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UCO Teacher Path: Early Childhood and Elementary

UCO Teacher Path for Early Childhood and Elementary Education (Grades PreK - 6)

Are you interested in teaching PreK-6th grade or learning more about completing coursework towards teacher certification? The UCO Teacher Path program provides personalized resources to help you accomplish the next steps in your teaching career. This program serves as a guided pathway for those seeking an alternative pathway for early childhood and elementary certification.


  • Coursework has been created with the needs of those on alternative pathways to teacher certification and includes both theory and pedagogy.
  • Courses are offered in block format with eight-week classes in the Fall and Spring and four-week classes in the Summer.
  • All classes are offered on Zoom and have been scheduled to meet the needs of working adults
  • Instructors for the courses include full-time UCO faculty and highly qualified professionals with teaching experience.
  • Students receive personalized help from a program faculty advisor to help students with enrollment
  • Classes are offered on a rotation and can be completed in as little as one year.
  • Course credits count toward a master’s degree in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UCO.


Steps to Being Admitted

  1. Schedule a meeting with our Teacher Path Coordinator for Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Jill Davis, Ph.D.
  2. Apply to the UCO Jackson College of Graduate Studies.
  3. Contact the Oklahoma State Department of Education to determine what the requirements are for your particular situation and certification area.

Coursework for Early Childhood and Elementary Certification

Classroom Interaction and Discussion

(three-Hour Course)

This course focuses on creating a positive classroom culture through understanding the developmental characteristics and needs of children, and the impact of environmental context on learning and development. This also includes classroom management techniques that foster and support a positive learning environment. Students will analyze lessons, activities, class structure, classroom management, etc. in order to create a positive, learner friendly environment that supports learning for all children.

Instructional Design and Assessment 

(three-Hour Course)

This course will prepare students to design appropriate and effective instructional strategies and interventions enabling them to write effective lesson plans, assess and adjust instruction based on learner needs.  The course will prepare students to evaluate how different principles and theories of learning, design and assessment influence outcomes, enabling learners to be engaged and successful.

Pedagogical Theories, Practices, and Child Development 

(three-Hour Course)

This course explores a variety of theories, brain research, how students learn and types of environments that support child development and learning.  The course will also explore the implications for teaching and strategies for employing effective teaching strategies to engage all learners, taking into account individual development, learning differences and cultural diversity. 

Reading Pedagogy for Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 6 

(three-Hour Course)

This course will prepare early childhood and elementary educators with pedagogical content knowledge to help their students be successful in reading. The course will cover essential elements of literacy instruction for PK-6 classrooms, including basics of reading block organization; guided reading instruction; selecting appropriate reading materials; administering and analyzing running record assessments; writing instruction and differentiating for all learners. Students will undertake scholarly activities related to these topics.

Math Pedagogy for Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 6 

(three-Hour Course)

This course will prepare early childhood and elementary educators with pedagogical content knowledge to help their students be successful with mathematics. Topics may include conservation, number concepts, additive thinking, multiplicative thinking, spatial reasoning, and algebraic thinking, as well as effective teaching strategies, assessments, and interventions. Students will undertake scholarly activities related to these topics. 

Principles and Methods of Teaching English Learners 

(three-Hour Course)

In this course, students will examine both the theoretical and research-based, constructivist practices for teaching English learners (ELs) in early childhood and elementary mainstream classrooms. Students will analyze the challenges faced by ELs culturally, linguistically and academically. They will be able to design and implement effective, developmentally appropriate, instructional adaptations of grade-level content for students at various levels of language proficiency.


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