Elementary Education

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Considering a career in teaching elementary or middle school?

With an Elementary Education certificate, you can teach all subjects in grades K-5, K-8 self-contained classroom, and, if you would like, grades 6-8 in a content area major or minor.

Elementary and Middle School Endorsements:

Experiential Learning

  • Field experiences are a key part of your development as a professional educator. As an elementary teacher candidate, you will have at least three (3) extended classroom experiences prior to student teaching. These build sequentially, based on program levels, allowing you to develop and refine your professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions as you progress through the program and prepare for student teaching. You will usually have an introductory field experience in your first year.
  • 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. 
  • Learn more about Field Placements and Student Teaching on the Current Student Resources page. 
  • 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.

Graduate Success

Our elementary teacher candidates are well-prepared and knowledgeable as they graduate Alma College. Those completing their programs and becoming eligible for certification in 2017-18 had overall GPAs averaging 3.54, 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, nine 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 2014-15, 72% were certified by 2018 (82% eligible for certification); 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 2014-2018, approximately 60% graduated in 4 years or less; about 18% graduated in 4 years plus a student teaching semester; and all graduated within 6 years.