Elementary Education

Master of Science          Educational Specialist


Master of Science in Elementary

Strengthen and enhance your teaching in the classroom by pursuing advanced coursework in pedagogical design and add on endorsements*, such as remedial reading, gifted education, mild/moderate disability K-8), emotional/behavioral disorder, or cyber foundations. The program can be completed in as few as 4 semesters, including summer – that’s only just over one year!

Graduates of the program may leverage electives in the program to add endorsement areas* in the following areas:

  • remedial reading
  • gifted education
  • mild/moderate disability K-8
  • emotional/behavioral disorders
  • cyber foundations

Built around the principles of effective practice and reflection, the program is well- rounded and includes courses in a variety of content areas. The coursework focuses on tools that teachers can use to further enhance their learning environment for elementary students and allows students to add one of five endorsements to the elementary teaching license. Graduates of the Master of Science program are eligible to be recommended for the Class AA Mississippi Educator License, which will lead to a pay raise in the state of Mississippi.

Program Format

  • 33 credit hours minimum, 4 semesters (18 months)
  • Hybrid synchronous online course delivery
  • A small cohort with individualized attention
  • Full-time schedule during summer and part-time during fall and spring terms
  • Real world experiences
  • Customized degree with five add-on endorsement options

Add-On Endorsement Options*

  • Remedial Reading – This endorsement focuses on practical classroom application of concepts, methods/materials, and teaching strategies across subject areas in early and upper elementary as well as middle and secondary school. This endorsement contributes to general reading knowledge utilized in positions such as a Reading Interventionist K-12, an Academic Coach, or a Teacher Leader.
  • Gifted Education - Obtaining the Gifted Education endorsement includes thorough preparation in identification of giftedness, curriculum development, and research-based effective instruction. You will be able to apply the knowledge and skills that you will acquire if you choose to be a Teacher of the Gifted and Talented or even without switching to a new position. Your expertise in addressing the needs of the gifted will be valuable in any classroom. 
  • Mild/Moderate Disability K-8 – With growing numbers of academically diverse students in our classrooms, consider an endorsement in Mild/Moderate Special Education. Not only will you be certified to teach students with active Individualized Education Programs (IEP), but you will gain knowledge of how to accommodate students with 504 plans and students who need the multi-tiered system of supports.  This endorsement will give you the tools to work with your students on an individualized level.
  • Emotional/Behavioral Disorders – The Emotional/Behavioral Disorders endorsement prepares teachers with specialized knowledge and skills to meet the unique needs of students at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD).  You will gain practical knowledge to support the social and emotional development of students and provide specialized interventions across inclusive K-12 classroom settings.
  • Cyber Foundations – The Cyber Foundations endorsement includes preparation to teach foundational concepts including computational thinking, effective and appropriate uses of technology, digital forensics, and digital ethics across the curriculum. You will be part of a movement to ensure that all students have access to quality cyber education instruction including such topics as programming, cybersecurity, robotics, data science, and artificial intelligence.

*Some endorsements may require additional coursework beyond the nine hours of electives in the elementary program and/or additional licensure testing. To be eligible for institutional recommendation from Mississippi State University for a supplemental endorsement, a valid 3- or 5-year Mississippi Elementary Educator ‘s license is required.  Please visit the Office of Clinical/Field-Based Instruction, Licensure, and Outreach website for a listing of specific requirements for approved program supplemental endorsements at ocfbi.msstate.edu.

Admission Requirements
  • A 2.75 GPA for admission to the M.S. program and a minimum 3.20 on prior graduate study for the Ed.S. program
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from educators, professors, and/or former employers or supervisors
  • A copy of a teaching license or proof of eligibility for licensure
  • A statement of purpose, including description of teaching experiences
  • Official transcripts from each college/university attended

A prospective graduate student is evaluated in terms of academic accomplishments, verbal and written communication skills, professional experiences, and general goodness-of-fit to the program as well as deemed by the faculty to have the potential to complete the program.

Contact Advisor


Educational Specialist in Elementary

The Educational Specialist degree in Education with a concentration in Elementary Education is designed for those who already have a master’s degree in elementary education from an accredited program. The coursework focuses on tools that teachers can use to further enhance their learning environment for elementary students and allows students to add one of five endorsements* to the elementary teaching license including remedial reading, gifted education, mild/moderate disability K-8, emotional/behavioral disorders, or cyber foundations. Graduates of the educational specialist program are eligible to be recommended for the Class AAA Mississippi Educator License, which will lead to a pay raise in the state of Mississippi.

Program Format

  • 30 credit hours minimum**, 4 semesters (18 months)
  • Hybrid synchronous online course delivery
  • A small cohort with individualized attention
  • Full-time schedule during summer and part-time during fall and spring terms
  • Real world experiences
  • Customized degree with five add-on endorsement options

Add-On Endorsement Options*

  • Remedial Reading – This endorsement focuses on practical classroom application of concepts, methods/materials, and teaching strategies across subject areas in early and upper elementary as well as middle and secondary school. Coursework highlights high-quality literacy instruction in oral language development and early systematic reading and writing instruction. Master’s Candidates explore effective literacy methods, materials, and strategy instruction for upper elementary, middle, and secondary school students and leverage the three electives in the program towards completion of the reading endorsement
  • Gifted Education - Obtaining the Gifted Education endorsement includes thorough preparation in identification of giftedness, curriculum development, and research-based effective instruction. You will be able to apply the knowledge and skills that you will acquire if you choose to be a Teacher of the Gifted and Talented or even without switching to a new position. Your expertise in addressing the needs of the gifted will be valuable in any classroom. 
  • Mild/Moderate Disability K-8 – With growing numbers of academically diverse students in our classrooms, consider an endorsement in Mild/Moderate Special Education. Not only will you be certified to teach students with active Individualized Education Programs (IEP), but you will gain knowledge of how to accommodate students with 504 plans and students who need the multi-tiered system of supports.  This endorsement will give you the tools to work with your students on an individualized level.
  • Emotional/Behavioral Disorders – The Emotional/Behavioral Disorders endorsement prepares teachers with specialized knowledge and skills to meet the unique needs of students at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD).  You will gain practical knowledge to support the social and emotional development of students and provide specialized interventions across inclusive K-12 classroom settings.
  • Cyber Foundations – The Cyber Foundations endorsement includes preparation to teach foundational concepts including computational thinking, effective and appropriate uses of technology, digital forensics, and digital ethics across the curriculum. You will be part of a movement to ensure that all students have access to quality cyber education instruction including such topics as programming, cybersecurity, robotics, data science, and artificial intelligence.

*Some endorsements may require additional coursework beyond the nine hours of electives in the elementary program and/or additional licensure testing. To be eligible for institutional recommendation from Mississippi State University for a supplemental endorsement, a valid 3- or 5-year Mississippi Elementary Educator ‘s license is required.  Please visit the Office of Clinical/Field-Based Instruction, Licensure, and Outreach website for a listing of specific requirements for approved program supplemental endorsements at ocfbi.msstate.edu.

**Students with an M.S. degree from MSU may apply up to 12 hours from that degree towards the minimum 30 hours required for the Ed.S. degree program. Please speak with an advisor for specific details.

Admission Requirements
  • A 2.75 GPA for admission to the M.S. program and a minimum 3.20 on prior graduate study for the Ed.S. program
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from educators, professors, and/or former employers or supervisors
  • A copy of a teaching license or proof of eligibility for licensure
  • A statement of purpose, including description of teaching experiences
  • Official transcripts from each college/university attended

A prospective graduate student is evaluated in terms of academic accomplishments, verbal and written communication skills, professional experiences, and general goodness-of-fit to the program as well as deemed by the faculty to have the potential to complete the program.

Advisors

Ms. Kimberly Pace portrait

Ms. Kimberly Pace
Academic Advisor
Academic Advisor for Graduate Programs

Phone: 601-484-0243
Fax: 601-484-0339
E-mail: kpace@meridian.msstate.edu

Dr. Jeffrey Leffler portrait

Dr. Jeffrey Leffler
Assistant Professor
Interim Graduate Coordinator
Program Coordinator

Phone: 601-484-0187
Fax: 601-484-0280
E-mail: jleffler@meridian.msstate.edu