Male Teacher doing a science experiement with students

Teacher Apprentice Program

Go from Para Educator to Teacher of Record in a shortened time with Wichita State University's Teacher Apprentice Program.

Named best online college for bachelor’s in elementary education (2018).





Online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education/Elementary Education 

Prepare for licensure as a Kansas teacher with our flexible program of study, specially designed for Para Educators to earn their Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Unified/Elementary education.

  • Complete your degree without leaving your current Para Educator job.
  • Earn field experience for work as a Para Educator.
  • 100% online courses.
  • Collaboration with Kansas community colleges and technical schools.
  • Dedicated success coaches/mentors

34 CFR 668.43(a)(5)(v). Wichita State University’s teacher education programs are accredited at the national, regional, and state level. Upon completion of all courses and program assessments, graduates of these programs will be eligible to apply for the Kansas initial teaching license for their program of study after they successfully complete the Kansas teacher licensure exams required by the State of Kansas for application for a teacher license or endorsement.  Wichita State has made no determination if this program will lead to licensure in any state other than Kansas in which a graduate may seek licensure. Because every state has different requirements that may change frequently, we recommend checking with the state education department for the state in question to determine current requirements. The nonprofit organization Education Commission of the States has compiled Teacher License Reciprocity State Profiles that provide additional information about the teacher license reciprocity agreements for each state in a searchable format. Kansas Teacher Reciprocity Agreements provides a list of member states of the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement who have signed reciprocity agreements with Kansas.


About the Program

Program Description

The online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education/Elementary Education program is designed for Elementary and/or Special Education Para Educator at the Early Childhood to 6th grade level who wishes to become a licensed teacher at the Early Childhood and/or Elementary Education (K-6) level. 

Teacher Apprentice Program (TAP) is built around the philosophy of an “inverted curriculum,” meaning many of the “professional” courses are at the front end of the program to focus on heightening the skills of Para Educators in their current position.  The goal is to increase your success in the classroom from the beginning and then build on those strengths as you matriculate through the program. You will earn college credit for your experience as a Para every semester which will apply toward your degree. You will not have to quit work in order to complete this degree.

Licensure Options

Licensure options with this degree include:

  • Early Childhood Unified (Birth - 3rd Grade)
  • Elementary Education (K - 6th Grade)
  • Early Childhood Unified AND Elementary Education (Birth - 3rd Grade, K - 6th Grade)

Teacher Licensure Capstone (TLC), formerly known as Kansas Performance Teaching Portfolio (KPTP) 

Upon graduation, candidates are recommended for an “initial” teaching license from KSDE for two years if they have :

  • Successfully passed a teacher work sample known as the Teacher Licensure Capstone (TLC) at Wichita State University.
  • Completed program requirements, and passed all state mandated tests.

All candidates will bear the cost of scoring their TLC, which will be $100.00

If a candidate decides to withdraw from the program and/or not submit a TLC, a TLC Refund Request form must be submitted to College of Applied Studies Advising Office (CASA) or sent as an attachment to, at least one week prior to the deadline for the TLC to be considered.


TAP Licensure Info

Limited Apprentice License for the TAP Program
  • No Prior Bachelor's Degree The Limited Apprentice License allows a school district to hire you as Teacher of Record after you earn 60 credit hours, including 1 year of WSU approved courses, and achieve a rating of effective or higher overall on the KEEP Summative Assessment, along with a few other criteria.
  • Already have a Bachelor's Degree  The Limited Apprentice License allows a school district to hire you as the Teacher of Record after you have completed one semester of WSU Approved Courses and achieve a rating of effective or higher overall on the KEEP Summative Assessment, along with a few other criteria. 
TAP Degree Plans

Please know that these are sample degree plans. If you would like an academic advisor to create a degree plan for you, please send your unofficial transcripts for all previous institutions to

*If you hold an Associate of Arts or Science degree from a Kansas community college or technical school your degree plan may look different. Please contact a TAP advisor at 


In the Teacher Apprentice Program, you will have a low flat tuition rate per credit hour. You will also not have to pay an online or student activity fees for our courses, saving you money throughout the program. You can see a breakdown of the tuition and program fees to expect below per credit hour.

  • Tuition and Fees $224.20
  • TAP Course Fees $5.50
  • TAP Field Experience/Internship Course Fee $30.00
  • Teacher Licensure Capstone Course Fee, per course $100.00

Program Qualifications

In order to start the TAP Online Program, you must meet the qualifications listed below.

Employed as a Para Educator
  1. Must serve as a para educator with instructional responsibilities at the Early Childhood (birth-3rd grade) level; or Elementary Education level (Kindergarten-6th grade) at least 8 hours a week in the initial semesters of the program and fulltime the final semester.
  2. The para educator position can be in an interrelated or regular education classroom.
  3. The para educator position must be held in a building that is accredited by KSDE (Kansas State Department of Education) or licensed by KDHE (Kansas Department of Health & Environment) or a similar setting.     
GPA Requirement

You must have a 2.0  Institutional and overall GPA.

If you do not meet this requirement, your academic advisor can assist you. Contact for more information.

Admitted to WSU as an Adult Learner or Transfer Student

Please view the admission requirements for Transfer and Adult Learner here.

TAP Admission Requirements

All items must be completed prior to starting the TAP Online Program.

TAP Application

Step 1: Complete the WSU TAP Application Form online.

WSU Admissions

Step 2: Apply for admission to Wichita State University

  • New Student Application: Apply Now
  • Previous WSU Student: Reactivate your file Now 

    Please notify your TAP Advisor that you are reactivating your account and which semester or 8 week period you plan to enter the program.

Please note this step will require you to submit your official transcripts to WSU. You will need to have an overall 2.0 GPA in order to be eligible for the TAP program.


STEP 3: Complete the Reference Request form with names and contact information for three references who are qualified to address your professional skills, communication skills (oral and written), and your potential for success as a classroom teacher and as a student in this program. 

Verification Form

STEP 4: Please use the Verification Form to verify your employment and that you  have a Certificate of Health and/or Criminal Background Check on file with your district/interlocal where you serve as a para educator.

If you are unable to verify the Certificate of Health and/or Criminal Background Check through the verification form, please follow these steps:

Certificate of Health: Provide proof of a completed Certification of Health for School Personnel or TB test, K.S.A. 72--6266 (prior law 72-5213)) or verification that this has been completed per your employer**.

Criminal Background Check: Provide verification of a completed Criminal Background Check.

  •  Option #1: Provide a copy of current Substitute License.
  • Option #2: Provide a copy of recent background clearance with Validity, NATSB, or district requirement.
  •  Option #3: Validity Screening Solutions - Submit the Validity Online Background Request Form with payment within 10 business days from the date of the Teacher Ed. Application.

**Requirements per district may vary. Please contact Wichita State University College of Applied Studies for approval of acceptable alternative forms.


Required application materials such as Verification Form, Certificate of Health, and Criminal Background Check can be submitted to the following options:


Mail:  Teacher Apprentice Program

College of Applied Studies

1845 Fairmount St.

Wichita, KS 67260

Hubbard Hall Room 104

Campus Mailbox: 142