This fulfilling major within the College of Education prepares teacher candidates for one of two paths in teaching children and youth in the elementary school. Those two paths consist of a major in either Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 4, or Grades 4-8.
Early Childhood Education Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 4
Pre-K - Grade 4 teachers seek to understand children especially during times of infancy, toddler, preschool, kindergarten and grades one through four in elementary school. A graduate of the program receives certification to teach children and youth in grades Pre-K-4.
This area of specialization focuses on children and youth as they are growing and developing from birth through the fourth grade. In this time, cognitive development is vital for children. The program coordinates what is known about the child and the environment with sound educational practice. Current research and theory are related to practical application with an emphasis upon field-based experiences.
Highlights of the Major
- Child development, Cognition and Learning - Child development, typical and atypical, birth through age 9; cognition and learning-applied in the classroom
- Subject Matter Pedagogy Content - Language development in Early Childhood, language development, academic success and learning to read, math foundations for the preschool years, early literacy foundations for the preschool years (Pre-K - 1), literacy foundations for the primary grades, differentiated reading instruction for the primary grades, focus on interventions, math foundations for the primary grades, social studies methods, science methods, motor development and health, social development and arts methods
- Assessment - Assessment Methods I, Observation and Informal Measures, Assessment Methods II (Summative, Formative, Diagnostic, Benchmark measures)
- Family and Community Collaboration Partnerships - Family and community relationships, family collaboration diversity
- Professionalism - Evidenced based practices in Pre-K - Grade 4 care and education, advocacy, collaboration and cooperative learning, and issues and trends
Elementary Education Grades 4 - 8
Students who wish to pursue certification to teach elementary education grades 4 - 8 will choose this Middle Level preparation program. Students will complete professional core courses, field experiences and student teaching. Pennsylvania's Middle Level program further calls for concentration in two academic content areas.
Highlights of the Major
The Professional Core includes courses in cognitive development and adolescent development and is specifically designed to build:
- understanding of the middle school young adolescent student
- understanding and using data for assessment and effective teacher interventions
- adaptations and accommodations for diverse students in an inclusive setting
- meeting the needs of English Language Learners
- developmental experience in field locations and student teaching
The Upper Elementary/Middle Level program design requires a concentration in two content areas. The following combinations are possible when deciding upon concentrations:
- Mathematics and Science
- Mathematics and English/Language Arts and Reading
- Mathematics and Social Studies
- Science and English/Language Arts and Reading
- Science and Social Studies
Teacher candidates need to complete a minimum of 21 credits in each content area concentration, as well as 12 credits in the remaining content area. The options of specific concentrations in subject matter and dual-certification in Special Education are also important considerations when choosing the option of Grades 4-8.
Clinical Experiences (Student Teaching)
Clinical experiences take place from the first year. Early on, pre-candidates visit elementary and middle schools in different areas to see first-hand the challenges and opportunities associated with the teaching profession. These experiences allow pre-candidates the chance to evaluate their commitment to the profession and invite them to decide which grade levels they would like to teach. Pre-candidates spend 40 hours in different classrooms, ensuring observation of a variety of classes and teachers.
Teacher candidates are required to spend one semester student teaching, usually in the senior year.
This program is taught by the Department of Elementary Education.
- Art Education
- Business Administration
- Communication Design
- Communication Studies
- Computer Science
- Criminal Justice
- Elementary Education
- Electronic Media
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- Environmental Science
- German Studies
- Information Technology
- International Studies
- Leisure and Sport Studies
- Library Science
- Marine Science
- Music Education
- Multicultural Studies
- Political Science
- Pre-Med & Health Careers
- Professional Writing
- Public Administration
- Public Relations
- Secondary Education
- Social Work
- Software Development
- Special Education
- Studio Art
- Women's Studies
Transfer Education Admission Requirement
For transfers with 48 or More Credits
Teaching is a profession that requires selective admission procedures and rigorous course of study. Transfers with less than 48 credits must have a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA from all institutions previously attended. Transfers with 48 or more credits must be admitted into teacher candidacy in order to be admitted into the education major.