teacher in front of classroom holding book for students to see

Elementary Education Major

The teaching profession is challenging, rewarding, and inspirational, with the opportunity to shape generations to come. Bethany’s education majors can become licensed professionals in a variety of K-6, 5-8, and K-12 programs.

The education program at Bethany prepares students to teach in a variety of settings with the belief that future teachers educated from a Christ-centered perspective will be better prepared to meet the needs of children in a multi-cultural society whether in public, private, or Lutheran schools. Bethany’s education program provides rigorous and research-grounded coursework that is student centered and immerses teacher candidates in real classroom teaching experiences.

What sets us apart

Bethany education majors are trained in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program and spend time as an AVID tutor at a variety of grade levels. AVID is a nationally recognized program that provides study skills and college preparation training for students traditionally underrepresented in higher education. AVID students are often the first in their family to graduate from college.

Strong Campus Community

In Bethany’s education program, we have smaller class sizes than most institutions. This results in a strong feeling of community between our faculty and students, all of whom are heavily committed to the field of education. As a result of this, our students receive a great deal of personal attention. For example, each of our students sends weekly reflections on their student teaching experience to the education faculty members who individually respond to each reflection. These introspective exercises are an important component in developing as an educator. The fruits of this are seen in several ways. We regularly hear from schools that teachers love working with Bethany students and we often hear that there’s just something that sets our students apart.

Special Education Clinical

Although most programs give some attention to special education, our program is unique in requiring a three-week clinical during which you will have the opportunity to teach children with special needs under the direction and supervision of a special education teacher. This level of guidance is extremely valuable for graduates as they apply for teaching positions and begin their careers.

Read more about Clinicals and Student Teaching.

Unique Capstone Course

Our program includes a capstone course, EDUC486 Capstone for Professional Educators, that prepares our students for life after college. In this course, students are prepared for resume writing and the interview process. They also create their philosophy of education statements. Students who intend to teach in Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) schools learn about the call process. The students also engage in a great deal of reflection with the faculty and other students. The primary goal of this course is to understand the vocation of an educator while also understanding the roles that parents and others play in the lives of students.

Elementary Education Scope 

Bethany’s education major offers Minnesota state-approved teaching licensure for K–6. Endorsements are available in the following areas: 

  • Communication Arts and Literature
  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Social Studies
  • Preprimary

Entry into Major

The liberal arts serve as a foundation on which students build their professional education sequence. 

  • Successful completion of 24 credits of general education core courses including EDUC100 Introduction to Education 
  • An application to the education major 
  • Verification from academic advisor of a 2.75 GPA in the core education major classes 
  • Interview with a committee from the Education Department 
  • A positive clinical experience report from EDUC100 Introduction to Education 

General Education Requirements 

Education majors are required to take and earn at least a “C+” in bolded courses as they contain embedded teaching standards. A grade of “C+” or higher must be obtained in each of the courses noted with an asterisk (*), as these contain embedded state licensure standards.

Professional Education Core Requirements

A grade of C+ or higher must be obtained in all Elementary Education Coursework. 

Important requirements of all students completing Minnesota Education licensure at Bethany Lutheran College:

  • Entry into the Education Program/Major:
  1. Successful completion of 16 credits of general education core courses including EDUC100 Introduction to Education.
  2. An application to the Education Major.
  3. Verification from academic advisor of a 2.75 GPA in the core education major classes
  4. Interview with a committee from the Education Department
  5. A positive clinical experience report from EDUC100
  • Maintain 2.75 GPA Complete all standards based courses with a “C+” or better
  • Complete all courses required for Minnesota State Licensure
  1. Submit proof of a valid first aid/CPR/AED certification
  2. Satisfactory completion of Teaching Internships and Seminar
  3. Please note that the Student Teaching requirements in statute (8705.1010 Standard 11.C sub. 2 and Standard 12.D. sub 2) do NOT allow for the substitution of prior learning experiences, coursework, teaching experience, and credit by examination for student teaching.
  4. Satisfactory completion of the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA)
  5. Satisfactory completion of Professional Portfolio

Note: An appeals process is outlined in the Education Handbook. According to Minnesota Statute 122A.09 Subdivision 4(c), a  candidate who remains unsatisfied with a dispute regarding recommendation for licensure may appeal the decision to the Minnesota Board of Teaching. Bethany Lutheran College Education Programs are accredited by the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB). 

To view the most recent course list and requirements for the elementary education major, please consult the Academic Catalog.

Contact for more information

Alumni Profiles

Read stories from these Elementary Education graduates to see where your Bethany degree might take you!

Clinicals and Student Teaching

We feel it is very important that college students preparing to be teachers should have as many opportunities as possible to gain experience in the classroom. Therefore as a future teacher, you will participate in extensive classroom clinicals:

  • 16 hours of early field experience in a classroom working under the direction of an experienced teacher.
  • 25 hours in the classroom tutoring middle or junior high school students and assisting an experienced teacher.
  • Approximately 18 weeks of clinicals during which you will plan and teach lessons in specific subject areas (language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, health, physical education, music and art) on consecutive days.
  • A three-week clinical during which you will teach children with special needs under the direction and supervision of a special education teacher.
  • The final classroom experience is the semester-long teaching internship during which you will complete the full-time student teaching requirement. Recently, students have done their teaching internships in Mankato and the surrounding communities of Nicollet, Janesville, Madelia, Mapleton, Jordan, Good Thunder, Faribault, St. Clair, St. James, St. Peter, Albert Lea, and Waterville.

Student Achievements

Alumna Allie Curtis Making Impact With Reading Program

Bethany Alumna Allie Curtis (2016)

Allie Curtis, a 2016 Bethany education graduate, is in the early years of her teaching career, but she’s already making an impact at Martin County West (MCW) Elementary School.

Curtis has been an integral part of the after school studies program at MCW. The program is designed for students to receive extra help with homework subjects that are difficult for them. Curtis explained that the administration was happy with how the program was going and wanted to expand its offerings. She was interviewed about the program in a recent article published in the Fairmont Sentinel.

“The principal at MCW decided to add a reading component to the after school program. He brought me and another teacher in to build the program’s curriculum based on eight standards designed to reinforce reading across the grade levels,” explained Curtis.

Curtis and colleagues worked throughout the summer of 2017 to design the program, and have continued to enhance its offerings during the 2017-18 school year. The program is open to students in grades 3-6 two days a week – Monday and Thursday.

Curtis continued, “Typically, we spend half of the time working on a reading standard and the other half on homework help. One of the big things for the curriculum is bringing hands-on activities and other things that students may not have the chance to experience in the classroom. For example, this week we are wrapping up figurative language, and students are collaborating to write their own plays to demonstrate their understanding of figurative language. The students will present their plays to each other.”

Bethany Lutheran College applauds Allie Curtis for her exemplary work with students in the Martin County West school district.

Elementary Education Faculty

We have a passion for learning and we’d love to share our knowledge with you! Contact us if you have questions about the Elementary Education Major! For more information, check out the Education Department.

Next Steps

Interested in studying at Bethany? Scheduling a campus visit is a great way to see what we have to offer. You can meet professors or sit in on a class too! Contact our admissions office to learn more.

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