The master of science in teaching elementary education is designed for individuals certified to teach at the elementary or middle level who wish to pursue graduate study.
Goals and purposes
The goals of this MST program are to provide expertise in the following areas:
• Education beyond the bachelor’s degree for licensed teachers through advanced courses, seminars, and research; thereby improving instruction at the elementary/middle school level.
• Opportunity for extensive study in many areas or disciplines.
• Concentrated study and research opportunities in the area of elementary/middle level education.
Final project options
The master of science in teaching elementary education offers four exit options:
• Standard written comprehensive examination
• Take-home examination
• Scholarly or research paper
• All candidates must pass an oral examination prior to graduation.
The standard written comprehensive with oral exam is a four-hour written examination consisting of questions compiled by the chair of the program committee, the candidate and the other two members of the committee. The student is expected to demonstrate knowledge and skills appropriate to the master’s level in integrating facts, concepts and arguments
from diverse sources into a systematic, well-reasoned, well-written narrative.
The purpose of the portfolio with oral exam is to provide an in-depth, long-term opportunity for student reflection, self-evaluation and synthesis of intellectual/professional development over the course of the master’s program. The decision to compile a portfolio is made well before the students’ final semester in the program and in consultation with the primary adviser. It should relate course work, papers and other items in the portfolio to a coherent body of knowledge and to the student’s intellectual and professional growth.
The take-home and oral exam consists of two parts: a written open-book examination taken during an agreed-upon period and an oral follow-up of professional concerns and issues related to his/her course work. Specific questions, including information regarding the time period for completion and expected length, are submitted to the graduate studies program assistant when the questions are given to the student.
The student may write a thesis for one to six hours of credit or a research paper, or scholarly paper for one to two credits. The thesis problem must be approved by the student’s thesis committee. The thesis should be a study of a problem in elementary/middle level. The thesis should represent new evidence or new interpretation and not simply a chronicling or summary of previously published works. The thesis should have a unifying theme or offer direction and the possibility of specific conclusions. The student should use primary and secondary resources.
The research paper or scholarly paper should be a problem or topic in the area of elementary education. The student should show exploration of primary sources; secondary sources may be included. The paper may parallel the typical research paper that has a unifying theme and offers direction and the possibility of a specific conclusion; or it may be in the form of a project that is innovative, historical, accumulative, descriptive, directive or otherwise broadly interprets and reports research.
The thesis and the typical research paper should follow the writing and form in the latest editions of the Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association and the Thesis Manual. The topic, length and the determination of suitability will be mutually agreed upon between the student and her/his research paper or thesis adviser.
• A baccalaureate degree in an appropriate field.
• Licensure to teach at the elementary/middle grade levels.
• Undergraduate grade-point average of 2.75 or better.
Students must complete a minimum of 30 graduate credits, 15 credits must be in courses limited to graduate students. Six-nine of the 30 credits are required courses. They include ES 730 or ES 738 and ES 788.
To apply to the master of science in teaching elementary education program, an applicant must submit the following documents:
• A complete application for graduate admission along with the application fee.
• Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions previously attended.
• A copy of your certification to teach.
• There are typically fewer than 15 students in an advanced course.
• U.S. News & World Report magazine consistently ranks UW-Eau Claire among the top public regional universities in the Midwest in its annual America’s Best Colleges guidebook.
• Four UW-Eau Claire professors have been recipients of Wisconsin Professor of the Year awards.