|MWSU | Academics/Departments | Education||DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION|
If you are looking at this page you must be interested in becoming a high school teacher and you must have an interest in Missouri Western State University.
Information about the city: St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce.
The Secondary Education program at Missouri Western has been accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education [NCATE] and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education [DESE]. MWSU academic departments have received accreditation from their respective professional organizations.
Missouri Teacher CertificationThe current Missouri Teacher Certification Requirements, and specific MWSU requirements for the varying areas and levels are listed in the MWSU College Catalog.
Information You Will Need
Below will be information that people think about as they consider teaching as a career and about coming to Missouri Western.
Teaching: The Nature of the WorkOne that you need to know up front, is that teaching has changed considerably the past few years.
If you are in the process of thinking "maybe I should be a teacher" or "I really don't know about becoming a high school teacher" you should do some research and reading.
One of the best publications to read is published by the U.S. Government. The Occupational Outlook Handbook will provide you with information about every possible job in the United States.You will be able to find information about becoming a professional educator or a teacher.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook is published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is probably located in your library as a hard copy or you can click on this link to read it on line. Occupational Outlook Handbook: Teaching
Being a high school teacher has many rewards, and can provide a comfortable standard of living. The decision to become a secondary teacher, however, should not be taken lightly. Teachers often work in the summer, have papers to grade in the evenings, or attend events at the school they teach after school hours. Teachers are a dedicated group of people looking to enhance the lives of their students.
Teacher Education at Missouri WesternThe present location of Missouri Western State University was built in 1968. At the same time there was an opportunity to create an education program that reflected the change in philosophy about how people should be prepared for teaching. During the brick and mortar stage of college building, MWSU personnel visited area schools. Each time the question was asked "What are some of the problems with the way teachers are currently being prepared and what can the MWSU do to improve the process?"
Repeatedly school administrators and teachers said that new teachers need to know what teaching, schools and kids are really like. The only way that this can be accomplished is if prospective students have an early exposure to teaching and many hours of real teaching experience working with a master teacher. Academic research into the preparation of teachers said the same thing that area educators were saying: prospective teachers need an early exposure to the classrooms.
The result was the development of a totally new, different and dynamic teacher education program that provided for a marriage of theory and practice. Beginning in 1996, the program underwent another series of improvements to strengthen the performance-based philosophy and ensure that all components of the program are focused on providing our teacher candidates with the skills and knowledge they need to meet current challenges in teacher education.
The four phase model for the preparation of teachers was developed at Missouri Western is based upon the following:
Becoming a Teacher Leader: Taking Responsibility for Student LearningMWSU teacher candidates move through four developmental phases. Phases I, III, and IV require three formal off-campus or in-school experiences that help the prospective teacher make the transition from being a novice to a professional teacher. Each of the off-campus classes is married to a campus class that provides the academic background to insure success when working with students. This is known as the Professional Sequence.
In addition, many teacher candidates will actively participate in additional in-school teaching experiences. For example, teacher candidates seeking a Unified Science B.S. in Biology are required to function like graduate Teacher Assistants in undergraduate General Biology labs. Our education department faculty are often told by P-12 teachers and principals that our teacher candidates look like first or second year teachers by the time they are student teaching in Phase IV.
Becoming a Teacher Leader: Taking Responsibility for Student LearningAs indicated above the faculty in the MWSU Department of Education feel that the best way for a person to learn about teaching and to actually develop into a professional educator is to spend many hours in an actual classroom, to apply theory and common sense as they reflect upon their classroom experiences, and to thoughtfully make adjustments to their teaching in order to increase the positive effects of their teaching upon student learning. Only those with a strong commitment and desire to teach, along with demonstrated mastery of content knowledge and teacher skills, will ultimately be recommended for Missouri teacher certification.
What are the benefits to the student of spending so many hours in the classroom? First, the MWSU secondary teacher candidates are more realistic about schools and high school age students. Second, school administrators commonly report that the MWSU first year teacher will perform at a much higher level than other first year teachers. Thus, our graduates enjoy a high employment rate compared to other Missouri institutions.
Secondary Education at Missouri Western & the Major Content FieldA Missouri Western teacher candidate will major in a content field outside the Department of Education. In order to be recommended for certification the person will complete the MWSU Professional Sequence of classes. Majors or areas of content are available in the following fields. A prospective student should contact one of the academic departments for proper advisement and to file a formal academic course of study. The secondary education student will also have an informal advisor within the Department of Education.
The teacher candidate who completes the approved program in one of the above areas will be recommended for Missouri teacher certification. Physical Education, Foreign Language, Art and Music majors will be recommended for certification in grades K-12. All others will have grades 9-12 recommendation.
It is recommended that the secondary education student also investigate the steps that will lead to Middle School certification, grades 5-9. MWSU does not have a certification in Middle School Education, but one may be obtained through taking the PRAXIS II for Middle School.
Admission RequirementsA complete review of the Admission Requirements for Teacher Education can be found at the following location. Admissions