The MPER Early Career Scholars Program is an online revised version of the MU Teaching Fellowship Program. It offers early career educators professional development and support built on active learning including being mentored, observing expert models, or being observed followed by feedback and discussion, and analyzing student work. All of the graduate coursework is provided online to best facilitate a balance between teaching and learning.

Scholars have two roles: classroom teacher and graduate student.


MPER Scholars are hired and employed as full-time, salaried teachers in partnering school districts of the MU Partnership for Educational Renewal (MPER). MPER represents 300+ schools in 20+ districts in Missouri. As salaried employees, MPER Scholars will receive the same benefits (retirement, health insurance, etc.) as other teachers in the districts in which they are hired.

Each district will identify a high-quality educator to serve as a mentor their MPER Scholars. As employees of the district, mentors will support MPER Scholars by helping develop an awareness of community/district/school culture and characteristics. As quality educators, mentors will assist MPER Scholars in their beginning years through regular contact, feedback, and collaboration with a focus on professional growth.

Mentor teachers provide MPER Scholars with on-site coaching and support regarding:

  • Curriculum planning
  • Assessment
  • Classroom management
  • Classroom-based research
  • Parent/Guardian communication
  • School events

Graduate Level Program

MPER Scholars complete a sequencing of graduate courses over two years leading to a Master’s degree in Special Education or Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum with an emphasis in one of the following areas (degree program corresponds to contracted teaching position):

  • Elementary Education
  • English Education
  • Mathematics Education
  • Social Studies Education

Graduate program coursework begins in the fall and continues in the spring, summer, fall and spring. During the fall and spring semesters, MPER Scholars reinforce their classroom experience during graduate coursework via online courses. The integration of academic content with teaching practice allows MPER Scholars to directly apply their professional learning in their classroom contexts.