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, principles 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. In fact, 100 percent of the spring 2016 graduates we have been in contact with who sought employment upon graduation are currently working in education.
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
- Administration or directors in educational non-profit 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:
- Director of Special Education
- K-12 Principal
- Special Education (Academic Behavioral Specialist, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Emotional and Behavioral Disorders)
- Teacher Coordinator of Work-Based Learning
- Teachers of Computer, Keyboarding, and Related Technology Application
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
What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?
Our elementary education program is built solidly on preparation.
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.”
Cutting-edge flexible learning 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.
Residency in student teaching
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.
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.
You’ll have numerous classroom experiences 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 prioritize real-world experiences for our students from day one, and this equips them to confidently lead a classroom after graduation.
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.
96% 2014 grads reported being employed as teachers
0% of our graduates say they would recommend our teacher education program
April 07, 2017 | 10:30 a.m.
March 09, 2017 | 3 p.m.
February 17, 2017 | 2 p.m.
December 07, 2016 | 3 p.m.
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