Educator Preparation and Leadership


Early Childhood Education BSEd

Elementary Education BSEd

Physical Education BSEd

Secondary Education BSEd

Education Administration EdS

Educational Administration MEd

Elementary Education MEd

Secondary Education MEd

Special Education MEd


Athletic Coaching Minor
Education Minor
Exercise Science Minor
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages K12 Minor


Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate
Autism Studies Graduate Certificate
Elementary School Teaching Graduate Certificate
Elementary and Special Education Teaching Graduate Certificate
Secondary School Teaching Graduate Certificate
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Graduate Certificate

Through the integration of content in general, special, and second language learning, candidates may earn certifications and endorsements with valued skills that make them highly qualified and marketable. Nationally-recognized research faculty teach undergraduate courses that prepare future educators in instruction and assessment with a strong foundation in working with diverse, urban populations.

Educator candidates actively engage in unique practicum experiences in the Studio School Model for clinical practice. The College partners with numerous public, private, and charter schools. As a College, we take great pride in preparing "community educators" who are well-experienced to impact all students in a wide variety of settings, and with a much broader understanding of education's role in society. Our candidates make a collective impact as faculty members in the differentiated staffing model. Sought after by partner districts and agencies, many of our graduates are hired directly into the studio schools or districts where they complete their clinical preparation.

Educator preparation is both engaging and innovative.  Our high quality undergraduate educator preparation programs are designed around research-based scholarship and practical community-based contexts. Early course-based experiences provide candidates with practical understanding of how youth learn subject matter in a variety of informal settings. Every future educator is guided through approximately 100 clock hours of volunteer academic instruction and support for a local partnering community youth-serving agency.  The community-based experiences broadens candidates’ understanding of their own identity as educators as well as enhancing their ability to build relationships, extend their skills, and understand family/community dynamics and interactions. 

For their final year-long practicum, teacher candidates are immersed in Studio Schools.  These partnering K-12 schools participate in our innovative, collaborative approach to educator preparation. Drawing on their studies during carefully sequenced coursework, teacher candidates enter their final two-semester clinical experience as collaborative teams of 6-14 candidates and work in a Studio School.  In Studio Schools, candidates work with experienced teachers to deepen learning and increase student achievement. Rather than being placed as individuals with one cooperating teacher, our candidates work with multiple teachers learning from each one. This process is supported and facilitated on-site by a specially trained UMSL clinical educator who leads bi-monthly seminars, conducts observations, and provides candidates with regular feedback to guide their growth. 

Teacher candidates inquire deeply into how their students are learning, and use data to inform their instruction. All participate in appropriate school and district professional development and school-wide activities, thereby becoming professionals who are part of the fabric of a school, not just a temporary teacher candidate. We believe that these community and school-based experiences create educators who understand learning in a broader context. In short, graduating educators have experienced an innovative education which prepares them for their future career as educational leaders in our region and beyond.

The following Department of Educator Preparation & Leadership degrees have been accredited by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE):

Undergraduate degrees:

  • Bachelor of Educational Studies (BES)
  • Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S. Ed) in Early Childhood
  • Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S. Ed) in Elementary Education
    • Special Education and TESOL emphasis
    • Special Education emphasis
    • TESOL emphasis
    • Middle School Certification for English
    • Middle School Certification for Mathematics
    • Middle School Certification for Science
    • Middle School Certification for Social Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S. Ed) in Physical Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S. Ed) in Secondary Education
    • Biology concentration
    • Chemistry concentration
    • English concentration
    • Mathematics concentration
    • Modern Language, French K-12
    • Modern Language, Spanish K-12
    • Physics concentration
    • Social Studies concentration


  • Teacher Certification in Music
  • Teacher Certification in Art

Graduate Studies

The Department of Educator Preparation & Leadership offers three Master's degrees, sixteen concentration areas, four Graduate Certificate programs, and joins with the College of Education Faculty to offer two Doctoral degrees.

Master of Education (M.Ed): A minimum of 30 credit hours is required.

Become a distinguished educator. Whether you are a PreK-12 classroom teacher, a school administrator, or an educator/trainer in a museum, business or youth serving organization, these concentration areas provide a broad spectrum of interests that gives a path to expertise.

The Masters of Education Degree programs and Graduate Certificate programs are designed for graduates to attain the following learning outcomes:

  • Understand the major theories in the discipline of study.
  • Attain a solid foundation in the overall field of education in general, including areas of social justice, educational leadership and advocacy, educational psychology and research.
  • Attain a depth of knowledge in the primary discipline.
  • Think critically.
  • Develop skills as a reflective practitioner to be able to create and sustain change.
  • Conduct teacher research.

The Master's Degree consists of:

  • 6 credit hours of foundations courses that examine history, the impact of community on our youth, issues of social justice, teacher leadership and student advocacy;
  • 18 hours that provide the core of expertise in the areas you choose and give you the depth and expertise in areas that match the needs of your students;
  • and a 6 credit hour capstone where you become a researcher in your own organization or classroom to fully understand how to ask the right questions, collect meaningful data, and analyze and present it in a way that informs others.

A minimum of 30 credit hours is required.

The non-degree option is suited for those who have a Master's Degree or are not quite ready, and simply want to gain more in-depth knowledge about a particular area listed in the concentrations below.

Elementary Education

The M.Ed. program in elementary education has a General program option, an emphasis in Reading option, an emphasis in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL),and an Early Childhood education option (18 credit hours) as well as focused concentrations in a variety of interest areas listed below.  Additional hours may be necessary for reading specialist certification.

Secondary Education

The M.Ed. program in Secondary Education has several areas of specialization: General, Curriculum and Instruction, Middle Level Education, Reading, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).  Additionally, students may seek initial teacher certification while also studying for the M.Ed. A set of prescribed courses needed for certification fill the emphasis area. A minimum of 30 credit hours is required.

Special Education

The M.Ed. Program in Special Education includes a representation of the important core knowledge in Special Education. The primary goal is to empower professionals to be thoughtful teachers who use best practice when working with students with disabilities. Research and data-based decision making are emphasized throughout the program. Graduate students will translate research into practice in their courses, and learn to analyze multiple types of assessment data. The M.Ed. Program in Special Education consists of an initial required core of courses, an opportunity to develop an area of specialization, and a capstone or exit course.

Graduate Certificate Programs: A minimum of 18 credit hours is required.

Graduate Certificate programs are specialized programs of study that are not degree programs but are shown on the academic transcript so that readers are aware of the concentrated program of study. Graduate Certificates are unrelated to teaching certificates.

Graduate Certificate Areas are: Autism Studies Certificate; History Education Certificate; Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certificate; and Teaching of Writing Certificate.

Doctoral Program


The Doctor of Education in Educational Practice is a doctoral degree intended for practitioners. Areas of study available are the themes around which learning communities are formed. Members of the learning communities advance through the program as a cohort in three to three-and-one-half years. The degree program requires 80 credit hours, and the Master's degree is recognized and applied toward the 80 credit hour requirement. A Dissertation in Practice is the capstone. The program applies an Inquiry as Practice model of scholarship. Graduates gain the ability to use data to inform decision-making and enhance their practice by gathering, organizing, judging, aggregating, and analyzing situations, literature, and data. The Doctor of Education degree program places emphasis on preparing scholarly practitioners for their professional work rather than emphasizing research for the purposes of building theory and preparation for the professoriate in higher education.

The curriculum of the Doctor of Education degree is intended to prepare practicing professionals to transform both their practice and the field by working in community, just as practitioners collaborate with key stakeholders to address complex problems of practice. Students are admitted to the degree program and simultaneously to a learning community of practice formed around a theme such as Language, Literacy, and Culture, Curriculum and Instruction, STEM, Higher Education Student Services, Global Learning, Social Justice or Heritage Leadership. The learning community and a mentor team of faculty and practitioners work together throughout the program using the learning community seminar, which is required every semester, as a mechanism by which to cultivate community and build the unique skills needed for education practitioners. The skills to work collaboratively to develop, test, and advance innovative solutions to high-leverage problems of practice are fostered throughout the program.

In addition to the thematic learning community of practice format, the curriculum features Laboratories of Practice and a Dissertation in Practice as culminating activities. The Laboratories of Practice take the doctoral studies away from the University campus and to a context where theory, inquiry, and practice can intersect and the implementation of practice can be measured. The Dissertation in Practice allows the learning community to address a high leverage problem of practice through collaborative and connected work beyond what a single individual could do alone. Individuals contribute work that feeds into group work. The Dissertation of Practice is characterized by generative impact.

The University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Education is a member of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, a national group of over 100 universities that are re-designing and re-orienting the Doctor of Education degree as a program that is distinct from Doctor of Philosophy in Education degree programs. Our program reflects our commitment to the work of the Carnegie Project and its working principles.

Doctor of Philosophy of Education (Ph.D.)

The Ph.D. degree in Education, offered in cooperation with the School of Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the College of Education at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is designed for educators who desire directed research experience promoting scholarly inquiry in education.

The Ph.D. program is designed for graduates to attain the following learning outcomes:

  • Understand the major theories in their primary and secondary disciplines.
  • Attain a breadth of knowledge in education in general and a depth of knowledge in the primary discipline.
  • Think critically.
  • Locate literature in the primary and secondary disciplines.
  • Understand research methods in education.
  • Conduct research.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills and attributes.

Categories of coursework and credits Required are: 1. Research Methods (15-18 hrs.); 2. Disciplinary Specialization (24-26 hrs., 16 in residence as Ph.D. student); 3. Foundations Courses (10-14 hrs.); 4. Proposal Writing (EDUC 7950; 1 hr.); 5. Comprehensive Examination; and 6. Dissertation Research (6 hrs.).       

The minimum total credit hour requirement to complete the Ph.D. in Education degree is 90 credit hours of post-baccalaureate coursework. Up to 44 credit hours of graduate coursework, typically the Master’s degree and post-Master’s credit hours, can be applied to the foundations, research methods, and disciplinary specialization categories as appropriate.                  

The Master’s degree work can usually be applied without regard to the age of the degree, but post-Master’s coursework should be recent (4 to 6 years old). There is an 8-year time limit for completing the Ph.D. in Education.           

The final program configuration, including how previous coursework is applied to the degree requirements, is determined at a meeting of the student, the student’s advisor, and two additional faculty members in the area of study, where applicable. This meeting typically takes place 2 to 3 semesters after program entry.

James Shuls
Associate Professor and Chair
Ph.D. , University of Arkansas

Rebecca Rogers
Curators’ Distinguished Research Professor and E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor in Tutorial Education
Ph.D., University of Albany-SUNY

Charles Granger
Curators' Teaching Professor
Ph.D., University of Iowa

Marvin W. Berkowitz
Sanford N. McDonnell Professor of Character Education
Ph.D., Wayne State University

Miriam Jorge
Dr. Allen B. and Mrs. Helen S. Shopmaker Endowed Professor for Education in collaboration with Springboard to Learning
Ph.D., Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil

Jerome E. Morris
E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor in Urban Education in Conjunction with St. Louis Public Schools
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

William C. Kyle, Jr.
E. Desmond Lee Family Endowed Professor of Science Education I
Ph.D., University of Iowa

Michael V. Smith
E. Desmond Lee and Family Fund Endowed Professor in Music Education
Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Kim Song
Ed.D., Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville

Ann Taylor
Professor and Dean
Ph.D., Washington University

Amber Candela
Associate Professors
Ph.D., University of Georgia

April Regester
Associate Professors
Ph.D. , University of California-Santa Barbara

Nancy Robb Singer
Associate Professors
Ph.D., University of Missouri - St. Louis

Alina Slapac
Associate Professors
Ed.D., University of Northern Iowa

Lindsay Athamanah
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago

Jennifer Bumble
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

Vanessa Garry
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Missouri-St. Louis

Shea Kerkhoff
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., North Carolina State University

Na Young Kong
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Kansas

Timothy Makubuya
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Missouri - St. Louis

Doris Villarreal
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , University of Texas - Austin

Phyllis Balcerzak
Assistant Teaching Professor
Ph.D., Kent State University

Andresa DeSouza
Assistant Teaching Professor
Ph.D., University of Nebraska - Omaha

Martille Elias
Assistant Teaching Professor
Ph.D., University of Missouri - Columbia

Jennifer Fisher
Assistant Teaching Professor
Ph.D., University of Missouri - St. Louis

Lynn Navin
Assistant Teaching Professor and Director of University Child Development Center
Ph.D., University of Missouri - St. Louis

Katherine O'Daniels
Assistant Teaching Professor
Ed.D., University of Missouri - St. Louis

Julie Smith-Sodey
Assistant Teaching Professor
Ed.D., University of Missouri - St. Louis

Tom Stephens
Assistant Teaching Professor
Ed.D., St. Louis University

Thomas E. Jordan
Curators' Professor Emeritus
Ed.D., Indiana University

Lloyd I. Richardson, Jr.
Curators' Professor Emeritus
Ph.D. , Vanderbilt Univeristy

Richard Burnett
Professors Emeriti
Ed.D., Indiana University

Charles J. Fazzaro
Professors Emeriti
Ed.D., West Virginia University

Kathleen Haywood
Professors Emeriti
Ph.D., University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign

E. Louis Lankford
Professors Emeriti
Ph.D., Florida State University

Wendy Saul
Professors Emeriti
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin

Helene J. Sherman
Professors Emeriti
Ed.D., University of Missouri-St. Louis

Paul D. Travers
Professors Emeriti
Ed.D., George Peabody College

Harold E. Turner
Professors Emeriti
Ed.D., George Peabody College

Douglas Turpin
Professors Emeriti
Ed.D., Washington University

Cathy Vatterott
Professors Emeriti
Ph.D., Saint Louis University

Huber Walsh
Professors Emeriti
Ed.D., University of California-Los Angeles

Jane Zeni
Professors Emeriti
Ed.D., University of Missouri-St. Louis

Kathleen Sullivan Brown
Associate Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., Washington University

Bruce A. Clark
Associate Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., University of Illinois

Thomas J. Loughrey
Associate Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., University of Iowa

Virginia L. Navarro
Associate Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., Washington University

Charles G. Smith
Associate Professor Emeritus and Athletic Director Emeritus
M.S., Washington University

Gwendolyn Turner
Associate Professor Emeritus
Ed.D., University of Arkansas

Gayle A. Wilkinson
Associate Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign

George J. Yard
Associate Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., Saint Louis University