Elementary Education

Graduate students in the Elementary School Teaching M.A.E.d. program complete a 45-semester hour program that includes educational foundations course work, methods courses in elementary school subject fields, and student teaching experiences.

The Elementary Education program leads to initial certification and is open to, and only to, people who are not already certified. This program is designed as a full-time, 12-month (summer, fall, spring) program in which students complete all requirements in a cohort group. Classes typically begin the day after Memorial Day and the program concludes in May of the following year.

This program is organized so that full-time students complete the program according to a set three semester course sequence. Students also have important field experiences prior to their student teaching semester. Because these students will be placed in the same school for fall and spring semester, they will be better prepared for their ten-week student teaching experience. The seminar that accompanies student teaching also allows more group discussion and university instructor feedback about their teaching experiences.

General Education Licensure Requirements

In addition to the program in Elementary Education, you must also satisfy the state's general education licensure requirements.  To be eligible for the K-6 license, you must have completed at least three college credits in each of the following areas:

  • English
  • History
  • Social Science
  • Mathematics
  • Science with accompanying lab

This may have been completed as part of your bachelor's degree, but these courses can be taken at any accredited institution and may be taken pass/fail. It is recommended that you have a bachelor's degree in a liberal arts and sciences discipline to apply to this program, but it is not required.

Optional Literacy Emphasis

Graduate students in the Elementary Education program have the opportunity to earn an emphasis in Literacy as part of their master's degree.  In order to earn the Literacy emphasis, students take two additional courses during a summer term, CRIN R07  Language Acquisition and English Language Learners and CRIN R21  Diverse Children’s Literature.  These additional 6 credit hours, plus the 6 credits that elementary students already take in the area of reading during the Elementary program complete the requirements for the emphasis.  

Why pursue an emphasis in Reading?  Research indicates that better prepared teachers of reading:

  • produce higher student reading achievement;
  • are more successful and confident than other beginning teachers in making the transition into the teaching profession;
  • are so well grounded in their vision of literacy and their ability to teach reading that they are more comfortable finessing the system, enriching the program, and drawing from a repertoire of strategies to help struggling readers; and
  • are perceived by principals and other supervisors as more able to hit the ground running when they start teaching than more experienced teachers in reading instruction within their first three years of teaching.

Advantages for students completing an area of emphasis in literacy:

  • They will be better prepared to meet the needs of their students when they start teaching.
  • They will be more competitive for shrinking teaching positions when competing with applicants from other teacher preparation programs/alternative preparation programs.
  • They will have earned six hours that can be applied to an endorsement as a reading specialist.

 If you are interested in pursuing the Literacy emphais, please contact [[cdjohn, Dr. Denise Johnson]] for more information.

Licensure Testing Requirements

Students are required to achieve passing scores on assessments prescribed by the VA State Board of Education, both for program completion and for licensure. Information about testing requirements can be found on the Office of Teacher Education and Professional Services website.

First Aid , CPR and AED Training Licensure Requirement

Students seeking licensure in Virginia will need to complete training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of automated external defibrillators.  Students will need to provide documentation of completion of this training, which is usually an official card.  Training courses are offered by the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association.

Elementary Program Director

[[dlrame, Debbie Ramer]]