The elementary education major prepares teachers with insight and practical experience to positively impact young learners and their educational environments.

This major prepares students to meet licensing requirements in the state of Indiana. Students who seek licensure as an elementary teacher must complete the requirements of the bachelor of science in education with a major in elementary education and either a Rules for Educator Preparation and Accountability (REPA) content area minor or a REPA content area major approved for certification by the Indiana Department of Education.

Teacher candidates may also add a content area in special education (mild needs) by pursuing a special education minor.

Completion of the degree requirements with a major in elementary education leads to the bachelor of science in education. The general-education requirements for this degree are found in the course catalog. This core curriculum strengthens communication and critical thinking skills while introducing global cultures and traditions.

Education Requirements
55 credits
ED 206 School and Society 3 credits
ED 304 Educational Psychology 3 credits
ED 310 Foundations in Early and Emergent Literacy 3 credits
ED 323 Methods of Science Education 4 credits
ED 324 Methods of Teaching Mathematics in the Elementary School 4 credits
ED 327 Methods of Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary School 4 credits
ED 329 Literacy in the Elementary School 4 credits
ED 350 Seminar: Inquiry Through Case Study 0 credits
ED 357 Designing Curriculum, Assessment and Learning Plans 3 credits
ED 367 Introduction to English Language Learning 3 credits
ED 451 Seminar: Efficacy in Professional Practice 1 credit
ED 452 Seminar: Undergraduate Research 1 credit
ED 465 Literacy in Socio-Cultural Contexts 4 credits
ED 470 Home, School, and Community Relationships 3 credits
SPED 440 Learning Exceptionalities 3 credits

One course from the following options:

  • ED 439 Supervised Teaching in the Elementary Grades
  • SPED 449 Supervised Teaching in General and Special Education
12 credits
Other Requirements
11 credits
COMM 243 Public Communication 3 credits
One course on Advanced Composition, from the following options:
  • ENGL 300 Introduction to Professional Writing
  • ENGL 321 Intermediate Composition
  • ENGL 380 Topics in Writing
  • ENGL 423 Short Story Writing
3 credits
MATH 211 Laboratory in Elementary Mathematics I  0 credits
MATH 212 Laboratory in Elementary Mathematics II 1 credit
MATH 214 Mathematics for Elementary Teachers II 4 credits
TOTAL 66 credits
Elementary Concentrations
Elementary education students are required to complete two areas of concentration in addition to the requirements for the major. Concentration 1, multicultural literacy, is required and included as part of required literacy courses. Concentration 2 should be fulfilled with the completion of an approved minor or major approved for certification by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). Options include:
  • Art
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese
  • Data science
  • English
  • Environmental science
  • French
  • German
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physical education
  • Physics
  • Political science and international relations
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and criminology
  • Spanish
  • Special education minor
  • Teaching of English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL) minor

Minors or majors in academic content areas other than these listed must be appropriate for future elementary teachers and must be approved by the education department chair or the director of licensure prior to beginning courses in those minors or majors.

Elementary education students will organize their four-year plans with the help of the education department’s dedicated advisor.

Together, students and their advisor will create a plan of study based on the department’s block and checkpoint systems. The block system is comprised of groups of education courses taken in a sequence and organized around central theories and learning outcomes. In addition to coursework, students also work toward progressing through the checkpoint system. The checkpoint system encompasses requirements necessary for licensure.

Elementary education students who would like to attend a study abroad semester should plan their course of study in close collaboration with the education department advisor from the beginning of their first semester at Valparaiso University.

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 Course descriptions

 

Courses offered by Valparaiso University's education department cover many areas vital to effective education — learners and learning, curriculum and assessment, and the vocation and practice of teaching.