General Description of Elementary Education
Elementary programs include the Master of Science in Education degree program and four post-baccalaureate licensure programs. Within the Master of Science in elementary education degree program there are a number of concentrations and emphasis area choices for both licensed teachers as well as those seeking initial licensure or endorsement. For those seeking initial licensure there are the following concentration areas: PreK-6, middle school 6-8, and library science K-12 (Note: the library science concentration may also be done through Master of Science in Education, Secondary Education). For licensed teachers seeking additional education there are the following concentration areas: math specialist PK-8, library science K-12 (Note: the library science concentration may also be done through Master of Science in Education, Secondary Education), and elementary generalist. Post-baccalaureate endorsement programs are designed for individuals with a non-teaching BS or BA degree who want to obtain licensure or for those with a teaching license who want to be licensed in an additional teaching area. The four endorsement programs offered in elementary education are PreK-6, Middle School 6-8, Library Science K-12, and Mathematics Specialist PreK-8.
Master of Science in Education, Elementary Education, for Licensed Teachers
3101 Education Building
Brandon Butler, Graduate Program Director
The Master of Science in Education, Elementary Education program for licensed teachers is designed for those who wish to improve and update their professional competency in teaching and enrich their teaching expertise for becoming master teachers. Licensed teachers completing the program enhance their ability to teach effectively and to participate in educational research in their schools. Completion of the program requirements leads to the upgrade of the teaching license to the Postgraduate Professional level. The program of study consists of 30-credit hours, 18 credit hours taught in a cohort model with shared courses for students from the early childhood, elementary and secondary advanced master's degree programs. An additional three credit hours are completed as independent research/internship. The remaining nine credit hours focus explicitly on teaching and learning in the elementary grades. The MSEd - Elementary Education program for licensed teachers is offered online only.
The graduate program associated with this major is intended to meet the needs of the individual student. Program options are designed to accomplish three primary goals:
- to enhance classroom instruction by enriching the knowledge and skills of practicing teachers;
- to train and encourage classroom teachers to conduct in-school research so that significant findings in the learning-teaching process can be applied to the classroom situation; and
- to permit teachers to upgrade their teaching credentials to the Postgraduate Professional License level.
Curricula for the program include specific courses that emphasize the inter-disciplinary nature of teaching in diverse settings. Topics addressed in courses include curricular and pedagogical principles, assessment, English language learners, teaching in the digital age, and culturally responsive teaching. Students also learn to engage in reflective inquiry and how to conduct practitioner inquiry that directly transforms instructional practice and beliefs about teaching. The program has four component areas:
- General core;
- Research core;
- Elementary emphasis area; and
- Capstone experience.
Students must choose one of two capstone options – a research thesis and associated 3-credit hour thesis course (Thesis Option); or an internship experience and associated 3-credit hour internship course (Internship Option). The thesis option requires a successful defense of the thesis prospectus. The non-thesis internship option requires successful completion of a comprehensive examination covering program coursework.