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The STEM minor for elementary education majors is an opportunity for students to practice teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in an integrated manner to varying elementary aged children. The senior capstone project involves the writing and teaching of a five-day unit to upper elementary students.

Why should I study STEM?

Research continues to demonstrate the importance of early introduction to STEM to foster student interest in pursuing STEM careers. Many elementary schools have a STEM focus, and most are realizing that STEM concepts and practices are very engaging for students. The adoption of the Next Generation of Science Standards by many states, and the potential for their adoption in Minnesota in the near future, will make teacher candidates much more marketable as they begin their careers. 

What can I do with this degree?

  • Teach STEM in elementary schools—elementary education teachers with a STEM minor are highly sought after for teaching positions
  • Work in an informal science setting—thanks to a high level of cross-departmental collaboration, many Bethel STEM graduates are currently working in settings such as the Science Museum, Starbase MN, and the Minnesota Zoo
  • Become a leader in STEM education—principals are seeking STEM leaders to implement best practices as well as to assist with enrichment programs in the schools

What skills will I develop?

  • How to integrate STEM concepts and practices in meaningful ways
  • Research techniques and data collection
  • An understanding of the differences between scientific investigations and engineering design
  • Enhanced technology skills and understanding of scientific concepts
  • Applied mathematics skills
  • Management of an active classroom
  • Questioning techniques for effective inquiry-based teaching
  • Learning to think like a scientist
  • Presentation skills
  • Ability to function within an effective team

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?

Learn beyond the classroom

STEM students take multiple field trips, such as to the Science House, Starbase, and to the Minnesota Zoo. In addition, they travel as a group to present their units as teams to elementary students, then revise the units based on those experiences and present their research at the STEM Symposium their senior year. They also receive a STEM T-shirt and a STEM lab coat for their future teaching. Two Bethel STEM students have received the Minnesota High Tech Association scholarship.

Inspire young girls in STEM

Each spring, Bethel hosts GEMS: Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science for a day-long camp of learning, activities, and exposure to college students, faculty, and professionals within these fields. Bethel women majoring within these disciplines and/or education are invited to guide a group of fifth-grade girls for the day as they attend sessions from female Bethel faculty and outside professional women working as engineers, mathematicians, and scientists.


2017 grads reported being employed as teachers


in MN for preparing elementary ed teachers

- 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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