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Emporia State University to Implement Master’s Degree in Elementary Education

April 10, 2018

The Teachers College at Emporia State University (ESU) will now offer a Master’s in Elementary Education program designed for career changers interested in teaching. The program, which is taking applications now, can be completed in as little as two years and includes 12 hours of foundational courses, 17 hours of methods coursework and 12 weeks of clinical experience in an elementary school. Courses are planned to launch in the summer of 2018. 

The coursework can be taken online, and clinical experience placement can be completed close to home. It allows individuals with undergraduate degrees in any field the opportunity to become a teacher. After successfully completing the requirements, students will be eligible for an elementary education teaching license and can enter the pay scale at the same rate as other teachers with master's degrees. The program curriculum for the Master’s in Elementary Education is aligned with The Teachers College Conceptual Framework, the National Board Professional Teaching Standards and the Kansas Department of Education Licensure Standards.

“We field a lot of calls from people currently in other careers who want to become teachers,” Melissa Reed, Ph.D., associate professor in elementary education, early childhood and special education, said. “So, about a year ago, we started working on a program for these career changers, that would allow them to become licensed elementary education teachers in the State of Kansas without having to get a second bachelor’s degree.”

“The new program recognizes and builds upon an existing bachelor’s degree and life experiences,” said Matt Seimears, Ph.D., professor and chair of elementary education, early childhood and special education. “We’re meeting the needs of a group of individuals as well as the state, where elementary education teaching vacancies continue to go unfilled.” 

The Master’s Degree in Elementary Education is the first program to launch from the ESU New Program Incentive Plan. The New Program Incentive Plan starts with an idea that must gain support from a department chair and the dean or vice president. After approval of the idea, a marketing study, pro forma budget and plan are presented to a selection committee that has the ultimate say in investment for the planned program. Revenue from the program is used to fund the program and repay startup expenses before being split between the department and the university.

“We were looking for a clear path to fund new initiatives,” Allison D. Garrett, president of ESU, said. “The New Program Incentive Plan provides a roadmap for someone who has been dreaming of an idea, so that they can bring it to fruition and, ultimately, allow their department to share in the net revenue reward from that project.” 

To qualify for the master’s program, candidates must first complete an application for admission to the Graduate School and follow the graduate degree procedures of the Department of Elementary Education/Early Childhood/Special Education. Some of these requirements include a GPA of at least 3.0 on the last 60 hours of college course work or the last 30 hours of graduate course work for a previously completed master’s program, official transcripts, two references and more. A list of requirements can be found at https://www.emporia.edu/teach/elecse/masters-elem-ed/.

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