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Teacher Apprentice Program

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

 
 

 

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

This program leads to licensure only in the state of Kansas and does not guarantee licensure outside of Kansas. This degree is conferred in Kansas, students enrolling in this program must refer to the licensing agency and requirements in their own state.

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)
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.  Please see this link for more details. 
  • 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.  Please see this link for more details. 
  • KSDE Elementary Education Pilot License: Please note, the TAP Program does meet the approved program requirements for individuals who meet the qualifications and are hired under the KSDE Elementary Education Pilot License.

>>  To learn more, please view the WSU TAP Licensure Information

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 parapath@wichita.edu.

*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 parapath@wichita.edu. 

Cost

The program is fully online at a discounted flat-rate of $220 a credit hour*

*Rate applies to Teacher Apprentice Program curriculum courses. Does not apply for pre-requisite or general education courses that may be required. Additional course fees may apply.

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 parapath@wichita.edu 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.

References

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 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. 72-5213) 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.

Submission

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