Middle Grades Education for Teacher Leaders, Master of Arts in Education (0434)



Program Coordinator

John A. Moore, john.moore@wku.edu, (270) 745-5415

This program is designed to develop Teacher Leaders who can positively impact student learning in their classrooms and schools. Courses and experiences include Professional Learning Communities in which students interact with other graduate students from various content areas and grade levels to discuss and work on real world challenges and promising practices they encounter in schools.

The program is divided into two instructional components. The first component, Professional Education, provides advanced level pedagogy, leadership, and content related to Kentucky Teacher Standards and applicable to all P-12 teachers working in the wide gamut of developmental levels and content areas. The second component, Specialization, directs the candidate into an individual program in content, pedagogy, and/or areas of professional growth concurrent with the goals of each candidate.


  • Environmental Education (KEV)
  • Gifted Education Endorsement (KE37)
  • Kentucky Computer Technology (KCT)
  • Teaching English as a Second Language Endorsement (KE36)

Program Admission

Criteria vary, depending on the student's undergraduate institution and GPA:

  • Applicants who are alumni of WKU teacher preparation programs must submit a current, valid teaching certificate or Statement of Eligibility1 for Middle Grades (Grades 5-9).
  • Applicants with undergraduate degrees from all other accredited universities will be admitted without a qualifying GRE score if they have a minimum 2.75 GPA for all previous coursework (undergraduate and graduate) and a valid teaching certificate for middle grades education. A copy of the certificate must be submitted with the application.
  • Applicants with undergraduate degrees from all other accredited universities with a GPA lower than 2.75 (undergraduate and graduate) must achieve a GAP score [(GRE-V + GRE-Q) + (GPA x 100)] of 550 or higher. The 550 score must include a GRE Verbal Reasoning score of 139 or higher, a GRE Quantitative Reasoning score of 139 or higher, and a GRE Analytical Writing score of 3.5 or higher.  For GRE scores prior to August 1, 2011, a GAP score (GRE x undergraduate GPA) of 2200 or higher and a GRE Analytical Writing score of 3.5 or higher is required. In addition, applicants must have a valid teaching certificate. A copy of the teaching certificate or statement of eligibility must be submitted with the application.
  • Applicants to the MAE program in Middle Grades must hold or be eligible to hold a teaching certificate at the middle grades level OR have a valid middle grades program on file with the Office of Professional Educator Services.  (Note:  Conversion program must be completed prior to or simultaneously with the MAE.)

Applicants whose certificates have expired may be admitted, but they may enroll for only six hours before they must apply to the EPSB for re-issued certificates. After completion of six hours, a student admitted with an expired certificate must submit a copy of the re-issued certificate before being allowed to register for any additional courses.

Please refer to the admission section of this catalog for Graduate School admission requirements.

Program Requirements (30-37 hours)

During the first course in the program, TCHL 500, students will complete an assessment process that will be used in determining which TCHL core courses they must take. Students are expected to enroll in TCHL 500 at the beginning of their program and in TCHL 560 toward the end, and in general, students should complete the professional education core (the TCHL courses except TCHL 560) as early as possible. Students should consult with their advisors regarding the optimal sequence of course work to meet their professional goals. An Action Research Project for Teacher Leaders, focusing on a classroom, school, or district issue, is the capstone for the completion of the program.

Required Courses
Professional Education Component
TCHL 500Foundations of Teacher Leadership 13
TCHL 530Curriculum Development3
TCHL 545Classroom Instruction Strategies 23
TCHL 555School and Classroom Assessment 23
TCHL 559Action Research Design for Teacher Leaders1
TCHL 560Action Research Capstone for Teacher Leaders3
Mid-Point Assessment Requirements
To ensure master’s candidates are proficient on Advanced Level Teacher Standards, it is recommended that a majority of the Critical Performances associated with the above TCHL courses be completed prior to the Specialization Component. Students must achieve an average of 3.0 on all Critical Performances and an average score of 3 on dispositions even though a candidate’s program of studies does not include the courses. Additional course work may be required based on the assessment results.
Specialization Component14-21
Advisor-approved content-specific course (3 hrs)
Additional Electives (8-15 hrs) 3
Total Hours30-37

While enrolled in TCHL 500, students will use several documents, including their KTIP assessments or in-kind examples, dispositions self-surveys, referrals from school personnel, and their respective School Improvement Plan, to develop with their respective program advisors individualized programs of study of 32 hours related to Kentucky Teacher Standards and professional goals. Each student's program of study will include some or all of the TCHL courses, plus additional education-related or content courses.


All students must complete these courses or pass proficiency evaluations for these courses.


With advisor approval, students may select appropriate elective courses from: the discipline in which the student is certified; academic disciplines related to P-12 common core standards; CEBS content courses in exceptional education, interdisciplinary early childhood education, library media education, literacy, or psychology; approved endorsements (e.g., English as a Second Language, Gifted and Talented Education, Environmental Education, Instructional Computer Technology); and courses identified as prerequisites for Instructional Leader programs.

Completion Requirements

  • Successfully complete TCHL 560 (Course grade of C or higher).

  • Give acceptable presentation of action research in an approved venue.

  • Achieve a minimum 3.0 GPA overall and in program course work.