Become a versatile elementary school teacher!
In the Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education (PK-6) with Special Education Endorsement (K-6) you will earn two endorsements to become a versatile educator and expand your career possibilities!
Elementary Education Endorsement (PK-6)
Prepare to become a teacher through coursework that addresses pedagogical professional studies in education, including philosophical, psychological, sociological, and historical foundations, instructional strategies, behavior management, literacy development, and authentic assessment.
Special Education Endorsement (K-6)
Special education teachers are in demand, with teacher shortages reported nationwide. A special education teacher is part of a team that plans, delivers and evaluates specifically designed individual plans of instruction (IEPs) to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities. Beyond learning academics, you will learn the socio-emotional and functional skills to help students with disabilities in their daily living, employment and social relationships.
While most other universities offer a Bachelor of Arts or Science, Shenandoah’s program is a Bachelor in Education — putting the focus on the expertise being developed and the career field graduates will pursue. The degree focuses on developing content expertise and expertise in how to teach that content to others.
You’ll complete coursework necessary to earn Virginia licensure, and spend 300-500 hours gaining hands-on classroom experience.
Teacher education programs at Shenandoah University are approved by the Virginia Board of Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
Career and Salary Possibilities
Public school teachers’ salaries are a matter of public record, and a search of a pK-12 Public School Division website will yield the salary scale.
Once employed, teachers are placed on a scale that shows incremental increases each year, according to degrees and credentials.
Because we are in a national teacher shortage, some schools are offering hiring bonuses to teachers with specific credentials, particularly in the greatest shortage areas. Salaries vary widely among divisions according to the population, wealth, and geographical location of the division.
Highly qualified educators can anticipate steady employment. Most teachers find their K-12 careers highly rewarding and personally fulfilling. Some beginning teachers find that they prefer to use their education skills and experience in other organizations, and choose alternate career pathways.
The Division of Education and Leadership also serves alumni or other adults with academic BA or BS degrees who find that they are drawn to teaching through job training, life, or the experiences of their own children, and want to gain initial licensure at the graduate certificate or master’s level. Shenandoah University offers graduate education options!
Career & Professional Development also provides a comprehensive range of services and resources to assist Shenandoah students in their career search. Services offered include resume and cover letter building, mock interviews, and professional dining etiquette workshops.
A strong component of the Elementary Teacher Education Program is a partnership with local schools where university students meet for class lectures and work directly with students and teachers in the school setting. University students begin observing in classrooms early in the program and advance to working as tutors, teaching large and small groups, and conducting classroom research.
Our program is student-centered, with plenty of access to faculty and advisers.
You’ll construct an e-portfolio, create a Teacher Work Sample and complete assignments that align directly with “the real world.” Through Shenandoah’s program, you’ll learn how to:
- plan developmentally appropriate lessons
- assess learning
- differentiate instruction
- manage a classroom
- integrate technology into the curriculum
- identify successful strategies for teaching and learning
The program will also develop your skills in:
- content knowledge
- caring teaching
- multicultural perspectives
- learning to learn
Required Education Courses
- PSY 222 – Lifespan Development
- RDG 424 – Diagnostic Teaching of Reading
- EDU 310 – The Teaching Profession
- RDG 425 – Literacy in Content Area
- EDU 322 – Creative Arts
- SED 433 – Language Acquisition and Reading Methods
- EDU 326 – Language Arts Methods
- SED 465 – Foundations/Legal/Medical Aspects of Special Education
- EDU 336 – Reasoning Skills – Science
- SED 473 – Curriculum, Instruction, & Service Delivery
- EDU 345 – Methods and Management
- SED 467 – Special Education Instruction, Behavior Management, & Assessment
- EDU 346 – Methods and Assessment
- SED 437 – Instructional Strategies in Mathematics for Students with Disabilities
- EDU 361 – Methods of Teaching Social Sciences
- EDU 461 – Student Teaching in Elementary/Middle Schools
- MTH 336 – Mathematics for Elementary/ Middle School II
- EDU 348 – Curriculum & Instruction in Elementary / Middle Schools
125 credits total
Learning support services are available to all students in every course at Shenandoah. Free peer tutoring with a student who has previously succeeded in the course is available for any course across the university. The Writing Center is available for every stage of the writing process from thesis development to proofreading and bibliography assistance. The Math Enrichment Center is available for math and science assistance. Professors and Academic Advisors across the university also have office hours and open door policies to ensure Shenandoah students succeed academically.
Student Teaching is currently a 14-week field experience where you will be immersed in teaching in one or more settings, depending on your licensure field. The Office of Professional Licensure requests placements for you after you complete the requirements and fill out an application. Through our partnerships with area schools, mentor teachers work with you to hone your teaching skills and prepare you for your teaching career. It is during student teaching that you will conduct your Teacher Work Sample or action research project to demonstrate student achievement in your classes, and finalize your ePortfolio to document the evidence that you have met the Virginia Professional Performance Standards for Teacher Evaluation. You will gather with other student teachers in evening seminar classes to problem-solve issues, share teaching experiences, and prepare for job interviews.
Students completing the Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education with Special Education K-6 program are able to:
- demonstrate an understanding of the curriculum, subject content, and the developmental needs of students by providing relevant learning experiences
- plan using the Virginia Standards of Learning, the school’s curriculum, effective strategies, resources, and data to meet the needs of all students
- effectively engage students in learning by using a variety of instructional strategies in order to meet individual learning needs
- systematically gather, analyze, and use all relevant data to measure student academic progress, guide instructional content and delivery methods, and provide timely feedback to both students and parents throughout the term
- use resources, routines, and procedures to provide a respectful, positive, safe, student- centered environment that is conducive to learning
- maintain a commitment to professional ethics, communicate effectively, and take responsibility for and participate in professional growth that results in enhanced student learning
- perform work that results in acceptable, measurable, and appropriate student academic progress
- demonstrate Program Outcomes 1-7 with appropriate adaptations, instruction, communication, documentation and evaluation of elementary school students with disabilities
Imagine participating in interesting conversations led by engaging professors who’ve already done what you dream of doing. You’ll be in a small class — the average class size is approximately 12 students — with professors who know your name, care about your success and provide advice as you pursue your academic and career goals.
Department Chair of Education Studies and Professor of EducationFull Biography
Director of Educator Licensure and Adjunct Professor of EducationFull Biography
Students are admitted to the Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education with Special Education K-6 degree in Pre-Candidate status, based on the entrance criteria established by the University and Division of Education and Leadership. Students follow the course of study published in the Shenandoah University Undergraduate Catalog for the year of entrance to the university.
Elementary Education with Special Education K-6 students must pass the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment test (VCLA) prior to the Candidate Screening interview. Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education students are admitted to candidacy following successful completion of the Candidate Screening.
Candidate Screening is conducted during the third and fourth semesters of study in the Bachelor of Education curricula, and all students in those programs are required to apply for Teacher Education Candidacy. Faculty will conduct screening interviews for students who apply during
the sophomore year to assess whether their academic, personal and professional progress qualifies them for candidacy. Transfer students need to meet with the program advisor to decide on the individual’s best time to apply for candidacy.
Students must complete the following requirements:
- complete the Teacher Candidate Education Application, available in the Bachelor of Education Teacher Education Handbook received in the EDU 310 class or from Program Advisors or the Office of Professional Licensure
- demonstrate a consistent level of academic success in all coursework during semesters previous to the application: Submit official transcripts showing a grade point average of at least 3.0 in the education major and an overall grade point average of at least 2.5;
- submit two recommendations (academic and non-academic dispositions), one from a professional in education and one from a professional in an academic endorsement field.
- meet or exceed minimum passing scores on the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA);
- have completed at least 80% of SHEN-ED course requirements;
- completed EDU 310 The Profession of Teaching and PSY 222 Lifespan Development with a “C” or better, including
- completing the Child Abuse and Neglect Identification Training Module
- completing a criminal background check with no disqualifying offenses; and
- completing a minimum of 20 hours of practicum, meeting program criteria.
The University’s Mathematics, Academic Enrichment, and Writing Centers assist students with preparation for PRAXIS Core exams by providing study materials and sessions. The Teacher Education Faculty Advisory Board reviews applications and recommendations for admission into the education program, and later into student teaching. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in the education major and 2.5 overall GPA are required. Additional requirements for the Candidate Screening are detailed in the Bachelor of Education Teacher Education Handbook.
Upon successful completion of the Candidate Screening interview, students will be admitted as candidates to the teacher education licensure program. Students who do not satisfy the Candidate Screening interview requirements will not be admitted into 300- or 400-level education methods courses.
Pre-Student Teaching Candidate Licensure Assessments
All initial licensure teacher education programs at Shenandoah University require:
- PRAXIS Subject Assessment exam must be passed prior to student teaching
- VCLA must be passed before student teaching
- In addition, PreK-6 Elementary Education with Special Education K-6 candidates must pass the Reading for Virginia Educators (RVE) Test before student teaching
Shenandoah University has been entrusted by the Virginia Department of Education and our K- 12 School Partners with the responsibility for determining the fitness of an individual to student teach.
Join the Honors Program
The Honors Program is a multidisciplinary Honors Program for students who are curious, creative, self-motivated, and eager to engage in their education and community.
Not only do Honors Program students partake in honors courses that emphasize collaboration, service, and communication, but they will also have the opportunity to develop aspects of the program based on their own interests and goals. By participating in the Honors Program you will acquire the tools, knowledge and experiences necessary to make meaningful contributions to your community – whether it be globally, locally, or specific to your life’s work. You will have access to unique courses, exciting experiences and a community of peers and faculty who never stop asking questions and striving for excellence.
Make studying abroad the highlight of your college experience! Whether you go for a year, a semester, or just a few weeks. You will never forget learning in another culture! The Center for International Programs is here to help you plan your study abroad experience. Start your planning early to ensure the courses you complete abroad count toward your degree and you graduate on time.
Global Experiential Learning (GEL) Program
The Global Experiential Learning (GEL) Program offers Shenandoah students a short-term, faculty-led, study-abroad experience for academic credit. These short-term, credit-bearing, faculty-led programs are offered winter break, spring break, and during the summer. If a course is not within your major, it might be used as an elective.
I really enjoyed the GEL trip to Cuba – it was such an amazing experience that I was able to be a part of. There were a lot of things that we did during the trip, like dancing lessons, meeting people from the University in Santiago De Cuba, and exploring all of the cities. My favorite part of the trip though had to be going to the Buena Vista Social Club. It was our first night in Havana and it was such a fun night. We all listened to old Cuban music and got up and danced, even though most of us didn’t know how, and it was nice to just sit back and relax. I went to Cuba because my family is from there and I’ve always wanted to see where my family came from and have a first-hand look at my culture and heritage. Being back, I feel like I am comparing our way of life to the Cuban way of life and seeing how things are so different it opens my eyes up a little more. I would definitely go on another trip; it was a great way to experience another culture and meet new people from the school and also in the country. Most people are scared to go to Cuba or were nervous that I was going, but I can say that it was very safe and the people were very friendly. If I have the chance I would definitely go back.
Mckensey Lavin ’20 | Elementary Education
My favorite part of the GEL trip to Uganda was getting to spend time with the children. I have never met people that were happier than the people in Africa. Just seeing them smile brought so much joy to my life. The children sang, danced, played, and constantly kept a smile on my face. I went on this trip, because I wanted to experience teaching in another culture. As an elementary school education major, I wanted to see the different ways teaching is done around the world. Being back home, I feel forever changed. I am grateful to be back home, yet I want to be right back in Uganda teaching, and learning from the kids. Being home, my outlooks in life have changed in many ways including the ways I go about life everyday. The interaction between myself and my professors was amazing. They were always encouraging, and I became very close with all of them. We had the chance to constantly talk about our days there. When you come home from Africa, you gain a true appreciation for what you have. Being there makes you almost feel greedy in a way. The people in the U.S. are always so upset with what they have, and think they don’t have enough, and the people in Africa are so happy when they have practically nothing.
Kayla Robey ’20 | Elementary Education
Shenandoah University is a member of the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), a global network of 300 universities. This partnership allows students to study for a full semester or year at other member campuses abroad. By working closely with their academic advisors and the study abroad advisor, students can take classes taught in English abroad while receiving Shenandoah credit.
Shenandoah University also maintains direct partnerships with several universities around the world. These relationships allow students from SU to study abroad as exchange students and students from these universities to study at SU. All partner universities offer courses taught in English.