May 31, 2023  
2012-2014 Undergraduate Catalog 
2012-2014 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Education

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    Mary Pat Shelledy, Ed.S. (Chair)
Assistant Professor   Judith Carlson, Ph.D.
    Sarah Hicks, Ph.D.
    Hilary Logan, Ph.D.
    Mandi Sonnenberg, Ed.D.

The Rockhurst University Department of Education prepares teachers to hold a solid background in their chosen fields of sudy, who are knowledgeable and competent in the craft of teaching, and who bring well-informed perspectives to bear on   educational policies and practices. We develop educational leaders—teachers who are actively engaged in educational matters as reflective practitioners. The Education preparation calls upon teacher candidates to analyze alternatives in curricula, teaching methodologies, and assessment strategies, and to consider the implications of such alternatives for a multicultural society. Through rigorous coursework and varied field experiences, teacher candidates acquire a deep understanding of, and special sensitivity to, the challenges and rewards of teaching in the K-12 schools. Several education courses require teacher candidates to spend a significant amount of time in diverse school settings during the day. These field experiences are integral components in the preparation of teachers.

In accordance with the Rockhurst University commitment to learning, leadership, and service in the Jesuit tradition, the Department of Education Conceptual Framework emphasizes three interrelated themes of Jesuit education: a tripartite focus on moral reflection, teaching for social justice, and the liberal treatment of subject matter. These themes of Jesuit education and their significance for our programs are aligned with the 11 Missouri Standards for Teacher Education Programs (MoSTEP) and the three crosscutting themes of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) quality principles: graduates know their subject matter, graduates have pedagogical knowledge, and graduates have caring teaching skills. In addition, the Department of Education maintains a twelfth standard based on our Conceptual Framework, focusing on student learning and mastery of the ethical and moral dimensions of teaching. We are committed to the Rockhurst University tradition of preparing men and women for service to others. In accord with the teachings of St. Ignatius, this service enables one to become more fully human and, hence, more fully divine.

Governing Authority

The bachelor level teacher education programs offered by the Rockhurst University Department of Education are approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The bachelor level teacher education programs are accredited nationally by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). The bachelor education programs operate according to the general administrative policies governing undergraduate studies at Rockhurst University. Education program requirements listed in this catalog are subject to revision at any time based on changes in state certification requirements.

The Rockhurst University education program provides the necessary professional education coursework to meet initial teacher certification requirements in elementary, middle school, or secondary education in Missouri. The program focuses on curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Areas of Certification

Upon successful completion of one of the education programs, teacher candidates meet the Missouri and Rockhurst requirements for the profession of education. Teacher candidates pursuing the elementary education degree receive the generalist background provided by a major in elementary education, with an emphasis on literacy. Teacher candidates pursuing middle school or secondary education complete a major in middle school or secondary education, as well as a major in their chosen certification area. Because of the significant number of Missouri state certification requirements, it is important that teacher candidates seek advisement from the Department of Education early in their academic careers.

NOTE: Requirements listed in this catalog are open to revision based on changes in state certification requirements. A current listing of requirements may be found in the Compendium of Missouri Certification Requirements at

Admission to the Department of Education

To be considered for admission to the Department of Education:

  1. Complete ED 1320  and PY 1000  with a grade of C or better. (A grade of C- will not satisfy this requirement.)
  2. Achieve a passing score on all four sections of the College Basic Academic Subjects Examination (C-Base), a state mandated assessment of writing, language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Teacher candidates cannot proceed to take upper-division coursework in education until all four subject areas of the C-BASE are passed and the student has been fully admitted to the Department of Education.
  3. Achieve a cumulative 2.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale at the time of application.
  4. Complete the Department of Education application, including writing an essay describing the reasons for wanting to teach, and submit to the Department of Education office (Van Ackeren, room 303).
  5. Declare an education major with the Registrar’s Office or Dean’s Office.
  6. A personal interview with members of the Education faculty may be required.

NOTE: Requirements may be subject to change without notice.


Should an undergraduate student admitted to the department leave the university and become subject to the university readmission requirement, the student must, once readmitted to the university, apply for readmission to the Department of Education. A student readmitted to the Department will be subject to the degree requirements in force at the time of readmission.

The Professional Semester

(Fall and Spring Semesters)

The professional semester is comprised of 14 weeks of student teaching assignments (10 credit hours), the three credit hour Integrated Student Teaching Seminar, and the one credit hour electronic portfolio. Students must apply for admission to the professional semester and be admitted to the professional semester prior to enrollment in the professional semester and subsequent student-teacher placement.

Professional Semester Application

Students may be considered for admission to the professional semester upon completion of the following:

  1. Complete the Professional Semester of Student Teaching application.
  2. Submit a professional resume.
  3. Submit an autobiography.
  4. Achieve a passing score on the Praxis II examination in the desired certification area

Professional Semester Enrollment

A student must be formally admitted to a certification program of the Department of Education and must complete all Liberal Core requirements, certification area course requirements, and all education course requirements prior to enrolling in the professional semester. The professional semester application must be submitted and approved.

Provisional enrollment may be authorized when the professional semester application has been approved, but coursework is in progress and there is reasonable assurance of satisfactory completion prior to placement. In the case of provisional enrollment, failure to satisfactorily complete any requirement will result in automatic withdrawal from the professional semester courses for which the student is registered.

Professional Semester Student Teaching Placement

Placement is the process by which those enrolled in the professional semester are matched with cooperating schools and cooperating teachers. To provide reasonable certainty to those cooperating entities, it is necessary for professional semester applicants to meet any prescribed deadlines regarding application and full enrollment in the professional semester. Those deadlines vary from semester to semester and are communicated to the prospective student teacher at the initial meeting with student teacher candidates.

Professional Semester Fingerprint and Background Check

School districts may require full background checks for student teachers and volunteers. With this in mind, all student teachers must complete and pass a Missouri Background Fingerprint Clearance before student teaching may begin. The background check includes submitting fingerprints to the Missouri Highway Patrol (MHP) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Other Professional Semester Requirements

Various school districts may have additional requirements that will need to be met prior to student teaching. These will be identified by the Director of Field Experiences as Professional Semester applications are reviewed.

Graduation Requirements:

  1. Achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher
  2. Successfully complete all course and degree requirements.

NOTE: Teacher candidates must achieve a grade of C or better in all education courses and in all courses in the certification area. A grade of C- will not satisfy this requirement. Official transcripts for all courses must be submitted to the Department of Education.

Definition of Teacher Education Program Completer

Teacher candidates seeking Bachelor of Arts degrees with a major in elementary education, or a Bachelor of Arts or Science degree with a double major in middle school or secondary education and a chosen certification area, will be construed to be program completers upon successful completion of all education course and degree requirements.

Certification Requirements, Missouri State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

  1. A baccalaureate degree from a college or university having a teacher education program approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education or from a college or university having a teacher education program approved by the state education agency in states other than Missouri;
  2. A recommendation of the designated official for teacher education in the college or university;
  3. A grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale overall and in the major area of study;
  4. Completion of the content knowledge or specialty area test (Praxis II) designated by the State Board of Education with a score equal to or greater than the Missouri qualifying score;
  5. Completion of professional requirements, as determined by the recommending college or university, which may exceed these minimum requirements; and
  6. Individuals who completed their teacher education program outside of the United States shall provide documentation of completion of coursework in the following:
    1. English Composition, two (2) courses, each a minimun of two (2) semester hours;
    2. U.S. History, three (3) semester hours; and
    3. U.S. Government, three (3) semester hours.
  7. The State Board of Education requires a current Highway Patrol criminal history background checks, including fingerprints, prior to the awarding of initial teacher certification in Missouri.

Admission to the Rockhurst University Master of Education (M.Ed.) Program

Undergraduate candidates completing a Rockhurst degree with a major other than education, with an overall GPA of 2.5 and who meet all other program requirements, can apply to be admitted into the M.Ed. program leading to initial teacher certification in elementary, middle school, or secondary education. M.Ed. application packets may be obtained online at or email: To complete the M.Ed. program in their fifth year at Rockhurst, interested teacher candidates must seek advising early to ensure compliance with all Missouri teacher certification requirements.


    Bachelor of Arts

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