SBUBolivar, Missouri Est. 1878

Be prepared to enter a 21st-century middle school classroom.

At Southwest Baptist University, middle school education majors are prepared with the foundations of teaching middle school students through classroom instruction, technology integration, and multiple classroom field experiences.

The SBU Advantage

  • Our caring, close-knit supportive learning environment provides plenty of interaction, both in and out of the classroom.
  • Faculty are certified teachers experience in the classroom.
  • Classroom field experiences begin during the sophomore year.
  • Our faculty’s commitment to networking will help you with job placement.
  • A large percentage of our recent graduating classes of teachers are already using their degree professionally. Many others have chosen to attend graduate school.

Engaged Learning in the Classroom

Our education classrooms are equipped with the same technology that is utilized in many public school classrooms, and our faculty utilize hands-on teaching methods and projects to teach our future teachers.

Course Information

Middle School Education Certification for grades 5-9 is available in a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. Education coursework begins during the sophomore year with classes such as Foundations of Education, Educational Psychology, Foundations of Middle School, Teaching Reading in Middle School, and Technology for Educators, in addition to the first field experience in an area middle school classroom. The junior year curriculum focuses on how to teach specific content areas, along with another field experience. Senior-level classes focus on preparing the student for the full semester student teaching experience.

Middle School Education majors must complete prescribed course work in middle school education in order to receive initial certification. This includes University general education requirements and a minimum of 21 semester hours in two areas of concentration: Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Science, Spanish (K-9) or Speech.

Clubs and Organizations

SBU has a chapter of Student Missouri State Teachers Association, the pre-professional organization for education majors on Missouri college and university campuses that provides opportunities for personal and professional growth and development of leadership skills.

Internship Opportunities

Classroom field experiences begin during a student’s sophomore year and continue throughout the program, culminating with a full semester student teaching experience during the senior year. Field experiences provide students with a variety of experiences to help the student decide what is the best fit. During the student teaching experience, the student will work directly with a cooperating teacher at the school, as well as an SBU faculty member who will supervise the student’s experience.

Career Opportunities

SBU middle school education graduates receive initial teaching certification in the State of Missouri in their choice of two of the following content areas:

  • Language Arts (5-9)
  • Mathematics (5-9)
  • Science (5-9)
  • Social Science (5-9)
  • Spanish (K-9) (Second Area of Certification; must be paired with one of the first four areas)
  • Speech (5-9) (Second Area of Certification; must be paired with one of the first four areas)

Other areas of certification available within the Department of Education include:

  • Elementary School Certification (1-6), with the option of including one of these areas of concentration: Early childhood (Birth-grade 3), K-9 Art, K-9 Health, K-9 Physical Education, and K-9 Spanish.
  • Certification in Content Areas, grades 9-12 or K-12.

Graduate Opportunities

Students who want to pursue a graduate-level degree in education can return to SBU, which offers a variety of options for master’s and specialist’s degrees, as well as a doctoral degree in education.

Special Features

  • As part of a Christian university, we integrate the Christian faith into classroom instruction within the Department of Education. Scriptural truths are brought into the classroom for supporting educational truth and theoretical truth.
  • Area school district leaders seek out SBU graduates because they are well-prepared to teach in the classroom and be servant leaders in the academic community.
  • We offer 26 certifications in a wide range of programs.

Degree Requirements

Middle School Education majors must complete prescribed course work in middle school education in order to receive initial certification. This includes University general education requirements, middle school core curriculum, and a minimum of 21 semester hours in two of the areas of concentration listed below.

Core Curriculum

EDU 2113 Educational Psychology
Study of social and behavioral theory, including the nature of educational psychology, measurement, personality, the classroom as a social system, learning and instruction.
EDU 2131 Field Experience Level 1 in Middle School/Junior High
Forty-five clock hours of supervised practical experience in the classroom at the middle/junior high level.
EDU 2313 Foundations of Education
The course presents major issues of schooling and education basic to professional preparation. Areas included are philosophy, history of American education, administration, governance, finance, legal aspects, social issues, use of technology in instruction, and current topics in the field.
EDU 2463 Foundations of Middle School
A focus on the historical and philosophical foundations of the traditional junior high and subsequent middle school movement. This course will provide an examination of middle level practices and organizational components, with an emphasis on connection of these practices with research that is both supportive of their implementation and based on the needs of young adolescents.
EDU 2512 Teaching Reading in Middle School
Examines methods and materials currently being used to teach reading in today's middle school classroom.
EDU 3613 Teaching Reading in the Content Areas
Designed to assist middle school/junior high and/or secondary teachers in the use of functional reading strategies which enable students to use reading as a tool to learn in various content areas.
EDU 3833 Behavior and Classroom Management - Secondary
An examination of current and past principles of classroom management will be examined in light of biblical, theoretical, and philosophical assumptions concerning humankind. Modern theories of discipline will be evaluated as to effectiveness and will be contrasted with historical views of schooling and education. It is intended that teacher candidates will be challenged to contemplate methods of instructing and modeling behavior (proactively) instead of simply responding (reactively) to inappropriate student actions. Wisdom and virtue, the cornerstones of any education, will be discussed as goals versus simply controlling and conforming behavior.
EDU 4473 Psychology of the Middle School Student
This course offers a broad overview of the history of young adolescent psychology, its advocates, researchers and its implications for middle level educational practices.
EDU 3331 Field Experience Level 2 in Middle School/Junior High
Minimum of forty-five clock hours of supervised practical experience in the classroom at the middle/junior high level taken concurrently with EDU 4493
EDU 4493 Middle School Curriculum
This course offers an in-depth study of curriculum development and instructional strategies targeting the young adolescent. As a result of this course, teacher candidates will develop pedagogical practices that meet the vast physical, emotional, social, intellectual and affective developmental needs of young adolescents. Middle school majors must take Field Experience Level 2 (EDU 3331) concurrently.
EDU 2823 Technology for Educators
Develops teachers who are able to apply technology skills and strategies in a variety of personal and professional functions including the development of an electronic portfolio, to effectively use media to maximize student learning, and to use a wide variety of media and technological systems in teaching and evaluation of student learning. Because the student teaching portfolio is developed in this class, this course is designed for elementary education majors in their sophomore year and for middle and secondary education teacher candidates during their junior or senior years before student teaching.
EDU 4112 Teaching Writing
This course is designed to stress the teacher's role in the writing process and introduce writing activities that may be implemented in the classroom for different areas of the curriculum. A variety of instructional approaches to teaching middle school students to write will be addressed. The course will focus on writing as process and product.
EDU 4691 Student Teaching Seminar
This course is designed as a seminar/discussion section to accompany the student teaching clinical experiences of EDU 4929, 4939, 4949 and 4959. Students will refine their skills as reflective practitioners through a variety of experiences that focus on contemporary problems and issues in the field of education.
EDU 4832 Assessment and Evaluation of Learners
Study of the principles of assessment from organizing the classroom as a social setting, to planning and conducting instruction based on sound objectives, to the formal assessment of student learning, to grading students and finally to interpreting standardized tests and statewide assessments.
EDU 4842 Teaching Diverse Learners
Mentally, emotionally and physically exceptional children are studied. Diagnosis and methods of teaching gifted, mentally retarded, visual and sound-impaired, learning disabled and physically handicapped children and children with communication and behavior problems are included.
EDU 4939 Student Teaching in the Middle School
Observation, participation and directed teaching in public schools.

Language Arts Concentration

ENG 1113 English Composition I
Expository writing based on a study of essays. In addition to the writing of essays, a student will write a research paper.
ENG 2213 English Composition II
Expository writing based on a study of imaginative literature. The course fosters the development of writing and research skills.
ENG 3353 Advanced Composition
Advanced expository writing, based on a study of contemporary prose.
ENG 3373 Structure of the English Literature
Detailed study of current English sounds, grammar and usage.
ENG 3303 American Literature for Young Adults
The study of young adult and ethnic American literature and of methods for teaching this literature in the middle and secondary school classroom. Designed for those seeking teacher certification.
EDU 4543 Methods of Teaching Writing in the Secondary School
Theory and application in the teaching of writing and grammar in secondary schools with emphasis on the writing process. A requirement for secondary English majors.
American Literature elective course
English or World Literature elective course

Mathematics Concentration

MAT 2283 Survey of Math for Elementary and Middle School Teachers I
This course presents sets, set notation, and symbolic logic in order to describe and define number properties and operations. It includes an axiomatic development of the system of whole numbers. The course investigates the concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division algorithms for whole numbers, integers, and rational numbers, using manipulatives. This leads to the development of algorithms. Open only to students preparing to teach in the elementary or middle school.
MAT 2293 Survey of Math for Elementary and Middle School Teachers II
This course extends the concepts of number theory to algebraic reasoning. Concepts of probability and statistics are explored. Analytic, synthetic, and transformation geometry are investigated. Open only to students preparing to teach in the elementary or middle school.
MAT 1195 Analytics and Calculus I
This course studies graphs, functions, plane analytical geometry, limits, continuity, derivatives, velocity-acceleration, rates of change, maxima and minima, differentials, the Mean Value Theorems for integrals and derivatives, antiderivatives, definite integrals, area, and methods of finding volumes.
MAT 3353 Integrated Math
This course will enable students seeking certification in middle or secondary school teaching to analyze mathematics curriculum from an integrated approach. The course will strengthen the students' level of mathematical knowledge, while broadening their structure of this knowledge in a way that is necessary for teachers. The course is recommended for students seeking certification in middle school or secondary school mathematics teaching. All students taking this course will be teaching a component of the course and will be evaluated on their teaching.
MAT 3372 Math Technologies
What is math technology? How has it and how should it affect how and what we teach in Mathematics? How will it affect your future - be it mathematics, physical science, social science, or business using mathematics? We will consider and write about these and other questions via hands on experience with various math technologies. This course will have a lab component. Topics developed will be tailored to individual students’ backgrounds and interests.
EDU 4513 Methods of Teaching Mathematics in the Middle and Secondary Schools
Theory and application of current practices in teaching mathematics in middle and secondary schools.
An additional 5-6 hours of upper division math elective courses.

Science Concentration

BIO 1004 Principles of Biology
An introductory, multifaceted survey of biology including: cell theory, genetics, evolutionary theory, survey of living organisms, ecology, and human biology. Three lectures and one laboratory each week.
PHS 2005 Physical Science for Elementary and Middle School Teachers
A study of the basics of astronomy, chemistry, geology, meteorology, and physics. Designed to emphasize discovery-based learning and inquiry-related instructional techniques by significantly utilizing enhanced classroom technology, hands-on laboratory experimentation, library research, and writing components. Four lectures, one laboratory period each week.
PHS 3303 History/Philosophy of Science/Technology
A study of the historical and philosophical foundations of science and technology, accompanied by an examination of the logical and ethical ramifications of various past and present science and technology phenomena.
CHE 1115 General Chemistry I
A study of the fundamental laws and theories involved in chemical changes. Topics will include atomic theory, thermochemistry and nuclear chemistry. Stress will be on the solving of mathematical problems which illustrate the principles of chemistry. The course is designed principally for students planning on careers related to the natural sciences. Four lectures, one laboratory each week.
EDU 4522 Methods of Teaching Science in the Middle and Secondary Schools
Course will provide practical methods for the teacher candidate to use for the instruction of middle and secondary school students in such areas as laboratory safety, investigative and questioning skills. Course activities will include inquiry teaching, use of demonstrations in teaching, budgeting and supply ordering, science fairs and projects, and the use of the computer in the science classroom.
Choose one of the following:
BIO 2134 General Zoology
An introduction to the principles of classification of animals. Animal life will be examined with respect to cell organization, genetics, evolution, anatomy/physiology, and interaction of animals with their environment. Three lectures; one laboratory each week.
BIO 2234 General Botany
A study of the plant world. Fungi, algae, bryophytes, seedless vascular plants, gymnosperms and angiosperms will be studied with regard to their life history, morphology, physiology and taxonomic relationships. Three lectures, one lab each week.
Choose one of the following:
BIO 3334 Ecology
Study of the relations of animals and plants to each other and to their environment. Three lectures, one laboratory each week.
BIO 2214 Environmental Biology
An objective contemporary study of the environment and man's effect upon it. A holistic approach is taken in studying relevant problems relating to population growth, pollution and the preservation of natural ecosystems.

Social Science Concentration

HIS 1113 Introduction to the History of World Civilization: From the Earliest Times to the Renaissance
The roots of modern western civilization from the dawn of agricultural society in the Middle East and other regions to the Renaissance in western Europe.
HIS 1123 Introduction to the History of World Civilization: Renaissance to the Present
Examines the history of world civilization from the Renaissance in Western Europe to the present day.
HIS 2213 History of the United States, 1492-1877
Political and social survey of United States history from colonization to the end of Reconstruction.
HIS 2223 History of the United States, 1877-present
Political and social survey of United States history from the Gilded Age to the present.
POL 1113 American Government and Politics
Origin, organization and policy of United States government at the national, state and local levels. Encourages citizen participation and leadership in democratic processes beginning at the community level. Fulfills the Missouri statutory requirement.
POL 2223 American State and Local Government
Organization, administration and problems of state, county, municipal and other local governments in the United States.
GEO 1103 Geography
Basic survey introducing the various elements of geographical study.
EDU 4542 Methods of Teaching Social Science in the Middle and Secondary Schools
Exploration of basic concepts within each of the social sciences and possible teaching methods.
Choose one of the following:
ECO 2023 Principles of Microeconomics
A study of economic principles with emphasis upon microeconomics. Includes a study of economics of the firm, consumer demand theory and current problems.
ECO 2033 Principles of Macroeconomics
Study of the basic principles of macroeconomics designed to give a broad understanding of the economy. Emphasis upon aggregate problems and issues considered important to the nation.

Speech Concentration

COM 1103 Fundamentals of Speech
Foundations of speech communication. Special attention to the theory and practice of effective preparation and delivery of public speeches.
COM 2223 Argumentation and Debate
Emphasis on methods and theories of argumentation and debate. Attention to research, analysis, case building and oral participation.
COM 3303 Oral Interpretation of Literature
Emphasis on theory and practice of communicating works of literature from the printed page.
COM 3313 Advanced Public Speaking
Advanced study of preparation and delivery of various speech types. Special attention to extemporaneous and manuscript speaking.
COM 3373 Newspaper Writing and Editing
An emphasis upon the essentials of journalism writing. Special attention to principles and skills required to gather, write and edit newspaper stories.
EDU 4552 Methods of Teaching Speech in the Middle and Secondary Schools
Emphasis on principles, techniques and problems that are unique in teaching speech. Unit and course plans are developed for all areas of speech. Attention is given to directing forensic activities.
Choose one of the following:
COM 3383 Small Group Communication
Systematic study and practice of principles of effective communication in groups. Exploration of dynamic variables and features unique to small group interaction. Public discussion formats are also explored.
COM 2393 Interpersonal Communication
Theory and practice of effective interpersonal encounters. Special attention to listening, language, self-perception, interviewing and nonverbal communication.
THR/FAR 1033 Introduction to Theatre
A study of the history and literature of the theatre with introductory participation in the areas of acting and stagecraft. Emphasis on reading and attending plays.

Spanish Concentration

EDU 4563 Methods of Teaching Foreign Language
Study of methods of teaching modern languages in public school.
Twenty-one hours of Spanish courses, or eighteen hours of Spanish plus two or more earned credits of high school Spanish.