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Middle School-Junior High School, BSE - Speech/Theatre Concentration

Speech and Theatre Teacher Degree

Share your passion for public speaking and performing by becoming a speech communication and theatre teacher. In choosing the University of Central Missouri for your teaching degree, you’ll be equipped to do that and more.

By helping middle school and junior high students develop their communication and self-expression skills, you’ll also give them the confidence they need to take on their adolescent years. Complete your Bachelor of Science in Education degree in UCM’s Middle School Education program for Speech and Theatre to get the specific education and training you need for the crucial job at hand.

An accredited speech and theatre teacher degree for middle-level education

Middle school and junior high students have different needs than kids of other age groups. To help you best reach and teach them, UCM offers a stand-alone middle-level education program. In fact, our program is the largest in Missouri and has been recognized nationally by the Association of Middle Level Education (AMLE).

You’ll also work closely in our Theatre and Dance Department, which holds accreditation by the National Association for Schools of Theatre. Let our tradition of excellence give you confidence in the well-rounded education you’ll receive at UCM.

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99% job placement rate

CAEP Accreditation logo

CAEP accredited and AMLE recognized

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Nationally accredited Theatre program

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Taught by former middle-level educators

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Early and extensive field learning

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Several student associations to join

What you will study

Your journey to become a speech communication and theatre teacher will start on UCM’s Warrensburg campus. Learn from our faculty who have all worked in middle-level education and are committed to helping you become a capable and thoughtful educator. They’ll also guide you and provide feedback as you balance coursework while gaining teaching experience in a middle school or junior high classroom. This will begin in your sophomore year and continue throughout the program, so you’ll be proficient and comfortable in leading your own classroom as a student teacher.

Speech communication and theatre teacher coursework

Get to the root of your desire to become a speech communication and theatre teacher with a wide array of topics in speech and theatre. Courses cover communication, acting and stagecraft, among others designed for our middle-level education program. 

We also offer a minor specifically designed to complement this BSE program. The Speech Communication and Theatre minor for BSE will help you sharpen your focus and extend your learning to broaden your teaching skills.


Excellence in Speech and Theatre Education

  • An accredited and recognized Speech and Theatre Teacher degree, your BSE from UCM will prepare you for today's middle school and junior high classrooms. Complete your education where employers come to find teacher candidates. 
  • A Best Value College for Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School Education & Teaching (College Factual, 2022)
  • A Best Value Bachelor's Degree College for Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School Education & Teaching (College Factual, 2022)
  • One of the Most Focused Colleges for Secondary Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 5%: Most Popular Bachelor's Degree Colleges for Secondary Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 4.5%: Most Popular Colleges for Secondary Education (College Factual, 2022)


Unique learning opportunities for UCM’s Speech and Theatre Teacher degree

At the University of Central Missouri, we ensure you’ll be able to connect what you learn in our classrooms to your own classroom. That’s why we dedicate generous hours to field learning and offer other ways to get involved in teaching, performing and socializing. After all, the best teachers practice what they teach. Opportunities include:

  • Mainstage, studio theatre and black box experimental productions
  • Dance productions and American College Dance Association
  • Central Missouri Repertory
  • Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Players
  • United States Institute for Theatre Technology
  • Southeastern Theatre Conference
  • UCM education honor societies — Kappa Delta Pi or Phi Kappa Phi
  • Theta Alpha Phi, a national honorary theatre fraternity
  • Student Teacher Missouri Teachers Association
  • Collegiate Middle Level Association


What can you do with a Speech and Theatre Teacher degree from UCM?

The University of Central Missouri’s Middle School-Junior High Education program has experienced a 99% employment rate. We attribute this to extensive teacher preparation, the high demand for middle school and junior high teachers and relationships we maintain with area school districts. In fact, school administrators often begin their search for teacher job candidates at UCM, knowing you’ll be ready for the classroom on day one

Your career prospects as a speech and theatre teacher

Your UCM degree will license you to teach students in grades 5 through 9, which includes high school freshmen. Our faculty will work with and advocate for you to help you understand your teaching career options closer to graduation. However, you can get a glimpse of your future in the classroom when you use the interactive tool below today.




Financial assistance options for your UCM Speech and Theatre Teacher degree

Completing your Speech Communication and Theatre Teacher degree is an investment in your future and ultimately that of your students. As you plan your own education, you may also be looking for financial assistance. The University of Central Missouri is committed to affordability with information on loans, grants and work study.

In addition to general scholarship opportunities, many scholarships are available exclusively to Education majors. Here are a few specific to the Speech and Theatre concentration:

  • James L. Highlander Theatre Scholarship: Available to a junior or senior pursuing a degree in Theatre Education from UCM
  • Loneta Pearce Scholarship for the Promotion of Theatre Arts: Available to a junior or senior who has been actively involved in UCM live theatre productions
  • McKean Family Scholarship: Available to a full-time junior or senior pursuing a BSE in Speech Communication and Theatre at UCM

You can learn more about program-specific scholarships at the UCM Scholarship Finder.


The UCM Commencement ceremony

Take your degree further.

Boost your value to school administrators when you complete one of the following UCM master’s degrees:

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Make yourself more marketable.

Strengthen what you learn in UCM’s Speech and Theatre Teacher concentration with one of these minors:

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Explore programs related to speech and theatre.

If you’re passionate about speech and theatre, whether on stage or behind the scenes, you may also want to explore these UCM majors:

Student Learning Objectives

You will use the knowledge and skills obtained in the Middle School/Junior High School program to:

  • Apply knowledge when making curricular decisions, planning and implementing instruction, participating in middle level practices, and providing healthy and effective learning environments for all young adolescents.
  • Use knowledge and available resources to design, implement, and evaluate challenging, developmentally responsive curriculum that results in meaningful learning outcomes.
  • Define the developmentally responsive middle level programs and schools, and they work successfully within middle level organizational components.
  • Use and reflect on research related to data-informed instruction and assessment. Employ a variety of developmentally appropriate instructional strategies, information literacy skills, and technologies to meet the learning needs of all young adolescents.
  • Engage in practices and behaviors that develop their competence as middle level professionals. Demonstrate positive dispositions and engage in ethical professional behaviors.

Student Involvement

You will have multiple opportunities to be involved many student organizations:

  • Student Missouri State Teachers Association
  • Collegiate Middle Level Association
  • Kappa Delta Pi
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Theta Alpha Phi

You will also have the opportunity to be involved in multiple aspects of performance life:

  • Mainstage productions
  • Studio Theatre productions
  • Dance productions
  • Black Box Experimental Theatre productions
  • Central Missouri Repertory
  • Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Players
  • American College Dance Association
  • Southeast Theatre Conference


UCM is the longest continuously CAEP accredited public institution in Missouri


This program has been nationally recognized by the Association of Middle Level Education (AMLE)


UCM’s Theatre and Dance Department is nationally accredited by the National Association for Schools of Theatre



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