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Middle School Education Major

Become a middle school teacher

Do you have a passion for teaching and enjoy working with children and teenagers? Middle school students need teachers who understand the many changes they are experiencing as they transition between childhood and adulthood. Earn your bachelor's degree in Middle School Education from SBU, one of the leading producers of teachers in the region.

As a middle school education major, you will become certified in the state of Missouri to teach grades 5-9. Through coursework and in-class experiences at local schools, we prepare you to meet the needs of your students to ensure their success.

As part of our middle school education program, you will choose one content area for certification.

Content area choices include:

  • Language arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Speech/Theatre

You are encouraged to pursue a minor in your content area. You also can become certified in more than one of our middle school content areas. Having certification in multiple areas makes you more versatile in the job market.

The Middle School Education degree is offered through SBU's College of Professional Programs


Degree Plan

pass rate

(Pass rate on all middle school content area
certification exams over the past six years.)

SBU student leaders

The SBU Advantage

  • SBU's middle school education graduates have achieved a 100% pass rate for the past six years on the certification exams in three of the four core content areas (language arts, science and social studies). A 100% pass rate has been achieved on the mathematics exam five of the past six years, with an overall pass rate of 93% for all middle school content areas over the past six years.
  • 100% of SBU's elementary education teacher candidates passed the Missouri Pre-Service Teacher Assessment (MoPTA) completed during student teaching.
  • Spend time in Bolivar Public Schools on their late-start Wednesdays to benefit from professional development opportunities.
  • Engage in field experience opportunities beginning as early as your freshman year and culminating with your student teaching experience your senior year.
  • Learn from faculty who are experts in their field and come from diverse educational and professional backgrounds, including public school, private school and homeschool.
  • Faculty are dedicated to helping you succeed and will work with you one-on-one to develop your resume, network for jobs, pursue teaching certification in other states, etc.

Faith Integration

The intentional integration of Christian faith with the education curriculum distinguishes SBU's education department. Christian principles are discussed in the classroom and applied to educational strategies, philosophies, and best practices. At SBU, we approach education and teaching from the basis of a Christian worldview.

As an education major at SBU, you will be challenged to consider your job to be more than just teacher but also role model and servant leader. You will learn to view the classroom as a mission field in which well-trained Christian teachers are desperately needed.

Department of education faculty live out their own walks with Christ in all they do - in the classroom, with advisees, with fellow faculty and in service to the University, community and their local churches.


Employers want our graduates and frequently call to request them. Our education alumni have been hired as:

  • Public school teachers
  • Private school teachers
  • Preschool teachers
  • Daycare center administrators and teachers
  • International school teachers
  • Military base teachers
  • Missionaries
  • Camp ministry leaders
  • Christian camp recruitment leaders
  • Children’s ministers

Graduate Schools

An advantage to studying education at SBU is the access to SBU's distinguished master's and doctorate degree programs in education. Many students begin their teaching careers while simultaneously pursuing further education at SBU with one of the following degree programs:

Katie Coen
"My professors challenged me academically, but they also challenged me relationally and spiritually. Their influence pushed me to work hard during college. When I graduated, I knew without a doubt that I was prepared to enter my career as a teacher."
Katie Coen '14
Science teacher at Carthage Junior High School (Mo.)

Student Missouri State Teachers Association

As a middle school education major, you are encouraged to join SBU's chapter of Student Missouri State Teachers Association (SMSTA) to benefit from professional development and networking opportunities as you prepare for your future teaching career.


Thanks to generous donors, more than $40,000 in privately funded scholarships is available annually by application to education students.

Additionally, you are encouraged to apply for any of the various competitive scholarships announced annually by outside organizations, such as the Missouri Association of Rural Education Scholarship (three to five $1,000 awards statewide annually) or the Jack J. Isgur Foundation Scholarship (approximately 35 $3,000 award statewide annually).

Admission and Certification

Admission to the elementary education and middle school education degree programs at SBU is contingent on a cumulative GPA of 2.75. You must also pass all sections of the Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA).

SBU's Department of Education receives program approval on an annual basis from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Program approval is current so SBU graduates are able to apply for and receive teaching certification in Missouri.

Once you have your initial Missouri teaching certificate, you may add other areas of certification by taking and passing the appropriate exam(s). For example, many elementary education majors take the Early Childhood Education exam to add certification for birth through third grade, allowing them to teach in preschools, daycare centers or kindergarten classrooms. Many middle school education majors choose to add additional content area certifications.

Many students are interested in becoming certified special education teachers. Both elementary education and middle school education majors will receive the coursework and training helpful to this career path through classes such as Educational Psychology, Teaching Diverse Learners and Assessment and Evaluation of Learners. You then would be equipped to take and pass the Special Education Certification exam. This would give you greater career flexibility as you would be certified as either an elementary or middle school teacher and as a special education teacher.