Department of Childhood Education and Family Studies


  • Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education – Elementary Education (MSEd), and Secondary Education/Family and Consumer Sciences (MSEd)
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation – Elementary Education (MSEd), and Secondary Education/Family and Consumer Sciences (MSEd)


Students in the Educator Preparation Providers (EPP) program or the College of Education will be required to purchase a subscription to Taskstream (comprehensive portfolio system).

Program Description

The graduate program in Child Life Studies prepares students to be certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) in both hospital and community health care environments. Students develop the skills necessary to promote family-centered care and learn how to work with children and their families who are living with the realities of chronic and acute surgery, trauma, injuries and disabilities. Students learn developmentally meaningful ways of working with children and their families in health care settings. Through the program, students gain an understanding of medical issues, coupled with a firm grounding in practice. Students learn to advocate for children and their families, prepare children for medical procedures, teach children and their families about their illness, minimize stress and anxiety for children and their families, create opportunities that strengthen self-esteem and independence, provide non-pharmacological techniques to comfort children, and provide normal life experiences that promote optimal growth and development. In addition, the program provides graduate students with the opportunity to pursue research interests that will provide the field with evidence-based practices.

The graduate program in Early Childhood and Family Development is designed for individuals who work with, or who are interested in working with, young children and/or families. This degree is appropriate for a large number of persons working with children and families in a variety of settings. In addition to a core of required courses, students will choose electives that best meet their professional needs. This flexibility allows students to develop a program of study to meet their needs. Although it is not a certification program, some of the courses may be able to be taken for certification credit. This will be done individually for each student. The program has a core set of courses that provide a strong early childhood and child development background. There are also a wide variety of electives that can be taken to round out he degree according to the individual needs of the student.

The graduate program in Elementary Education is designed for teachers who desire to develop advanced knowledge and skills related to successful teaching in the elementary school. Within the program there are opportunities for the student to complete the Masters degree either on campus or online. The Teaching and Learning track has a research/practitioner focus specializing in hands-on experiences and is delivered on campus. The Curriculum and Instruction track has a theoretical/research focus emphasizing diverse approaches to instructional practices and is delivered through online coursework. Additionally, there is a special option for postbaccalaureate students to apply graduate courses to Missouri certification.

The graduate program in Family and Consumer Sciences is designed for individuals who are currently an educator of family and consumer sciences or hold certification in family and consumer sciences. The program provides twelve hours of core coursework that advances teaching mechanisms. Elective coursework can be taken to enhance knowledge of current trends and issues in fashion, textiles, nutrition, wellness, housing and interior design. There are also opportunities to refresh and build upon knowledge in areas like family and child development. Students choose electives that best meet their professional needs. This flexibility allows students to develop a program of study to meet their professional needs.


Department head

Denise Cunningham


Hill Hall, Room 300