Teachers play an integral role in the intellectual and social development of children during their formative years and have a substantial impact on their students’ future prospects. Teachers provide the tools and the environment that help children develop into responsible adults.

The College of Education undergraduate major in Elementary Education prepares education majors to teach elementary students in grades one through six.  Elementary Education majors may also pursue dual certification at the middle grades (5-8) level with additional coursework and field experience (see Middle Grades [5-8] Licensure -  #middlegradesgrades58licensure).  Professional education courses provide preparation for teaching, and general education courses expand candidates' knowledge of elementary school curricula and their understanding of pupils.  This curriculum offers a combination of classroom instruction, intensive pre-student teaching field experiences, as well as a supervised student teaching experience. 

 

Outstanding Preparation

Professional education courses provide strong preparation in professional skills and dispositions. A firm foundation in general education courses expands your knowledge of elementary school curricula and your ability to understand students and their communities. At GSU, small class sizes guarantee that students get the attention they deserve and state-of-the-art educational technology prepares students to integrate computer technology into instruction. Middle grades endorsements are available in a number of subject areas.

GSU’s innovative, high-quality program offers a balanced blend of classroom instruction and hands-on field experiences, leading to a capstone supervised student teaching experience. At GSU, you’ll be prepared for an educational career where you continue to grow as a teacher and consistently make a difference in the lives of your students.

Meet the Program Faculty

Click here to view the program fact sheet

Course Outline

    Professional Education Courses for Elementary Education:  65 hours

  • SPED 2100  Survey of Students with Exceptionalities (3)
  • EDCP 2101  Introduction to Educational Technology (3)
  • EDUC 2310  Foundations of Education (3)
  • EDUC 2330  Educational Psychology I:  Child Growth and Development through Adolescence (3)
  • EMED 3099  Professional Development Seminar I:  The Mindful Educator I (2)
  • EMED 3321  Effective Teaching for Diverse Students and Effective Teaching Laboratory (4)
  • EMED 3333  Educational Linguistics (3)
  • EMED 3402  Field Experience I:  Teaching Language Arts and Creative Arts (1)
  • EMED 3404  Developmental Reading in the Elementary Grades (3)
  • EMED 3405  Literacy Across the Curriculum in the Elementary Grades (3)
  • EMED 3420  Teaching Creative Arts in the Elementary Grades (3)
  • EMED 3425  Professional Development Seminar II:  21st Century Learning (1)
  • EDUC 3440  Educational Psychology II:  Learning, Assessment, and Classroom Management (3)
  •  EMED 3599   Mindful Education II (2) 
  • EMED 3880  Teaching Health and Physical Education in the Elementary and Middle Grades (2)  
  • EMED 4402  Field Experience II: Teaching Science, Math, and Social Studies in the Elementary Grades (1)
  • EMED 4404  Teaching Science in the Elementary Grades (3)
  • EMED 4405  Teaching Mathematics in the Elementary Grades (3)
  • EMED 4406  Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary Grades (3)
  • EMED 4425  Professional Development Seminar III:  Effective Strategies to Promote Critical Thinking (1)
  • EMED 4450  Language Arts Assessment and Differentiated Instruction in the Elementary Grades (3)
  • EMED 4999  Student Teaching and Culminating Professional Development Seminar (12)

NOTE:  Additional credits in Professional Education and in the area of Teaching Specialization will be required for students also seeking middle-grades licensure. 

 Total:  123-127 Hours

Teaching Specializations

 In consultation with a program advisor, candidates will select 18-19 hours of course work, depending upon the area of specialization, within one of the teaching specializations.  At least 9 specialization hours must be in upper-division courses; no more than 9 hours may be from courses also used to satisfy general education (GE) requirements; and only one 3-hour professional education (PE) methods course may be included in this 18-19 hour total.  

 

General Education Requirements

General Education Requirement for the Professional Educators License with an Elementary Endorsement (Grades 1-6): 49-51 Hours

Course work acceptable for meeting these requirements must be college level work and may not include remedial courses even if college credit is granted. Generally, this course work must be at the 1000-level or higher and applicable toward a degree at the institution providing the instruction. Courses with grades below "C" will not be accepted toward the degree. The following courses or their equivalents may be completed at the lower-division level:

Written Communication (6 Hours)

ENGL - 1000 Writing Studies I (3)
ENGL - 1010 Writing Studies II (3)

Oral Communication Performance (3 Hours)

COMS - 1160 Public Discourse (3)

Mathematics (9 Hours)

MATH - 1423 College Algebra (3)
MATH - 2131 Mathematical Structures and Concepts I (3)
MATH - 2141 Mathematical Structures and Concepts II (3)

Biological Science, Physical Science, Earth Science, and at least one 1-Hour Lab accompanying at least one of the science content area courses (10-12 Hours)

Biology (4 Hours)

BIOL - 1100 Human Biology (3)
BIOL - 1101 Human Biology Laboratory (1)
BIOL - 2102 Biological Science Foundations I (3)
BIOL - 2107 Biological Science Foundations Laboratory (1)
BIOL - 2104 Biological Science Foundations II (3)
BIOL - 2109 Biological Foundations Laboratory (1)

Physical Sciences (4 Hours)

CHEM - 1111 Chemical Science Foundations I (3)
CHEM - 1112 Chemical Science Foundations Laboratory (1)
Or PHYS - 1111 Physical Science Foundations
(3) PHYS - 1112 Physical Science Foundations Laboratory (1)

Earth/Space Science (3 Hours)

ASTR - 1111 Introduction to Astronomy (3)
ASTR - 1112 Introduction to Astronomy Laboratory (1)
PHYS - 3435 Meteorology Online (3)
Geology (transfer with consent of advisor) (3)

Social and Behavioral Sciences (9 Hours)

U.S. Government (3)
POLS - 2100 American National Government (3)

World or Economic Geography (3 Hours)

GEOG 1100 Geography, Non-Western World (3)
GEOG - 2500 World Regional Geography (3)

Psychology (3 Hours)

EDUC - 2330 Educational Psychology I: Growth and Development of Children and Adolescents (3)
PSYC - 1101 Principles of Psychology (3)

Humanities (9 Hours)

HIST - 1110 History of the United States to 1865 (3)
HIST - 1120 History of the United States since 1865 (3)
ENGL - 2131 Literature for Children and Adolescents (3)

Fine Arts (3 Hours)

Art
ART - 1100 Art Appreciation (3)

Theatre

TAPS - 1100 Theatre Appreciation (3)

Teaching Specialization: 18-19 Hours

In consultation with a program advisor, candidates will select 18-19 hours of course work, depending upon the area of specialization which includes: English, General Science, Mathematics, or Social Sciences. At least 9 specialization hours must be in upper-division courses; no more than 9 hours may be from courses also used to satisfy general education (GE) requirements; and only one 3-hour professional education (PE) methods course may be included in this 18-19 hour total (minus 6-12 hours of GE and PE depending upon area of specialization; see a program advisor for assistance with courses in the Teaching Specializations).

Program Requirements

Admission to Teacher Education

After meeting the university admission requirements, students must meet the following requirements to continue in the Elementary Education program:

  • Admission to Governors State University in good academic standing.
  • Present transcripts showing a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher in all undergraduate work attempted.
  • Present evidence of having passed the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) or the ACT with Writing at designated cut scores.
  • Earn a grade of “B” or better in the following two courses taken at Governors State University:
    EMED 3321 Effective Teaching for Diverse Students and Effective Teaching Laboratory (4) and EMED 3333 Educational Linguistics**.
  • Receive a positive recommendation from the Elementary Education faculty to continue in the program.

To be officially accepted into the Teacher Education Program for initial licensure, all candidates must complete and submit a Teacher Candidacy Application to their prospective advisor. Click here to download the Teacher Candidacy Application fillable PDF and open in Adobe Reader.

** Note: Candidates must provide proof of passing the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) or the ACT or SAT before enrolling in EMED 3321 and EMED 3333.

All candidates for the Illinois Professional Educator License at Governors State University must submit to a criminal background check at the agency designated by the Division of Education prior to their initial field experience in the schools. For more information on this testing or the background check, please consult your advisor in the Division of Education. You may also consult with your advisor for information concerning related GSU policies and procedures.

Candidate Progress

The faculty monitors and evaluates candidate progress continually. The section on Teacher Education and

Licensure in the GSU catalog provides a general description of the standards used to evaluate candidate progress. A more detailed statement of the standards and processes followed by the Elementary Education faculty is available in the Elementary and Middle Grades Education Program Handbook.

Teacher Licensure

This program is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education for recommendation of the Professional Educator License endorsed in Elementary Education Grades 1-6) by entitlement. To be recommended for license by Governors State University, candidates must complete 49-51 hours in general education and 65 hours in professional education in Elementary Education . General education courses may include both lower and upper-division course work. Candidates must earn a grade of “B” or better in all professional education courses and ELED 4999 Student Teaching. Candidates must meet other requirements for license through approved programs listed in the Teacher Education and Licensure section in the GSU catalog. Candidates must also pass the Illinois Certification Testing System Elementary (Grades 1-6) Education Exam (197-200) to be recommended for certification.

Program Portfolio

The Program Portfolio is a selection of examples of candidate work (artifacts) that is organized according
to the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards and the Standards for Licensure in Elementary Education and the Association of Childhood Education International Standards. Throughout the program, candidates choose artifacts to include in their portfolios, write reflections, and
receive evaluations of their artifacts and reflections.

Admission to Student Teaching

To be admitted to student teaching, candidates must:

1. Complete all professional education requirements with a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher.
2. Complete the 49-51 hours of general education requirements with a G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher.
3. Document 100 hours of pre-student teaching field experiences.
4. Complete at least 18-19 hours in the teaching specialization with a G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher.
5. Have completed all but three credits in general education.
6. Receive a positive recommendation from the Elementary Education faculty.
7. Verify successful completion of the Elementary Education (Grades 1-6) Exam (197-200) of the Illinois Certification Testing System.
An application certifying that the first six of these requirements have been met must be submitted to the Coordinator of Field Experiences by March 1 of the preceding year for spring student teaching. Candidates should work with their Program Advisors in preparing this application.

NOTE: Student teaching is not offered during the summer session.

Degree Requirements

Candidates must meet all university requirements for a bachelor’s degree, except candidates must complete the 49-51 hour General Education Requirement for Teacher Licensure instead of the University General Education Requirement.

Candidates must also:
1. Maintain a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher in professional education courses (65 hours required).
2. Maintain a G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher in all general education courses (49-51 hours required) and teaching specializatin courses (18-19 hours required).
3. Complete at least one three-hour course in non-Western or Third World cultures.
4. Complete all course work at GSU within five calendar years.
5. Maintain satisfactory candidate progress as defined in the Elementary and Middle Grades Education Program Handbook.
6. Receive a positive recommendation from the Elementary Education faculty.

NOTE: Elementary Education majors also seeking licensure at the middle grades level must take additional coursework in their area of teaching specialization to total 24 hours in the are of the teaching specialization. Only Professional Education (PE) methods course EMED3405, EMED4405, EMED4406 middle grades level, (EMED4453 English Language Arts OR EMED4455 Science OR EMED4457 Mathematics OR EMED4459 Social Studies) may be included in the teaching specialization courses. Secondary Education majors are not required to add any courses to those totaling 24 credit hours in their area of teaching specialization.

Total Credit Hours for Elementary and Middle Grades Dual Licensure: 132-136 Hours

Academic Advising

The Division of Education provides professional academic advisors to serve the needs of all of its candidates. Your program's academic advisor is the ideal first contact for:

  • Individuals considering transfer into this degree program.

  • Newly admitted candidates who need to develop a plan of study, including evaluation of transfer credits.

  • Continuing candidates who have questions or comments on program policies, procedures, and requirements individuals considering transfer into this degree program.
 

Academic Advisor:

Eileen Lally, 708.534.4399