Classroom Experience, Career Preparation
There’s a reason why UNC alumni make up more than 50 percent of all teachers trained in Colorado, and nearly one-third of Colorado teacher of the year award winners. We offer innovative, highly regarded coursework and hands-on experience, and fuse it with small classrooms and the mentorship of amazing professors.
When you major in Elementary Education at UNC, you join a program that combines rich field experiences with guidance from faculty who bring experience and research to the classroom. This is a university where you can make valuable connections in the teaching community, and student teach anywhere in the world.
Our Elementary Education bachelor’s degree prepares you to teach in diverse classrooms, in grades K-6, with opportunities for teaching licensure and endorsements that will position you for success. We’ve received national recognition for excellence in teacher education, and the results of our innovative programs speak for themselves: A four-year study reveals that more than 95 percent of UNC’s teacher education candidates were placed in jobs in their field. It’s why the state of Colorado designated UNC as the primary institution for teacher education in the state.
Get a career guide
Elementary school teachers educate children in kindergarten to sixth grade in basic academics, including math, science and reading, and social development. Download our Elementary Education career guide
Kim Creasy, Ph.D.
Elementary Education Program Coordinator
Kim Creasy, Ph.D., brings more than 35 years of teaching experience in higher education and public school systems to his role at UNC. His teaching encompasses elementary social studies methods, social and cultural studies in early childhood, a seminar for first-year students and supervision of teacher candidates in their field experience and student teaching placements.
Creasy designed and publishes a peer-reviewed professional publication, The Field Experience Journal, which examines the act of supervision, school relationships and teacher candidate perspectives on their experiences. He has hosted the annual National Field Experience Conference; performed professional presentations at numerous international and national conferences, and has been published in peer-reviewed journals.
As an Elementary Education major at UNC, you can customize your coursework based on your career interests. We offer several bachelor degree options:
B.A. in Elementary Education with Initial Licensure
Earn your license to teach grades K-6 in one of the top education programs in the state. Emphasizing real-world classroom experience to better prepare students for teaching, the Elementary Education program at UNC includes 900 hours of field experience—which is 100 hours above the Colorado requirement. Adjunct faculty—often retired teachers and administrators—supervise teacher candidates in practicum settings, offering a level of personal involvement and mentorship rarely found at other colleges or universities. In addition to gaining teacher licensure, this bachelor’s degree program also enables you to earn CDE endorsement with no extra credit hours required. Our students have a proven record of success: 93 percent of EDEL students pass the teacher licensure exam the first time they take it.
Center for Urban Education Program
Interested in gaining specialized training and experience in urban school districts? Earn your bachelor’s degree and elementary teaching license in our Center for Urban Education program. Combining an elementary teaching and liberal arts degree with a concentration in English as a Second Language, this teaching program is designed to prepare you for working with diverse students. Delivered in Denver, the program features a paid classroom apprenticeship model that allows you to start earning and working in metro-area classrooms right away. Classes covering how to teach each subject area are offered from the very start—not reserved until the junior and senior years as in most teacher prep programs. Program graduates are also eligible for the English as a Second Language (ESL) licensure/endorsement.
B.A in Elementary Education with a Liberal Arts Emphasis
The Elementary Education bachelor’s degree with a liberal arts emphasis covers the content taught in the elementary classroom, including language arts, mathematics, science, social studies and history. You may choose this emphasis if you wish to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree without teacher licensure and do not plan to teach immediately. In the liberal arts concentration, you’ll gain valuable teaching and critical-thinking skills you can apply to a wide range of careers. At UNC, you also have caring, knowledgeable professional advisors by your side who will help keep you on track to complete the bachelor’s degree program in four years.
B.A. in Elementary Education: Teacher Licensure Performing Visual Arts Emphasis
The Elementary Education bachelor’s degree with a Teacher Licensure Performing Visual Arts emphasis prepares you for a career in elementary education with basic art skills, concepts and purposes needed to provide arts focused instruction in the classroom. The Performing Visual Arts emphasis enhances job-preparedness for teaching in schools and community programs that value the arts as a part of educational development and the aligns with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESEA) which includes the arts and music in the definition of a “well-rounded education.”
Minor in Special Education
Gain valuable preparation for teaching students with a variety of special needs with a minor in Special Education. Designed to accompany any major or teacher licensure program, the Special Education minor requires 18 credits to complete.
Minor in Elementary Education
UNC’s Elementary Education Minor requires 18 credit hours. You’ll take five required courses (Emergent Literacy, Pre-K through Grade 3; Social Foundations of Education; Exceptional Student in the Elementary Classroom; Technology in Education for Elementary Teaching; and Educational Psychology for Elementary Teachers). To complete the remaining required hours, you’ll choose from any 300 or 400 ED prefix courses.
Good teachers are always in-demand. And with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from UNC, you’ll have the strongest possible preparation for the classroom.
Consider UNC’s B.A. in Elementary Education if you are:
- Someone who enjoys working with children in grades K-6
- Interested in teaching a wide range of academic areas
- Passionate about teaching and making a positive difference
- Fundamentals of English, mathematics, arts, science and social studies
- How to effectively lead in a classroom setting through extensive field experience
- Solid background in elementary education theory and research
- Literature for Children, Adolescents and Young Adults
- Principles of Scientific Inquiry: Finding Order in Chaos
- Exploring Colorado
- Teaching Science in the Elementary School
- Educational Technology Applications for Elementary Teaching
- Teaching English Language Learners in the Elementary Education Classroom
Where Can Your Degree Take You?
While most of our Elementary Education majors go on to careers in teaching, the program offers a range of career options, including:
- Elementary school teacher
- Writer or editor
- Adult literacy teacher
- Program coordinator