College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
The College of Education and Behavioral Sciences is composed of the School of Teacher Education; the School of Leadership and Professional Studies; and the Departments of Counseling and Student Affairs; Military Science and Leadership; and Psychology. Support to teacher candidates is provided through the Office of Professional Educator Services. In addition, the College provides services to the community through the Center for Gifted Studies; the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children; Training and Technical Assistance Services; Military Student Services; the Center for Environmental Education and Sustainability; the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning - Models in Innovation; the Center for Literacy; the Center for Innovation in Math, Science, Engineering, and Technology Educational Excellence; the Renshaw Early Childhood Center; the Kelly Autism Program, housed in the Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex, and the Talley Family Counseling Center, located in Gary Ransdell Hall. The College also houses the Center for the Study of Lifespan Development.
Graduate programs are offered in educational leadership, school counseling, mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, student affairs, educational administration, elementary education, gifted studies, middle grades education, organizational leadership, secondary education, science and mathematics education, environmental education, interdisciplinary early childhood education, special education, library media education, literacy education, adult education, general psychology, clinical psychology, and school psychology. The College's programs are designed to prepare graduates for roles as teachers and school leaders, as well as for roles in business, clinical agencies, government, and industry.
Master's, education specialist, and doctoral degree programs are described in this catalog, while information about baccalaureate programs are described in the undergraduate catalog. Those interested in any of these programs should contact the head of the appropriate department or the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences Dean's Office. In addition, information about each department and program may be found on the College's website.
Admission to Professional Education
Admission to professional education requires that the student:
- File an application for admission to professional education.
- File a statement indicating no convictions or pending charges on a felony or a sexual misconduct misdemeanor.
- Submit documentation of a completed current physical exam, TB test or risk assessment, criminal background check, a Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) check, and a signed copy of Professional Code of Ethics and Affidavit of Non-disclosure, all dated within one year prior to admission to teacher education.
- File a statement indicating a commitment to uphold the Professional Code of Ethics for Kentucky School Personnel.
- Complete teacher admission standardized testing requirement for demonstration of basic skills by satisfying the indicated cut-off score(s) for one of the following:
- As of September 1, 2014 the required test is the PRAXIS Core Academic Skills for Educators (CASE) with minimums of 156 in Reading, 162 in Writing, 150 in Math.
- Prior to Sept. 1, 2014 the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) with minimums of 174 in Mathematics, 176 in Reading, and 174 in Writing.
- The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) with a minimum 150 Verbal, 143 Quantitative, and an Analytical Writing score of at least 4.0.
- Submit three letters of recommendation
- Achieve at least an overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75
Required of graduate students seeking initial certification (in addition to the requirements for all students):
- Document a minimum overall GPA of at least 2.75 (counting all course work completed at the time of admission to professional education), or a minimum GPA of at least 3.0 in the last 30 hours including all undergraduate and graduate coursework.
- Submit a copy of an approved Program of Study for a program leading to initial certification.
Admission Requirements for Graduate Programs Leading to Initial Certification
In order to be admitted to professional education and be recommended for initial certification after program completion, graduate students must be admitted to a program and possess an overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher, or a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in the last 30 hours (graduate and undergraduate coursework). Specific programs may impose higher minimum GPA requirements as well as other requirements for program admission, and candidates for degrees must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA overall and in the graduate major in order to receive a degree. Contact program advisor for program-specific requirements.
This policy applies to some or all students in the following programs: MAT Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education, Birth to Primary, Initial Certification; MAT Special Education Initial Certification-Learning and Behavior Disorders; EdS School Psychology; and MAT Middle Grades/Secondary Education - Alternate Route to Teacher Certification.
Alternate Route to Teacher/Principal/Superintendent Certification
The College of Education and Behavioral Sciences offers approved Alternate Route to Teacher Certification programs in the following areas:
- Art (Grades P-12)
- Biology Education (Grades 8-12)
- Business and Marketing Education (Grades 5-12)
- Chemistry Education (Grades 8-12)
- Chinese Education (Grades P-12)
- Earth and Space Science Education (Grades 8-12)
- English/Allied Language Arts Education (Grades 8-12)
- French Education (Grades P-12)
- German Education (Grades P-12)
- Mathematics Education (Grades 8-12)
- Middle Grades Education (with certification in two of the following content areas: Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Mathematics; or with single subject certification in Science or Mathematics) (Grades 5-9)
- Social Studies Education (Grades 8-12)
- Spanish Education (Grades P-12)
- Special Education, Learning and Behavior Disorders (Grades P-12)
Further information about the Alternate Route to Teacher Certification (ARTC) programs may be found at www.wku.edu/educatorservices/artc/index.php or by contacting the Office of Professional Educator Services at (270) 745-4897, or the School of Teacher Education at (270) 745-5414. Applicants to ARTC programs must meet all standard program admission requirements as well as additional requirements; further details are provided in the departmental sections for Middle Grades Education, Secondary Education, and Special Education. Those admitted to ARTC programs may be eligible for a recommendation for a one-year temporary provisional teaching certificate, renewable for two additional one-year terms.
At the time of admission to an ARTC program, students will be expected to sign a document to signify their understanding of and agreement to abide by the following expectations:
- The student must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0. If the semester GPA drops below 3.0, the student may be dropped from the program or, with evidence of extenuating circumstances and at the discretion of the program faculty, the student may be allowed to remain on a probationary status. If the student's GPA falls below 3.0 for a second time, the student will be dropped from the program.
- The student must be continuously enrolled (Fall, Spring, and Summer terms), completing a minimum of 3 hours per term unless prior approval of the program advisor is obtained. Regardless of hours completed in any given semester, the student must complete all degree requirements within three years from the date of the notice of eligibility to be issued the initial temporary provisional certificate.
- In addition to satisfactory academic achievement, the student must demonstrate acceptable professional behavior in all school settings.
The college also offers approved Alternate Route to Principal Certification and Alternate Route to Superintendent Certification programs. Further information about these programs may be found in the departmental section for the Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research.
Field Experience Policy
WKU teacher preparation programs are designed to meet the University’s standards for baccalaureate degrees, master’s degrees, specialist degrees, and certification-only programs, as well as the Kentucky standards for the designated teaching certificate. All professional education programs require completion of a variety of diverse and focused field experiences in appropriate off-campus Primary-Grade 12 school settings as well as student teaching or equivalent experience. The number of required hours of field experiences varies by program; however, a minimum of 200 hours of approved off-campus field experience is required in professional education courses prior to the student teaching experience or equivalent. The candidate is responsible for documenting completed hours, date, and setting. In addition, all programs require one 16-week or two 8- week full-time student teaching placements for a minimum of 70 days in an instructional setting, or approved equivalent. Every effort is made to provide teacher candidates with field experiences in diverse settings (based on socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, language, and exceptionalities of students) in order to ensure that they are prepared to help all students learn. Prior to visiting any school, a student must have on file in the Office of Professional Educator Services a current TB test or risk assessment, a current physical exam, a recent criminal background check, and a Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) check. Students are responsible for the expenses incurred in complying with this requirement.
Recommendation for Initial Teacher Certification
To be recommended for initial certification at the baccalaureate level (including post-baccalaureate certification- only programs), an applicant must document:
- Completion of approved program in each desired certification area(s);
- Passing score(s) on the PRAXIS II exam(s) or other assessments required for each desired teaching area(s) (see www.ets.org/praxis/ky for the most current list of required assessments);
- Achievement of at least a 2.75 GPA overall, in each certifiable major(s) and minor(s), and in professional education courses (graduate students are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA or above in all graduate coursework);
- Attainment of at least a "C" in all professional education courses, including EDU 489 and student teaching.
Comprehensive Examination/Culminating Assessment/Capstone Experience
All CEBS master’s programs require completion of a culminating assessment, such as a thesis and thesis defense; an action research project and presentation; a teacher work sample; or a comprehensive exam. General information regarding the policy for eligibility and administration of comprehensive exams may be found at www.wku.edu/cebs/programs/graduate. Eligibility requirements include successful completion of EDFN 500 or other research foundations course prior to the student's final semester.
Policy on Expiration of Graduate Courses and Programs Leading to Professional Education Certification
The following policy applies only to graduate certification-only programs, endorsement programs, Planned Fifth-Year (Rank II) programs, and Planned Sixth Year (Rank I) programs:
Course work for programs leading to certification in professional education must be aligned with current standards. Some older courses are not aligned with current standards, and thus it may not be appropriate to count them in a student's program. Generally speaking, courses used to satisfy program requirements in programs leading to professional education certification should be no more than 10 years old at the time that the certification program is written. Decisions about whether older courses may be used will be made on a case-by-case basis by the department head of the student's major. Students may be required to demonstrate proficiency related to current course content if they wish to satisfy program requirements using courses taken more than 10 years prior to when the student's program of studies is written. All requirements for graduate certification-only, endorsement, Planned Fifth-Year, and Planned Sixth-Year programs must be completed within 10 years from the date when the program was written. Students may request an extension, which must be approved by the Dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences on recommendation of the department head.
If the Commonwealth of Kentucky makes changes in certification requirements, students seeking certification may be required to modify their programs of study to meet the new requirements.
Students who wish to pursue a Planned Fifth-Year/Rank II or Planned Sixth-Year/Rank I program must submit an application to the Graduate School. Upon completion of the non-degree program, individuals must contact the certification officer in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. The certification officer will then certify to Kentucky's Education Professional Standards Board that rank requirements have been met. Enrollment in a Planned Sixth-Year/Rank I program may not provide eligibility for a federal student loan, and completion of a Planned Fifth/Sixth-Year non-degree program may not be accepted in states other than Kentucky in determining pay status. Additional information about teacher certification may be found at www.wku.edu/teacherservices/teacher_cert/index.php.
Candidates for the Planned Fifth-Year/Rank II, Planned Sixth-Year/Rank I, Advanced Certification, or Endorsement should furnish the WKU Office of Professional Educator Services the following documents:
- A completed Application for Kentucky Teacher Certification or Change in Salary Rank (CA-1),
- Verification by the superintendent or personnel director of full-time classroom teaching experience at the appropriate grade level(s), and
- Passing PRAXIS II Specialty Area test scores for each area of certification and the Principles of Learning and Teaching test score for appropriate grade range (if applicable).
Planned Fifth-Year/Rank II Programs
The School of Teacher Education provides Planned Fifth-Year/Rank II programs in Elementary Education for Teacher Leaders, Middle Grades Education for Teacher Leaders, and Secondary Education for Teacher Leaders for students who do not meet the admission requirements of a degree program or who want greater flexibility with regard to time allowed for completion, transfer limitations, and selection of courses than is permitted in degree programs.
Admission to a Planned Fifth-Year/Rank II program requires completion of a baccalaureate degree and documentation of certification or eligibility for certification consistent with the desired Planned Fifth- Year/Rank II program. According to state regulations, an applicant may be admitted to a program in a professional education specialty for which the applicant's certification was issued, in an academic subject for which the applicant's certification was issued, or in professional education with emphasis in an academic subject for which certification was issued.
Although the Planned Fifth-Year/Rank II program does not result in the master's degree, it does result in Rank II salary classification in Kentucky, renews the teaching certificate, and permits entry into some Planned Sixth-Year /Rank I programs.
(See specific program requirements described in the listings for the School of Teacher Education.)
- A minimum of 32 semester hours of graduate courses must be completed, with a minimum GPA of 3.0;
- In order to be recommended for certification and/or rank change after completing a non-degree certification-only program, students must complete at least one-half of the minimum program hours in residence at Western Kentucky University. Exceptions may be permitted in the case of programs for which contractual arrangements have been made with other institutions for the delivery of course work. With the approval of the advisor and the certification officer, the remaining hours may be taken at other institutions, provided that the grades earned are "B" or higher and other transfer regulations are met;
- A minimum of 12 hours must be in professional education courses, and a minimum of 9 hours must be in cognate areas;
- Course work taken by correspondence is not accepted; and
- With prior advisor approval, a maximum of 12 hours of professional development credit may be applied to the program requirement.
Planned Sixth-Year/Rank I Programs
The School of Teacher Education offers Planned Sixth-Year/Rank I programs in Elementary Education, Middle Grades Education, Secondary Education, and Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education. The School of Leadership and Professional Studies offers Planned Sixth-Year/Rank I programs in Principalship, Pupil Personnel Administration, and Supervisor of Instruction. A Planned Sixth-Year/Rank I program in School Administration to prepare special education directors is available in the School of Teacher Education. Admission to a Planned Sixth-Year/Rank I program requires completion of an approved Rank II program, either a master's degree or a planned fifth-year program. Some programs have additional requirements; see specific program sections for further information.
Planned Sixth-Year/Rank I programs lead to the Rank I salary status for certified teachers in Kentucky.
(See specific program requirements described in the listings for the School of Teacher Education, Department of Counseling and Student Affairs, and Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research.)
- A minimum of either (a) 30 semester hours of approved graduate level credit in addition to the requirements for the Rank II salary classification, or (b) 60 unduplicated semester hours of approved graduate level credit, including a master's degree, must be completed;
- All course work must be planned in consultation with the advisor and must be related to the professional needs of the student;
- A minimum of 15 semester hours must be completed in courses numbered 500 or higher;
- A "B" average must be maintained, and no course grade lower than a "C" may be counted;
- In order to be recommended for certification and/or rank change after completing a non-degree certification-only program, students must complete at least one-half of the minimum program hours in residence at Western Kentucky University. Exceptions may be permitted in the case of programs for which contractual arrangements have been made with other institutions for the delivery of course work. With the approval of the advisor and the certification officer, the remaining hours may be taken at other institutions, provided that the grades earned are "B" or higher and other transfer regulations are met; and
- A minimum of 24 hours of the total 60 (62 hours when based on Rank II salary classification) must be in academic work apart from professional education. These hours must be in the candidate's major or minor, area of preparation, or supporting courses from other disciplines as approved by the institution.
Endorsement & Certification-Only Programs Residency Requirement
In order to be recommended for certification and/or rank change after completing a non-degree program, students must complete at least one-half of the minimum program hours in residence at Western Kentucky University. Exceptions may be permitted in the case of programs for which contractual arrangements have been made with other institutions for the delivery of course work. With the approval of the advisor and the certification officer, the remaining hours may be taken at other institutions, provided that the grades earned are "B" or higher and other transfer regulations are met.
Departments and Programs
- Department of Counseling and Student Affairs
- Addictions Education, Certificate (0492)
- Career Services, Certificate (0468)
- Certification Only, Counseling (159)
- College and Career Readiness, Certificate (1737)
- Counseling, Master of Arts in Education (043)
- International Student Services, Certificate (0415)
- Student Affairs in Higher Education, Master of Arts in Education (145)
- Department of Psychology
- School of Leadership and Professional Studies
- Adult Education, Certificate (0450)
- Certification Only, Education Leadership (131)
- Educational Leadership, Doctor of Education (0010)
- Instructional Leadership, School Principal, MAE (0499)
- Measurement, Evaluation, and Research, Post-Master's Certificate (0488)
- Organizational Leadership, Certificate (1723)
- Organizational Leadership, MA (0467)
- School Administration, Rank 1 (121)
- School of Teacher Education
- Advanced Behavior Management, Certificate (1736)
- Advanced Teacher Education, MAE (0500)
- Certification Only, Teacher Education (132)
- Elementary Education, Rank I (084)
- Elementary Math Specialization P-5, Certificate (0485)
- Gifted Education and Talent Development, Certificate (1764)
- Gifted Education and Talent Development, Master of Arts in Education (0482)
- Gifted Education and Talent Development, Specialist in Education (0490)
- Instructional Design, Certificate (0418)
- Instructional Design, Master of Science (0428)
- Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education, Birth to Primary, for Initial Certification, Master of Arts in Teaching (0460)
- Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education, Birth to Primary, Master of Arts in Education (0461)
- Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education, Rank I (156)
- Libraries, Informatics, and Technology in Education, Master of Science (0497)
- Literacy Education, Master of Arts in Education (044)
- Literacy in Post-Secondary Settings, Certificate (0462)
- Literacy P-12, Certificate (1750)
- Middle Grades Education for Initial Certification, Master of Arts in Teaching (0458)
- Middle Grades Education, Rank I (158)
- Secondary Education, Rank I (124)
- Secondary Education, Rank II (0432)
- Special Education for Initial Certification, Learning and Behavior Disorders, Master of Arts in Teaching (0456)
- Special Education for Learning and Behavior Disorders, Master of Arts in Education (0457)
- Special Education for Moderate and Severe Disabilities, Master of Arts in Education (0438)
- Teacher Education for Initial Certification, MAT (0495)
Course work associated with degree programs at Western Kentucky University may be used to meet teacher certification requirements established by the Commonwealth of Kentucky; however, the Commonwealth may institute changes in certification requirements. When the Commonwealth initiates such changes, students seeking teacher certification may be required to modify their programs of study to meet the new certification requirements.