Teaching Schools in Kansas City, MO with Degree Program Info

Jan 24, 2019

Research teaching programs in Kansas City, MO, which currently has more than five schools offering degrees. To decide which one is right for you, read an overview of the program options, requirements and admission info for three of the schools located within roughly 15 miles of the downtown area.

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Teaching Degrees in Kansas City, MO

Prospective teachers in the Kansas City, MO, area can choose from one of several program options at the undergraduate and graduate levels. If you're eager to find out what to expect from training in this field, take a look at the required coursework and field experiences in three universities' degree programs. This article also includes a table of school statistics and a little info on a couple of other area institutions.

  • The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) was chartered in 1929 and grew until it merged with the University of Missouri system in 1963. Located about five miles from the city's center, the school offers bachelor's degrees in teaching and several graduate degrees in the field, including master's- and doctoral-level programs.
  • Situated around five miles from downtown Kansas City, Rockhurst University began as a combination Jesuit high school and college in 1914. Founded with just one teacher, Rockhurst has grown to offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs as a Catholic liberal arts college. Students there can earn a bachelor's and master's degree in education as well as a master's degree in educational studies.
  • Avila University, also a small, Catholic, liberal arts school, began as a 2-year women's college in 1916 and has expanded over the years to include bachelor's and masters' degree programs. The institution, located roughly 15 miles from central Kansas City, offers bachelor's degree programs in elementary, middle and special education in addition to a secondary education minor option. Graduate offerings include a master's degree in education and teaching certification programs.

Comparison of Schools

The cost of attending a school is, for many students, just as important as its academic offerings. The gap between the least inexpensive and most costly universities on the featured list amounts to more than $20,000. Get specifics on not only tuition rates but also factors like graduation rates and student enrollment numbers in the table below.

University Of Missouri-Kansas City Rockhurst University Avila University
School Type 4-year; public 4-year; private-not-for-profit 4-year; private-not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 16,372* 3,043* 1,703*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $8,011 in-state students; $19,793 out-of-state students* $36,590* $28,020*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017) 93%* 100%* 100%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 64%* 72%* 39%*
Full-Time Student Retention Rate (2017) 75%* 86%* 69%*
Graduation Rate (for students who began in Fall 2011) 48%* 75%* 42%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

University of Missouri-Kansas City

Students seeking admission to the teaching program at UMKC generally apply around sophomore year after completing prerequisite coursework. Students are required to have passing scores on the Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA) and clear a background check. Applicants to the middle school, secondary and K-12 programs must pass the Missouri Content Assessment (MoCA) covering content knowledge.

Bachelor of Arts

The BA programs in teaching at UMKC require at least 120 credit hours, including practicum coursework for graduation. Along with university general education requirements, students take education coursework, such as educational psychology, teaching and learning with technology and an introductory education class. In the early childhood and elementary education majors, students may take classes in areas such as early childhood reading, literacy, math and science in the elementary school.

Middle school majors specialize in one or more subjects, such as math or English, and take education courses in areas like adolescent development and middle school philosophy. Secondary education majors take between 30 and 50 hours of subject-specific courses along with coursework in education topics that include reading in secondary schools and culturally responsive strategies.

Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction

The various emphasis areas in this master's degree program all require at least 36 credit hours to complete, which must be earned with a 3.0 GPA or above. Each of the majors in the MA degree program have 21 hours of core credit-hour requirements and 15 hours of coursework in their major. Some of the available emphasis areas include early childhood, a subject matter specialty and teaching English as another language.

Core coursework can cover subjects such as curriculum design, advanced educational psychology and/or principles and methods of research. At the end of the program, students complete a research project.

Master of Arts in Special Education or Language and Literacy

The master's program in special education leads to initial certification to teach students with mild to moderate disabilities . The program in language and literacy requires 48 hours of coursework. Courses will include literacy and language development, dyslexia and related learning disorders, teaching of reading and child development.

Education Specialist

UMKC offers education specialist degree programs in curriculum and instruction and language and literacy. Applicants to the program must have earned at least a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA. The programs involve the completion of at least 60 hours of graduate work beyond the bachelor's level, at least 60% of which must be graduate-level courses. Coursework in the program is divided into major, supporting, culminating and behavioral and humanistic studies. Based on their program, degree candidates may take classes in areas like foundations of school leadership and organization, reading assessment and evaluation or principles of testing.

Doctor of Education

This doctoral program offers two areas of concentration: curriculum and instruction and educational leadership, policy and foundations. The programs require a master's degree and a minimum GPA of 3.5. Core program requirements include topics like cognition and technology, the design of curriculum and an evaluation of the role of technology in education. Research areas that will be explored also include statistical methods, archival technique and the analysis of variance.

Rockhurst University

Rockhurst is a Jesuit school offering a traditionally rigorous program. Undergraduates take courses in philosophy and critical thinking.

Bachelor of Arts

The Department of Education at Rockhurst offers majors in elementary, secondary and special education. Students applying to these programs complete an application, including an essay, and need to pass the CBASE. All students take core courses in English composition, literature, theology and economics and philosophy. Education courses include educational psychology, foundations of education and technology in education. Dependent upon their major, students also take content courses such as teaching social studies, math, science or English. Secondary education majors choose specializations from such content areas as math, science, social sciences or English. Elementary education majors do not specialize. An educational studies minor is also offered.

Master of Education

This master's degree is an initial certification program that requires candidates to pass the MoCA exam prior to becoming certified. Program majors include elementary, secondary and special education certification. Curricula include between 40 and 60 hours of credit, and coursework will cover teaching methods, technology and content-specific courses. Students complete a teaching practicum at the end of the degree program.

Master of Education in Educational Studies

This master's degree program is designed for teachers with current certification or for people generally interested in education but who don't want or need certification. Earning this degree requires completion of 34-36 credit hours. Twelve hours of required courses cover topics such as foundations of education, educational technology and psychology. Between 22 and 24 hours of courses in a specialization can be chosen from options such as special education, teacher leadership and STEAM education. A portfolio or service project rounds out the curriculum.

Avila University

Candidates apply to all of the teaching programs at Avila after completing a set number of credit hours designed to help students determine if teaching is an appropriate career choice. Applicants also need to pass a background check, pass the CBASE and have a cumulative GPA of 2.75. All students are required to take and pass the MoGEA and MoCA prior to graduation.

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education

In addition to the general education requirements at Avila, all elementary education majors are required to take a second composition course and an American National Government class. The elementary education core is composed of classes covering teaching methods, subject content (such as geometry and literature), educational psychology and testing and assessment. Several of the courses in the program require field-based or clinical experience components prior to the student-teaching practicum.

Bachelor of Science in Middle School Education

The middle school education program prepares students to teach fifth through ninth grade. Middle school teacher candidates must specialize in a content area, such as language arts, math, science or social studies. Education courses cover topics such as foundations of literacy, behavior management and tests and measurements. Students complete a teaching practicum at end of the program.

Bachelor of Science in Special Education

This program leads to a dual certification in mild/moderate cross-categorical special education for grades K-12 and elementary education grades 1-6. Courses in the program cover areas such as psychology for the exceptional child, cross-categorical analysis and methods, educational assessment, health and safety issues and clinical experiences in both elementary and special education.

Minor in Secondary Education

High school teacher candidates major in a subject area, such as biology, history or art, and minor in secondary education. The minor is composed of classes in developmental educational psychology, teaching methods, reading in content areas and behavior management. Students in this program complete a teaching practicum.

Graduate Initial Certification

Designed to certify students who already have a bachelor's degree, this program is available for a variety of majors, such as elementary 1-6, art K-12, English 9-12 or special education K-12. Coursework in the program covers developmental psychology, behavioral management, practicum experiences and methods classes.

Graduate Advanced Teaching Certification

This program is designed for certified K-12 teachers who want to add certification in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in teaching, earned with a 3.0 GPA and current teacher certification. This 21-hour program typically takes three semesters to complete and includes classes such as language and culture, modern grammar and linguistics, language acquisition and language development, along with methods and assessments classes.

Master of Arts in Education

This is a 33-credit-hour master's program offering concentrations in teaching English as a second Language (TESL), teaching and learning, and literacy. The TESL major comprises 11 required courses, including grammar and linguistics, advanced literature for youth and teaching adult language learners. The teaching and learning concentration requires 18 hours of core courses, such as advanced curriculum development and learning theory, as well as 15 electives.

Other Schools

Park University, located about ten miles northwest of Kansas City, offers a variety of education degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. To the northeast of Kansas City, William Jewell College is a small, Christian, liberal arts college offering bachelor's degrees, predominantly in elementary education.

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