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).


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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

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.

Initial License Information

Licensure options with this degree include:

  • Early Childhood Unified: Birth - 3rd Grade (including SPED)

  • Elementary Education: K - 6th Grade (general education only)

  • Early Childhood Unified AND Elementary Education: Birth - 3rd Grade (SPED) and Birth - 6th Grade (general education)

TAP Licensure Info

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.


Limited TAP License Option
  • After an individual meets the qualifications for the Limited TAP License (Form 24A), they have the option (not required) to be hired as a teacher of record under the Limited TAP License while completing the Teacher Apprentice Program™ (TAP Program).
  • This license can only be held by individuals after they have been offered a position by a district, met the Limited TAP Licensure Requirements, and who maintain enrollment in the TAP Program.
  • An individual can only hold the Limited TAP License while a candidate in the TAP Program.
  • Once an individual completes the TAP Program (Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Unified/Elementary Education) they must complete the requirements and application for their initial licensure as required by KSDE (Kansas Department of Education).
  • This license allows a TAP candidate to serve as the teacher of record in a general education assignment Birth - Grade 6 or a special education assignment at the Birth - Grade 3 level.

License Requirements

  1. Offered a position as classroom teacher (a person with great potential; based on needs of the district)- letter of support from district or building administrator
  2. Completed at least 60 college credits, including one semester of WSU Approved Courses if you hold a previous Bachelor’s Degree; OR one academic year if you do NOT hold a previous Bachelor’s Degree
  3. Candidate must have a minimum cumulative 2.75 grade point average on a 4.0 scale on REQUIRED WSU professional coursework in the relevant program of study.
  4. Candidate must maintain continuous enrollment in the relevant approved Wichita State College of Applied Studies Program (i.e. TAP Program).
  5. Complete academic advising session (Am I Ready for This?)
  6. Documented performance (by Success coach) for candidate on teaching evaluation measure (KEEP) as required by Wichita State College of Applied Studies. Candidate must achieve a rating of EFFECTIVE or higher overall on the Summative KEEP Assessment during the semester of application.
  7. Satisfactory performance on disposition evaluation.

TAP Licensure Info

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. 


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 $249.63
  • TAP Course Fees $5.50
  • TAP Field Experience/Internship Course Fee $30.00
  • Teacher Licensure Capstone Course Fee, per course $100.00

Success Coach/Mentor

All students in the TAP program are provided with a success coach once they are eligible to begin the Internship courses.  Success coaches are master teacher educators from across the state who are trained mentors, and work with the students in order to assist in their professional growth in designing and delivering instruction in the classroom. They are considered university supervisors for the students as they progress through the program.

Success Coaches
  • Will be assigned to TAP students in TAP 605 (after Labor Day in fall, after Feb 1 in spring)
  • Collaborate with TAP students and host 3-4 monthly zoom meetings per semester with their mentee groups. Students are required to attend the monthly meetings – as part of Internship grade.
  • Provide mentoring & support in your lesson planning, delivery of instruction, professional dispositions and assist in your growth as a professional. 
  • Continue as your mentor and coach during your progress through the 4 internship courses in the TAP program. 
  • Review your lesson plans and provide feedback for revision and reflection before teaching.
  • Review your teaching video on PASS and provide feedback for reflection and professional growth. 
  • Assess your professional growth using the four KEEP constructs and submit KEEP summative assessment scores at the end of the semester.
  • Assess your professional dispositions and submit disposition assessment scores at the end of the semester. 
TAP Students
  • Communicate with success coaches and attend monthly success coach meetings.
  • Submit lesson plans (as assigned in Internship Courses) to Success Coach for feedback 1-2 weeks in advance before teaching.
  • Work with success coaches in order to grow in their professionalism and meet the professional disposition expectations of the program. Demonstrated in their work with peers, instructors, coaches, and the education community.
  • Communicate with success coaches for support and assistance, as needed. 

Program Qualifications

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

Employed as a Para Educator or Long Term Substitute
  1. Must serve as a paraeducator for at least 8 hours per week or long-term sub with instructional responsibilities at the Early Childhood level (birth-3rd grade including SPED); or Elementary Education level (Kindergarten-6th grade general education) in the initial semesters of the program and full time para educator or Teacher of Record (on LTAP license) the final semester.
  2. The paraeducator position can be in an interrelated (special education) or general education classroom.
  3. The paraeducator 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 and 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.

TAP Admission Requirements

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

TAP Admission Terms:

  • Fall Semester- Acceptance Deadline- July 29
  • Spring Semester- Acceptance Deadline- December 18
  • Summer Semester- Acceptance Deadline- May 13 
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:

Email: parapath@wichita.edu

Mail:  Teacher Apprentice Program™
College of Applied Studies
1845 Fairmount St.
Wichita, KS 67260
Hubbard Hall Room 104
Campus Mailbox: 142