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Program Requirements

Students completing the requirements for a major in elementary education will be prepared as competent, respectful, and reflective professionals who are dedicated to serving diverse learning communities. This major leads to teacher licensure and students must also complete an 18-semester hour endorsement or academic area of concentration. Learn more about these options.

To be admitted to this major, students must be accepted to North Park University and also meet the teacher education program admission requirements.

Major Requirements

43 hours of education courses
18 hours endorsement credits
120 total credit hours for graduation

43 semester hours (sh), minimum, of education courses:

  • Professional Term A: EDUC 2120, 2130, 2140, 2145
  • Professional Term B: EDUC 3011, 3260, 3270, 3340, 3345, 3370, 3430, 3510
  • Professional Term C: EDUC 3230, 3240, 3280, 3310, 3380, 3520
  • Professional Term D: EDUC 3130, 4110 (8 sh), 4600


  • Students must complete 45 credit hours with a GPA of at least 2.50 before enrolling in Professional Term A courses.
  • Review testing requirements for Illinois Teacher Licensure.

Academic Catalog  Core Curriculum

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Course Descriptions

The following descriptions are a sample of courses you may take as an education major. For a complete list of required courses, please review the academic catalog.

This course is an introduction to the teaching profession. Topics covered include historical, philosophical, contemporary, and ethical perspectives on education as well as social and cultural expectations in teaching. In this introductory course, students are informed on the appropriate role of technology; state and national standards; policies governing education at the national, state, and local level; and careers and organizations related to teaching and education. This course also introduces students to state licensure requirements.

Study of the psychological aspects of human behavior and development applied to teaching and learning processes, including learning theories, motivation, and classroom management.

Basic principles of curriculum including, planning, organizing and developing lesson plans in relation to the individual learner, the school, and the society are discussed. Historical developments and recent innovations in school curriculum, lesson planning and preparation, and instructional delivery will be analyzed. Emphasis is on planning and preparation of lesson plans according to the School of Education lesson plan template aligned with the Danielson Domains, edTPA, Illinois Learning Standards and Common Core Standards. Needs of multi-cultural and special needs students are addressed. Electronic professional portfolios will be developed.

This course introduces students to research-based instructional strategies along with basic principles and practices of classroom assessment. Special attention will be given to differentiated instruction, maximizing student engagement and learning, formative and summative assessment practices, and the use of data in classroom decision-making.

A study of the physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development of the young adolescent. Examination of developmental issues that impact the middle school, its philosophy, and its practices which are responsive to the adolescent, both cognitively and affectively.

This course prepares candidates to teach science in the middle grades. Candidates will learn about the place of science learning in the middle grades and middle schools. This course will prepare middle grades teachers by focusing on selected science content, along with specific methods and techniques for helping middle grades students develop skills specific to the sciences.

This course prepares candidates to teach social science in the middle grades. Candidates will learn about the place of social science learning in the middle grades and middle schools. This course will prepare middle grades teachers by focusing on selected social science content, along with specific methods and techniques for helping middle grades students develop skills such as reading, discussion, and critical thinking.

This course will consist of methods of teaching art in the elementary school. Emphasis will be placed on both the theoretical and the practical information and skills essential for the teaching of art.

Methods and techniques of teaching music by the classroom teacher at all levels in the elementary school. Special emphasis will be placed on current music educational trends.

A presentation of the current trends in elementary physical education and health; human body systems and promotion of social, emotional, physical, mental and environmental health; theories and principles of health promotion and disease prevention; methodology, class organization, basic movement principles, and identifying teaching resources for physical education.

As a literacy course in the Middle Grade education program, this course presents an analysis of the materials and methodologies used in reading and writing including cognitive strategies, instructional scaffolding, strategies for interacting with text and multicultural literature, writing, modification, and assessment procedures in middle grades. Teacher candidates will learn how to plan literature units and implement effective differentiated literacy instruction. Field experience with the children of the age group will be required for the course.

As the second content and methods science course in the elementary program, this course allows pre-service teachers to demonstrate knowledge and teaching methods about content related to the natural sciences (biology, physics, chemistry, earth and space science, and physical geography). Currently the Next Generation Science Standards (2013) and Illinois Teaching Standards require students to learn specific concepts within each branch of science. This course will address and meet those content knowledge requirements. Field experience will be required for this course.

Methods and techniques of teaching science in grades K-4. Emphasis is on concept development and discovery approach.

As the first literacy method course in the elementary education program, this course prepares pre-service teachers to demonstrate the knowledge of balanced literacy in relation to reading, writing, speaking, and listening in primary grades. This course emphasizes emergent literacy, theoretical models, approaches to teaching, selecting children's literature, state and national standards, and designing instruction. Field experience with the children of the age group will be required for the course.

Emphasis on theory, methodology, strategies, and principles of instruction related to reading, language arts, and social science in grades Kindergarten through grade four.

This course provides the pre-service teacher candidate opportunities to develop understanding of how elementary children think about and learn mathematics. Teacher candidates will engage in mathematical tasks and study research on how elementary children best learn mathematics. Course content includes focused analysis on the NCTM Principles and Standards and the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Candidates will learn how to engage elementary students in authentic and meaningful mathematical experiences that align to national and state standards, incorporate effective instructional strategies supportive of student mathematical reasoning and problem solving, and develop student's ability to communicate to others mathematically. This course includes a required field experience.

This course focuses on the methods and techniques for mathematics instruction and assessment in the middle grades. Candidates will develop differentiated lessons and implement effective strategies through collaborative planning and peer teaching. This course will emphasize and review specific math content and skills appropriate to middle grades learners as identified in the Common Core State Standards.

Survey of the psychology of the identification of, and the methods of instruction for the exceptional child, including the learning disabled, with special emphasis on characteristics and methods of instruction for cross-categorical special education students.

As the first clinical experience course in the Teacher Education Program, this course requires teacher candidates to observe and teacher aide in a classroom in order to demonstrate an understanding of the classroom environment along with instructional and assessment practices. Teacher Aiding experiences include focused reflection on Danielson's Framework for Teaching and edTPA. Candidates take this clinical twice.

Mini-teachers meet regularly with School of Education faculty to share and reflect on the experience and prepare for the edTPA. There will be a minimum of 35 hours of mini-teaching in a local school in connection with methods courses. The student must meet the required grade point average and have a receipt by the School of Education of meeting the Illinois basic skills requirement.

Supervised observation and teaching in the elementary school. Early Childhood teacher candidates must also complete five weeks in grades 1-3 (4sh). Elementary Education teacher candidates must complete ten weeks in grades 2-4 (8 sh). K-12 majors must complete eight weeks in grades 1-8 (6sh) and eight weeks in EDUC 4120, grades 6-12 (6sh). The candidate must meet the required grade and GPA requirement, pass the state content-area test, and be fully admitted into the Teacher Education program prior to beginning student teaching.

As the capstone course in the teacher education program, this course enables students to create personal syntheses of their educational experiences as university students and as future educators. Students will develop their own philosophy of teaching. Students will assemble professional portfolios and prepare for teacher certification. Part of Professional Term D. Co-requisite: EDUC 4100, 4110, or 4120.