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Elementary Education Major

Program Overview

The B.S. in Elementary Education is designed to prepare elementary teachers to impact student learning through research-based methodologies and strong, positive relationships. After successfully completing the major, teacher candidates will be eligible for teacher licensure in both elementary education and special education. We approach teacher education as a reflective, rigorous process through which teacher candidates learn about themselves, their students and educational practice. Our graduates are equipped to make the decisions necessary to impact student learning positively across all contexts and with all elementary students. The theme of bridging knowledge, practice and service is woven through all elements of the program. Program outcomes are grounded in the Wisconsin content and teacher standards for licensure. A common vein throughout our coursework emphasizes targeted experiences to help our teacher candidates build knowledge and experience in arts integration.

Program Concentrations

This program is made up of the following concentrations. Learn more about concentrations.

Concentration Overview

The Introduction to Education concentration takes teacher candidates behind the veil of the teaching practice to explore how teachers plan for, instruct, and assess a diverse student body. Before teacher candidates can learn how to address specific students’ needs, they must first understand the personal, family, and cultural dynamics which lead to their individual senses of self. This concentration helps teacher candidates respond to the “Who am I?” question.

Concentration Overview

Building classroom community and culture is an essential component of effective teaching at all levels of instruction. Within this concentration, teacher candidates will explore the research-based techniques surrounding student engagement and building a student-centered classroom to maximize instructional time.

Concentration Overview

Elementary teachers must have deep knowledge of the development of language and literacy for children, from birth through early adolescence. At Stritch, elementary teacher candidates engage in strategically designed coursework and field experiences that bring reading, writing, speaking and listening to life. Stritch has a rich legacy of equipping teachers to utilize research based methods of instruction and assessment to grow the literacy skills of children in their classrooms.

Concentration Overview

The special education concentration prepares teacher candidates to provide specially-designed instruction and assessment for K-12 students with disabilities. Teacher candidates acquire knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to capitalize on students’ assets, address students’ needs, and promote students’ self-determination and self-advocacy. Coursework addresses foundations of special education, characteristics of students with disabilities, individual education and behavior intervention plans, assessment of academic and functional skills, evidence-based practice, and collaboration with families, students, other school professionals, and community service agencies. All courses meet the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction accreditation and the Council for Exceptional Children Initial Preparation Standards. Upon completion of course and fieldwork in this concentration, teacher candidates may pursue dual licensure (in general education and cross-categorical special education) during the student teaching semester.

Concentration Overview

Elementary teachers are well-rounded in their understanding of multiple subject areas. Elementary teachers must have the understanding of how to teach multiple subjects across the elementary curriculum, including Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Within this concentration, teacher candidates will explore research-based best practices for planning, instruction, and assessment. Specific consideration will be given to the national standards governing these subjects.

Concentration Overview

The highlight of this concentration is engagement with elementary students in PK-12 classrooms under the guidance of experienced practicing PK-12 teachers. At Stritch, we pride ourselves on providing teacher candidates with a scaffolded approach to field experience which begins during their first year of study and subsequently continues each year of enrollment within our program. Within these guided field experiences, teacher candidates will gradually learn to teach individuals, small groups, and the entire classroom. This concentration culminates with the student teaching semester in which teacher candidates take on the role of teacher under the leadership of an experienced practicing PK-12 teacher.

Concentrations on this page are required for this program. Additional courses or concentrations may need to be added to meet program or credit requirements.

Career Opportunities

After successfully completing the major, teacher candidates will be eligible for teacher licensure in both elementary education and special education.

For more information about careers in Elementary Education, contact the Stritch program chair or a faculty member, or visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics at

Program Outcomes

Program outcomes are grounded in the Wisconsin content and teacher standards for licensure.

Throughout our coursework are targeted experiences to help our teacher candidates build knowledge and experience in arts integration which is unique to the Stritch Elementary Education major.

Liberal Arts Core

The Liberal Arts Core Curriculum is rooted in the Liberal Arts and our Franciscan heritage. It is designed to create a framework to develop knowledge, skills, and responsibilities necessary to educate students so that they will be prepared to contribute to the world guided by a concern for issues of justice and ethical behavior.

LEADERSHIP:  4 credits
  • Freshman Seminar (1 cr.)
  • Spiritual & Ethical Literacy (3 cr.) 
  • Personal Branding Communication (3 cr.)
  • Writing for the 21st Century (3 cr.)*
  • Quantitative Problem Solving (3 cr.)*
  • Language & Culture (3 cr.)
*For ‘Writing for the 21st Century’ (English) and ‘Quantitative Problem Solving’ (Math), you may need additional courses depending on your placement.

CORE LITERACIES:  15 credits – Student will take one (1) course from each broad theme. Broad themes are:
  • Narratives of Identity  (3 cr.) - select from three course options*
  • Science, Environment & Culture (3 cr.) - INTDS 221: Environmental Studies  
  • Social Tensions (3 cr.)  - select from three course options*   
  • The American Experience (3 cr.) - INTDS 240: Social Movements
  • Approving the Better Things (3 cr.)  - select from three course options*
*Course options can be found in the course catalog or on the academic advising page.

Professional Core

Culminating Experience

Giving students a culminating experience as well as practical teaching experience, the Professional Core is a graduation requirement for every Stritch student in a bachelor’s degree program. Education students must complete:
  • ED 260-Field Experience I,
  • ED 360-Field Experience II, and
  • 9  credits of student teaching (ED 480, 482, 486, or 488).
Contact admissions or the program faculty with questions about this program.


Clavon Byrd, Sr.

Chair - Teacher Education|Faculty - Education Undergraduate

Teacher EducationTeacher Education

(414) 410-4363