The College of Education undergraduate major in Elementary Education prepares education majors to teach elementary students in grades one through six. Elementary Education majors may also pursue dual certification at the middle grades (5-8) level with an additional semester of coursework and field experience (see Middle Grades (Grades 5-8) Licensure - #middlegradesgrades58licensure). Professional education courses provide preparation for teaching, and general education courses expand candidates' knowledge of elementary school curricula and their understanding of pupils. This curriculum offers a combination of classroom instruction, intensive pre-student teaching field experiences, as well as a supervised student teaching experience.
Admission to Teacher Education
After meeting the university admission requirements, students must meet the following requirements to become a candidate in the Elementary Education program:
- be admitted to Governors State University and be in good academic standing;
- present transcripts showing a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.5 or higher in all undergraduate work attempted;
- present evidence of passing the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) of the Illinois Certification Testing System or of achieving requisite scores (check with an advisor) on the ACT plus Writing or on the SAT plus Writing;
- earn a grade of "B" or better in EMED-3321 Effective Teaching for Diverse Students and Effective Teaching Laboratory (4) and EMED-3333 Educational Linguistics (3) taken at Governors State University, and
- receive a positive recommendation from the Elementary Education faculty to continue in the program.
Note: Candidates must provide proof of passing the TAP or achieving requisite scores on the ACT or SAT before enrolling in EMED-3321 and EMED-3333 .
All candidates for Illinois teacher licensure at Governors State University are required to submit to a criminal background check prior to their initial field experience in the schools. For more information on this testing, please contact the Director of Field Experience in the Division of Education. Consult with your advisor for information concerning related GSU policies and procedures.
The faculty monitor and evaluate candidate progress continually. The section Licensure of Teachers and Other School Professionals in this catalog provides a general description of the standards used to evaluate candidate progress. A more detailed statement of the standards and processes followed by the Elementary Education faculty is available in the Elementary and Middle Grades Education Program Handbook.
The faculty may permit a candidate to continue conditionally. In such cases, faculty reviews of the candidate's records identify evidence that the candidate will likely be successful in the program. The status of candidates allowed to continue under conditions is reviewed by the faculty each term, and candidates are informed in writing of the conditions necessary for them to be transferred to good standing status. When conditions have been met, the candidate is informed in writing of the transfer to good standing status. Consequences for failing to meet established and agreed upon conditions for continuation may include dismissal from the program. A candidate may not be admitted to student teaching without being in good standing status.
The Elementary and Middle Grades Education Program Handbook referred to in this catalog is available through the Program Advisor.
This program is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education for recommendation of the Professional Educator License endorsed in Elementary Education (Grades 1-6) by entitlement. To be recommended for licensure by Governors State University, candidates must complete 49-51 hours of general education and 65 hours of professional education course work in Elementary Education. General education courses may include both lower- and upper-division course work. Candidates must earn a grade of "B" or better in EMED-4999 Student Teaching. Candidates must also meet other requirements for licensure through approved programs listed in the Licensure of Teachers and Other School Professionals section in this catalog. Candidates must pass the Illinois Certification Testing System Elementary (Grades 1-6) Education Exam (197-200) to be recommended for licensure.
The Program Portfolio is a selection of examples of candidate work (artifacts) that is organized according to the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards / Standards for Licensure in Elementary Education and the Association of Childhood Education International Standards. Throughout the program candidates choose artifacts to include in their portfolios, write reflections, and receive evaluations of their artifacts and reflections.
Admission to Student Teaching
All professional course work must be completed before enrolling in student teaching. For those students teaching in a content area at the middle-grades level, all endorsement requirements must also be completed.
To be admitted to student teaching, candidates must:
- complete all professional education courses with a grade of "B" or better;
- complete the 49-51 hours of general education requirements with a G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher;
- document 100 clock hours of pre-student teaching field experiences in conjunction with required professional education courses;
- complete a minimum of 18 hours in the teaching specialization with a G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher;
- have completed all but three credit-hours in general education;
- receive a positive recommendation from the Elementary and Middle Grades Education faculty; and
- verify successful completion of the Elementary Education (Grades 1-6) Content Exam (197-200) of the Illinois Certification Testing System.
An application certifying that the first six of these requirements have been met must be submitted to the Coordinator of Field Experiences by March 1 of the preceding year for fall student teaching, and by December 1 of the preceding year for spring student teaching. Candidates should work with their program advisors in preparing this application.
NOTE: Student teaching is not offered during the summer session.