Bachelor of Arts: Elementary Education

University Requirements

General Education

UMKC Essentials is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete. The 30-credit hour program includes a First Year Experience course; three critical thinking courses in the areas of Arts & Humanities, Natural & Physical Sciences, and Social & Behavioral Sciences; a Culture and Diversity course; a Civic & Urban Engagement course; two courses in Written Composition and one course in Oral Communication; and a Math Pathway course. Transfer students entering UMKC will elect from the UMKC Essentials General Education Program or the Missouri Core 42 General Education Curriculum.  Academic advisors will meet with incoming transfer students to determine which option best serves the student’s educational needs. More information about General Education may be found here:

Constitution Course 

Every undergraduate student must take a course covering the United States Constitution and the Missouri State Constitution before graduation. Course options are included in the program requirements section below.

Exit Examinations

Information on exit examinations is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination

In accordance with Missouri Senate Bill 807 (section 170.013.1), 'any student entering a public institution of higher education for the first time after July 2019 who is pursuing an associate's or bachelor's degree from such institution shall successfully pass an examination on the provisions and principles of American civics with a score of seventy percent or greater as a condition of graduation from such institution'.  To satisfy this requirement at UMKC, students access the exam through the Canvas site. This requirement will be listed in the degree audit system as, 'Take State Mandated Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination', and listed on the transcript as 'Missouri Civics Examination'.   

Admission to the Teacher Education Professional Program

Initial admission at the freshman or sophomore level will be as a pre-professional elementary education major to the School of Education, Social Work, and Psychological Sciences in accordance with regular UMKC admissions standards. 

Current UMKC students or transfer students seeking entry into professional teacher preparation program in elementary education should apply for admission to Teacher Education during the semester prior to when they anticipate completion of the majority of their pre-professional coursework.

Full Admission into the Profession-level Teacher Education Program requires:

  • Completion of Pre-professional requirements with 3.0 or higher in all TCH-ED courses and 3.0 or higher overall (cumulative).
  • Passing scores on the entry-level test approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education OR composite score of 20 or higher on the ACT.
  • Completion of all General Education classes.
  • Missouri Substitute Teacher Certification.

For more information, visit 

Students admitted to the Teacher Education program are required to complete practicums within one of the School of Education's nine partner districts (Center School District, Kansas City MO Public Schools, Kansas City KS public schools, Grandview, Hickman Mills, Independence, North Kansas City, Raytown, Turner and public charter schools located within Kansas City MO Public School boundaries). All Teacher Education programs require students to complete at least a semester-long student teaching experience. During student teaching, students are under the guidance of cooperating mentor teachers and members of the University's education staff. Weekly seminars are a required part of the program.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Understand how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.
  • Understand individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.
  • Work with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
  • Understand the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.
  • Understand how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.
  • Understand and use multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.
  • Plan instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.
  • Understand and use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.
  • Engage in ongoing professional learning and use evidence to continually evaluate their practice, particularly the effects of their choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapt practice to meet the needs of each learner.
  • Seek appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

The educator preparation program in the UMKC School of Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences subscribes to the Missouri Standards for the Preparation of Educators (MoSPE) which can be found on the website of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education - student learning outcomes for the BA in Elementary Education program listed above reflect the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) standards that are required as the basis for teacher preparation programs by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Completion of this program leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree in the School of Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences. Contingent upon satisfactory completion of all degree coursework, key assessments, and state testing requirements, teacher candidates may be eligible for certification upon recommendation of the Teacher Education faculty.

A 3.00 cumulative GPA, 3.00 content area GPA and 3.00 professional education GPA is required at completion of the program. Grades of C (2.00) or better are required in all  content area and education classes. Prospective students and teacher candidates should meet each semester with an academic advisor to determine specific course requirements.

The School of Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences requires all teacher candidates to have current professional liability insurance during all field experiences and student teaching. Verification of current professional liability insurance must be provided to the Education Student Services office. Insurance can be obtained through “student membership” in an educational organization (e.g., MSTA or NEA) that provides such insurance or purchased coverage through an independent insurance agent.

Candidates admitted to the Professional Teacher Education Program must uphold all academic and social regulations and policies established by the School of Education, Social Work, and Psychological Sciences. Candidates are subject to any Missouri legislative action or State Board of Education policy that may become effective during the lifetime of this catalog. The responsibility of the School of Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences is to recommend qualified candidates for licensure to the state and to ensure our candidates meet or exceed these requirements. While the degree programs outlined in the catalog are aligned with state requirements, certification is dependent on both the degree requirements and successful completion of all state assessments required by the Missouri State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Additionally, candidates must successfully complete program Key Assessments each semester to continue in the program.

NOTE: During the student teaching semester, teacher candidates follow the school district’s calendar, not the UMKC academic/semester calendar.  Teacher candidates begin student teaching according to the school district's calendar and not the first day of the UMKC academic/semester calendar.

Program Requirements

UMKC Essentials

First Semester Experience Course (GEFSE)3
Written Communication:
ENGLISH 110Introduction to Academic Prose3
ENGLISH 225English II: Intermediate Academic Prose3
Oral Communication (choose one of the following):3
Fundamentals of Effective Speaking and Listening
Introduction to Communication
Argumentation And Debate (offered via dual credit only)
Interpersonal Communication
Math Pathway (choose one of the following):3
Mathematics For Liberal Arts
Statistical Reasoning
Precalculus Algebra
Precalculus (5 credit hours)
Any 200-level MATH or STAT course
ACT Math Subscore of 28 or higher; or SAT Math Subscore of 660 or higher
Critical Thinking in Arts & Humanities (GECRT-AH)3
Critical Thinking in Natural & Physical Sciences (GECRT-SC)3
Critical Thinking in Social & Behavioral Sciences (GECRT-SS)3
Culture & Diversity Course (GECDV)3
Civic & Urban Engagement Course (GECUE)3
Total Credits30

Constitution Course Requirement

Section 170.011.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, 2015, states that all candidates for a degree issued by a college or university in the state of Missouri must have “satisfactorily passed an examination on the provisions and principles of the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and in American history and American institutions.” 

Courses at UMKC that satisfy this state requirement are:

Choose one of the following:3
The Supreme Court And The Criminal Process
U.S. History to 1877
U.S. History Since 1877
Honors American Government
American Government
Total Credits3

There are a few other ways this requirement can be satisfied for students transferring to UMKC:

  • Take an equivalent course from the list above at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Earn credit for one of the above courses through AP, IB, or CLEP.
  • Take a course that directly satisfies the Missouri Constitution Requirement at another Missouri institution.
  • Have a previous bachelors degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Have an Associate of Arts degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Complete the 42 Hour Core at a Missouri institution and have it listed on the official transcript.

Pre-Professional Requirements

Coursework Required before Beginning the Teacher Education Professional Program
CONSVTY 285Elementary Music Methods3
PHYS-ED 401Teaching Healthy Behaviors in the Schools3
TCH-ED 130Number Systems and Related Topics 1,33
TCH-ED 140Geometry for Elementary Teachers 1,33
TCH-ED 160Introduction to Teaching 2,33
TCH-ED 201Children's Literature3
TCH-ED 251Child and Adolescent Development for Future Educators3
or TCH-ED 400 Child Development
TCH-ED 403Educational Psychology3
TCH-ED 404Education of the Exceptional Child and Youth3
Total Credits27
Coursework Required for the Teacher Education Professional Program
Block 1
TCH-ED 310Classroom Climate and Organization3
TCH-ED 314Cultural Diversity and Teaching English Language Learners3
TCH-ED 316Reading and Language Arts I4
TCH-ED 385Teaching and Learning with Technology3
TCH-ED 397Practicum I - Elementary1
TCH-ED 413Mathematics in the Elementary School I3
Block 2
TCH-ED 317Reading and Language Arts II4
TCH-ED 398Practicum II – Elementary1
TCH-ED 402Integrated Arts3
TCH-ED 417Science Methods in the Elementary School3
TCH-ED 418Social Studies in the Elementary School3
TCH-ED 429Mathematics in the Elementary School II3
Block 3
TCH-ED 311Curriculum and Learning Theory3
TCH-ED 315Assessment and Data Literacy3
TCH-ED 438Culturally Responsive Strategies for Teaching Diverse Learners3
TCH-ED 475Working with Families and Communities3
TCH-ED 479Practicum III – Elementary1
Block 4
TCH-ED 312Legal and Ethical Aspects of Teaching1
TCH-ED 419Student Teaching in Elementary School9
TCH-ED 478Seminar - Elementary3
Total Credits60

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Total Credit Hours: 120

Graduation Requirements Elementary Education

  • Completion of at least 120 credit hours including all course work listed (although program may require more than 120 credits)

Tools for Planning and Fulfilling Academic Requirements

UMKC's Major Maps are detailed, semester by semester plans that lead a student to complete all degree requirements within four years.  Plans include benchmarks and critical courses by term that assist a student’s evaluation of progress and major “fit”.  In order to ensure that the appropriate courses are taken, students are encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor for this major. Please see the tab above to view the major map for this program.

UMKC’s Transfer Guides provide detailed guidance on recommended transfer coursework, plans of study, transfer timelines, and transfer contact information. To ensure a seamless transfer experience, students are encouraged to work with both their community college advisor and a UMKC advisor when planning their coursework.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Audit’ degree audit system provides an individual evaluation of all degree requirements (General Education, Degree Specific, Major Specific, etc.) for students' officially recorded (Office of the Registrar) and “what if” exploratory plans of study.  This evaluation is used to certify all graduation requirements.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Plans’ degree planning tool enables students to develop a personalized semester by semester plan of study towards completion of degree requirements for student’s officially recorded (Office of the Registrar) and “what if” exploratory plans of study. Update and edit your full plan to degree completion each term and confirm accuracy each semester with your Academic Advisor(s).