Distance Elementary Education Partnership Programs

BEST: Butler/Emporia Students to Teachers

Welcome to the BEST Butler/Emporia Students to Teachers website!

We are proud to provide this opportunity for students to earn their Elementary Education degree at a location near you.  Please explore our website at your convenience.  If you have any questions or want more information, we invite you to contact Todd Roberts at 316-322-3375 or troberts@emporia.edu. 

ESU provides an Elementary Education program in the Wichita Area!

In the fall of 2004, ESU made this nationally acclaimed elementary education program in the Wichita area through Butler Community College, called the "BEST" (Butler/Emporia Students to Teachers) program. Students who enroll in this program will complete a two year Associates of Arts Degree from Butler and continue on to get a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education degree from Emporia State University.

Course offerings, degree completion, licensure and other requirements for students in the 2+2 program at Butler are the same as required of all ESU students. Limited seating is available. Elementary Education Cohort applications are accepted for fall entry in Andover. The priority deadlines for application are September 15th for the spring semester and February 15th for the fall semester. Degrees in Secondary Education and degrees in other education fields such as Special Education or Early Childhood are only available on the Emporia campus.

This program is designed for people with a busy lifestyle!

The classes are completed by 3:00 PM and earlier for the daytime cohort, or you can take evening classes which will start at 4:00 PM and later for the first year. This allows the student to plan around daytime family and work schedules. During the final year, students will need to be available during the entire school day for the PDS placement.

New students where students follow a set course plan. A few part-time students will be accepted, although most seating will be reserved for full-time enrollment. New students must apply to ESU as a Distance Transfer student (click here to apply) and to the Cohort Program (click here to apply). Seating is limited. Students are encouraged to complete the application processes prior to Sept. 15th for the spring semester, and by Feb. 15th for the fall semester.

Why students are choosing the award-winning BEST program

Video 1: https://youtu.be/Td-Koc2tdbg

Video 2: https://youtu.be/OQfejeVpPB8


BEST Program Brochure | Advising Information | Butler BEST Cohort Application

Program Requirements

ESU maintains a program of quality and high standards. Because of this, students must meet specific requirements prior to entry into the program.

Upper level and Block 1 requirements include:

  • Documentation of completing 100 hours of supervised work experience with children or youth
  • Successful completion of a Reading, Spelling, and Handwriting tests
  • Passing scores on the CORE or CAAP test
  • 2.50 Cumulative GPA
  • 2.75 CORE GPA
  • Background check
  • Application for this portion of the program also includes professional agreement statements which the student must sign

There are additional requirements for acceptance into Block 2 and Block 3, which are the two student teaching semesters. These requirements include:

  • Recommendations from faculty
  • Health clearance needed for participation in a school setting 

 * See all requirements in the program brochures and undergraduate catalog.

The program requires 122 hours for degree completion.

Full-time Option

Year 1: General Education classes at Butler

Year 2: General Education classes at Butler

Year 3: Classes taught by ESU faculty who come to the Butler campus to teach.

Year 4: Student teaching at a Professional Development School (Monday-Friday)


The Student Teaching Year:
Students are assigned to a Professional Development School (PDS) for two semesters of student teaching and are given the opportunity to work in school settings where university and public school faculty work together. The PDS model is a collaborative, field-based clinical school experience. A major factor in the success of the Emporia State PDS program has been relationship between the highly trained and committed mentor teachers and the student teachers. ESU has such partnerships with the Augusta, Circle, El Dorado, and Wichita.

Degree Recommendation and Kansas Licensure:
Upon successful completion of all Elementary Education degree requirements, the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) Test, and all required content area tests, students will be recommended for licensure by the Kansas Department of Education as teachers of grades K-6. Licensure will be conditional and a performance assessment must be completed to obtain a professional license.

Admission Information

Admission to ESU:

Students must be admitted to Emporia State University to qualify for admission to the Elementary Education Cohort Program. Students may apply for ESU admission by contacting the Admissions Office at 1-877-468-6378, or by visiting the website at http://www.emporia.edu/admissions/.

Paper copies of application forms are available upon request. Along with the application for admission, students must send an application and registration fee of $30. Transfer students will also need to include official transcripts. Once a student has been admitted to ESU, they will receive an acceptance letter, and may then enroll in classes. Transfer students will also receive an official transcript analysis form that will tell them which general education classes have been accepted and applied toward their ESU Elementary Education program.

Cohort Admission: Cohort Application Form

Financial Aid:

Financial Aid is available from both Butler for the General Education portion of the program and from ESU for the Elementary Education portion of the program. Students who are taking classes from both Butler and ESU at the same time may qualify for joint financial aid. Students need to contact both financial aid offices to find out more information.

Transfer Information

Transfer agreements:

Butler Community College and ESU have a long-standing articulation agreement that specifies which Butler courses will transfer as general education requirements to the ESU program. The transfer agreement/course equivalency list is available at the following website: http://www.emporia.edu/regist/com/ Questions about the General Education classes or about an Associates Degree from Butler need to be directed to the Butler counselors.

Dual enrollment:
Under the lock-step Cohort Program, dual enrollment is not encouraged. Students should try to complete Butler classes (or at least within 6 hours) before entering the ESU program. If a student has a couple of classes left when entering the ESU program, the student may apply for financial aid to be split between the two schools. ESU and Butler work cooperatively to assist the student when this situation occurs.

Second Degree and Transfer Students:
When space is available, students may transfer into the program from another university or community college. If transfer students still need to take a few general education classes, they may do so at Butler.