Elementary Education

Elementary Major

Why major in Elementary Education?

The Elementary Education major is the right place to be if you see yourself teaching students in grades 1–6. An elementary licensed teacher can teach all subjects in a self-contained classroom or specialize in content areas in a departmentalized student grouping. Gordon students earning an elementary license acquire a thorough background in the foundation of learning as well as expanded content area knowledge.

Gordon’s Elementary Education program is nationally recognized for graduating top-quality teachers—earning 14th place out of 2,400 elementary, secondary and special education programs across the country included in the National Council on Teacher Quality’s (NCTQ) second edition of the Teacher Prep Review. The NCTQ also named Gordon's Elementary Education program as one of the “Best Value” programs in the nation.


As an Elementary Education major, you will choose an acceptable second major from the liberal arts, which allows you to become a highly qualified, well-rounded, licensed educator. Advisors from the Education Department will work closely with you on a four-year course plan, so you will be able to complete two majors in your undergraduate studies. 

Acceptable double major options:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics
  • Physics



A concentration allows you to hone specific teaching skills and study a detailed field within your major. You may choose to add a concentration in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) or Special Education. Adding either concentration allows you to earn a second license as an undergraduate student—meaning you could graduate with two majors and two licenses in the time that most college students are earning a single degree. This makes a Gordon-trained teacher a valuable asset right away—part of the reason Gordon’s Education Department achieves 100 percent job placement. 

You may wonder if you can earn three licenses at the same time. Keep in mind that each license adds more coursework. Entering Gordon with AP credit, community college credit, or validating up to two semesters of foreign language frees space for taking other courses toward earning a concentration. You may also choose to take courses during summer term or off campus near your home in the summer. Online courses are an option too. There are plenty of choices available to you.


During the spring semester of their first year, Gordon preservice teachers assist elementary level students and their classroom teacher once a week. In sophomore and junior level lab classes, preservice teachers prepare and teach interactive, hands-on lessons for a group of children in a local school once a week. Seniors preparing for full-time student teaching spend 60 hours per license in the classroom(s) where they will student teach. They get to know their students, curriculum and school culture before beginning full-time student teaching.

Prior to student teaching, Gordon students have spent well over 100 hours in classrooms. Intentionally connecting content and methods learned in the College classrooms with lesson delivery and student learning in the elementary classroom increases effective teaching and raises student teacher confidence.


EDU 113 Introduction to Elementary Education with lab
EDU 225 Human Development and Learning
EDU 231 Children’s Literature
EDU 238 The Exceptional Child with field hours
EDU 270 Math Methods with lab
EDU 345 Introduction to Teaching Reading
EDU 302 Disabilities and the Young Child with field hours
EDU 345 Introduction to Teaching Reading
EDU 347 Elementary Reading and Language Arts (Grades 1–6) with lab
EDU 348 Assessment for the Classroom Teacher with field hours
EDU 448 Classroom Management: Elementary with field hours
EDU 450 Education Methods: Science and Health Elementary Education with field hours
EDU 452 Education Methods: Social Studies Elementary with field hours
EDU 481 Elementary School Practicum
MAT 205 Concepts of Mathematics I
MAT 206 Concepts of Mathematics II



Earning a master’s degree is an opportunity to study and specialize in a new area. A master’s degree through the Gordon graduate program will prepare you to become a reading specialist, math specialist or principal.