BS: Elementary Education

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Teaching Young People

The Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education prepares you for initial teacher certification at the elementary level. The School of Education models leadership in the core areas of academic reflection, collaborative learning, and social justice. We are committed to creating and educating strong systemic leaders who will be student advocates as well as reflective practitioners.

Elementary Education Degree Requirements

To earn a bachelor's degree from Drake, students majoring in elementary education need to fulfill the following:

  • Drake general curriculum requirements
  • School of Education (SOE) curriculum requirements outlined below
  • Requirements of at least one full endorsement

The elementary education degree requires students to take core courses in the first two years of undergraduate study. These core courses acquaint you with the field of education. In the third and fourth years, you will take methods courses and complete the courses related to your chosen endorsements. In your final semester, you will complete a professional student teaching experience.

The School of Education curriculum includes:  

Learn more about Drake’s early childhood education degree and the steps needed to become an elementary teacher!

Core Courses

Core courses create a foundation for the field of education.  

Students take a total of 18 credits of core courses.  This equates to six, 3-credit courses.  

EDUC 103:  Foundations of Education*

Content components include history of education, structure of American education, educational philosophies, legal and ethical issues in teaching, basic learning theory, lesson planning, and use of technology applications. In addition, 40 hours (10-week period) of in-school teaching experience in Des Moines area schools are required. 

EDUC 108:  Student Development and Learning

This course is focused on human growth and development and learning theory, with special attention paid to motivation, classroom management, human behavior, and mental health, and their implications for curriculum and classroom teaching. 

EDUC 111:  Education Planning and Assessment 

This course contains major components of a professional educator's knowledge base. This course will provide students with opportunities to learn about student diversity, instructional planning, and classroom and large-scale assessment. During the course, students will engage in a variety of activities that will enable them to demonstrate and apply their learning. 

SPED 120:  Introduction to Exceptional Children & Adults

This course orients the learner to the etiology, learning and behavioral characteristics of exceptional children and adults. The history, philosophy, and legal foundations underlying instructional programs and services to accommodate exceptional persons in the schools and community are examined. Techniques appropriate for regular classroom instruction of exceptional children and youth, including individualized instruction, behavior management, and consultative and diagnostic services are described and illustrated.

EDUC 109:  Education Technology^ (3 credits)

EDUC 113:  Arts Integration in Education^ (3 credits)

This course is designed to acquaint prospective teachers with methods that integrate the arts in meaningful and authentic learning experiences. Participants will experience a variety of art forms, explore ways to nurture the arts climate in the classroom, experience a model of artful learning, and plan integrated experiences.

EDUC 164:  Perspectives on Race, Ethnicity, and Gender^ (3 credits)

Prerequisite: EDUC 103.  

MATH 024:  Structure of Math for Elementary Education I^ (3 credits)

MATH 025:  Structure of Math for Elementary Education II^ (3 credits)

HIST 001/002:  Passages to 1750/Passages since 1750^ (3 credits) 

PSY 001:  Introduction to Psychology^ (3 credits) 

STEM 107:  Science Content & Pedagogy for Elementary Teachers I^ (3 credits)

STEM 108:  Science Content & Pedagogy for Elementary Teachers II^ (3 credits) 

STEM 109:  Science Content & Pedagogy for Elementary Teachers III^ (3 credits) 

* Includes 40 practicum hours
^ This course can be taken before or after Teacher Education Acceptance

Admission to Teacher Education

Prior to taking any methods courses, students must fulfill requirements to be accepted into Teacher Education.  Talk to your advisor about requirements and a timeline.  

Teacher Education Admission Requirements 

  • A cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above
  • All InTASC Standards met at the BEGINNING level
  • A completed application
  • Two checklist forms or recommendation, at least one from a School of Education faculty member
  • Successful background check 

Methods Courses

Methods courses focus on content area specialty.  

Students take a total of 23 credits of methods courses.

EDUC 122:  Curriculum and Pedagogy* (3 credits) 

Study of basic principles and skills for effective planning, instruction, and classroom management in the elementary school.

EDUC 123:  Physical Education and Health in the Elementary School (3 credits) 

Methods and materials for teaching elementary school physical education and health.

EDUC 124:  Literature of Children and Youth (3 credits) 

Designed to acquaint students with the world of children's and young adult literature and to explore the many roles it plays in the elementary and middle school classroom. 

EDUC 126:  Methods of Teaching Elementary Math* (3 credits)

Study of research in the teaching of mathematics. Survey and evaluation of programs and new methods of teaching. 

EDUC 128:  Methods of Teaching Elementary Social Studies* (3 credits) 

Strategies, methods, and materials for effective social studies instruction in the elementary school. 

EDUC 137:  Teaching Reading in the Elementary Classroom* (3 credits)

This course will focus on the reading process and reading instruction for students in elementary classrooms. Topics covered include the five essential components of reading, effective literacy instructional methods and assessment. 

EDUC 139:  Teaching Communicative Arts in the Elementary Classroom* (3 credits)

This course explores the teaching of the communicative language arts in the elementary classroom including listening, speaking, writing and visual literacy. Special focus is given to the writing process, writing development and writing instruction.  

* Includes 10 practicum hours


Each student must complete at least one endorsement. 

You can choose from over 30 different areas of specialization to supplement your degree and increase your attractiveness with future employers.

Visit the Endorsements page for a full list of endorsement options. 


Student Teaching

Student teaching allows you to apply your learning.  

Elementary education students take a total of 13 credits of courses related to student teaching.

EDUC 163:  Student Teaching Seminar (1 credit)

School curriculum development and organization, instructional planning, and classroom management. To be taken concurrently with EDUC 166.

EDUC 166:  Student Teaching - Elementary Education (8 credits)

Supervised teaching experience for students in graduate programs. To be taken concurrently with EDUC 165.

EDUC 169:  ePortfolio Seminar (1 credit)


Learn More 

  • Scholarships: Scholarship awards are processed by the Office of Student Financial Planning in coordination with Admissions. These scholarships do not require applications. See the full list of potential undergraduate scholarships offered to School of Education students. 
  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness: Under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, if you teach full time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income school or educational service agency, and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500 on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and your Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans. 
  • Teach Iowa Scholar Program: The Teach Iowa Scholar (TIS) Program provides qualified Iowa teachers with awards of up to $4,000 a year, for a maximum of five years, for teaching in Iowa schools in designated shortage areas.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF): The PSLF Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.
  • Financial Aid
  • Tuition and Fees
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