Completion of the elementary education major and passing all state tests “highly qualifies” one to teach in self-contained elementary grades ( 1-6).  Becoming highly qualified to teach departmentalized grades 6-8 requires a middle school endorsement, which is available only to the graduating classes of 2015 and 2016, due to changes in state law.  The Teacher Education Program (TEP) Handbook  provides detailed information about the TEP program, admission requirements, field requirements, and state and university licensure requirements.

Course Requirements

Elementary Education Major/Professional Education


First year F

Educ 225 Education and Social Justice (SI)
(or fall semester sophomore year) 
Educ 255 Child Study and Assessment  (WI) (or sophomore year)
20-25 hours field experience

20-25 hours field experience
Sophomore year       F Educ 255Child Study and Assessment (if not taken first year) 20-25 hours field experience
Sp Educ 257 : The Exceptional Child  (U) (or fall junior year)  

Junior year* 


Educ 320: Foundations of Literacy: Reading, Writing, and Oral Communication (1.5 units)
Educ 325: Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Technology in K-8 Mathematics (prereq: C or better in Math 105/106 or equivalent, acceptance into TEP. Refer to TEP Handbook and consult with instructor for prerequisite college algebra equivalents)

25 hours field experience

Educ 301: Social Studies Inquiry and Democratic Learning Environments
Educ 303: Integrating Fine Arts Across the Curriculum
Educ 305: Curriculum and Pedagogy across the Natural Sciences
35 hours field experience
Senior year * F

Educ 490Student Teaching Seminar
Educ 496: Student Teaching: Elementary Education
15 week full time immersion in the field (continues Spring placement)
  Sp Educ 498 :  Educational Inquiry  (WI)  

*If planning to travel abroad, do so prior to the junior year, or during any May Term, and plan enrollment in Educ 225, 255, and 257 accordingly. Educ 257 may be taken concurrently with 300 level courses the junior year. Ninth semester graduates take required 300 level courses and Educ 498 spring semester of the senior year prior to student teaching.

Required Content Area Coursework

  • Math 105 and 106 (or courses required for the Math minor)
The ISBE mandates the following coursework (but not credit hours) for elementary education licensure candidates:
  • Coursework that addresses at least four areas of the social sciences: history, international studies, political science, sociology, anthropology and/or economics. Content addressing Illinois, the United States, and the world must be addressed in your course selection.
  • Coursework that addresses at least three areas of the natural sciences: physical, life, earth and space. Environmental Studies may meet one of these requirements pending Educational Studies faculty approval. Psychology does NOT meet this requirement.
  • AP and transfer courses may count toward the requirements below with Educational Studies advisor approval.

Required Content Area Emphasis

Elementary candidates need to obtain disciplinary breadth and depth with respect to the state of Illinois and national (ACEI) content area standards in Social Science, English Language Arts, Fine Arts, Natural Science, and Mathematics. All candidates must complete a content area emphasis  of four courses with at least one upper level course in one of the content areas listed below. In many cases content area emphasis requirements may overlap with general education and other state mandated course requirements in the content areas. Candidates who elect to complete a minor or second major in one the areas below meet the emphasis requirement.  AP and transfer courses may count with Educational Studies advisor approval.

  • Social Science:  American Studies, Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, History, International Studies, Sociology.
  • Fine Arts:  Art, Art History, Music (BA), Music Theatre, Theatre Arts, Theatre Dance.
  • Health
  • English
  • Mathematics:  Math 106 and three additional courses in Calculus, Algebra, Number Theory, Geometry or Probability and Statistics.
  • Natural Science: Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Environmental Studies, Physics.
  • Reading: Educ 272, 322, 323, and 497-2 (Coursework meets state reading teacher endorsement requirements)
  • Spanish: Four courses beyond Span 201.

IWU General Education

Elementary education majors require general education coursework aligned with the content area standards for content area preparation for teachers (Language Arts, Fine Arts, Mathematics, Natural Science, and Social Science). Plan to complete this coursework by the end of the junior year. Your content knowledge across these disciplines will be tested by ISBE as a prerequisite to student teaching. In some cases, courses in your concentration will meet general education and content area requirements. The following IWU general education requirements are met with professional education, major, and/or concentration courses. Reference each semester’s advising memo for specific course offerings.

Arts  (AR)
Note that ENGL 101 (creative writing) does not address state content requirement in fine arts, but does address language arts content. Film courses also do not count. Plan on taking at least one additional course in the fine arts if you take ENGL 101 or film courses to meet the IWU Arts general education requirement.
Contemporary Social Institutions  (SI)
EDUC 225 (required).
Cultural and Historical change  (CHC)
Reference state mandated social science requirements. Consider any CHC course in history, international studies, political science, geography, or anthropology or sociology with a global or U.S. diversity flag. Two or three courses may be required.
Formal Reasoning  (FR)
Math 106 (105 is prerequisite) or declare a minor in mathematics and enroll in MATH 161 or 165.
Literature  (LIT)
Educ 272 or any other LIT course.  
Natural Science (LSI/L, PSI/L)
Reference the above explanation of state mandated natural science requirements. Two or three courses may be required. Please note: Psychology does NOT count as a natural science.
Global Diversity  (G)
Reference state mandated social science requirements that address World content.
Writing Intensive  (WI)
EDUC 255 and 498 (required).
U.S. Diversity  (U.S.)
Educ 257. Also reference state mandated social science requirements that address United States content.


If you have any questions about general education and state content course requirements, in particular the status of courses taken your first year, please contact the Director of Teacher Education, Professor Leavitt , for an appointment.