Department Fact Sheet

Department of Education

Department Chair: Kevin Gary, Ph.D.
Meier Hall, 219-464-5790  

Links to Web sites:
Department of Education (department maintained)

Majors and Degrees offered:
Elementary Education:
Secondary Education: B.A. or B.S. in an academic major and a double major in secondary education. Preparation for Secondary Education Certification is available in visual arts, biology, chemistry, earth/space science, English, French, geography, German, health education, history, Latin, mathematics, music (general, instrumental & choral), physical education, physics, physical science, life science, Spanish, special education.
M.Ed., with Initial Licensure (Elementary, Middle, and Secondary)
M.Ed/Ed.S. in School Psychology

Valpo Education graduates serve students and communities throughout the world and at all levels of schooling, from pre-kindergarten to university. Whether interested in teaching second graders about ocean animals or in introducing high school students to the French language, teachers of the future receive exceptional preparation in Valpo's Department of Education.

What Is Distinctive About Valpo's Program?

Theory and Practice:
At Valpo, education majors learn about the theory and methods of educational practice and gain hands-on classroom experience through extensive professional practice opportunities throughout their programs.

Field work:
Students receive their first field placement in area schools from their first education course, Introduction to Teaching and Field Experience. Field experiences are attached to course work throughout the program in Home, School, and Community Relationships; Learning Exceptionalities; the Elementary and Middle School “Junior Block;" and Literacy Diagnosis and Assessment; and student teaching. Students average between 150 and 200 hours of field experience prior to student teaching.

Student Teaching:
Students spend 12 weeks full-time with their cooperating teacher to complete the student teaching requirement during the Professional Semester which also includes the Senior Seminar class.

Extracurricular Activities of Education Students at VU:
Kappa Delta Pi – National Education Honor Society
Valpo’s Student Advisory Board
National teachers’ organizations such as National Council of Teachers of English, among others.

Tutoring: On-campus tutoring programs as well as off-campus tutorial programs at places like Hilltop House, a community cener a few blocks form campus, and the Valparaiso Community Schools.

Required Credentials for Beginning Teachers:
Bachelor’s degree and State of Indiana certification. Indiana has reciprocal certification agreements with 46 states in the U.S.

Graduates of Teacher Education Have Many Options after Completing Their Degrees:
Teaching positions in elementary, middle and high school in public, private, and parochial schools.
Education- related positions in publishing companies, training programs, and business.
Graduate school
Substitute teaching
Education-related positions in churches and non-profit organizations
Peace Corps
Overseas teaching assignments

National Honors:
Five Valpo Education graduates have received the Phi Delta Kappa Excellence in Student Teaching Award since 1999. Only five awards are presented nationwide each year.

Phi Delta Kappa Outstanding Student Teacher Awards:

1999-2000 Colleen Murphy………...Elementary Education
Brenda Christensen……..Elementary Education
2000-2001 Karla Huppe Elementary Education
2001-2002 Susan Doria Elementary Education
2002-2003 Jamie Buffington Elementary Education and Special Education

Indiana Association of College of Teacher Education: Outstanding Future Educators Award:

Tim Dooms, Elementary Education
Molly Goings, Elementary Education
Kelly Harris, Elementary Education
Micah Borcherding, Secondary Education, Physics
Jillian Freytag, Secondary Education, German
Sara Hughes, Secondary Education, Mathematics

What Can You Do with an Education Major?

Degree, Skills or Experience Needed for Beginning Teachers:
A Bachelor's degree with State of Indiana certification requirements completed. Please note that the State of Indiana is presently updating its licensure program and will have available soon an early adolescent (middle school) licensure program that Valparaiso University's Education Department will incorporate in a program of studies similar to elementary and secondary education programs already existent beginning Fall 2002.

Kinds of Work Available to Graduates in Teacher Education Licensure Programs:
Public, private, and parochial school teaching is available. Additionally, many related educational opportunities exist in related fields and vocations.

Potential Employers:
Public school corporations and schools, Lutheran and other non-public schools, and positions in education-related fields and professions.

What Beyond-the-Classroom Opportunities Does Valpo Offer You in Education?

Extracurricular Activities:
Valpo Education students are involved in a variety of extra-curricular activities, including Kappa Delta Pi – National Education Honor Society, Valpo's Student Advisory Board, and National Council of Teachers of English, among others.

Students have the opportunity to take part in on-campus tutoring programs as well as off-campus tutorial programs at places like Hilltop House, a community center a few blocks from campus.

Chicago Arts Program: The Chicago Arts Program is a 15-week semester of immersion in the Chicago artworld. The Program is designed for college students with a strong interest in the language, visual, performing, media and commercial arts, as well as arts education and community outreach.

Students live and study in Chicago, and work at a part-time internship. Participants attend events in a variety of artistic media, meet and interview guest artists and arts professionals, and write about and discuss practical and theoretical issues. Click here for more information.

Notable Alumni

Charles “Skip” Bird (VU’62/’66), Retired English Teacher/swim coach, Walt Disney Coach of the Year 1993
Helene Boumann Debelak, (1973), 2005 Outstanding History Educator Award of the History Channel and National History Day
David Grimm (VU ’77) Head Cross Country and Track Coach – Luther North High School, Chicago, IL; State Class A Coach of the Year in both Boys
and Girls Cross Country and Boys and Girls Track several times in the last 20 years
Lois Niemier (VU “78), Founder and Director of Learning Solutions in Winona Lake, Indiana; The Educational Comprehensive Clinic at Lakeland Christian Academy, Warsaw, Indiana. and teacher training programs for the Archdiocese of Fort Wayne and South Bend.
Jim Wacker (VU ’60), Retired Head Football Coach, University of Minnesota.
Janice Yung (VU ‘66), Assistant Principal of Lutheran South Academy, Houston, Texas