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UCM’s Online Master of Science in Education in Elementary Education Curriculum and Instruction Program Ranked #1 Nationally

By Alex Wilson, June 23, 2021

Lovinger Education Building

WARRENSBURG, MO – The University of Central Missouri’s online Master of Science in Education (MSE) in Elementary Education Curriculum and Instruction has been ranked number one in the nation for 2021 by The program, which also has been ranked by other organizations in the past few years, including The Online Schools Report in 2020, was recognized for its quality and strength. noted that its engaging online course framework prepares graduate students for the advancement of their professional careers.


The UCM online MSE in Elementary Education Curriculum and Instruction program strives to be the best of its kind in an age where staying progressive in educational best-practice is more important than ever. It offers flexible and meaningful course options for dedicated graduate students. With an online format, flexibility plays an important role in empowering graduate students’ self-efficacy to successfully study, collaborate and engage in their program of study.


In addition to being ranked number one over 47 other academic institutions by, the program aligns with UCM’s accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Since 1954, CAEP has held high standards for its accredited institutions, helping to ensure a high-quality education for students who enroll in CAEP-accredited programs. UCM is the longest continuously CAEP- accredited public institution in Missouri.


Students enrolled in the program can expect a course curriculum designed to teach important and sophisticated concepts such as pedagogical commitment, systematic and exemplary instructional practice, and school-community engagement.


Julie Hentges, Ed.D., professor of education and coordinator for the MSE in Elementary Education Curriculum and Instruction, said “The program design meets the needs of practitioners in early childhood and elementary education to grow professionally. This program supports the university’s emphasis on engaged and future-focused learning with a strong emphasis on authentic, active real-world, project-based teaching and learning.” 


She added, “Each course in the program is applicable to educators of children in the early childhood and middle childhood age spans. The MSE in Elementary Education Curriculum and Instruction degree program focus aligns with the National Board Professional Teaching Standards for the early and middle childhood education areas.”


Hentges said the degree “supports the very busy schedules of teachers.” The full program, 30 credit hours, is offered entirely online.


To meet the MSE in Elementary Education Curriculum and Instruction application criteria, students must apply to UCM graduate school. At that time, they will submit proof of teacher certification or professional endorsement from any of the 50 U.S. states or territories and must have graduated from a National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) or regionally accredited university. Additionally, future graduate students must also submit a copy of their last summative teaching evaluation or a letter of recommendation from a certified academic professor or educational leader.


Teachers and teacher leaders interested in learning more about this advanced degree are encouraged to do so by visiting the program's web page or by contacting Hentges via phone at 660-543-8659 or by email at


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