Feb 02, 2023  

School of Education

Associate Professor   Sarah Hicks, Ph.D. (Chair)
    Hilary Logan, Ph.D.
    Nilufer Guler, Ph.D., Director of Ed.D. Program
Assistant Professor   Janet Spallo Mitchelson, M.A., Director of Field Experiences
    Elizabeth Walter, Ed.D.

Education Program Overview

The Rockhurst University School of Education prepares teachers to hold a solid background in their chosen fields of study, who are knowledgeable and competent in the craft of teaching, and who bring well-informed perspectives to bear on educational policies and practices. Educational leaders are developed: teachers who are actively engaged in educational matters as reflective practitioners. The Education Program prepares 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, varied field experiences, and service learning, teacher candidates acquire a deep understanding of, and special sensitivity to, the challenges and rewards of teaching in 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 and service learning projects 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 School of Education Conceptual Framework emphasizes three interrelated themes of Jesuit education: a 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 9 Missouri Standards for Preparation of Educators (MoSPE), The Missouri Teacher Standards, the InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards, and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Standards. The School of Education is committed to the Rockhurst University tradition of preparing men and women for and with service to others.

Education Accreditation

The Rockhurst University education programs  are approved on the national level through the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) for a period of 10 years, from 2011 through 2021. For the next accreditation cycle, the School of Education will be seeking national accreditation through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).  We are approved on the state level by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).  The undergraduate education programs operate according to the general administrative policies governing undergraduate studies at Rockhurst University.

Areas of Certification

The Rockhurst University undergraduate education program provides the necessary professional education coursework to meet initial teacher certification requirements in elementary (1-6), special education in mild/moderate cross-categorical disabilities (K-12), english (9-12), mathematics (9-12), physics (9-12), chemistry (9-12), biology (9-12), french (K-12), business (9-12), spanish (K-12), or social science (9-12) in Missouri. Because of the significant number of Missouri state certification requirements, it is important that teacher candidates seek advisement from the School of Education early in their academic careers.

Program Goals

  • To develop educators who have discipline-specific content knowledge.
  • To develop educators who plan and utilize innovative, evidence-based teaching strategies. 
  • To develop educators who can assess and adjust teaching methods according to the needs of individual learners.
  • To develop educators who gain awareness and feel empowered to work within diverse settings.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • The preservice teacher knows the central concepts, structures, and tools of inquiry of the discipline(s) and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful and engaging for all students.
  • The preservice teacher knows how students learn, develop and differ in their approaches to learning. The preservice teacher provides learning opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners and support the intellectual, social, and personal development of all students.
  • The preservice teacher recognizes the importance of long-range planning and curriculum development. The preservice teacher develops, implements, and evaluates curriculum based upon student, district and state standards data.
  • The preservice teacher uses a variety of instructional strategies and resources to encourage students’ critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills.
  • The preservice teacher uses an understanding of individual/group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages active engagement in learning, positive social interaction, and self-motivation.
  • The preservice teacher models effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques with students, colleagues and families to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.
  • The preservice teacher knows and uses formative and summative assessment strategies to assess the learner’s progress and uses both classroom and standardized assessment data to plan ongoing instruction. The preservice teacher monitors the performance of each student, and devises instruction to enable students to grow and develop, making adequate academic progress.
  • The preservice teacher is a reflective practitioner who continually assesses the effects of choices and actions on others. The preservice teacher actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally in order to improve learning for all students.
  • The preservice teacher has effective working relationships with students, parents, school colleagues, and community members.
  • Preservice teachers act as a reflective practitioner, teaching for social justice, and treating subject matter broadly.


Declaring your Major in Education

Declaring your major in education is the first step on the path to becoming a teacher.  We welcome students to take up to four education courses before declaring your education major. To declare your major un elementary, secondary, foreign language, or special education:

  • Achieve a passing score on all sections of the Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA), a state mandated assessment of reading comprehension and interpretation, writing, mathematics, and science/social studies.


  • Have an ACT composite score of 20 or higher and a high school cumulative GPA greater than or equal to  2.75. If a student is not directly admitted, they will need a college cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher and an ACT composite score greater than or equal to 20 or passing scores on the Missouri General Assessment (MoGEA).
  • Meet with the Chair of the School of Education for approval before completing the online Declaration of Major form (found under Quick Links at www.rockhurst.edu/academics/registrar.

  • The submitted declaration of major form will be routed to the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences office, VAN 215.

Once you have declared your major, a meeting with the School of Education advisor is strongly recommended before enrolling in any education course.

NOTE: Incoming students may now directly declare as Education majors if they have met the required criteria for admission. The above requirements may be subject to change without notice.


Should an undergraduate student leave the university, the student is subject to the university readmission requirements. A student readmitted to the University will be subject to the degree and certification requirements in place at the time of readmission.

The Professional Semester

(Fall and Spring Semesters)

The professional semester is comprised of a minimum of 15 weeks of student teaching (9 credit hours) and the 3 credit hour Student Teaching Seminar course. During this course, students must complete an e-portfolio capstone project. Students must attend a mandatory student teaching meeting to receive application materials.  Students who plan to student teach in the fall semester must submit their application by the previous March 1st.  Students who plan to student teach in the spring semester must submit their application by the previous September 1st.  All coursework must be completed before the Professional Semester begins.  Students must also pass the Missouri Content Assessment (MoCA) before the professional semester begins; a placement will not be assigned until after a passing score is documented. Students may not fall below the required semester grade point average prior to student teaching.  Students may not be on probation when applying for the professional semester.

Professional Semester Placement

Placement is the process by which those applying to 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. A student teaching placement for the professional semester will be sought upon completion of the following:

  1. Professional Semester of Student Teaching application
  2. Professional resume
  3. Autobiography
  4. Passing score on the Missouri Content Assessment (MoCA)
  5. Undergraduate degree application (online)
  6. A Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education substitute license, which requires a fingerprint background check clearance from 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.

Definition of School of Education Program Completer

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

Graduation Requirements:

  1. Achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 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 Registrar’s Office.

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

  1. A baccalaureate degree from a college or university having a teacher education program approved by DESE 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 cumulative grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale overall, a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 in the certification content courses, and a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 in all education courses;
  4. Completion of the Missouri Content Assessment (MoCA) 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. Completion of the DESE initial teacher certification application, which requires a fingerprint background check clearance from the Missouri Highway Patrol;and
  7. Obtain a passing score as determined by DESE on the Missouri Educator Evaluation System (MEES) Teacher Candidate Assessment Tool.


Regarding Certification Requirements:

Requirements listed in this catalog are open to revision based on changes in state certification requirements. A current listing of requirements may be found at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website: http://www.dese.mo.gov/.

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