May 24, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Catalog

Elementary Education, B.A.


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The College of Education and Human Development offers the undergraduate major in Elementary Education leading to the B.A. in Elementary Education and an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) in elementary grades (1-6).  Elementary Education majors may also pursue dual licensure at the middle grades (5-8) level with an additional 3-credit methods course in the area of the teaching specialization (English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Sciences).  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.  Our program, nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), includes a combination of classroom instruction, intensive pre-student teaching field experiences, and 15-week semester of supervised full-time student teaching. 

The baccalaureate degree in Elementary Education is offered in a primarily face-to-face daytime program. Professional education courses are scheduled predictably, two-three days per week, over a period of four fall/spring semesters and one summer, enabling candidates to be employed part- or full-time if they wish until their final student teaching semester.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Elementary Education faculty have adapted the standards of our national accrediting body, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), as the goals for our program graduates.  Our Elementary Education graduates will develop and apply these skills, abilities, and pedagogically sound practices:

  • * Understanding and Addressing Each Child’s Developmental and Learning Needs.  Candidates will use their understanding of child growth and development, individual differences, and diverse families, cultures, and communities to plan and implement inclusive learning environments, providing each child with equitable access to high quality learning experiences that allow them to meet high standards.  They will work collaboratively with families to gain a holistic perspective of children’s strengths and needs and how to motivate their learning.
  • * Understanding and Applying Content and Curricular Knowledge for Teaching.  Candidates will demonstrate and apply understandings of major concepts, skills, and evidence-based best practices as they interpret disciplinary curricular standards and related expectations within and across the content areas of literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, creative arts, health, and physical education.
  • * Assessing, Planning, and Designing Contexts for Learning.  Candidates will assess students, plan instruction, and design classroom contexts for learning.  Candidates will use formative and summative assessments to monitor students’ learning and guide instruction and will plan learning activities to promote a full range of competencies for each student.  They will differentiate instructional materials and activities to address all learners’ diversities.  Candidates will foster engagement in learning by establishing and maintaining social norms for classrooms and will build interpersonal relationships with students that generate motivation and promote social and emotional development.
  • * Supporting Each Child’s Learning Using Effective Instruction.  Candidates will make informed decisions about instruction guided by knowledge of children and assessment of children’s learning that result in the use of a variety of effective instructional practices employing print and appropriate digital resources.  Instruction will be delivered using a cohesive sequence of lessons and employing effective instructional practices, including explicit instruction, effective feedback, whole class activities as well as flexible grouping arrangements, and individual instruction to support effective instruction and improved learning for every child.
  • * Developing as a Professional.  Candidates will promote the learning and development of every child through the candidates’ participation in reflective self-study, opportunities for problem-focused professional learning, as well as more general involvement in the professional community.  Candidates will work independently and collaboratively with families, communities, and other education professionals to help every learner succeed.  Candidates will exhibit academic integrity and high ethical standards.

Candidate Handbook

Additional information is available in the  Elementary and Middle Grades Education Program Handbook.

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 successfully complete the GovState-approved Criminal Background Check, FERPA, DCFS, and all other required trainings prior to initial field experience in the schools (Note: Some field sites may also require students to     provide a report of a brief physical exam, including a TB test, as well as to submit to the school’s own fingerprint background check);
  • * demonstrate professional dispositions through classroom interactions and/or interviews with faculty/staff; receive a positive recommendation from the Elementary Education faculty to continue in the program.

For more information on the criminal background check, please contact the Director of Educator Preparation in the Division of Education and Human Development.  Consult with the Elementary Education advisor for information concerning related GovState policies and procedures.

Candidate Progress

The Elementary Education faculty monitor and evaluate candidate progress continually. The section entitled “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 Candidate Handbook;

Conditional Continuation

The Elementary Education faculty may permit a candidate to continue conditionally.  In such cases, faculty review the candidate’s records to identify evidence that the candidate is likely to be successful in the program.  Candidates are informed in writing of the conditions necessary for them to be transferred to good standing status.  The status of a candidate allowed to continue conditionally is reviewed by the faculty each term.  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.  Candidates will not be admitted to student teaching unless they are in good standing status.

Teacher Licensure Requirements - Illinois State Board of Education

Our nationally CAEP-accredited program is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for recommendation of the Professional Educator License endorsed in Elementary Grades (1-6) by entitlement.  To be recommended for licensure by Governors State University, candidates must:

  • * complete 49-51 credits of general education earning the designated GPA; complete 66 credits of professional education course work in Elementary Education with a grade of at least a B- in every course, including EMED-4999 Student Teaching; 
  • * complete 18 credits in an area of teaching specialization, Bilingual Education, ESL Education, English/ Language Arts, General Science, Mathematics, Social Science; 
  • * pass, prior to student teaching, the Illinois Licensure Testing System Elementary (Grades 1-6) Education Content Test (305) and any other state required examinations.

Admission to Student Teaching

All general education, professional education, and teaching specialization course work as well as the Illinois Licensure Testing System Elementary Content Test must be completed before the candidate’s student teaching semester begins.  For those students who intend to student teach in a content area at the middle-grades level, all middle grades endorsement requirements must also be completed before the student teaching semester.  Note that students who elect a teaching specialization in Bilingual Education or ESL Education must have completed additional requirements (see below).

To be admitted to student teaching, candidates must:

  • * complete all professional education courses with a grade of B- or better; complete the 49-51 credits of general education requirements with a GPA of 2.75 or higher; 
  • * document 100 clock hours of pre-student teaching field experiences in conjunction with required professional education courses (Note:  For candidates electing a teaching specialization in ESL Education, an additional 100 clock hours of field experience must also be documented (200 total hours of required field experience).  For candidates electing a teaching specialization in Bilingual Education, an additional practicum is required, and an additional 100 hours of field experience must also be documented (300 total hours of required field experience)); 
  • * complete the required 15 credits in the teaching specialization content with a GPA of 2.75 or higher and the related methods course with a grade of B- or better; receive a positive recommendation from the Elementary Education faculty;
  • * and verify successful completion of the Elementary Grades (1-6) Content Test (305) of the Illinois Licensure Testing System, and if appropriate, the Middle Grades (5-8) Content Test in English Language Arts (201); Middle Grades (5-8) Test in Mathematics (202); Middle Grades (5-8) Test in Science (203); or Middle Grades (5-8) Test in Social Science (204).  There is no required content test for the ESL Education teaching specialization; however, there is a language content test for candidates with a teaching specialization in Bilingual Education (Foreign/World Language Content Area Test, test code number varies by language); submit a Student Teaching Application to studentteachingapplications@govst.edu by February 1 for spring student teaching placement and October 1 for fall student teaching placement in accordance with the Schedule of Important Dates.

Candidates must verify for the Director of Educator Preparation that each of these requirements has been met by June 1 of the semester preceding fall student teaching and by November 1 of the semester preceding spring student teaching.  Candidates must work with the program advisor in preparing the application for student teaching one year prior to the student teaching experience.

Note: Student teaching is not offered during the summer session.

Degree Requirements


Candidates must meet all university requirements for a bachelor’s degree, except candidates must complete the 49-51 hour General Education Requirement for the Professional Educators License with an Elementary Endorsement (Grades 1-6) instead of the University General Education Requirement.

Candidates must also:

  • * earn a grade of B- or higher in all professional education courses (66 hours required).
  • * maintain a G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher in all general education courses (49-51 hours required).
  • * maintain a G.P.A. of 2.75 in the required 15 credits of the teaching specialization courses and earn a grade of B- or better in the related methods course.
  • * complete at least one three-hour course in non-Western or Third World cultures.
  • * complete all course work at GSU within five calendar years or demonstrate that older coursework addressed currently taught theories and research.
  • * maintain satisfactory candidate progress as defined in the Elementary and Middle Grades Education Program Candidate Handbook.
  • * receive a positive recommendation from the Elementary Education faculty.

General Education Requirement for the Professional Educators License with an Elementary Endorsement (Grades 1-6): 49-51 Hours


Course work acceptable for meeting these requirements must be college level work and may not include remedial courses even if college credit has been granted.  Generally, this course work must be at the 1000-level or higher and applicable toward a degree at the institution providing the instruction.  Courses with grades below “C” will not be accepted toward the degree. Students will complete:

  • Written Communication (6 Hours)
  • Oral Communication (3 Hours) 
  • Biological Science, Physical Science, Earth Science, and at least one 1 hour laboratory associated to at least one science lecture course (10-12 Hours)
  • Mathematics (9 Hours)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (9 Hours)
  • Humanities (9 Hours) 
  • Fine Arts (3 Hours) 

Please see the General Education Course Section for a list of courses that meet these requirements.

Teaching Specialization: 18 Hours


In consultation with a program advisor, candidates will select 18 hours of course work, in an area of specialization which includes: English, General Science, Mathematics, or Social Sciences. At least 9 specialization hours are to be upper-division courses; no more than 9 hours are to be courses also used to satisfy general education (GE) requirements; and only one 3-hour professional education (PE) methods course is to be included in this 18 hour total. Please meet with the program advisor for assistance with courses for the Teaching Specializations listed below.

 

Professional Education Courses for Elementary Education: 68 Hours


NOTE:


Additional credits in Professional Education and in the area of Teaching Specialization will be required for students also seeking middle-grades licensure. (See Middle Grades (5-8) Endorsement for Elementary Candidates” below and consult your advisor.)

Total: 123-135 Hours


Teaching Specializations


In consultation with a program advisor, candidates will select 18 hours of course work in the area of specialization, English, General Science, Mathematics, or Social Sciences.  At least 9 specialization hours are to be upper-division courses; no more than 9 hours are to be courses also used to satisfy general education (GE) requirements; and only one 3-hour professional education (PE) methods course is to be included in this 18 hour total.

Total 18 Hours

English


Genre Selective (3 Hours)

Select one from the following*:

Total - 18 Hours

No more than 9 hours may be from courses also used to satisfy general education (GE) requirements, and only one 3-hour professional education (PE) methods course is included in this total. Thus, of the total 18 hours required for this specialization, 9 hours come from a combination of GE and PE course work.


Elementary Education majors also seeking licensure at the middle grades level must take additional coursework in their area of teaching specialization to total 24 hours in the area of the teaching specialization.  Only the Professional Education (PE) methods course at the middle grades level (EMED - 4453 Teaching English Language Arts in the Middle Grades (3) , EMED - 4455 Teaching Science in the Middle Grades (3) , EMED - 4457 Teaching Mathematics in the Middle Grades (3) , EMED - 4459 Teaching Social Studies in the Middle Grades (3) ) may be included in the teaching specialization courses.  Secondary Education majors are not required to add any courses to those totaling 24 credit hours in their area of teaching specialization.

Selective (6 Hours)

Select 6 additional hours of English courses.

General Science


Earth and Space Science (3 Hours)

Select one of the following*:

Total - 18 Hours

No more than 9 hours are to be courses also used to satisfy general education (GE) requirements, and only one 3-hour professional education (PE) methods course is to be included in this total. Thus, of the total 18 hours required for this specialization, 12 hours come from a combination of GE and PE course work.


Elementary Education majors also seeking licensure at the middle grades level must take additional coursework in their area of teaching specialization to total 24 hours in the area of the teaching specialization.  Only the Professional Education (PE) methods course at the middle grades level (EMED - 4453 Teaching English Language Arts in the Middle Grades (3) , EMED - 4455 Teaching Science in the Middle Grades (3) , EMED - 4457 Teaching Mathematics in the Middle Grades (3) , EMED - 4459 Teaching Social Studies in the Middle Grades (3) ) may be included in the teaching specialization courses.  Secondary Education majors are not required to add any courses to those totaling 24 credit hours in their area of teaching specialization.

Mathematics


Selectives (6 Hours)

Select two from the following*:

Total - 18 Hours

No more than 9 hours are to be from courses used to satisfy general education (GE) requirements, and only one 3-hour professional education (PE) methods course is to be included in this total. Thus, of the total 18 hours required for this specialization, 12 hours come from a combination of GE and PE course work.


Elementary Education majors also seeking licensure at the middle grades level must take additional coursework in their area of teaching specialization to total 24 hours in the area of the teaching specialization.  Only the Professional Education (PE) methods course at the middle grades level (EMED - 4453 Teaching English Language Arts in the Middle Grades (3) , EMED - 4455 Teaching Science in the Middle Grades (3) , EMED - 4457 Teaching Mathematics in the Middle Grades (3) , EMED - 4459 Teaching Social Studies in the Middle Grades (3)  ) may be included in the teaching specialization courses.  Secondary Education majors are not required to add any courses to those totaling 24 credit hours in their area of teaching specialization.

Social Science


Sociology (3 Hours)

Select one from the following*:

Total - 18 Hours

No more than 9 hours are to be courses also used to satisfy general education (GE) requirements, and only one 3-hour professional education (PE) methods course is to be included in this total. Thus, of the total 18 hours required for this specialization, 12 hours come from a combination of GE and PE course work.


Elementary Education majors also seeking licensure at the middle grades level must take additional coursework in their area of teaching specialization to total 24 hours in the area of the teaching specialization.  Only the Professional Education (PE) methods course at the middle grades level (EMED - 4453 Teaching English Language Arts in the Middle Grades (3) , EMED - 4455 Teaching Science in the Middle Grades (3) , EMED - 4457 Teaching Mathematics in the Middle Grades (3) , EMED - 4459 Teaching Social Studies in the Middle Grades (3) ) may be included in the teaching specialization courses.  Secondary Education majors are not required to add any courses to those totaling 24 credit hours in their area of teaching specialization.

Middle Grades (Grades 5-8) Licensure


Middle Grades Licensure is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education for recommendation of the Professional Educator License with an Endorsement in the Middle Grades by entitlement.  To be recommended for licensure by Governors State University, undergraduate candidates must complete all requirements for licensure in Elementary or Secondary Education as well as the middle-grade-specific course work below.  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.

General Education Requirement for Initial Teacher Licensure, Middle Grades (Grades 5-8)


Middle Grades Licensure is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education for recommendation of the Professional Educator License with an Endorsement in the Middle Grades by entitlement.  To be recommended for licensure by Governors State University, Elementary Education undergraduate candidates must complete all requirements for licensure in Elementary Education as well as the appropriate middle-grade-specific course below.   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 of this catalog.

Professional Education Courses for Middle Grades Education: 3 Hours


Total Credit Hours for Elementary and Middle Grades Dual Licensure: 127 - 133 Hours


Total Credit Hours for Secondary and Middle Grades Dual Licensure: 123 - 137 Hours


Students seeking initial licensure in a Secondary content area should meet with their Academic Advisor to identify course requirements for Middle Grades endorsement.

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