Bachelor of Arts: Elementary Education-Special Education Emphasis

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'.   

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • The candidate describes 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.
  • The candidate uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to design and ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.
  • The candidate works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
  • The candidate understands 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.
  • The candidate connects concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.
  • The candidate uses 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.
  • The candidate plans 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.
  • The candidate uses 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.
  • The candidate engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.
  • The candidate seeks 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.

Program Requirements

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 School of 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. 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 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.

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 Coursework

TCH-ED 130Number Systems and Related Topics 1,23
TCH-ED 140Geometry for Elementary Teachers 1,23
TCH-ED 160Introduction to Teaching 13
TCH-ED 201Children's Literature3
TCH-ED 400Child Development3
or TCH-ED 420 Adolescent Development
TCH-ED 403Educational Psychology3
TCH-ED 404Education of the Exceptional Child and Youth3
Total Credits21

Teacher Education Professional Program

EDUC-SP 401Theories of Behavior and Policies in Special Education3
EDUC-SP 407Educating Exceptional Children And Youth3
EDUC-SP 408Assessment and Data Literacy in Special Education3
EDUC-SP 409Cognition and Language Development in Mild/Moderate Cross-Categorical Disabilities3
EDUC-SP 410Teaching Students with Mild/Moderate Cross-Categorical Disabilities3
EDUC-SP 414Behavioral Intervention and Instructional Support in Special Education3
TCH-ED 310Classroom Climate and Organization3
TCH-ED 314Cultural Diversity and Teaching English Language Learners3
TCH-ED 316Reading and Language Arts I4
TCH-ED 317Reading and Language Arts II4
TCH-ED 318Literacy Assessment and Instruction3
TCH-ED 385Teaching and Learning with Technology3
TCH-ED 397Practicum I - Elementary1
TCH-ED 398Practicum II – Elementary1
TCH-ED 413Mathematics in the Elementary School I3
TCH-ED 419Student Teaching in Elementary School8
or TCH-ED 461 Student Teaching In Middle School
TCH-ED 429Mathematics in the Elementary School II3
TCH-ED 438Culturally Responsive Strategies for Teaching Diverse Learners3
TCH-ED 475Working with Families and Communities3
TCH-ED 478Seminar - Elementary3
TCH-ED 479Practicum III – Elementary1
or TCH-ED 424 Practicum III - Middle and High School
Upper Level Teacher Education Elective (with departmental approval)3
Total Credits67

Total Credits: 121