Elementary Education

Make a Difference
Make a Difference. Teach.

Elementary school teachers make a real difference in the life of a child. With a North Park degree in elementary education, you’ll have the strong academic foundation and extensive classroom experience to make an immediate impact at schools and institutions nationwide. Our mission to prepare students to lead lives of significance and service creates courses, extra-curricular activities, and campus-wide discussions that will challenge you to become a teacher who is a competent, respectful, and reflective professional comfortable serving diverse learning communities.

Mini Teaching

In most education programs, teachers-in-training are expected to go directly from teacher aiding to full-time student teaching. At North Park, we ease the transition with a “mini-teaching” experience. For seven weeks, you will teach a single lesson in a single subject each day to a class in one of our 125 partner schools. This allows you to concentrate on developing, teaching, and revising one excellent lesson plan. Our education majors agree it’s the best way to start.

Along with mini-teaching, you’ll also complete teacher aiding and student teaching experiences. Learn more about classroom experiences.

Personal Attention
Customized to Every Student

Personal attention is a hallmark of the North Park experience. Since we are a smaller school, you will have the opportunity to work closely with your professors and academic advisors. By knowing your personal teaching goals and learning needs, they can match you with the best schools and mentors for your student teaching experience and eventual job placement.

Elementary Education
Why Study Elementary Education?

Elementary school teachers change lives. You’ll serve as a role model of curiosity and inquiry, spark their imagination by teaching them to read, open young minds to the communities that surround them, and bring important world events to the classroom. During this critical stage of your students’ development, you can help them build self-confidence and acquire the interpersonal skills that will make them stronger individuals and better citizens.

Why Choose North Park University

Why North Park?

As a Chicago university with 125 local partner schools, North Park gives you the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in a wide variety of educational settings: urban, suburban, public, and private. Our School of Education works hard to maintain curriculum that is relevant to the changing educational landscape and make you a desired teacher candidate in schools nationwide. Not only will you graduate with substantial classroom experience and a respected degree, you’ll be licensed to teach grades kindergarten through ninth grade in Illinois.

Careers In Elementary Education
  • Public or private school teacher
  • Curriculum developer
  • Teacher educator
  • Church youth educator
  • Outdoor/camp educator

With additional licensure, you can also serve students with the following careers:

  • Special education specialist
  • Reading specialist
  • Guidance counselor
Where Alumni Work

  • Adkison Elementary, Ceres, Calif.
  • ASPIRA Haugan Middle School, Chicago
  • Belding Elementary, Chicago
  • Carl Sandburg Middle School, Mundelein, Ill.
  • First Covenant Church, Seattle, Wash.
  • New Life Center, Chicago
  • Urban Academy Charter School, St. Paul, Minn.

Concentrations and Endorsements

As an elementary education major, you will complete 18 semester hours in a concentration or endorsement area that matches your academic and professional interests. Options include bilingual education, English as a Second Language, special education, art, mathematics, sociology, Spanish, physics, and more. Learn more about concentrations and endorsements.

Classroom Experiences

The elementary education program gets you into real classrooms early and eases your transition from observer to student teacher. Here’s the progression:

  1. Targeted observations as part of the methods course
  2. Teacher Aiding: observe and assist teacher/students (50+ hours)
  3. Mini-Teaching: prepare and teach one lesson each day (7 weeks)
  4. Student Teaching: full-time teaching (10–16 weeks)

Learn more.

Meet the Faculty

Professor Whipp Johnson views teaching as a combination of practice, profession and calling.“Becoming a teacher is a wonderful choice, and it will take both hard work and persistent commitment,” he says.

Learn more about Whipp Johnson and the education faculty.

Whipp Johnson
Golden Apple Scholars Program

Golden Apple Scholars are teachers in Illinois with a passion for serving children in high-need schools. As one of the program’s partner schools, North Park education majors can apply to this competitive program, which offers college scholarships and the chance to participate in summer institutes for further training to teach in challenging school settings. Learn more about the Golden Apple program.

Beyond the Classroom

Enhance your own education by getting involved with various service and extracurricular activities at North Park. Opportunities include: