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Department of
Elementary Education / Early Childhood / Special Education

The Department of Elementary Education / Early Childhood / Special Education (ELECSE) offers one undergraduate program - Elementary Education - and three graduate programs: an Instructional Specialist degree with concentrations in Reading Specialist PK-12/Elementary Content/Elementary STEM, a master’s degree in Early Childhood Unified Education (Birth to Age 8 or Birth to K), and a master’s degree in special education with concentrations available in adaptive or gifted, talented, and creative. The department is part of The Teachers College at Emporia State University. Learn more...




Bachelor of Science, Elementary Education
Early in the elementary teacher education program students explore the teaching profession, issues in education, and the nature of children in the classroom through the Introduction to Teaching course. Upon completion of coursework at Emporia State, students receive a Bachelor of Science in Education (BSE) degree. They will also be recommended for a Kansas teaching certificate in elementary education, which qualifies them to teach kindergarten through sixth grade.

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Master of Science, Early Childhood Unified
Current federal mandates and trends in public schools recognize the growing importance of early childhood special education services for children from birth through age eight and their families. Teachers with advanced training in their field will be in a favored position to usher in best practices for young children.

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Master of Science, Elementary Education
The master’s degree in elementary education is designed for career changers who are interested in teaching elementary school. With online courses and a clinical experience placement near you, you can earn a master’s degree without changing locations. In as little as two years, you will be eligible for an elementary education teaching license. When you finish your degree, you will enter the teaching profession at the master’s degree level on the pay scale.

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Master of Science, Instruction Specialist
The Instructional Specialist degree is intended for the teaching practitioner in settings from early childhood through adolescence and young adulthood (EC-YA). Candidates may choose from these areas of concentration: Elementary Content, Elementary STEM, and Reading Specialist PK-12. Completion of this degree is good preparation for teachers who desire further development as classroom teachers, content area leaders, instructional specialists, coaches, and those delivering professional development. 

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Master of Science, Special Education
The graduate program in Special Education is dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth with special needs. Candidates may choose to study for the High Incidence concentration or the Gifted, Talented and Creative concentration. Both concentrations have a 24-credit-hour endorsement program and a 36 credit hour master’s degree.

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Autistic Spectrum Disorders
This interdisciplinary online program helps professionals who work with persons with ASD and their family members develop the knowledge and skills needed to do so effectively. The ASD graduate certificate requires 12 graduate credit hours. It can be completed either independent from or as a part of a master’s degree.

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Elementary STEM Education
If you want to bring hands-on, engaging STEM instruction into your elementary classroom, while at the same time increasing your own content knowledge, consider our new certificate program. This 12-hour program is for classroom teachers and teacher leaders who desire enhanced knowledge of STEM education in elementary and middle schools and is appropriate for educators who already have a master’s degree or those who have not yet begun a master’s program.

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Literacy Certificates
Emporia State offers certificates in elementary as well as in secondary literacy. The purpose of these certificates is to provide anyone who has completed a bachelor's degree an opportunity to pursue improvement in reading intervention.

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Professional Development School

Emporia State's Professional Development School model is a collaborative, 100% field-based, year-long, clinical school experience for seniors from The Teachers College.  Designed, implemented and evaluated by school district and college personnel, the outcomes-based program strongly reflects components of The Teachers College's teacher education program.

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Elementary Education Advising Center

As the gateway for undergraduate teacher candidates at Emporia State University, the Elementary Education Advising Office offers guidance on your journey to becoming an elementary teacher.

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Hornet Connected Learning

Hornet Connected Learning is a tablet-based learning initiative designed to prepare Emporia State elementary education students to teach effectively with evolving technology. Currently, more than one-third of elementary students in Kansas are using tablets and other mobile devices in the classroom and nationwide similar one-to-one initiatives are being launched at the K-12 level.

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Distance Partnership Programs

Do you want to stay in your own backyard? Emporia State has partnership programs with Butler Community College, Johnson County Community College, and Kansas City Kansas Community College, allowing students to complete the Elementary Education program without relocating.

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There are many scholarship opportunities, grants, and potential loan forgiveness for teachers. Information about how you can pay for your education is available from Emporia State.

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Quality Assurance Program

We believe in our graduates so much we guarantee schools' satisfaction. If the job performance of any first-year teacher graduate is deemed unsatisfactory by a school district, Emporia State provides - at no cost to the teacher or to the employing school district - assistance to that teacher and school district. In 22 years of guaranteeing teacher performance, only five districts have requested this service; all were satisfactorily resolved.

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