May 19, 2022
Program Mission: The Graduate Program in Elementary Education advances scholarly preparation by providing quality teaching and promoting excellence in research/creative activity in order for graduate students to exemplify best teaching practices for children from birth through age fourteen. The graduate curriculum encompasses comprehensive content knowledge and promotes the use of critical thinking and problem solving to cultivate teacher-researchers who are empowered to serve as leaders in the profession. Faculty members challenge students to bridge the gap between theory and practice as they develop the skills required for ethical and effective collaboration and communication within the local school community and a culturally diverse, technologically advanced global environment.
Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and North Central Association.
Admission Requirements: To be eligible for degree candidacy, applicants must meet all of the requirements for admission to the Graduate School (see “Admission to Graduate Degree and Certificate Programs”) In addition students must:
- Complete and submit the departmental admission application with additional information as outlined:
- A copy of transcripts showing the required 3.0 GPA within the last 60 hours of undergraduate study (or 3.0 GPA in the first 12 hours of graduate coursework).
- A copy of current teaching certificate (including type, issuing state, and year granted.) If the individual does not have certification at the appropriate level he/she will need to complete the course work necessary for certification which may entail undergraduate and graduate credits.
- Two letters of recommendation provided by professional sources, such as an immediate supervisor and/or co-worker are required. The letters of recommendation should address such topics as the candidate’s:
-depth of content knowledge including effective technology skills and ethical behaviors/dispositions;
-critical thinking and problem solving;
-oral and written communication skills;
-advanced scholarship (research and/or creative activity);
-ability to work with diverse clientele; and
-ability to collaborate and create positive relationships within the school, community, and profession.
- A professional resume that includes information regarding undergraduate education, work experience, recent professional development activities (i.e., workshops attended and/or workshops presented), involvement with professional education organizations, and volunteer work within the community (involving children/youth) must be developed and submitted.
- A formal (typed) letter of application expressing the applicant’s goals for the master’s program is required. Within the letter of application, please describe a professional situation that required you (the applicant) to employ critical thinking and/or problem solving to resolve an issue. Also, address your knowledge of data-driven decision-making in education and describe any relevant past experiences in using data to improve classroom practice.
- Complete and submit the “Advanced Candidate Self-Assessment Form” that is available on the Department web site (http://www.eiu.edu/~elegrad).
Degree Audit: The graduate plan of study is the EIU Degree Audit, which is generated automatically in the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) at the time of degree or certificate candidacy. Modifications of the standard EIU Degree Audit are submitted by the graduate coordinator to the certification officer in the Graduate School at the time modifications are approved. The Degree Audit serves as an unofficial summary of requirements for the program. Degree and certificate candidates are advised to review the comprehensive summary of the Degree Audit process specified on the “Requirements for All Degree and Certificate Candidates” section of the Graduate Catalog. Individual programs may require candidates to submit plans of study in addition to the Degree Audit, candidates should consult with the program coordinator.
Degree requirements include those outlined for the master of science in education degree by the Graduate School (see “Requirements for the Master of Science in Education Degree”). Additional requirements include a minimum of 15 semester hours in an emphasis area selected from Early Childhood, Elementary Education or Middle Level Education, ESL Instruction, Middle Level Education, or Reading courses, and a thesis or applied/action research requirement. Evening classes, off-campus classes, summer sessions and independent study arrangements are offered, permitting students to pursue graduate degrees while meeting other personal and professional commitments.
The course of study consists of 35-36 semester hours of course credit with a thesis or applied/action research requirement. The program is designed to encompass three areas: basic courses in education (these courses provide a background in fundamental educational theory), specific requirements in an area of emphasis and a research component.
The program is devoted to the field of elementary education with opportunities for study in the emphasis areas such as early childhood, elementary curriculum, ESL instruction, middle level, and reading. Students may choose courses according to individual needs, professional interests, and teaching level. Courses in reading may be selected which will lead to the Illinois Reading teacher endorsement and meet the standards of the International Reading Association. Also, courses in English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction can be selected which may be used toward the Illinois ESL teacher endorsement.
Program of Studies
The program of studies for candidates requires minimally 35-36 semester hours of course work. The program consists of : Basic Education, Area of Emphasis, and Research Components.
Credits: Minimum of 6 hours of Departmental Basic Education Courses:
(Prerequisites must be completed as needed for admission to Teacher Education for Post-Baccalaureate certification with Master’s.)
College Basic Education Courses
Select 8-9 hours of College Basic Education Courses from the following:
Area of Emphasis
Select one Area of Emphasis: 15 semester hours.
Emphasis in Early Childhood
Guided Electives: Select 6 hours from:
Emphasis in Elementary Curriculum
Select 3 hours from:
Emphasis in ESL Instruction
ESL Teacher Endorsement:
Persons seeking an ESL endorsemen through the State of Illinois must have:
- A valid professional Illinois teaching license.
- A total of 18 semester hours of coursework distributed among the following course areas:
- Theoretical Foundations of Teaching ESL;
- Assessment of the Bilingual Student;
- Methods and Materials for teaching ESL; and
- Cross-cultural Studies for Teaching Limited-English-Proficient Students.
- ESL clinical experience equal to 100 clock hours or three months teaching experience with ESL students.
Note: Prior course work will be evaluated to determine if additional course work is required to meet the specific requirements as set forth by the State of Illinois.
Select 3 hours from:
Emphasis in Middle Level Education
Emphasis in Reading
Reading Teacher Endorsement:
- Students need a total of 24 semester hours of reading instruction (graduate or undergraduate) in areas/topics that are aligned with the Reading Teacher Standards in order to receive the Reading Teacher endorsement.
- Students must also complete coursework (graduate or undergraduate) that addresses “literature appropriate to students across all grade ranges” in order to meet the guidelines for the Reading Teacher endorsement. Any one of the following courses could be taken as an elective at the graduate level to meet this requirement: ENG 4903, 4905; ELE 5400, 5990.
- The Reading Teacher endorsement also requires the applicant to successfully complete the Reading Teacher content area test.
Information on graduate assistantships may be obtained by contacting the Coordinator of Graduate Studies or Chair, Early Childhood, Elementary and Middle Level Education, 2220 Buzzard Hall, EIU.