Elementary Education

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Type

Major

Department

Education Department

Elementary educators have the opportunity to make a difference at one of the most important stages in childhood development. If your goal is to become a kindergarten teacher, educational leader, policymaker or researcher—a degree in Elementary Education will prepare you for it all.

Program Overview

Make the seamless transition from student to teacher.

The Elementary Education major will prepare you to teach in a standards-based classroom and in diverse educational settings through an integrated Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) emphasis. In the program, you’ll learn professional research techniques and apply best teaching practices like collaboration and relationship-building—all of which will prepare you to enter the classroom work-ready.

For the first three years, you’ll take courses to master the content that you’ll need to become an excellent teacher. After completing these courses, you can apply for the year-long clinical residency that is completed during your senior year in an elementary classroom anywhere in the world. To prepare for your residency, you’ll have the opportunity to attend a summer session and complete your education-specific coursework online, while student teaching. Students graduate with a degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in CLD, a license to teach elementary education and a possible CLD endorsement from the Colorado Department of Education.

Classroom experience

Elementary Education students learn professional skills as they research and reflect upon best teaching practices, including collaboration and relationship-building that extend well beyond traditional educational goals of individual achievement.

Courses

Code Title Credits Description
ART 105 Introduction to Art (GT-AH1) 3 View
COM 202 Academic Writing and Inquiry (GT-CO2) 3 View
ECON 201 Macroeconomics (GT-SS1) 3 View
ENG 102 Academic Writing (GT-CO1) 3 View
ENG 205 Introduction to Creative Writing 3 View
ENG 220 Grammar and the English Language 3 View
ESS 353 Coordinated School Health and Physical Activity Programs 2 View
GEOG 120 Introduction to Human Geography (GT-SS2) 3 View
GEOG 250 Geography of North America (GT-SS2) 3 View
GEOG 351 Geography of Latin America and the Caribbean 3 View
HIST 260 Latin American History (GT-HI1) 3 View
HIST 327 Colorado History 3 View
MATH 113 Statistical Thinking (GT-MA1) 3 View
MATH 140 College Algebra (GT-MA1) 3 View
MATH 209 Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers I 3 View
MATH 210 Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers II 3 View
MUS 100 Fundamentals of Music (GT-AH1) 3 View
POLS 117 Introduction to Political Ideas (GT-SS1) 3 View
POLS 180 Introduction to American Politics (GT-SS1) 3 View
POLS 282 Issues in State and Local Government 3 View
SCI 110 Habitable Planet (with laboratory) 4 View
SCI 111 Nature of Science 1 View
SCI 120 Living Planet (with laboratory) 4 View
SCI 210 Dynamic Planet (with laboratory) 4 View

Careers

Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.

Scholarships

Eligibility

  • Must be Colorado resident
  • Western student enrolled in at least 12 credits
  • Exhibit and document a solid history of exemplary citizenship gauged by involvement in the community through civic engagement, service learning projects, etc.
  • Prove commitment to teaching and academic excellence while continuing to hold the aforementioned values throughout the term of the scholarship
  • Must certify financial need

Description

This scholarship is provided by Mrs. Roberta Barr established this scholarship to help potential teachers gain the education they need to be successful. Mrs. Barr was an educator, over several decades, and understood the importance of well-trained, dedicated teachers. As an alumnus of Western, she was committed to providing scholarships to students who have demonstrated capability, promise, community involvement, and financial need.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: The Education Department

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Eligibility

  • Full-time students with a declared or a plan to declare an Education major
  • Minimum 2.75 GPA & maintain it in order to maintain eligibility
  • Recipients will be expected to volunteer their time with the Western Foundation, to help with special projects, fundraising events, ect. as a learning experience to advance their practical education

Description

This scholarship is provided by Peter Birkholz in loving memory of John and Rosalie Birkholz.

Depending on funds available.

Selected By : Peter Birkholz in consultation with the Education faculty and the Director of Financial Aid.

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2157 | Crawford Hall 103

Eligibility

  • Students with junior standing or above at the end of the term in which he/she applies
  • Must plan to teach at either elementary or secondary level
  • Must be fully admitted to the Education program
  • Must have a 3.0 GPA in education and overall
  • Must have demonstrated personal characteristics which would predict success as a teacher
  • Financial need will be considered

Description

This scholarship is provided by the family and friends of Magdalene Elkins, who was a 1920 graduate and lifelong friend of Western.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: The Education Department.

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Eligibility

  • Intercollegiate athletes that are a junior or senior
  • Must be at least 21 years of age by the first day of classes in the academic year in which they receive the scholarship
  • Recipient must be enrolled at Western and in good academic standing
  • 3.0 GPA minimum
  • A member of WCU intercollegiate athletics teams
  • Must be eligible to compete under NCAA and RMAC rules and regulations
  • Must clear a back-ground check conducted by the Office of Student Affairs

Description

This scholarship is provided by Miller Brewing Company/Colorado Beverage Distributing Inc.

Award depends on fund availability.

Selected By: Intercollegiate Athletics Director or Assistant Intercollegiate Athletics Director for Internal Operations and Compliance, Assistant Intercollegiate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator, Sports Information Director, Faculty Intercollegiate Athletics Representative, one professional member of Student Affairs/Campus Life, two members of the Student Intercollegiate Athlete Advisory Committee (one male and one female).

Scholarship Criteria:

  • 10 percent Intercollegiate Athletics Achievement
  • 15 percent Academic Achievement
  • 75 percent of the criteria is based on the following:
    • Demonstrated leadership and responsibility - this includes responsibility in all aspects of one's life, especially in the area of responsible decision making regarding alcohol.
    • Demonstrated leadership and involvement in campus and off-campus activities including, but not limited to Student Government Association, Student Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory Council, Academic Leadership Program, on and off-campus community service engagement.
    • Community service activities involving responsibilities regarding alcohol and alcohol awareness programs carry additional weight.
  • Continued Expectations: Throughout the year that an applicant receives and represents this scholarship, they are expected to continue to live to the ideals of the scholarship program. They are highly encouraged to engage in at least one service project that has focus on alcohol awareness and responsible behavior.

Application:

Contact the Intercollegiate Athletics Department for application and deadline information. 970.943.2079 - Paul Wright Gym 210. Hand deliver application packet which includes a letter of application, resume, support materials/portfolio demonstrating leadership and involvement activities, and three letters of reference to:

Champion Leader and Responsibility
Scholarship Program Selection Committee
Attn. Loretta
Intercollegiate Athletics Department
210 Paul Wright Gymnasium
Western Colorado University
Gunnison, Colorado 81231

In 2019, the state of Colorado passed a bill that authorizes the Department of Higher Education to make payments on educational loans of teachers who are employed in a rural or hard-to-fill positions. The program will accept up to 100 applicants per years, and recipients will receive up to $5,000 per year for up to five years to help relieve their student loan debt. To learn more about this program, visit the Colorado Department of Higher Education website.

Applications are due Feb. 21, 2020

The Exceptional Resident Award is given to one undergraduate or graduate Education student, per year, who exhibit the following criteria:

  • Shows respect for differences and a commitment to serving all students regardless of their race, ethnicity, culture, religion, language, cognitive ability, gender, or sexuality.
  • Demonstrates a growth mindset in the face of challenges and responds constructively to feedback. Shows willingness to reflect upon practice.
    • Goes above and beyond to builds strong relationships with students, parents, colleagues, and the local community. Is supportive and positive when interacting with others.
    • Exhibits curiosity and is innovative in lesson design and delivery.
    • Shows a willingness to try new things and to thoughtfully assess their effectiveness.
    • Demonstrates leadership by taking initiative to be part of the school team. For example, shares strategies and ideas learned in Western courses with mentor and other colleagues in a constructive manner.

Award:
• Recognition at graduation with a cord and reimbursement of up to $500 for travel expenses to attend graduation at Western
• Certificate presented at the placement school by the resident’s regional coordinator and/or clinical coach
• Recognition on Western’s Education Department website
• Scholarship of up to three graduate credits to be used towards completion of a master's degree at Western

Eligibility

  • Female education students majoring in K-12 Teacher Education
  • 3.0 GPA minimum
  • Demonstrate past and present involvement in community service
  • Applicants must have graduated from Colorado Western Slope high school
  • Must be a first-generation student of a college, university, or post-secondary education

Description

Delia Fay Haefeli, a Colorado native who graduated from West Grand High School, in Kremmling, Colo. She graduated from Western in 1985 with a B.A. in Elementary Education. She received her Master's degree from UNC. She was the first person in her family to attend and graduate from college. Delia has taught elementary and middle school for 33 years and is an ardent Boston Red Sox fan.

Award depends on funds available

Selected by: The Education Department

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Eligibility

  • Full-time student
  • 3.0 GPA or greater
  • Preference will be given to nontraditional students
  • Must be studying in Western's Education Program with plans to become a teacher
  • Must demonstrate appropriate abilities, skills and promise as observed by Western's Education faculty
  • Preference will be given to students with financial need

Description

This scholarship is provided by Mary Alice Hansen and her family to celebrate the memory of her late husband Kenneth

Depending on funds available

Selected by: Education faculty

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Eligibility

  • Western students who have established financial need and a positive attitude
  • Must demonstrate interest and potential in becoming a teacher
  • Preference will be given to freshmen, but is open to students in all classes and to high school graduates who may not be eligible for other scholarships awarded to top 5 percent of graduating class

Description

This scholarship is provided by her son, V. Robert Kerr, to perpetuate the memory of Sophie Simpson Knight, an outstanding example of academic achievement, citizenship and an exemplar of courage and dedication in the pursuit of education and knowledge. Mrs. Knight's association with Western began in 1944 and continued for more than 20 years, graduating with an A.B. and a Life Certificate in 1957 at the age of 64.

Award depends on funds available

Selected by: The Education Department.

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Eligibility:
  • Must be a full time student enrolled in the education program;
  • Preference for financial need.
  • Must be a promising future teacher (merit-based) who is passionate, committed to and focused on their teaching career.
  • Must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Preference will be given to qualified female applicants
Description:

The Casebier Scholarship has been established by the estate and family of Lorena Casebier to provide scholarship assistance to Western Colorado University students who plan to become teachers. This scholarship serves to celebrate the memory of Lorena A. Casebier, an associate professor of education at Western, who was instrumental in starting the Reading Skills Center at Western.

Award depends on funds available.

Recipient selected by the Education Department faculty

How to apply:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Eligibility

  • Graduates of Nucla High School attending Western full time who intend to pursue a career in teaching
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • If no candidate from Nucle High apples, any education major is eligible

Description

This scholarship is provided by Jennie and Fritz's daughter, Betty Nylund Gibbs and her husband, Verner.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: Western Colorado University Scholarship Committee (Director of Financial Aid).

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Eligibility

  • Seniors at Western who are active members of intercollegiate sports teams who also plan to teach
  • Must demonstrate superior academic performance
  • Must maintain an overall 3.0 GPA
  • Must exhibit outstanding character and leadership abilities (both in the classroom and in the intercollegiate setting)

Description

Established to honor the memory of Western Professor, Ed "Doc" Randall. Dr. Randall placed great value in both academics and Intercollegiate Athletics. This award was conceived to reward a student-Intercollegiate Athletics who has made admirable progress in teaching or coaching fields.

$500 per academic year.

Selected by: Western Scholarship Committee

Application:

Nominations submitted by Western head coaches. Contact the Intercollegiate Athletics Department for additional information.

970.943.2079 | Paul Wright Gym 210

Eligibility

  • Full-time junior or senior at Western
  • Must be fully admitted to the Teacher Education Program
  • Must be an active participant in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference sport
  • 3.0 GPA in the major area of study for a licensure as a teacher

Description

This scholarship is provided by Paul and Dorothy Reid.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by:The Education and Athletics Departments

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Eligibility

  • Colorado residents
  • Must be a full-time student in good academic standing
  • Must be planning a career in elementary education
  • Demonstrate academic performance and financial need
  • Preference is given to students returning to college to continue their education

Description

This scholarship is provided by her children to honor their mother. Roberta Rouse met her husband, Fred, while they were attending Western. Following WWII, they returned to Western where Roberta supported her husband as he completed his education and began his career as an educator. After the birth of their last of nine children, Roberta returned to complete her B.A. and M.A. degrees in Elementary Education. Seven of their children also attended Western and five became school teachers.

Award depends on available funds (approximately $500).

Selected by: The Education Department.

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Eligibility

  • Colorado residents with preference given to Westen Slope
  • Must be a full-time senior obtaining an Education Licensure
  • Must demonstrate financial need
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA
  • Must be a motivated individual and high achiever

Description

This scholarship is provided by the family of Dan Tredway.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: The Education Department in cooperation with the Director of Financial Aid.

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Eligibility

  • Full-time Western Undergraduate and/or graduate juniors or seniors with an Education emphasis
  • Must have at lease a 3.0 GPA
  • Preference will be given to seniors and to those of underrepresented populations
  • Selections are based on financial need

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2157 | Crawford Hall 103.

Eligibility

  • Men and women students pursuing certification in elementary education
  • Must be full-time sophomore or junior at time of selection, or junior or senior at time award is given
  • Must have a 3.5 GPA or higher
  • Must exhibit high standards of scholarship, leadership, and citizenship and above average communicative skills

Description

This scholarship is provided by Ann Zugelder, one of Gunnison's most distinguished citizens. She was an elementary school teacher for more than 30 years, maintaining her interest and support of elementary education after her retirement in 1967. Award depends on funds available. Selected by: The Education Department

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information. 970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant. For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

News & Research

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Get Involved

Apply your education to the real-world.

Take your education outside of the classroom—build your professional network, gain practical experience and jump-start your career.

  • Community Partnerships: Many classes involve working with children and teachers in the various schools around the Gunnison Valley.
  • Future Educators of America: Students in this club engage in volunteer work and professional development opportunities with other like-minded students.
  • Residency Year: Students may choose to student teach in an elementary (K-6) classroom anywhere in the world.

Making an impact

The Elementary Education major prepares students to teach in a standards-based classroom and offers preparation for diverse educational opportunities.

Additional Resources

Preparing for your Residency- Elementary Education

Your yearlong residency experience begins in July with our Summer Licensure Orientation, which is taught over three days on Western’s campus. You’re then matched with a mentor teacher in a K-12 …

Learn More

Department Information

Education Department

Department Chairperson

George Kamberelis, Ph.D.

Professor, Chairperson

Undergraduate Assistant

Barbara Woerner, B.Ed.

Placement Coordinator, Undergraduate Program Advisor

Graduate Assistant

Deanna Banker

Graduate Program Coordinator

Contact Information

970.943.2030

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Crawford Hall 101
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231