Learn to teach students to communicate: you'll do that here.

The Elementary Education/ Middle School Language Arts program of study prepares future teachers to work with students in elementary and middle school settings. Elementary Education majors have multiple field-based courses where you will work in classrooms in grades 1 –6 and 5 –9.  

What You’ll Do  

The Elementary Education/Middle School Language Arts program prepares students for the classroom through coursework on campus and field work within schools. In addition, you’ll be prepared to integrate technology into your classroom as a beginning teacher. 

  • Be prepared and certified to teach 1st – 6th grade and to teach middle school language arts grades 5-9. 
  • Do your student teaching abroad in a variety of locations, including our partnership with Eagles College in Iquique, Chile. 
  • Gain leadership skills in numerous student organizations. 
  • Experience hands-on, real-world learning through multiple field experiences in classrooms as well as student teaching opportunities abroad 

What Can You Do with an Elementary Education: Language Arts Degree?

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time. 

Education Careers Outlook

  • Early Childhood was the fourth highest teacher shortage area in Missouri in the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Students secure teaching positions across the state of Missouri, in surrounding states, and beyond.
  • Early Childhood graduates with add-on certification in Elementary Education find jobs as preschool, kindergarten, and elementary grade teachers in public or private schools.
  • Graduates may also work in programs such as Parents as Teachers or First Steps.
  • Placement rates are high for alumni with more than one teaching certification.
  • First-year teachers report feeling well-prepared by Southeast Missouri State University on our annual survey of first-year teachers.
  • Principals also report elementary education graduates are well-prepared as beginning teachers.

Elementary Education/Middle School Language Arts Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree

Outcomes & Careers 

  • $68k 

    Elementary Teacher

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for an elementary school teacher is $68,000. 





  • $67k

    Middle School Teacher

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a middle school teacher is $67,790. 





  • $74k

    Special Education Teacher

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a special education teacher is $74,310. 

What You'll Study

Degree Map

As an elementary education/middle school language arts major, you’ll learn to meet the rigor of teacher education in a supportive environment with faculty who have extensive classroom experience themselves. You’ll complete a minimum of 120 credit hours to complete this degree, including the general education requirements and at least 39 senior division hours.

Professional Education Requirements:

Elementary Education students must be admitted to the Educator Preparation Program prior to enrolling in upper division (300 level or above) education courses.

A grade of ‘C’ or better is required in education courses. A grade of ‘B’ is required in ED280.

“Critical Courses” are bolded. Data shows that students who have completed this course in the first two years and have earned the noted grade are most likely to complete this program of study.

  • BS118 Intro Process Science Elem Teachers (1)
  • CF233 Creative Thought & Expression in Children (3) 
  • ED280 Introduction to Education as a Profession (3) 
  • ED506 Education Law and Society (3) 
  • EF400 Student Teaching Seminar (1) 
  • EL274 Diversity in American Schools (3) 
  • EL300 Instructional & Assistive Technology in a Universally Designed Learning Environment (3) 
  • EL314 Literacy Field Experience (3) 
  • EL316 Emergent and Early Literacy Instruction (3) 
  • EL317 Literacy Methods for Elementary Teachers (3) 
  • EL340 Classroom Management (3) 
  • EL350 Content Field Experience (3) 
  • EL354 Meeting the Needs of Struggling Readers (3) 
  • EL355 Content & Disciplinary Literacy (3) 
  • EL360 Integrated Math, Science, Social Sciences, Health Instruction (3) 
  • EL410 Differentiated Instruction (3) 
  • EL420 Assessment & Data Analysis (3) 
  • EL430 Advanced Field Experience (3) 
  • EL480 Elementary Education Student Teaching (12) 
  • EN140 Rhetoric & Critical Thinking (3) 
  • EX390 Psychology of the Exceptional Child (3) 
  • LI243 Children’s Literature (3) 
  • MA128 Numbers and Operations for Educators (4)* 
  • MA228 Geometry & Measurements for Educators (4) 
  • SE319 Techniques of Teaching Language Arts (3) 
  • SE360 Pedagogy 2: Interdisciplinary Methods for Middle School (3) 

Choose 3 hours:

  • PY/CF120 The Child: Development from Conception to Adolescence (3)
  • PY222 Development of the Adolescent (3)  

Language Arts Content Courses

  • EN140 Rhetoric & Critical Thinking (3)
  • EN201 Writing about Literature (3)
  • EN378 Grammars for English (3)
  • LI385 Literature for Secondary Classroom (3)
  • LI542 Literature Young Adult (3)
  • SC105 Fundamentals of Oral Communication (3)

Choose 3 hours:

  • LI270 American Literature I (3)
  • LI271 American Literature II (3)

Additional Requirements: 

(These courses may also meet General Education requirements) 

  • BS218 Biological Science: A Process Approach (3)
  • EC101 Economic Problems & Policies (3)
  • EN100 English Composition I (3)
  • PH218 Physical Science: A Process Approach (3)
  • PS103 U.S. Political Systems (3)
  • SC105 Fundamentals of Oral Communication (3)
  • UI308 Physical/Cultural Landscapes of the World (3)
  • US105 American History I (3) 

NOTE: All Pre-Education courses are pre-requisite to all Education courses.

  • 42 credit hours completed
  • One of the following:
    • Composite/Superscore of 20 or higher on the ACT exam
    • Composite score of 1040or higher on the SAT exam
    • Passing scores on all sections of the Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA)
    • A 4-year degree from an accredited college/university
  • The following course requirements met:
    • A grade of C or above in CF/PY120 The Child (Elementary, Early and Exceptional) or PY222 Development of the Adolescent (5-9, 9-12 and PK12)
    • A grade of B or above in ED280 Introduction to Education as a Profession or ME222 Principles of Teaching Music.

The state of Missouri has high expectations for future educators:
  • 3.0 professional education GPA
  • Pass the following Missouri Content Assessments:
    • 073-074 Elementary Education Multi-Content (English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science Math)
    • 012 (Middle School Mathematics)
  • Successfully complete all required course work and field experiences

  • Early – explore the role of educators before you commit to the degree.
  • Mid-level – elementary education majors adding on middle school language arts certification do field experiences in both elementary grades and middle school language arts classrooms.
  • Student Teaching – semester long, co-teaching capstone experience in an early childhood classroom (PreK – 3rd grade)

Some requirements may be fulfilled by coursework in major program.

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences – 6 hours
  • Constitution Requirement – 3 hours
  • Written Communication – 6 hours
  • Oral Communication – 3 hours
  • Natural Sciences – 7 hours (from two disciplines, one to include a lab)
  • Mathematics – 3 hours
  • Humanities & Fine Arts – 9 hours (from at least two disciplines)
  • Additional requirements – 5 hours (to include UI100 for native students)
  • Civics examination

Freshman Year 

Fall Semester (14 Hours) 
  • UI100 (1) 
  • EN100 (3) 
  • BS118 (1) 
  • PS103 (3) 
  • SC105 (3) 
  • US105 (3) 
Spring Semester (16 Hours) 
  • BS218 (3) 
  • ED280 (3) 
  • EN140 (3) 
  • MA128 (4) 
  • PY/CF120 (3)

Milestone: 3.0 GPA in content courses

Sophomore Year 

Fall Semester (16 Hours)
  • EC101 (3)
  • EN201 (3)
  • LI270/LI271 (3)
  • MA228 (4) 
  • PH218 (3) 
Spring Semester (18 Hours)
  • CF233 (3) 
  • EL274 (3) 
  • EN378 (3)
  • LI243 (3)
  • LI385 (3)
  • UI308 (3) 

Milestone: 3.0 GPA in content courses; Passing score MoGEA or ACT

Junior Year 

Fall Semester (18 Hours) 
Literacy Block 
  • EL300 (3) 
  • EL314 (3) 
  • EL316 (3) 
  • EL317 (3) 
  • EL340 (3)
  • LI542 (3)
Spring Semester (18 Hours) 
Content Block 
  • EL350 (3)
  • El355 (3)
  • EL360 (3)
  • EX390 (3)
  • SE319 or ED506 (3)
  • SE360 (3)

Milestone: 3.0 GPA in content and education courses

Senior Year 

Fall Semester (15 Hours) 
Advanced Block 
  • EL354 (3)
  • EL410 (3)
  • EL420 (3)
  • EL430 (3)
  • SE319 or ED506 (3)

Spring Semester (13 Hours) 

Student Teaching Block
  • EF400 (1)
  • EL480 (12)

Milestone: Passing score MOContent Exams and MEES; 3.0 GPA in math content and professional education courses.

Become a Redhawk.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.

Get Funding for Your Education

Missouri’s opened the door to a more educated workforce. We want to help you walk through it. If you’re an adult learner and a Missouri resident returning to college, learn about the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant. It’s a statewide financial aid program that can be used to pursue a certificate, degree or industry-recognized credential in a high need area in Missouri. This major is eligible for the Fast Track grant.


Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation Logo

See the world as you gain experience: You'll do that here.

Do your student teaching abroad in a variety of locations, including our partnership with Eagles College in Iquique, Chile.

Technology in the Classroom 

Southeast has started an EDvolution. It’s our tech-ready promise to prepare majors to use and integrate instructional technology in the classroom, so students can do so seamlessly in their classrooms as beginning teachers. All students in Educator Preparation Programs must have a device, i.e. laptop, iPad, for use during the program. 

  • Tech for You: become a better student with technology 
  • Tech for Us: learn how to teach with technology 
  • Tech for Them: use technology in your field experiences 

Tomorrow’s Teachers Learning Community 

As an elementary, early, and special education major, you can choose to participate in Tomorrow’s Teachers Learning Community. This is Special Interest Housing comprised of groups of students with a shared academic interest either on the same floor or within the same residence hall. These communities provide students an opportunity to challenge and shape their personal and professional identities. They build community with programming designed by faculty and staff from their academic area and Residence Life staff. It gives you the opportunity to know, support, and collaborate with others to help in your academic and personal success.  

Office Location
Scully Building, 313
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 5575
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701