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 one or two (depending upon specialization) additional 3-credit courses in the area of the teaching specialization and one middle grades teaching methods course in the appropriate content area for a total of 24 credit hours (see Middle Grades (Grades 5-8) Licensure below). Required general education courses expand candidates' knowledge of the subject matter content in elementary school curricula while professional education courses provide preparation for teaching and an understanding of students' development and learning. This curriculum offers a combination of classroom instruction, intensive pre-student teaching field experiences, and 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 3.0 or higher in all undergraduate work attempted;
- 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;
- submit an application for teacher candidacy; and
- receive a positive recommendation from the Elementary Education faculty to continue in the program.
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 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 review the candidate's records to 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 hours of general education earning the designated GPA; 66 hours of professional education course work in Elementary Education with a grade of at least a B in every course, including EMED-4999 Student Teaching; and 18 hours in the area of teaching specialization, several of which are included in the Elementary Education requirements for general and professional education. General education courses may include both lower- and upper-division course work. Additionally, candidates must meet other requirements for licensure through approved programs listed in the Licensure of Teachers and Other School Professionals section in this catalog. Candidates must also pass the edTPA and the Illinois Certification Testing System Elementary (Grades 1-6) Education Exam (197-200) to be recommended for licensure.
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 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;
- complete 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 Director of Educator Preparation 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 advisor in preparing this application.
NOTE: Student teaching is not offered during the summer session.