Inspire the next generation of children to be creative, compassionate, and to live with 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.
This might be the right degree for you if you
- enjoy working with children
- are eager to serve
- passionate about teaching
Why study elementary education at Northwestern?
You’ll learn professional practices to engage children from diverse backgrounds. Our students develop an appreciation for diversity in the classroom. We integrate classroom preparation into every area of teacher education by linking theory to 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 go to Haiti for one week to learn how different education is overseas. This trip will help equip you to teach in diverse communities. You can also study abroad or take part in our international student teaching program.
Students who want to complete this undergraduate degree to get their teaching license 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.
- Communication Arts/Literature Education: Grades 5–8
- Mathematics Education: Grades 5–8
- Social Studies Education: Grades 5–8
- Pre Primary (Early Childhood Education): Ages 3–5
Northwestern’s School of Education provides you with four levels of classroom practicum experience.
- The first level allows you to find your personal "fit" within the teaching profession.
- The second focuses on developing theory and skills related to diversity.
- The third 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 Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board. They meet the state standards adopted for licensure programs as defined in state Rule 8710.2000 through 8710.8080. All licensure programs are aligned with the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) standards and the Minnesota Standards of Effective Practice.
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
- 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
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.
- American Educational Research Association
- American Federation of Teachers
- Association for Experiential Education
- National Education Association
- US Department of Education (listing of associations)
- Association for Childhood Education International
- National Association for the Education of Young Children
- Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children
- Professional Association for Childhood Education
of Northwestern’s education graduates felt professionally prepared by their education
meets licensure requirements for the Minnesota Board of Teaching
of seniors feel prepared to integrate their faith with their academic field
What will I learn?
You will develop effective communication skills and be able to teach children in grades K-6.
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.
Northwestern prepared me for my current role by putting me into countless field hours in various classrooms throughout the metro. I was able to see different school cultures, work with different teachers and leaders and use what I had learned to become the best leader I could be. Northwestern has built a great reputation for the Education Department and I was fortunate to reap the benefits of that.