Teacher Education

Teacher Education

Are you ready to make a difference?

Our students are already making many positive changes in their communities. They are educators who challenge ideas and expand minds. Our small class sizes and individual attention allow our students to create lasting relationships with our faculty. Our community outreach programs foster connections between our students and the community. Our emphasis on theory and on research-based practices provides our students with the tools they need to make a difference in the world. Are you ready to join us? Welcome.

While our Master’s degree programs incorporate various specializations, we also offer non-degree specialization and certification-preparation programs that are designed to satisfy the State Board for Educator Certification requirements for teachers who promote scholarship and best practices in particular educational areas or serve discrete audiences such as gifted children or children for whom English is not the native language. The additional specialization training prepares teachers for the respective certification exams; all SBEC certifications require that a candidate pass a state test. These advanced credentials are attached to the standard teaching certificate, so as a prerequisite to earning a graduate certification, a candidate must hold a Bachelor's degree and the initial teaching certificate.

“We are proud of our current students as well as those who have put their degrees into practice as educators, researchers, educational advocates, and more.”

– Dr. Ken Springer
Associate Professor and
Department Chair

Learn more about our programs:

  • Program Type

Sorry, there are no programs matching your selected criteria. Please adjust your selections.

Ph.D. Research

Whom does this program serve?

The Ph.D. program in the Simmons School leads to a broad research-oriented Ph.D.

What will I learn?

Graduates of the program are prepared to make significant contributions to research, policy, and practice through academic and research careers in their fields of interest.

Master of Education (M.Ed.)

Whom does this course of study serve?

Practicing educators who wish to broaden their academic preparation and classroom skills.  Students may specialize in any 1 or 2 of the following areas:  bilingual education, ESL, gifted and talented, mathematics, Montessori, literacy, and STEM education.

What are the benefits of completion?

Mastery of the content and skills should enable the graduate to be more effective and efficient in his/her job.  Additionally, the specialization knowledge may allow the educator to pursue new career opportunities.

Master of Education (M.Ed.) with Certification Preparation

Whom does this course of study serve?

The individual who would like to teach and already has a bachelor's degree but who does not have the appropriate teaching certification credentials to teach. This program allows students to pursue a graduate degree and teaching credentials simultaneously.

What are the benefits of completion?

Graduates often find that they have better presentation and organization skills, but more important, they have a Master’s degree and a new career opportunity.

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education

Whom does this course of study serve?

Practicing educators interested in working with students with special needs.

What are the benefits of completion?

Content mastery equips graduates to work with special-needs students; they are able to employ evidence-based practices, monitor response to intervention, individualize intervention based on assessed needs, understand special education law and policy, deliver positive-behavior support, and collaborate with the colleagues and families of special-needs individuals. 

Master of Bilingual Education (M.B.E.)

Whom does this course of study serve?

Ideal for pre-service and in-service Spanish/English bilingual educators who have a near-native or native command of Spanish and English. MBE courses integrate the language and culture of students in the Spanish-speaking world, particularly students of Hispanic heritage living in the United States.

What are the benefits of completion?

Successful graduates are prepared to work as expert bilingual teachers, bilingual coaches, or leaders of bilingual programs in their schools or districts.

Bilingual Education Supplemental Specialization

Whom does this program serve?

Teachers who work with students who do not speak English as their native language.

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Students who succeed in this 4-course sequence are qualified to take the TExES supplemental certification exam in bilingual education, a passing score on which qualifies them to work with students who do not speak English as their native language.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Supplemental Specialization

Whom does this program serve?

Practicing educators interested in working with ESL populations. The programs 4 courses may be applied toward SMU’s 36-credit hour Master of Education (M.Ed.) with a specialization in ESL.

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Graduates are prepared to take the TExES English as a Second Language (ESL) supplemental certification exam, a passing score on which qualifies them to work with ESL students populations.  

Gifted and Talented Specialization

Whom does this program serve?

Ideal for teachers of the gifted and talented, both specialists and regular classroom teachers. 

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Those who successfully complete the 4-course sequence (12 credits) are prepared to take the Gifted and Talented TExES (Texas Examination for Educator Standards); those who pass the exam earn GT certification.  Additionally, the program‘s courses can be applied to requirements for the M.Ed. degree.

Literacy Studies Specialization

Whom does this program serve?

Teachers who desire to advance their knowledge of literacy instruction and assessment specifically for early literacy and late literacy and for those who desire to pursue Reading Specialist certification.

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Those who successfully complete the program will be more effective teachers, improving student outcomes in literacy.  The program's coursework can be applied toward SMU's M.Ed. degree.

Early Literacy Scholars Program

Whom does this program serve?

K-2 classroom teachers in high-need public schools (including charters).

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Those who successfully complete the program’s 18-credit hours are equipped to provide comprehensive, coherent, and complete early-literacy programs in regular classrooms.  The program’s coursework applies to the requirements of SMU’s M.Ed. program.

Learning Therapy Specialization

Whom does this program serve?

Individuals interested in working with children or adults who have dyslexia or related language learning disorders.  

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Those who successfully complete the specialization are qualified to take the Alliance National Registration Exam for Multisensory Structured Language Education at the therapy level, a passing score on which qualifies the individual for membership in ALTA as a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT).

Master Mathematics Teacher (MMT)

Whom does this program serve?

Practicing educators who wish to advance their content knowledge or pedagogical skills for the purpose of teaching mathematics.

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Those who successfully complete the program’s four-course sequence,  pass SMU’s Qualifying Exam, and have 3 years teaching experience are eligible to take the Texas MMT certification exam, a passing score on which allows the individual to be employed as a Master Mathematics Teacher. Additionally, the program's 4 courses can be applied to the requirements for SMU’s M.Ed.

Montessori Specialization

Whom does this program serve?

Practicing Montessori teachers or individuals interested in enhancing or pursuing Montessori teaching skills.

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Those who successfully complete the program should be more effective Montessori instructors.

STEM Specialization

Whom does this program serve?

Practicing educators who wish to advance their content knowledge or pedagogical skills for the purpose of teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics content. 

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Those who successfully complete the program are equipped to be more effective STEM educators. Additionally, the program’s 4 courses can be applied to the requirements for SMU’s M.Ed. program.

Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation

Whom does this program serve?

Individuals who would like to teach, have completed their undergraduate studies, but do not have the appropriate teaching credentials.  These are often students who hold bachelor’s degrees in the humanities and social sciences and return to college to take only the courses required to be recommended to take the Texas Education Agency’s certification exam. 

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Career opportunities in professional education.  Those who successfully complete the program are recommended to take the Texas State Board for Educator Certification exams, passing scores on which enable them to pursue credentials for teaching careers in the private and public sectors, graduate work in the social sciences, and informal education paths in non-profit organizations. 

Teach for America Educator Preparation Program

Whom does this program serve?

TFA-approved Corps Members who wish to pursue Texas teacher certification.

What are the benefits of completing this program?

Those who successfully complete the program are recommended to take the Texas State Board for Educator Certification exams, passing scores on which enable them to pursue teaching credentials.  Additionally, the credits earned through participation in this program apply to the requirements for SMU’s M.Ed. degree.

Urban Education

For whom are these courses applicable?

Urban Education courses are most applicable for pre-service, in-service and other educators who serve diverse student populations, wish to cultivate a justice-oriented culturally responsive classroom environment, and/or are eager to learn relevant classroom and behavior management approaches.

What are the benefits of completing these courses?

Educators who complete these courses can expect to acquire in-depth knowledge surrounding culturally responsive curriculum development, reducing student behavioral infractions, enhancing teacher-guardian and teacher-student relationships, and inevitably increasing student outcomes. Additionally, educators can expect to garner an all-encompassing historical context of urban education.

Educational Studies Undergraduate Major

Whom does this course of study serve?

Undergraduates who wish to become teachers.

What are the benefits of completion?

Successful graduates are recommended to take the Texas State Board for Educator Certification exams, passing scores on which enable them to pursue credentials for teaching careers in the private and public sectors, graduate work in the social sciences, and informal education paths in non-profit organizations.