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Elementary Education Major

Our bachelor of science degree in elementary education is designed to prepare you to impact student learning through research-based methodologies. The theme of bridging knowledge, practice and service is woven through all elements of the program. After successfully completing the major, you will be eligible for a teaching license in elementary education and special education. You will have the decision making skills necessary to positively impact student learning across all contexts with elementary students.

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.

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

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).

Bridge the gap between theory and application

We use an active learning model for instruction that is focused on very little lecturing. This will allow you to dive into case studies, readings and debates, discussions and projects.

The Limitless Curriculum encourages you to embrace your passions, aligning them with an academic and ultimately, a career. 

Learn About Limitless

As an elementary education student, you are projected to receive field experience as early as your semester freshman year. 

  • St. Anthony Lower Elementary
  • St. Anthony Middle School
  • St. Anthony Upper Elementary
  • Milwaukee Public School District
  • Milwaukee College Prep School
  • Milwaukee Academy of Science
  • Brown Deer School District
  • Milwaukee Scholar Charter School
  • West Allis – West Milwaukee School District
  • North Middle School (Menomonee Falls)
  • Menomonee Falls High School

The Aspiring Educators Club connects Stritch students to professionals in the education field through volunteer experiences and professional development opportunities.

The club works closely with the faculty in the education department to plan and execute meaningful experiences for Stritch students such as teaching English to students who are refugees through Catholic Charities and being program coordinators at Gigi’s Playhouse for students with Down Syndrome.

Karen Saavedra, ‘22

Elementary Education

I love being an Elementary Education major. There are so many fun projects that we get to do. We learn a lot of content that prepares us for making lesson plans and studying for the FoRT. Stritch will provide you with opportunities to work with children very early in the program so you will know if this is the right major for you. Majoring in Elementary Education allows for opportunities to show creative expression, which is one thing I love the most about this major.

Rachael Granec, '22

Elementary Education major with a double minor in Special Education and English

The education program and faculty at Stritch are the best. My professors are always sharing opportunities to get involed within the community to build our resumes. My professors have been incredibly insightful in sharing their experiences and their tips and tricks that they've learned during their time in the education field. 

Alexis Dier Carneiro, '20

Elementary Education major

I cannot thank my educators enough for their empathetic approach to teaching, and leading me in the right direction in reaching my career goals. It is clear that our program is built to provide the best support for their future instructors. 

Lilly Haider, '22

Elementary and Special Education Major

I love that Stritch really lets us engage in our field and experience the real world throughout our entire time at Stritch. In my education diversity class, we got to collaborate with the Milwaukee Jewish Day School and have a 4 year old buddy. We got to know our buddies, made a museum about diversity for them, and wrote a picture book about our fun times together.
To learn how to teach a child is to learn how to change the world. I really do believe that Stritch has given me the tools I need to get in the classroom and change the lives of students.

Ilse Merlin-Tiburcio, '21

Elementary Education major

Making a connection with my professors was essential. Stritch has teachers who are knowledgable through their experiences and their interaction with their students. They seek out to connect their students to the best opportunities. And most importantly, to see each student as a whole. 

The Need For Teachers

Hear from faculty on how Stritch educators are in great demand!

Arts integrated curriculum, strategies and experiences

According to the Kennedy Center’s comprehensive definition of arts integration, it is an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form.. 

Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area and meetings evolving objectives in both (The Kennedy Center). 

Source: The Kennedy Center

The goal of the Linda D'Aquisto Cultural Diversity Museum Project is to provide Undergraduate teacher candidates the opportunity to 'seek first to understand, then be understood' as they work together to bring their collective cultural backgrounds to life for local elementary students.

Using an arts integrated approach, Stritch education majors design a hands on cultural experience for young people that often culminates in a campus tour and luncheon"

Learn More About Arts Integration

Jarvis Ragland

Alumni Spotlight

Jarvis Ragland, who earned a master’s degree in Urban Special Education in May, is featured in a recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about diversity in Wisconsin’s teacher workforce.

Ragland is a special education resource teacher at Marvin Pratt Elementary School in Milwaukee.

Diversity in Wisconsin's Workforce

A Prayer for Teachers

Enable me to teach with wisdom. For I help to shape the mind. Equip me to teach with truth. For I help to shape the conscience. Encourage me to teach with vision. For I help to shape the future. Empower me to teach with love. For I help to shape the world.

Contact admissions or the program faculty with questions about this program.


Clavon Byrd, Sr.

Chair - Teacher Education|Faculty - Education Undergraduate

Professional Licensure Disclosures
More Information