Elementary Education

Browse Majors & Minors

You will get experience in the classroom early and often! An Elementary Education certificate permits teaching in grades K-5 all subjects and K-8 self-contained classroom, and, if desired, grades 6-8 in a content area major or minor.

The Elementary Education major includes required education courses, professional sequence courses, elementary education content and pedagogy courses.

Elementary Education majors select from two program options known as Option 1: Core Subject or Option 2: Comprehensive Major. Within each of these programs, several teaching majors and teaching minors are available.

Option 1: Core Subject is appropriate for students who wish to focus on one subject, particularly at the middle school level or for those students who wish to teach all subjects in grades 3-5 in a self-contained elementary or middle school classroom. Teaching majors and minors include Integrated Science group major or group minor, Language Arts major or minor, Mathematics (Elementary) major or minor, and Social Studies group major.

Option 2: Comprehensive Major is appropriate for those wishing to teach children from birth to age 8 with the Early Childhood Education minor; or French, German or Spanish major or minor in the elementary and/or middle schools; or Special Education—Learning Disabilities (K-12 major).

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Accreditation and Program Approval

Alma College Teacher Education Program, which is designed to prepare initial teaching candidates, is granted Accreditation by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) for a period of seven years, from October 2012 to October 2019.

(To see the Summary of the Case, please visit:

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) approved our Elementary Education certification program in February 2011 and all our teaching majors and minors are approved by MDE, including our Special Education (K-12 Learning Disabilities) in 2015.


Graduate Success

Elementary teacher candidates are advised and supported in ways that help them complete their program in a timely fashion. For example: of those who student taught during the 2015-16 year, 70% were finishing in 4 years; 20% in 4 years plus a student teaching semester; and the remaining 10% in 5 years.

Our elementary teacher candidates are well-prepared and knowledgeable as they graduate Alma College. Those completing their programs and becoming eligible for certification in 2014-15 had overall GPAs averaging 3.398, and 90% are certified to teach.

Our graduates are teaching across Michigan, the U.S. and internationally. For example, graduates found teaching jobs in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and overseas in Rwanda.

Five student teachers from 2015-16 earned Honors in Education based on high GPA, exemplary student teaching, and an honors thesis and presentation.

Those students admitted to our Teacher Education Program (TEP) successfully complete their program and become certified in high numbers, should they choose to do so. For example: of those admitted to TEP in 2011-12, 93.75% were certified and 6.25% chose to graduate with a degree in Educational Studies.

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