Elementary Education

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Considering a career in teaching elementary or middle school?

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 student teaching term is 14 weeks long. You can choose to student teach up to 90 minutes from campus in urban, rural, or suburban settings. You also have the option of student teaching in Chicago.
  • Service Learning opportunities include facilitating literacy activities with elementary children during your first year Children’s Literature class and working with students during your second year class, Mathematical Thinking.
  • You will have opportunities for International Teaching Experiences through Spring Terms and P-Global and Venture Grants.

Our elementary teacher candidates are well-prepared and knowledgeable as they graduate Alma College. Those completing their programs and becoming eligible for certification in 2016-17 had overall GPAs averaging 3.61, and 100% are now certified to teach.

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

Since 2015, 8 elementary candidates have 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 2013-14, 83.3% were certified by 2017. Some students choose to pursue Educational Studies or other opportunities

Elementary teacher candidates are advised and supported in ways that help them complete their program in a timely fashion. For example: of those incoming first-year (non-transfer) students who graduated from our current elementary certification program from 2014-2017, over 61% graduated in 4 years or less; almost 18% graduated in 4 years plus a student teaching semester; and all graduated within 6 years.


The Alma College teacher education program accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). This accreditation certifies that our education program has provided evidence that the program adheres to TEAC’s quality principles.