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Preprimary (age 3 to grade 6) Major

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The Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with Preprimary Endorsement (age 3 to grade 6) is designed for students who want to teach in preschools or elementary schools. Coursework provides opportunities to get in the classroom and do the work teachers do, while having time to reflect on your progress as an aspiring teacher. You can also choose an Early Childhood Education endorsement with this major which licenses you from birth to grade 6.

Why should I study elementary education with preprimary endorsement?

Research has shown that learning begins from the moment a child is born. Policy makers are responding to this by creating opportunities for very young children prior to kindergarten. Many school districts in Minnesota offer pre-K programs to prepare students for success in kindergarten. These positions are staffed by teachers holding an elementary education degree with a preprimary endorsement or the early childhood license.

Bethel's nationally renowned elementary education program is ranked number one in the Midwest by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ). Our program is as rigorous as it is supportive and boasts a diverse student population and exceptional job placement rates after graduation. By completing your study of preprimary education within our elementary education major, you'll experience the best of both worlds—an individualized endorsement that will open up your career opportunities to work with children ages three through kindergarten while equipping you with a comprehensive and academically rigorous elementary education degree that will allow you to work with students up to grade six.

What can I do with this degree?

Our alumni have found post-graduate success working in: 

  • Pre-K programs in public schools, as well as K-6
  • Public and private early education and care programs
  • Head Start—home based services or preschool classrooms
  • Early childhood family education
  • Therapeutic preschool programs for children with special needs
  • Social service programs with early childhood components

What skills will I develop?

  • Understand how to support the whole child—physical, social, emotional, cognitive
  • Creating and delivering high quality, evidence-based curriculum
  • Monitoring and assessing a child’s development through program development, lesson planning, formative assessment, and organizational strategies to track child growth
  • Develop skills in supporting, coaching, and communicating with coworkers, parents, and child care services
  • Classroom management skills
  • Developmentally-appropriate teaching strategies
  • An understanding of the legal and ethical issues related to education

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?

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.” You'll also have the opportunity to attend developmental and networking events throughout your education.

Learn in Bethel's cutting-edge 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.

Do a residency in student teaching

Thanks to opportunities provided by our many innovative community partnerships, 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.

Earn a STEM minor

You may 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 to understand how to problem solve, evaluate data and evidence, and create possible solutions.

Enjoy 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."
  • 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. 

Plus, you'll learn from passionate and experienced instructors who have been recognized 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 given to outstanding Minnesota language educators. 

Academic Plans and Course Catalog

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2017 grads reported being employed as teachers

98th percentile in nation for elementary ed teacher preparation.

- National Council on Teacher Quality

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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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