elementary education major photo

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 of Professional Experience, 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.

Alumni Profiles

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

Danielle Cagle

Danielle Cagle -Class of 2018 – Elementary Education What you do: Kindergarten teacher MACCRAY East Elementary School Raymond, MN At MACCRAY

Read More »
Education major Noah Battenfeld in gym with young students.
Noah Battenfeld

What you do: Kindergarten Teacher at Kasson-Mantorville Elementary School, Kasson, Minnesota In my free time I enjoy collecting basketball cards

Read More »
Photo of Kayla Norris
Kayla Norris

What you do: Third Grade Elementary School Teacher at Morris Bye Elementary in the Anoka-Hennepin Public Schools – Coon Rapids,

Read More »

Follow along and see what we are up to on social media:

Contact for more information

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.

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.

Major Requirements

Please see the Program Requirements Disclaimer when planning your coursework

Mission Statement

The education major prepares men and women to integrate their faith while teaching in a variety of settings. The Education Department believes that future teachers educated from a Christ-centered perspective will be well prepared to meet the needs of children in a diverse society whether in public, private, or Lutheran schools.

Program Learning Outcomes

Bethany Lutheran College students majoring in education will meet the following objectives as they fulfill the requirements for the B.A. degree and Minnesota State Licensure:

  1. Master course content that includes curriculum, pedagogy, and proficiencies based on the Minnesota Standards of Effective Practice for Teachers.
  2. Demonstrate performance objectives that require effective instructional planning, delivery, and assessment skills for diverse learners.
  3. Develop professionalism as evidenced by the candidate’s professional growth in several areas, including self-confidence, sensitivity to the learner’s needs and awareness of classroom effectiveness, and awareness of the need for continual growth.
  4. Write clearly and coherently, read with comprehension, speak effectively, and listen with care and openness.
  5. Use mathematical skills and knowledge of quantitative methods of assessment and evaluation.
  6. Use appropriate technologies as tools for problem solving and for finding, analyzing, and communicating information.
  7. Think critically and reflectively and draw reasonable, supportable conclusions both individually and in groups.
  8. Cultivate physical and psychological health and well-being within oneself and others.
  9. Engender the will to pursue continued cultural, intellectual, professional and spiritual growth.
  10. Integrate an ethical perspective, a sense of moral purpose, and an understanding of the Christian faith.

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
  • Mathematics
  • Preprimary
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Entry into Major

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

  1. Successful completion of 55 credits of general education core courses including EDUC100 Education Foundation/Philosophy
  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

General Education (Pre-Major) Requirements

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.

The following courses must be passed with a C+ or better PRIOR to taking any other upper level education courses. Note: Enrollment in EDUC230 Educational Psychology & Human Relations requires either formal acceptance into one of the elementary or secondary education majors or instructor approval for those outside the majors. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the members of the Education Department.

Professional Education Core Requirements

Note: Enrollment in the professional education core requires formal acceptance into one of the elementary or secondary education majors and the prerequisites EDUC100 and EDUC230. Students must achieve a C+ or better in these courses.


Students in the K-6 Elementary Education may elect to complete an additional licensure endorsement. All endorsement courses must be completed with a C+ grade or higher. In addition to the requirements of the K-6 Elementary Education Program students seeking an additional licensure endorsement, must complete the courses as listed under each endorsement. Students must also complete the MTLE tests in endorsement discipline.

Courses with an asterisk contain embedded state licensure standards.

Courses marked with (K6) are in K-6 Elementary Education Program.

Communication Arts and Literature

Contact the Office of the Registrar for information regarding the status of the Mathematics endorsement.

Social Studies

Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) Certification Courses

Note: Students seeking Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) certification must pass the required courses with a C+ or better.

Minnesota Licensure Requirements

  • Complete all standards based courses with a C+ or above.
  • Maintain 2.75 GPA
  • Successfully submit the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA)
  • Pass the following two tests: MTLE: Pedagogy K–6; and MTLE: Subject matter/content K–6.

Important requirements of all students completing a bachelor of arts degree in education at Bethany Lutheran College:

  • Complete the Human Relations/Diversity Component
  • Complete all courses required for Minnesota State Licensure
  • Satisfactory completion of Teaching Internships
  • Satisfactory completion of Professional Portfolio
  • Submit certification of Adult/Infant First Aid/CPR/AED

Note: An appeals process is outlined in the Elementary and Secondary Education Handbook. According to Minnesota Statue 122A.09 Subdivision4(c), a candidate who remains unsatisfied with a dispute regarding recommendation for licensure may appeal the decision to the Minnesota Board of Teaching.

Secondary Education Teaching Licensure Scope

Students seeking teaching licensure are required to consult with an academic advisor in both the content area and Education Departments. Bethany’s secondary education teacher preparation program offers Minnesota state-approved teaching licensure in: 

  • English (5–12)
  • Social Studies (5–12)
  • Visual Arts (K–12)
  • Mathematics (K–12)
  • Science (5-8)
  • Physical Education (K-12)
  • Health (5-12)

Students major and take required licensure courses in English, Broad Field Social Studies, Studio Arts, or Math AND fulfill specified education major requirements, including all “Entry into the Education Major” requirements as noted above.

Bethany Lutheran College Education Programs are approved by the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB).

Next Steps

Start seeing yourself at the front of the classroom! Schedule your personal visit today, or learn more about becoming a Bethany student.