Explore an Elementary… | University of Northwestern, St. Paul
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School of Education

Elementary Education

Student teacher educating young students
School of Education

Elementary Education


  • Bachelor of Science
  • Undergraduate

131-155 credits

required for program

131-155 credits

131-155 credits

required for program

Work with caring Christian education experts to inspire the next generation of children in grades K-6 to be creative, compassionate, and to live with moral integrity. The Elementary Education major prepares you to teach and engage young minds in a public or private school setting from grades K-6. This degree will also prepare you for further graduate study.

Why study elementary education at Northwestern?

You’ll learn professional practices to engage children from diverse backgrounds and develop an appreciation for diversity in the classroom. Classroom preparation is integrated into every facet of teacher education, linking theory to practical experience. Our small class sizes enable Christian professors to mentor you and encourage your faith to flourish both in and out of the classroom.

The School of Education offers you the opportunity to travel to Haiti for one week to learn how education is different outside the U.S. This will equip you to teach in diverse communities. You can also study abroad in China over spring break or participate in a Civil Rights Pilgrimage spring break trip with other education majors. You can gain even more experience by participating in our international student teaching program.

Students who are completing traditional undergraduate programs leading to initial teacher licensure in elementary education may seek an endorsement to their license. They will receive the endorsement at the time they receive their initial license. Candidates must confirm with the School of Education that the endorsement may be added to their chosen major field. Credits that have been applied to the licensure major may be double-counted in the endorsement.

Northwestern’s School of Education provides you with four levels of classroom practicum experience. The first allows you to find your personal "fit" within the teaching profession. The second level focuses on developing theory and skills related to diversity. The third level engages you to apply methodologies within your chosen field by creating, teaching, and evaluating lessons in a school classroom. The final level is full time student teaching in a chosen licensure field.

The School of Education provides teacher education programs approved by the MN Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board and as a result meet the state standards adopted for licensure programs as defined in state Rule 8710.2000 through 8710.8080. All licensure programs are aligned with INTASC (Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium) standards and the Minnesota Standards of Effective Practice.

The School of Education has hosted Christian Educators Association International (CEAI) events, and is a member of CEAI.

The School of Education attends the Compass Educator Breakfast each fall (through Grace Church in Eden Prairie, MN).

With campus so close to downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, students can take advantage of opportunities in Minnesota’s thriving education system.

If you enjoy working with children, are eager to serve, passionate about teaching, and are interested in a career in education, this might be the right degree for you.

What will you learn?

You will develop effective communication skills and be able to teach children in grades K-6.

Some classes include:

  • Kindergarten Methods and the Primary Learner
  • Mathematics Methods for Elementary Teacher
  • Children’s Literature K-6
  • Art Methods for Elementary Teachers
  • Music Methods for Elementary Teachers
View Course Catalog
My experience in the education department at Northwestern was life changing. I was taught by professors who truly cared about me and my classmates and wanted to impact us for Christ. Their examples showed me the impact that a teacher can have. It also taught me to strive for excellence and teach with a passion to love and serve my own students for Christ.
Sara Oakes
School of Education - Class of 2016

Careers in elementary education

There are a variety of career and academic pathways that begin with a degree in elementary education.

What types of work are related to this degree?

  • Teaching in your area of specialty
  • Private tutoring
  • Creating/directing educational programs
  • Curriculum development
  • Instructional design (technology training may be required)
  • Textbook editing
  • Online education
  • Student life/student affairs
  • Corporate or business training and development
  • Nanny
  • Children’s ministry

Who employs people with this degree?

  • Schools of all kinds-public, private, charter, international, government, residential
  • Daycare and nursery school
  • Parks and Recreation departments
  • Educational testing companies
  • Curriculum/educational publishers
  • School district offices
  • Educational research firms
  • Industries related to your subject area (e.g., PE majors could work in the areas of fitness, health, or wellness)
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Universities and colleges
  • Employee training programs
View Career Guide
100%

of Northwestern’s education graduates felt professionally prepared by their education

Licensure

meets licensure requirements for the Minnesota Board of Teaching

96%

of seniors feel prepared to integrate their faith with their academic field

Preparing for a Career

College graduation rates continue to increase each year making competition for jobs even greater. Set yourself apart from the crowd with the following strategies for getting started, networking, and gaining experience.

Strategies for success:

  • Requirements for certification/licensure vary by state; multiple certifications will increase employability. A master’s degree will increase earning potential.
  • Be willing to work hard at finding a job and to go where the jobs are.
  • Obtain part-time, summer, internship, or volunteer experience with the age group you intend to work with in various settings: pre-schools, daycares, camps, community agencies, adult centers, YMCA’s, etc.
  • Participate in co-curricular activities and related organizations to broaden skills, interests, and opportunities.
  • Identify transferable skills learned in teaching applicable to other careers: written and verbal communication, teaching and instruction, program planning, organization and record keeping, working under pressure and meeting deadlines, motivational skills, creativity, working autonomously, decision-making, problem solving.

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