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Elementary Education

Early Childhood , Birth-Grade 3 Option, Clinical Pathways, Bachelor of Science in Education Degree

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What can I do with this major

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Candidates pursuing a bachelor of science degree with a major in elementary education have three options:

  • elementary education in grades 1-6 option, which leads to certification to teach elementary education in grades one through six
  • early childhood option, which leads to certification to teach early childhood and elementary education in prekindergarten through grade three
  • dual certification elementary and early childhood option, which leads to certification to teach children from birth through grade six.

Early childhood education majors study a core of education and liberal arts classes. Combined with a professional education semester that includes 16 weeks of student teaching at two different age levels, this curriculum prepares candidates upon graduation to be highly qualified preschool or primary elementary school classroom teachers.

According to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, UCM is "one of the premier teacher education institutions in the state," and has a reputation for preparing some of the finest teachers in the classroom today. Full accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), as well as national recognition by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) provides further verification of high quality. UCM's programs meet all Missouri certification requirements at the undergraduate level.

Central Missouri's teacher education program prepares teachers to be competent, caring, reflective practitioners committed to the premise that all can learn. Graduates are well grounded in general, major, and professional knowledge and skills that are guided by performance standards and assessments, including development of reflective decisionmaking skills. Program expectations have been derived from consultation with practitioners and review of recommendations of appropriate professional groups.

Clinical Experiences

Pre-service teachers complete a series of scaffolded field experiences in the sophomore, junior, and senior years. The senior year professional development school experience is co-designed and taught by school practitioners and university faculty. The culminating experience is the student-teaching semester.

International Opportunities

Students in the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education may choose to participate in international study experiences offered by the Office of International Programs. Short-term study tours abroad may also offer an excellent introduction to education in other countries.

About the Faculty

Department faculty members all have public school or early childhood teaching experience and are qualified teachers who engage regularly in a variety of professional development opportunities and work closely with and in our public partner schools.

Student Involvement

Students may choose to join one or more professional organization that sponsor opportunities for service and professional networking as well as offering membership benefits. Education-related organizations include:

  • Student Missouri State Teachers Association (SMSTA)
  • Missouri National Educators Association (MNEA)
  • Kappa Delta Pi, a national honorary fraternity
  • Leading Educator Advocates for Diversity (LEAD)

Teacher Education Admission

Candidates seeking an initial teaching certificate who meet departmental requirements are admitted to the teacher education program when they have completed 48 semester hours of college credit. After completing 90 hours and meeting additional requirements, students are admitted to the professional education semester and the student-teaching portion of the program.

To Learn More

Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education