Elementary Education Program Requirements

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  • Lowell Oswald (Chair)
  • Marilee Coles-Ritchie

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Mission Statement

The School of Education uses rigorous, authentic, and integrated learning experiences to foster student learning in content, skills, and attributes critical to success in the program. We emphasize the joining of theory and practice, through meaningful inquiry, exploration, and critical reflection. We strive to grow students’ abilities to build on student and community assets, reduce structural and societal inequalities, and strengthen democratic processes. These holistic and integrated approaches are designed to enable all students to succeed as effective teachers and practitioners in educational and community settings.

School of Education Standards

The School of Education has adopted the Utah Effective Teaching Standards for the Elementary Education program. Students must satisfy these ten standards to complete the program and be recommended for a teaching license. These standards are education-specific manifestations of university-wide learning goals.

Utah Effective Teaching Standards

  • Standard 1: Learner Development
    • The teacher understands cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas of student development.
  • Standard 2: Learning Differences
    • The teacher understands individual learner differences and cultural linguistic diversity.
  • Standard 3: Learning Environments
    • The teacher works with learners to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, positive social interactions, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
  • Standard 4: Content Knowledge
    • The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline.
  • Standard 5: Assessment
    • The teachers uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, monitor learner progress, guide planning and instruction, and determine whether the outcomes described in content standards have been met.
  • Standard 6: Instructional Planning
    • The teacher plans instruction to support students in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, Utah Core Standards, instructional best practices, and the community context.
  • Standard 7: Instructional Strategies
    • The teacher uses various instructional strategies to ensure that all learners develop a deep understanding of content areas and their connections and build skills to apply and extend knowledge in meaningful ways.
  • Standard 8: Reflection and Continuous Growth
    • The teacher is a reflective practitioner who uses evidence to continually evaluate and adapt practice to meet the needs of each learner.
  • Standard 9: Leadership and Collaboration
    • The teacher is a leader who engages collaboratively with learners, families, colleagues, and community members to build a shared vision and supportive professional culture focused on student growth and success.
  • Standard 10: Professional and Ethical Behavior
    • The teacher demonstrates the highest standard of legal, moral, and ethical conduct as specified in Utah State Board Rule R277-515.

Admission to the Program

All students who wish to pursue the undergraduate elementary education licensure program must make formal application for admission to the program. EDUC 252 is the course where students apply for admission.

Students who enter Westminster as freshmen are encouraged to meet the Program Director before registering for EDUC 252. Students who apply for admission to the School of Education as transfer students are encouraged to contact the Westminster University's Admissions Office at least one semester before they plan to transfer. The program admissions process includes the following steps:

  1. While enrolled in EDUC 252, students complete an admissions packet for the School of Education, which includes:
    • Declaration of Intent form and letter
    • Background Check and fingerprints
    • A transcript demonstrating a 3.0 cumulative GPA
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Submit the Major/Minor/Education Advisor Recommendation form
  2. While enrolled in EDUC 252, students will meet with the Program Director and appropriate advisor in the minor to complete a program plan.

Students are admitted Fall/Spring semesters and acceptance or denial to the program is based upon the review of applications by the Program Director.

The following courses may be taken prior to formal admission to the Elementary Education Program: EDUC 220, 221, 252, 300, 302, 312, and TESL 324.

Students may not enroll in other education classes without being admitted to the program.

Note: All upper division, education transfer courses must be approved by the Program Director. Transfer courses in content areas (i.e., academic and/or teaching majors and minors) will be reviewed by content area advisor to assure that they meet Westminster degree requirements and State of Utah teacher licensure requirements.

Student Teaching

To student teach, students must have been admitted to the Elementary Education program and must complete the requirements listed below.

  • Submit the completed Request for Student Teaching form in early March to student teach in the fall or by early October to student teach in the spring.
  • Submit the Major/Minor/Education Advisor Recommendation and audit forms.
  • Be approved to student teach by the SOE Program Director.
  • Obtain a Student Teaching License on the USOE website.
  • Submit a signed Graduation Application form to the Registrar’s Office.
  • Pass the Foundations of Reading Assessment the semester before Student Teaching.
  • Pass the Praxis® Performance Assessment for Teachers (PPAT) during Student Teaching.

Appeal Process: A student has the right to appeal a decision denying admission to the Elementary Education program or denying the opportunity to student teach. The student has four weeks after receiving a denial letter to petition the Dean, in writing, for reconsideration.

Note: Formal admission to the Elementary Education program does not guarantee a recommendation for licensure. Recommendation for licensure is made upon development of teaching competence in designated areas after successful completion of the student’s specific teacher education program and completion of state approved licensure tests.

Program Requirements

All students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA overall, a 3.0 cumulative GPA in education courses, and have a minimum grade of C in all education courses. In credit/no credit education courses, students must perform work at the level of C or higher to receive credit. Education courses may only be repeated once.

Students must meet the university-wide graduation requirements:

  • 124 total hours
  • 30 upper division hours
  • WCore or Honors College requirements

Degree-Seeking Students

All degree-seeking students must satisfy general program requirements listed above and must also satisfy requirements detailed under the Elementary Education program. Students seeking secondary education licensure are encouraged to consider the accelerated Master of Arts in Teaching program.

Elementary Education (Grades K–6) Program Requirements (ELED)

Students who are seeking their first licensure must take a minimum of 30 credit hours in education at Westminster University and must also meet the university's residency requirements. All coursework must be planned with the student’s advisor. Elementary Education majors must have an academic or teaching content minor.

Acceptable academic or teaching minors and acceptable transfer academic or teaching minors must be approved by program director.

Requirement Description Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Admission to the Program 0  
Completion of Teacher Education Program Admission
II. Cultural Awareness 0-4  

While the themes of diversity and cultural awareness run throughout the program, a specific cultural awareness requirement is also included to help our students become better teachers of the diverse student populations in Utah and the U.S. This requirement may be met by successfully completing one of the following:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in a second language:
    • Complete a second semester university-level language course
    • Receive a passing score on a Level 1 CLEP language exam
    • Receive a passing score on a 102-level BYU language proficiency exam
    • Provide evidence of another language as your first language
  • A May term study experience approved by the School of Education
  • A semester of study abroad approved by the School of Education
  • Student teaching in another country or other alternate placement approved by the School of Education
III. Prerequisite Courses 8  
MATH 144  Functions Modeling Change 4 MATH 101 or equivalent
PSYC 105 Bust that Psychology Myth 4  
IV. Required Courses 56  
EDUC 220† Math for K–6 Teachers I  3 MATH 141 or MATH 144
EDUC 221† Math for K–6 Teachers II  3 MATH 141 or MATH 144
EDUC 252† Developmentally Appropriate Teaching and Learning  4  
EDUC 302† Foundations of Education in a Diverse Society 4  
EDUC 305 Elementary Classroom Management 3 EDUC 302
EDUC 312† Specialized Education Services 3  
EDUC 342* Science Methods 3  
EDUC 344* Creative Arts Methods 3 EDUC 302
EDUC 346* Social Studies Methods 3 EDUC 302
EDUC 359  Assessment to Improve Teaching 2  
EDUC 362 Physical Education Methods 1 EDUC 302
EDUC 363* Literacy Foundations, Assessment and Instruction 3 EDUC 252; co-requisite EDUC 369
EDUC 364* Reading and Language Arts 3 EDUC 252 or EDUC 302
EDUC 368* Math Methods for K–6 Teachers 3 EDUC 220 and EDUC 221
EDUC 369 Literacy Assessment & Intervention 1 Co-requisite EDUC 363
EDUC 418 Student Teaching Seminar 2  
EDUC 480 Elementary Student Teaching 10  
TESL 324 Content Instruction for DLL 3  
† May be taken prior to admission to the program.
*Students are required to spend fifteen clock hours in a field placement.
Total Hours for the Elementary Education Major 50-68  

Completion of an approved academic or teaching minor is required (see individual program listings for details). 

Recommended Plan of Study for Elementary Education (K–6)

Secondary Education (Grades 6–12)

Westminster undergraduates interested in secondary education are encouraged to consider the Accelerated Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Program, open only to graduates of Westminster University who have completed the following courses as part of their undergraduate studies:

  • EDUC 302 Foundations of Education in a Diverse Society (3)
  • EDUC 312 Specialized Education Services (3)

This program allows students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in a teaching subject to complete the requirements for a master's degree and a secondary teaching license in one year after graduation. Students who choose this program will take only the two Education courses listed above as undergraduates, allowing them to focus on preparation in their teaching discipline. Students who are considering applying for the Accelerated MAT Secondary program should meet with the program director early in their undergraduate career, preferably before their junior year.