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The Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education K–6 is designed to help students excel as teachers in elementary schools. Coursework provides many opportunities to get in the classroom and do the work teachers do while having time to reflect on your progress as an aspiring teacher.

Why should I study elementary education?

Becoming a teacher is one of the most rewarding careers you can pursue. As educators, we shape and prepare future generations for success. At Bethel, we recognize that this is no simple task, which is why our four-year elementary education program is as rigorous as it is supportive.

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) ranks us the top elementary teacher preparation program in the Midwest due to our rigorous structure, diverse student population, many opportunities for students to gain real-world experience teaching, and the effectiveness of our teachers upon graduation. Because our program is nationally renowned, principals in the Twin Cities metro often come to us looking to hire recent graduates. But they're just as often turned away—many of our students secure full-time employment even before graduation.

Our graduates tell us that it’s the compassion and knowledge of our faculty that really make the difference. Our Christian faculty are always seeking new methods and content in their teaching to keep courses fresh and innovative. They also develop strong mentoring relationships with students, which extend long past graduation.

What can I do with this degree?

While most of our graduates earn a teaching license and become successful teachers locally, nationally and around the world (we have recent alums teaching in places like Kazakhstan, China, Honduras, and the Philippines), many find that a degree in education affords flexibility in their career path. Our graduates have gone on to also become:

  • Curriculum writers
  • Instructional designers/developers
  • Educators in museums, parks, and even Disney World
  • Curriculum coordinators at the school and district levels
  • Training specialists in education, business, marketing, and more
  • Educational consultants
  • Public policy coordinators or analysts
  • Administrators or directors in educational nonprofit organizations
  • Managers of public or in-home daycares and preschools
  • Life coaches
  • Youth leaders

Many more grow their achievements by coming back to Bethel for further certification, licensure, or to earn a master’s degree in:

What skills will I develop?

You are more than a future teacher to us. As we learn and grow together, we will equip you with skills that impact you for life after Bethel and instill the desire for lifelong learning:

  • Education and training methods—the knowledge of principles, curriculum, methods, and training design for instructing small and large groups in the 21st century along with the means to measure and evaluate your techniques
  • Developmental and educational psychology—the understanding of psychological foundations of human development and performance coupled with the individual differences in ability, personality, interests, learning styles and motivation as they all relate to instructing and working with others
  • Customer and personal service—the principles and practice of providing customer and personal service including assessing individual needs and evaluating satisfaction
  • Content knowledge—the building of deeper knowledge in a wide array of areas including language arts, math, social studies, science, and health
  • Diversity and culture—the awareness and sensitivities to understanding our global culture and how to serve as an active model of reconciliation, following the teachings of our Christian faith
  • Professional skills—the practice and application of effective skills in written, verbal and nonverbal communication, presentation, research, organization, evaluation, creative problem solving, and process improvement
  • Policy and action—the researching and learning of legal and ethical issues related to education and the evaluation of the possible impact of education offerings on diverse populations

You’ll also have the opportunity to participate in the R.E.A.L. Experience—a program specifically designed to help you gain the relevant, hands-on experience employers desire—so that when you graduate, you’ll be as impressive in practice as you are on paper.

What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?

Our elementary education program is built solidly on preparation.

Participate in professional development days

Prior to your first semester of student teaching, you’ll attend a three-day, senior-level event led by a team of Bethel faculty. These workshops focus on critical issues in lesson planning, assessment, and differentiation. One Bethel student noted, “This made me feel more like an equal educator than a student.” Other opportunities for professional development—including the chance to network with local principals—will be incorporated throughout your years in the program.

Learn in cutting-edge, flexible classrooms

With our expanding number of tech-infused classrooms on campus, we’ll show you how to use technology as a “paintbrush” to create, design, and innovate your teaching. You’ll learn and “play” in our innovative classrooms, expanding your thinking and creativity as a future teacher.

Minor in STEM

You have the option to take two additional courses in project-based learning that provides interdisciplinary application and fun, hands-on teaching methods. STEM is a fast-growing, high-demand approach to teaching and learning not only science, technology, engineering, and math, but also understanding how to problem solve, evaluate data and evidence, and create possible solutions.

Gain extensive real-world experience

You’ll get to spend the whole school year with the same partner class, beginning with workshop training in the fall and your student teaching in the spring. You’ll experience contributing to and witnessing the growth of students over the course of the year and feel more confident in all aspects of the classroom. We've presented on our innovative residency program at national conferences, and this residency experience has contributed significantly to our ranking as the top elementary program regionally. 

You’ll also have numerous other classroom experiences throughout your education—in a range of diverse of settings in our partner schools: metro and urban schools in public, private, charter, immersion, STEM, magnet, and International Baccalaureate (IB) structures. We've forged many innovative partnerships that allow us to make this extensive experience possible because we believe real-world experience from day one will equip our students to confidently lead a classroom after graduation.

Grow with departmental support

Our department is personally invested in your success. That's why we've organized groups and events to help support you, including:

  • Delta student group—organizes events to welcome new students into the department, giving them a chance to interact with upperclassmen
  • Department lecture series—five annual "just for fun" presentations to help students expand their learning. Recent lecture topics included: “Games and Learning,” “How do you talk about difficult subjects in your classroom?” and “What Schools in Finland Look Like"
  • Teach Forward program—allows first, second, and third-year teachers the opportunity to call into Bethel for help with their curriculum design, recognizing that there are many responsibilities involved in beginning a teaching career
  • Monthly support groups for alumni—keep our graduates connected to other professionals in their field who can help them network, discuss challenges, and brainstorm innovative new teaching methods. 

You'll also learn from passionate, experienced faculty members who have been recognized both internally and externally for their excellence. Most recently, the Minnesota Council on the Teaching of Languages and Cultures presented Donna LeGrand with the 2017 Emma Birkmaier Award for Outstanding Language Educator—a lifetime achievement award that recognizes outstanding Minnesota language educators. 

Academic Plans and Course Catalog

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99%

of our graduates say they would recommend our teacher education program

98%

of teachers enjoy their experience mentoring and working with Bethel students

Recent News

Why We Teach

September 06, 2018 | 2 p.m.

Holistic Investment

August 31, 2018 | 3 p.m.

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Program Distinctives

Approved by Minnesota Board of Teaching

The Board of Teaching governs the teacher licensing requirements for the state of Minnesota. The undergraduate Education program at Bethel meets these requirements.

Accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)

Bethel’s undergraduate teacher education program is accredited under the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) Quality Principles through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Accreditation System for a period of 7 years, from October 2015 through December 2022. Our teacher education program will seek accreditation under the CAEP Standards in fall of 2022. Formed in 2013, CAEP is the single specialized accreditor for educator preparation, and administers TEAC accreditation. See our candidate performance data (pdf).

Twin Cities Teacher Collaborative

Bethel’s Education program is part of a Bush Foundation funded collaboration with five other higher education institutions called the Twin Cities Teacher Collaborative (TC2).

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