Missouri State University
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Elementary Education

Department of Childhood Education and Family Studies  

For More Information

Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-836-3262
Fax: 417-836-3263

Career Preparation

Missouri State’s Elementary Education program, the largest and only one of its kind in Missouri, provides experiences that prepare students to become effective elementary teachers in grades one through six. A comprehensive eight-week field-based component is part of this exciting program that includes more than 120 hours of classroom experience prior to student teaching. Current trends indicate employment opportunities for Elementary Education graduates have increased. A student enrolled in the program has the option of receiving additional certification, such as middle school. In addition, students may acquire an emphasis in Special Education (certification in L.D., B.D., D.D. O.H.I.), Early Childhood or Middle School, which will increase their employability and prepare them to meet the diverse learning needs of children in today’s classrooms. Beginning salaries for graduates are in the $25,000 to $30,000 range, depending on the geographic area.

The program is approved by the Missouri State Board of Education, accredited by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and NCATE, and nationally recognized by the Association for Childhood Education International. 

Academic Program

Missouri State University’s Elementary Education Program is extensively field-based. Students take teaching methods courses in conjunction with placement in elementary classrooms in the Springfield Public Schools. This authentic "theory to practice" approach to teacher training gives preservice teachers practical, hands-on experience working with children and youth of diverse backgrounds and learning levels before student teaching. Over 100 clock hours of classroom experiences are logged during the first semester of the senior year. Student teaching, a 16 week experience, culminates the training sequence. The Elementary Education baccalaureate degree program requires satisfactory completion of a minimum of approximately 134 hours. The program includes course work that will satisfy the university’s general education requirements. This sequence is designed to provide a basic content background in subject-matter areas related to the elementary school curricula. Professional education courses (54 hours) are sequenced to provide both study in the university setting and practical experience in elementary classrooms. As a part of the regular program, a student elects a 12-hour area of concentration in an academic discipline.

A high school student considering elementary teaching as a career is encouraged to become actively involved with elementary age children in a variety of settings, such as public schools or summer day camps. Membership in the Future Educators of America (FEA) is strongly encouraged if the club is sponsored by the high school. In addition, a selection of high school courses to provide strong academic preparation in English, mathematics, science and social studies is highly recommended.

Admission to the Teacher Education Program at Missouri State requires completion of at least 30 college hours; a 2.75 GPA; a valid ACT score (if required by DESE); completion of ELE 302 and COM 115 with a C or higher; and a score of 265 on all components of the state’s general education competency test-the C-BASE; Missouri Family Care Safety Registry check; and approval of the PEC.


Please consult the Missouri State Catalog online at www.missouristate.edu/catalog for course descriptions and specific degree requirements.


The faculty offices are located in Hill Hall. Faculty members are actively involved in teaching, research and service activities at the local, state and national levels. While the faculty provides advisement assistance to the undergraduate students, a central advisement office is located in Hill Hall. Students are encouraged to gain initial advisement from this center.


A student majoring in Elementary Education has the opportunity to become involved in a variety of student organizations. For example, Kappa Delta Pi is an honorary organization for Education majors, and the Student National Education Association and the Student Missouri State Teachers Association are professional organizations for Education majors. These organizations provide students with the opportunity for professional growth and meeting students with similar interests. A most important service provided by the university and the School of Teacher Education pertains to helping students secure teaching positions upon graduation. Career Services, in cooperation with the department, has placed more than 90 percent of recent Elementary Education graduates in teaching positions.

Sample Schedule

Missouri State is committed to assisting students to graduate in four years--see sample graduation plans for this major.

The following is a sample schedule for this major--your actual schedule will vary.

First Semester Courses Hours
GEP 101 First Year Foundations2
CIS 101 or CSC 1012
Humanities Perspective3
ENG 110 Writing I3
PSY 121 or CFD 1553
PLS 101 American Democracy and Citizenship3
KIN 210 Healthy Lifestyles: Preventive Approaches3
Total Hours 18
Second Semester Courses Hours
COM 115 Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
MTH 130 Contemporary Mathematics3
MUS 241 The Language of Music3
HST 121 or 1223
BIO 100 Biological Science for Educators4
Total Hours 16

Sophomore Year

First Semester Courses Hours
ELE 302 Introduction to Elementary Education and Clinical/Field Experience3
EDT 365 Educational Applications of Technology and Media3
ENG 210 Writing II: Writing Across the Disciplines3
MTH 320 Foundations of Mathematics for Teachers3
GRY 100 World Regional Geography3
Total Hours 15
Second Semester Courses Hours
RDG 318 Foundations of Literacy Instruction3
ART 200 Art in Context3
SPE 310 Introduction to Special Education3
ENG 334 Literature for Children3
PHY 101 Physics by Inquiry for Educators4
MTH 360 Foundations of Geometry for Teachers3
Total Hours 19

Junior Year

First Semester Courses Hours
RDG 420 Methods of Teaching Reading and Language Arts in Elementary Schools3
RDG 421 Practicum-Methods of Teaching Reading and Language Arts in the Elementary Schools2
Emphasis course work3
ELE 410 Teaching and Learning in the Elementary Classroom3
PSY 385 OR CFD 2573
EDC 350 School and Society3
Total Hours 17
Second Semester Courses Hours
ELE 429 Methods of Teaching of Mathematics in Elementary Schools3
ELE 434 Methods of Teaching Science in Elementary Schools3
ELE 438 Methods of Teaching Social Studies in Elementary Schools3
GRY 240 Earth Science for Teachers4
EDC 345 Intro to Multi-Cultural/Div in Classrm3
Emphasis Coursework3
Total Hours 19

Senior Year

First Semester Courses Hours
ELE 500 Current Issues and Applications in Elementary Education3-5
KIN 400 Movement to Enhance Cognition: Elementary Physical Education for Elementary Teachers1
ELE 510 The Reflective Practitioner2
ECE 501 Home/School/Community Relationships with Young Children and Their Families3
Emphasis coursework3
Emphasis coursework3
Total Hours 15-17
Second Semester Courses Hours
ELE 495 Supervised Teaching (Elementary)6
ELE 496 Supervised Teaching (Elementary)5-6
Total Hours 11-12