The undergraduate program is designed to prepare undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students to be classroom teachers in K-8 classrooms.

Because elementary teachers are generalists, the B.A. in Elementary Education gives students knowledge in literacy, math, science, and social studies. Every course, field experience, and practicum opportunity offered through the Elementary Education major and endorsements are intended to give students the confidence and capabilities to be effective teachers. Students have the opportunity to work with children in a variety of school settings and experience a range of teaching approaches that value reflection, cooperation, and conversation.

Our Elementary Education program assists undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students reach their respective goals as elementary classroom teachers, teacher leaders, researchers, and teacher educators. Our program links research and theory to classroom practice. As you study and learn to become a generalist in the field of elementary education, you increase your content-based knowledge while you work with children in the field.

The Program Guide for Elementary Education is a tool to guide you through the requirements for completing the Elementary Education program. Although your advisor guides your progress toward program completion, the final responsibility for meeting all academic program requirements rests with you.

PDF iconElementary Education program guide (PDF)
Complete list of College of Education program guides

Required Coursework

Foundation Courses

Our foundation courses will help you increase your knowledge about the history of education, realize the importance of inclusion of all students in classroom settings, and develop the foundation of knowledge you need to be a great teacher.

  • EDTL:3190 Orientation to Elementary Education (2)
  • EDTL:3002 Technology in the Classroom (2)
  • EPLS:3000 Foundations of Education (3)
  • PSQF:1075 Educational Psychology and Measurement (3)
  • EDTL:4900 Foundations of Special Education (3)
  • EDTL:3103 Assessment Instructional Planning and Practice (3)
  • EPLS:4180 Human Relations for the Classroom Teacher (3)
  • EDTL:3123 Reading and Responding to Children’s Literature (3)
  • EDTL:3122 (7E:122) Creativity, Imagination, Play and Human Development in Art (3)

Methods Courses

The Elementary Education methods courses will help you fine tune your unique pedagogical skills while studying research-based ways of teaching. Each content area methods class includes unique field experience opportunities that allow you to practice what you are learning and develop your skills.

  • EDTL:3120 Methods and Materials: Music for the Classroom Teacher (2)
  • EDTL:3127 Methods and Materials: Physical Education and Health (2)
  • EDTL:3160 Literacy Learning and Teaching I (4)
  • EDTL:3164 Literacy Learning and Teaching II (4)
  • EDTL:4171 Literacy Learning and Teaching III (3)
  • EDTL:3161 Social Studies for Elementary Teachers (3)
  • EDTL:3165 Elementary Science Methods I
  • EDTL:3166 Elementary Science Methods II

Field Experience

Field experience (broadly defined) is supervised practice in K-12 classroom settings where you apply your knowledge in working with students. At the College of Education, these experiences fall into two main categories.

Practicum/pre-student teaching experiences

  • 80-100+ hours (10 hours before admission)
  • Specific requirement vary by program
  • Multiple experiences in a wide range of subject areas
  • Most experiences associated with required courses
  • Must be completely prior to student teaching

Student Teaching

  • All day, full semester placement in a school setting (minimum 15 weeks)
  • Completed during final fall or spring semester of your TEP program

The Office of Student Field Experience works with students, advisors, and faculty to support hundreds of placements every year for future Hawkeye Teachers.

Questions regarding practicums, student teaching, or other volunteer opportunities are supported by the Office of Student Field Experiences (N310 LC, 335-5361).

Teacher Leader Certificate

The Teacher Leader Certificate is a professional development program required of all teacher education students prior to student teaching. You’ll complete six workshops (in-person or online) in technology, assessment, and school community/diversity issues. The certificate also includes a community-based volunteer experience. The certificate’s goal is to train teachers that schools need: technology savvy sincere collaborators, with a vested interest in student achievement.


The Iowa ePortfolio™ Model is a web-based system designed to meet mandated standards and performance assessment requirements. It combines the integration of technologies, academic coursework, field experience, and a skills-based hiring tool for professional advancement.

As you move through your program, you will add performances and artifacts to your ePortfolio™ in each course, and by the end of their program, you will have electronically collected multiple instances of your work, all tied directly to state and national standards. Faculty use the framework to help you document performance through advanced web and multimedia technologies. The project has fostered and enhanced dialogue among faculty members, administrators, and students.

Technical support for your ePortfolio is available in the Education Technology Center (ETC) Consultation Lab (N158A LC, 319-335-5225).

ePortfolio Resources (login required)

Program Completion Testing

Praxis II is a required exam that all students completing initial teacher preparation programs (elementary, secondary, K-12, and special education) must take to complete the program and be eligible to be recommended for licensure. The exam includes two tests, one in pedagogy and one in content.

Visit Program Completion Testing: Praxis II for details on tests, required scores, and preparation (provided by the Office of Student Services).

On completion of teacher education and other PK-12 licensure programs, students apply for Iowa licensure through the Office of Student Services (N310 LC). Applications materials and instructions are available on the Teacher Licensure Procedure page. Contact the Office of Student Services with any licensure-related questions.