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The Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Misson & Goals

The mission of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction is to guide future teachers to develop leadership, excellence, and virtue within a Christian environment. Our goal is to support student development of pedagogical, intellectual, and ethical behavior appropriate for professional roles in the school setting. To this end, we have developed a set of courses and field experiences which build progressively to prepare graduates to be successful in their roles as teachers in our schools.

Special Programs and Opportunities

  • Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE)

    Membership is available in the campus chapter of the Association of Texas Professional Educators. Activities include informational meetings, guest speakers, and an opportunity to participate in meetings at the state and regional levels.

  • Kappa Delta Pi

    The Eta Epsilon Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi provides recognition and an opportunity for service in an international honor society. Membership is reserved for education majors and minors who have a 3.25 grade point average at McMurry, at least 60 hours of credit, and one semester of coursework at McMurry.

  • Departmental Scholarships

    Four scholarships are offered for the junior or senior year to outstanding students.

  • Departmental Honors

    Please see the description of the Honors Program under the Special Program section earlier in the catalog.

  • The Teacher Education Program

    A liberal education combined with adequate professional and specialized study constitutes the best preparation for a successful teaching career. The Department of Curriculum and Instruction at McMurry University offers the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education degree and the professional development (Curr) minor to qualify students for the Texas Provisional Teaching Certificate. The Provisional Certificate gives the holder legal authority to perform teaching duties in the public schools of Texas at the grade level and in the academic specialization(s) designated on the face of the certificate. The Department of Curriculum and Instruction, with the advisement of the Education Advisory Council, is responsible for establishing policy and providing leadership for the teacher education program. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of teacher education, several departments of the University are represented on the Education Advisory Council. The administration of McMurry University strives to promote a close, cooperative relationship between the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the other academic departments of the University. The teacher education program at McMurry is accredited by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

DISCLAIMER: All requirements and conditions for admission to the teacher education program or for certification are subject to change at the direction of Texas Education Agency and/or the State Board of Educator Certification. If you are currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, your certification will be EC-6.

More information can be found here.


Beyond McMurry

Here are some of the professions in which you can find Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education degree and Bachelor of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies graduates:

  • Pre-K or preschool teacher
  • Education Administrator
  • Early Childhood Education Specialist
  • Teachers Assistant
  • Childcare Director
  • Child and Family Social Worker
  • Guidance Counselor
  • Special Education teacher

Our bachelor’s degrees can also prepare you for a master’s degree or other advanced degree.


This FAQ presents information which you will need to know in order to finish and become a certified teacher.  The questions are divided into 3 areas followed by additional information that is useful.

  • Take the proper courses in the proper order
  • Graduate
  • Take and pass 2 exams (3 exams for EC-6 certification)
  • Apply for certification

All these steps are explained in detail below.

You'll need to take these hours in Curriculum and Instruction (26 hours for secondary or all level students, 23 for Core Subjects EC-6 students:

Theories of Learning      3
Inclusive Classroom      3
Disciplinary Literacy (secondary and all Level students)      3
Special Learners      3
Planning, Curriculum, and Assessment      3
Methods and Management      3
Professional Development Internship      1
Clinical Teaching      6
Clinical Teaching Seminar      1

*You can find the course numbers in the catalog

“Block” is the term we use for the Planning, Assessment, and Curriculum and Methods and Management courses. Most students take these the same semester along with the Professional Development Internship.

No, certain courses are prerequisites for others.

Look at this list:

  • Some Time Before My Last 2 Semesters—6 hours
    • Theories of Learning
    • Inclusive Classroom
    • Special Learners
    • Disciplinary Literacy
  • Next to Last Semester—7 hours
    • Planning, Curriculum and Assessment
    • Methods and Management
    • Professional Development Internship
  • Last Semester—7 hours
    • Clinical Teaching
    • Clinical Teaching Seminar

Probably. Curriculum and Instruction department policy allows a student to take 3 additional hours during clinical teaching. However, the course you take must either be online or after 4:00 pm. Please realize that student teaching requires a lot of time, both in and out of the classroom you are assigned to.

TEXES stands for “Texas Examination of Education Standards.” These tests are required by the State of Texas for teacher certification.

Most students will take two. Everyone will take the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12. Students will also take a subject area exam such as Music EC-12, Social Studies 4-8 or Core Subjects EC-6. For certification in Core Subjects EC-6 or English Language Arts 4-8 candidates will need to take the Science of Teaching Reading test. If you have taken the proper courses, you might also take the English as a Second Language Supplemental.

The very best time to take the PPR is as you finish your block classes. A good time to take your subject area test is just after finishing the final course in your major. Clinical teaching is less stressful for someone who has taken these certification exams.

You will pay a fee added to the cost of your 6 hours of block classes. Your block instructor will help you register for your exams, and, since you paid the fee, McMurry will pay the cost of each test you take. This fee will cover registration for each test. In your block class you will learn how to prepare for your exams so that you can pass the first time. Your fee will not cover retaking a test, so it really pays to prepare and do your best.

You may choose any Pearson test site. That means you can use the test site on North 1st in Abilene or take the test when you are at home. When you register, the Pearson test website will allow you to choose where you take the exam.

Each test costs $118.87, except the Science of Teaching Reading, which is $139.32. These prices are subject to change.

When registering for the test, check the “send scores by email” box, and the testing company will send an email to the address you have given them. You can also log in to your TEA account and see how you did.

Students learn the results of most tests within a week. Two exceptions are Science of Teaching Reading and English Language Arts 7-12. You have written responses on these tests, so you will have to wait 28 days for the result.

We always like to hear the news, but Pearson sends us your results almost as fast as you get them.

Pearson, the testing service, makes you wait 30 days before taking the test again. You can register for a retake at any time during that 30-day period.

McMurry has practice tests for most exams. Contact the Curriculum and Instruction administrative assistant or your professors to arrange to take a practice test.

The next step is to apply for certification. You can do this toward the end of your clinical teaching experience. Log in to your TEA account. When you click on “Educator,” you will see a page with your profile. Scroll to the bottom of this page and click on “Continue.” The next page will have a list of things you can apply for. You want to apply for a “Standard Certificate.”

The application fee is $77. TEA will charge another $42.25 for the fingerprint background check. Students who have been fingerprinted to work as a teacher’s aide, as a substitute teacher, or in a daycare usually do not have to be fingerprinted again and do not have to pay the $42.25.

To be recommended for certification, three things must have happened: you must have successfully completed clinical teaching, passed your TEXES tests, and graduated. You cannot be recommended for certification until your degree has been declared to be official by the Registrar’s office.

Each TEXES Test (you will take at least 2)      $118.87
Science of Teaching Reading (for Core Subjects EC-6 and English Language Arts 4-8      $139.32
Application Fee for Certification      $77.00
Fingerprint Background Check      $42.25

Prior to receiving a teaching certificate in the State of Texas, all candidates must submit to a fingerprint background check. Having a criminal history could prevent a candidate from becoming certified. A national criminal history background check is performed at the time a candidate applies for the teaching certificate. More information on this national criminal history check may be found at:

(You will sign a document in your Intro to Ed class which gives information on the background check)

Students apply to clinical teach while they are taking the Planning, Assessment & Curriculum/Methods & Management block.

You will get instructions in your block class. You will fill out a detailed application and also forms for the DPS to do a background check.

  1. The application (see above)
  2. The criminal history form for either Abilene ISD or Wylie (see above)
  3. The DPS audit verification form (see above)
  4. Three completed reference forms
  5. A writing sample that you will do during your block class
  6. Your most recent degree audit

No. School district personnel will determine who you do your student teaching with. McMurry staff are not involved in that choice.

We will send you an email prior to your clinical teaching semester. This email will inform you of your placement, the name of your clinical teaching supervisor, and the dates for Clinical Teaching Seminar. If you are student teaching in the fall, you will receive a letter the middle of August. If you are clinical teaching in the spring, the letter will be sent in the middle of December.


Yes. You will receive important information there. You will also have a meeting with your field supervisor. Attendance is mandatory.

Clinical teaching is graded on a Pass/Fail basis. You will receive a letter grade for Clinical Teaching Seminar. This grade will be based on assignments you will be required to complete.

Most students will have two different placements. Having two placements enables you to work with different teachers and different students.

Prior to clinical teaching, email the Director of Clinical Teaching. Once student teaching starts, contact your field supervisor with any questions.

Clinical teaching out of town is a possibility. Make an appointment with the Director of Clinical Teaching. You will need to fill out a different application. You will also need to pay the expenses of the field supervisor who will come to observe you.


More information?

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