementary Education,
Post-Baccalaureate Elementary Education Certification Program,
Master of Education in Elementary Education (multiple program options)
|$9,792 in-state, $26,040 out-of-state*|
|Washington University in St. Louis||Four-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education,
Post-Baccalaureate Certification Program - Elementary,
Master of Arts in Education
Source: *NCES College Navigator