As of Fall 2020, the Elementary School Certification (EC-6) will no longer be offered to new students. While we are unable to accept incoming first-year students considering a career as an elementary school teacher, the university is committed to providing needed coursework for current students in the EC-6 or 4-8 pipeline to graduation.
New students interested in teaching as a discipline can add a minor in Teacher Education, Special Education or Education Studies.
An Elementary School Certification (EC-Grade 6) prepares you to provide a well-rounded education to elementary school children.
You’ll learn to design innovative lesson plans, collaborate with other teachers in developing curriculum and integrate technology into your teaching approach.
Our program cultivates knowledge and skills necessary to:
- Manage classroom behavior and effectively communicate with parents and guardians
- Explore and develop methods for motivating young learners
- Achieve the flexibility to teach in a range of topics and disciplines
You can choose from three types of Elementary Teaching Certifications:
- English Language Arts and Reading (Generalist and ESL Generalist)
- Spanish Language Arts and Reading (Bilingual Generalist)
- Special Education (EC–12 Special Education and EC–6 Generalist)
Professors in the teacher education department place emphasis on instructional strategies that promote student learning and positive student behavior.
The Interstate New Teacher Assessment Consortium (InTASC) Standards serve as a foundation for our teaching methods. InTASC standards outline what teachers across all content and grade levels should know and be able to do to ensure every K-12 student is prepared to enter college or the workforce in today’s world.
With a BA in English Language Arts and Reading, certified graduates may teach in early childhood through grade six classrooms. Advanced degrees are required for teaching positions at the college level.
Other careers students with this degree pursue include:
- Career and technical education teachers
- Childcare workers
- Adult education coordinators in private and corporate settings
- College and university professors
- English teachers abroad
- School and career counselors
- Social workers
- Special education teachers
Outside the Classroom
Hands-on learning is emphasized through teaching experiences in local elementary schools. Volunteering and service learning, in partnership with community-based organizations, are valuable experiences when preparing future educators for long and successful careers.
Students will enrich their education through opportunities to:
- Design and apply assessment, planning, and instructional strategies
- Explore a variety of instructional settings
- Instruct in one or more content areas
- Work with children who have a broad range of moderate learning and behavioral challenges
Students in stand-alone courses are required to complete five to 10 hours of classed-based observations. These observations take place in public, charter, private, and parochial classrooms as directed by course instructors.
Student Teaching is designed to be a "capstone" experience for teacher education students. This six-hour education course locks in theory and practice in a classroom setting. Students learn to implement teaching theories and apply critical thinking skills associated with content courses in their major.
Meet the Faculty
Our distinguished faculty members are scholar-practitioners with years of industry experience and creative passions of their own. They stay active in their fields and bring their expertise to the classroom.
“Teaching and learning are all about literacies; our efforts to communicate in recognizable ways, to be understood, to be. Sometimes these ways of being are easily recognized in school, but often they aren’t. Responsive literacy educators must consider all the conflicts that occur between teachers, texts, and students along the way to seeing, hearing and being.”
— Elisabeth Johnson, Associate Professor of Literacy
All of our faculty members have published works and have been invited to present their compositions at national conferences.
Steven S.W. Fletcher received the 2013-2014 Delayne Hudspeth Award for Innovative Instruction. The award honors a faculty member who has designed an innovative course project or teaching method.
Associate Professor in the School of Education Kris Sloan published the entry “Subtractive Education/Schooling” in Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies. He also had a book chapter “Meeting the Challenge of High-Stakes Testing: Toward a Culturally-Relevant Assessment Literacy” in the book, Transforming Teacher Education: What Went Wrong in Teacher Training and How to Fix It.
“To better prepare teachers for increasingly diverse settings, I help them explore the multiple ways that race, class, gender and sexual identity influence their work and shape the experiences of future learners.”
—Kris Sloan, PhD, Associate Professor of Education