Post-Baccalaureate Elementary Teacher Certification Program

Post-Baccalaureate

The Post-Baccalaureate Elementary Teacher Certification Program is designed for those who already hold a bachelors degree. Course work may be completed on a part-time basis through University College (the evening division of the College of Arts and Sciences), which offers lower tuition than the day school. Course work is taken for undergraduate credit. This program leads to teacher certification only; no degree is granted through this program.

Successful completion of the Post-Bac program leads to elementary certification to teach grades 1-6. Washington University's (WU) Teacher Education programs provide course work that qualifies a student for certification to teach in the public schools. On the recommendation of the WU Department of Education, the Missouri Department Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will issue a teaching certificate to an individual who successfully completes a Washington University Teacher Education program. For certification with other states, additional study or testing may be required to qualify for a teaching certificate.

Teacher Education Program Principles

Teacher Education at WU has refined three principles that are fundamental to practitioners:

  1. Commitment to equitable and just education for all students. Teachers act on the belief that all students can learn and use a variety of strategies to promote the development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance capabilities of all students
  2. Knowledge of the subjects to be taught and how to teach them. Teachers have a command of content knowledge so they can co-construct learning experiences with their students. Their instructional repertoire allows them to create multiple paths to the subjects they teach, and they are adept at teaching students how to pose and solve their own problems.
  3. Enact the role of a teacher as an inquirer. Teachers understand histories of participation and critically examine their language and practice. As active members of learning communities, they seek to expand their repertoire, deepen their knowledge, sharpen their judgment and conduct research in their classrooms and communities in order to better support the educative experiences of their students.

Certification

Upon completion of the Post-Bac program it is the student’s responsibility to submit the appropriate application materials and communicate with the Student Services Secretary about the application requirements. A student is always certified first in the state where the education program is completed. Beginning teachers in the state of Missouri receive a renewable Professional Certificate. Information on the renewal process is included with the certificate when it is issued. All students completing teacher certification programs must meet these additional requirements in order to be certified in the state of Missouri:

  • Overall final GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, based on all university course work.
  • Final GPA in Education course work of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • No grade of less than "B" in an Education course and successful completion of student teaching.
  • Each student must take and pass the Missouri Elementary Multi-Content Assessment. This exam should be taken prior to student teaching. Information can be obtained in Seigle 107.
  • Each student must take and pass the Missouri Pre-Service Teacher Assessment (MoPTA) completed during student teaching.

Students desiring certification in other states may need additional course work. States revise their certification requirements frequently. Students are advised to check the certification requirements of each state in which they want teacher certification. Please see the Certification Officer for further information.

required course work

Upon admission to the Post-Bac program, each student's transcript(s) will be evaluated to determine what courses are needed to complete the requirements for certification.  Students who have no prior course work in education should plan on completing a minimum of 48 credit hours in education course work.

Foundations of Education

Schools and teachers function in relationship to cultural values, social structures, psychological perspectives, and historical traditions. Thus the elementary program is grounded in the social foundations of Education and in Educational Psychology. Foundations courses are taken first in the sequence outlined here. The remaining courses fall into the category of curriculum and instruction.

  • ED 408 - Education and Psychology of Exceptional Children (Fall, Spring & Summer, 3 credits)
  • ED 4052 - Educational Psychology: A Focus on Teaching and Learning in School Settings (4 credits, includes 5 hours of field work per week – Fall & Spring)
  • ED 4681 - Teaching Reading in the Elementary School (Fall, 3 credits)*
  • ED 313B – Education, Childhood, Adolescence and Society (Fall), or equivalent substitute course (3 credits)
  • ED 466 - Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers (Fall, 3 credits)
  • ED 314 – Sociolinguistics, Literacies, Communities (Fall, 3 credits)

*Please note: a student must take a mandatory sequence of reading courses beginning with ED 4681 in the fall; ED 470 in the spring; and ED 525 as the third course for the sequence in the fall semester. Additional requirements for certification include the Instructional Technology Certificate and completing a portfolio which demonstrates competency in education and the subject areas, to be assembled throughout the course of study.

Curriculum and Instruction

All courses below are offered only in the spring.

Teachers must continually make curricular and instructional decisions. Therefore, prospective teachers need to learn about innovative practices, professional responsibilities, curriculum development, materials and methods for the various content areas, and methods for evaluating pupil progress, as well as to develop classroom management and teacher-pupil relationship skills. Students learn and practice these concepts in all curriculum and instruction course work, but the capstone experience is the professional semester.

Completed before student teaching:

  • ED 4841 - Elementary Methods Field Experience (2 credits) -- requires 50 hours of observation during the spring semester.
  • ED 4731 - Elementary School Mathematics (3 credits)
  • ED 4741 - Elementary Science: Content, Curriculum & Instruction (2 credits)
  • ED 4751 - Elementary Social Studies: Content, Curriculum & Instruction (2 credits)
  • ED 4771 - The Arts & Aesthetics: A Means of Communication (3 credits)
  • ED 470 - Language Learning and Instruction (3 credits)*

*Please note: a student must take a mandatory sequence of reading courses beginning with ED 4681 in the fall; ED 470 in the spring; and ED 525 as the third course for the sequence in the fall semester. Additional requirements for certification include the Instructional Technology Certificate and completing a portfolio which demonstrates competency in education and the subject areas, to be assembled throughout the course of study.

The Professional Semester

All courses below are offered only in the fall.

Courses in the Professional Semester serve to integrate instruction with practical classroom teaching experience. Students should not enroll in any other courses during the professional semester and should keep all other outside activities to an absolute minimum. Students in the Professional Semester spend five full days a week in the schools, with an additional one or two late afternoon/early evening classes during which students receive instruction in teaching methodologies. The Elementary Professional Semester is offered only in the fall. Activities associated with student teaching often start before the semester officially begins. While student input is welcome, it should be understood that student teaching assignments are made by the faculty.

Please be aware that Student Teaching will be full-time for at least 12 weeks during the fall. You cannot work during the day for the duration of your student teaching.

  • ED 525 Diagnosis and Correction of Reading Disabilities (3 credits)**
  • ED 4831 Teaching-Learning Process in the Elementary School (3 credits)
  • ED 4911 Student Teaching in the Elementary School

*Please note: a student must take a mandatory sequence of reading courses beginning with ED 4681 in the fall; ED 470 in the spring; and ED 525 as the third course for the sequence in the fall semester. Additional requirements for certification include the Instructional Technology Certificate and completing a portfolio which demonstrates competency in education and the subject areas, to be assembled throughout the course of study.

Certificate in Instructional Technologies

The Department of Education is committed to helping all of its students become proficient in the latest instructional technologies. To this end, we have created the Certificate of Merit in Instructional Technologies, required for all students in the Teacher Education programs, to demonstrate proficiency in PowerPoint, Notebook for interactive whiteboards, and digital video production. Individuals must demonstrate such proficiency to be awarded a Certificate of Merit for inclusion in their professional portfolio. Over the course of their program, students will submit a project created in each of these technologies and present them to a review committee. Projects can include lesson plans created for student teaching, presentations created for department course work, or other class assignments completed throughout the program. During the oral presentation, students will be asked to assess how these technologies enhance student learning. Projects submitted will be scored based upon the student’s understanding and creative use of each technology. Questions in the evaluation process will include:

  • How did the use of a particular technology further the effectiveness of the project?
  • How well did the student exploit the full potential of the technology?
  • How well does the student understand how these technologies can contribute to teaching and learning processes?
  • In what practical ways can the student envision using these instructional technologies in her or his teaching career?

No previous technical experience is required. Workshops, class assignments, and personal mentoring are available to help every student successfully complete the requirements. 

admissions requirements

Admission is based upon a strong undergraduate record or significant experience which suggests future success in the teaching field.

A Minimum Cumulative GPA of 3.0

Applicants should have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0.

application requirements

Completed application form

The online application is available online on our Apply page. Applications are ready for review when all fields on the application form are completed, required documents have been received, and the application fee is paid.

Official transcripts from all previous college work

Contact the registrar at each previous college or university attended to request an official transcript. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the registrar to University College.

TOEFL scores (if applicable)

If you are not a U.S. citizen, official TOEFL scores must be forwarded to University College.

Graduates of a U.S. university or college or Canada, Australia, and U.K. residents are exempt if they have earned a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree from such college or university.

$35 application fee

You may pay by credit card online, or via check or money order payable to Washington University in St. Louis. You may also pay the fee by cash at the University College office. 

This fee is waived for all WashU staff.

Three Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation should be completed by teachers or professional associates. They can be submitted as part of your online application or mailed to University College.

Personal Essay
Miller Analogies Test (MAT) results or GRE test score

Information about the Miller Analogies Test can be obtained by calling (314) 935-6865. Scores from previously taken tests (within the last five years) are acceptable; GRE test scores may be substituted for the Miller’s Analogies Test.

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Still have questions?

Director of Teacher Education: Ron Banfield | (314) 935-3571 | rbanfiel@wustl.edu