Elementary Education, Rank II (0430)



Program Coordinator

Lisa D. Murley, lisa.murley@wku.edu, (270) 745-8822

This non-degree 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 a 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.


  • Elementary Education (KEL)
  • Elementary Math Specialist P-5 (KEM)
  • Environmental Education (KEV)
  • Gifted Education Endorsement (KE37)
  • Kentucky Computer Technology (KCT)
  • Teaching English as a Second Language Endorsement (KE36)

Program Admission

Applicants to the Non-Degree Planned Fifth-Year/Rank II Elementary Education program must have or be eligible for a teaching certificate for elementary education. 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 (33-39 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. An Action Research Project for Teacher Leaders focusing on a classroom, school, or district issue is the capstone for the completion of the program. Students should consult with their advisors regarding the optimal sequence of course work to meet their professional goals.

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 Component16-23
Elementary education course (3 hrs)
Content-specific course (3 hrs)
Additional Electives (10-17 hrs) 3
Total Hours33-39

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.


Advisor approved courses selected from discipline in which student is certified or related courses relevant to the student's professional needs and goals (e.g. TCHL 520). In place of the content electives, students may substitute course work for endorsements (e.g. English as a Second Language, Gifted and Talented Education, Environmental Education, and Instructional Computer Technology or other approved endorsements) or for meeting prerequisites for Instructional Leader programs.

Program Completion Requirements

  • Successfully complete TCHL 560 (Course grade of C or higher).
  • Present research results in an approved venue.
  • Achieve a minimum 3.0 GPA overall and in program course work.