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BEST Program Requirements

BEST 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.


BEST Program Brochure - 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 the 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.

Who do you talk to, Butler or ESU?

It is recommended students meet with an advisor to assist in the planning of their education career through the BEST Program. Contact Todd Roberts for information.

Admission Information

Students must be admitted to Emporia State University to qualify for admission to the Elementary Education Cohort Program. To learn how to apply to Emporia State University, follow this link.

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 the ESU's financial aid office and the Butler Community College financial aid office to find out more information.

Transfer Information

Transfer agreements:
Butler and ESU have a long-standing articulation agreement that specifies which Butler courses will transfer as general education requirements to the ESU program. View the transfer agreement/course equivalency list here.

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 be 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.