2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
    Jun 21, 2024  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Education and Health Professions: School of Education

Karen Garber-Miller, Ph.D., Dean, College of Education and Health Professions
Jana Neiss, Ed.D., Director, Graduate Education Programs


The School of Education at Park University, an institution committed to diversity and best practices, prepares educators to be effective teachers, leaders in their communities, change agents in their schools and advocates for learners.


The School of Education at Park University is to be known as a leader in the preparation of educators who will address the needs, challenges and possibilities of the 21st century.

Derived from Park University’s vision, mission and core values, the School of Education’s vision is to develop leaders in education. The SOE’s mission, embodied in five goals, is the commitment to prepare teacher candidates to be effective school professionals, reflective change agents, and advocates for equity and excellence. The SOE’s Conceptual Framework, grounded in sound educational research, theory and practice, is centered on five core beliefs. These core beliefs guide the SOE as it nurtures and supports the development of teacher candidates’ knowledge, skills and dispositions so they can be leaders and assume the roles of effective school professionals, reflective change agents, and advocates for equity and excellence. To confirm that the SOE’s vision, mission, goals and core beliefs are being met, the SOE engages an assessment system that continually assesses and evaluates teacher candidates as they progress and transition through the SOE’s programs. The SOE assessment system strives to be fair and unbiased so as to accurately confirm candidates’ competencies of their knowledge, skills and dispositions, and to provide evidence upon which to guide future SOE programming.

Diversity Statement

The School of Education fully supports University policy related to employment and to student admission. Specifically, the School seeks faculty and students with a record of academic achievement, involvement in the community and good character. No applicant will be denied employment or admission on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, marital status or veteran’s status. Additionally, the School recognizes and appreciates the importance of diversity in its educational programs and actively seeks to recruit and retain faculty and students with diverse backgrounds.

Philosophy, Purposes and Goals

A candidate who meets the School of Education’s five goals provides evidence that he/she is developing as an effective school professional, a reflective change agent, and an advocate for equity and excellence for all learners. The goals summarize the core knowledge, skills and dispositions that are at the heart of the developmental process, and are rooted in the core beliefs that make up the knowledge base that drives the SOE’s programs. These goals serve as a guideline for everything the School of Education does with its candidates as we work with them to nurture their development as professionals.

  1. Candidates exhibit behavior that demonstrates a belief that all individuals can develop, learn and make positive contributions to society.
  2. Candidates possess the necessary content knowledge and professional knowledge to support and enhance student development and learning, including meeting student needs across physical, social, psychological and intellectual contexts as demonstrated by varied, evidence-based strategies, including technology.
  3. Candidates possess the necessary knowledge and skills to conduct and interpret appropriate assessments, and to use the information from assessments to develop and adapt instruction that meets learners’ needs and maintains their engagement.
  4. Candidates exhibit behavior that demonstrates a belief that continuous inquiry and reflection can improve professional practice.
  5. Candidates view and conduct themselves as professionals, providing leadership in their chosen field, and communicating effectively with students and stakeholders.

Core Beliefs and Knowledge Bases

  1. School professionals are advocates for equity and excellence for all. Every person can learn, and the goal of education is to give every individual the best possible opportunities to reach his or her highest potential.
  2. There is a definite knowledge base in education. All educators are grounded in content knowledge, educational theory, pedagogical knowledge, research and best practice, and professionalism. Educators are also connected to the professional communities and learned societies in education, in general, and in their chosen field, and are knowledgeable in the standards of those societies, as well as those of the State of Missouri.
  3. Within the definite knowledge base in education, educators have the necessary knowledge and skills to conduct and interpret appropriate assessments, and to use the information from assessments to develop and adapt instruction that meets learners’ needs, and maintains their engagement. Throughout the assessment process, educators uphold American Psychological Association guidelines related to ethics and confidentiality. Educators also know that assessment is both formative and summative.
  4. Educators are reflective change agents who are experts in collaborative problemsolving and critical inquiry. They are professionals who should regularly engage in high-level thinking, and should promote and nurture those same high levels of thinking in the learners they serve.

Conceptual Framework: Knowledge, Skills and Dispositions

The School of Education’s Conceptual Framework is tied to specific knowledge, skills and dispositions that should be evident in developing school professionals. These prerequisite knowledge, skills and dispositions represent interlocking, continuous levels of development that build upon one another. At the core is knowledge — knowledge is subsumed by skills, and skills are subsumed by dispositions. Knowledge is what one knows, but is not enough on its own. Skills are the application of what one knows, but even these are not sufficient; they must be lived out in the context of who each teacher is as a person and a professional. Dispositions are what one is, and how one lives; they represent the unique integration that makes each teacher what he/she is. The development of dispositions is the outer sphere of the three and represents the ultimate manifestation of a teacher’s development in the real world of teaching. Teacher candidates are assessed on knowledge, skills and dispositions throughout their program.

Transfer of Graduate Credit

No more than six hours of graduate credit transferred from another academic institution may be used to meet master’s degree requirements in the School of Education. Transfer is granted only after an evaluation of the appropriateness of the courses by the program director. Other criteria that must be met in order for credits to be considered are:

  • Transfer course content is appropriate to the program. Only transfer credit earned from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education, or its equivalent, if the institution is a foreign university or college, is accepted.
  • The grade earned in the course is “B” or better.
  • Earned master’s thesis credits may not be transferred.
  • The credit is not more than 7 years old. A program director may waive the requirements on a course-by-course basis if, in his/her judgment, the content of the course has not changed appreciably during the applicable period.
  • The transfer credit must be requested prior to acceptance into the program, unless otherwise approved by the program director.

Graduation Requirements

  • Successful completion of 30 credit hours, with no grade lower than a “C” in the required courses, with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher. No more than two grades of “C” are allowed within the program of study. See Academic Policies — Graduation Requirements  section for more information.
  • An Application for Diploma is required before a completion statement is posted to the transcript. The Application for Diploma is available in MyPark/Student Academic Information (under the Student tab) Students must return the completed form with the appropriate fee.

Certificate Endorsement Policy for Non-Degree Seeking Students in Graduate Programs Leading to Certification in Missouri

Certification endorsement is available to students with non-degree seeking status who wish to be recommended by Park for certification in applicable areas and as required by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Students must:

  • have received a passing grade for any courses earned as part of undergraduate work to be considered to meet certification requirements (i.e., the course equivalents for ED520 and/or ED527)*.
  • have received a grade no lower than “B” for any courses earned as part of graduate work at another institution to be considered to meet certification requirements*.
  • complete a minimum of 15 of the required 30 graduate hours at Park University with no grade lower than “B”.
  • complete a portfolio in programs where applicable.
  • complete all other Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requirements for certification.

*All undergraduate or graduate course work from other institutions to be considered to meet certification requirements is subject to a review and approval by the program’s area coordinator.  

Candidates will be recommended for certification at the discretion of Park University School of Education.

*Note – Federal funds are not available for non-degree seeking students.

General Information

The graduate faculty of the School of Education at Park University attempts to bring the best and most current practices to the classroom, in order to enable educators to bring the best to their students. The faculty is committed to the belief that education can improve the lives of students and, in turn, positively impact our society.

As practicing educators, the faculty is aware of the demanding schedule that teachers maintain. Therefore, graduate education programs have been designed to be accessible to the working professional. Programs are available in an eight-week format meeting one night per week, as well as online.

Graduate education programs are structured to utilize the educational experiences of students in the program. Degrees are designed to allow students to explore issues, design curriculum and learn new strategies and techniques that will enable them to become more effective educators, through the application of theory and research to their educational practice.

Students maintaining enrollment of one course per 8-week fall and spring terms, and two courses in the summer, may complete the degree in two calendar years.

The programs have been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.