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PreK-6 Elementary Teacher Education Program

Bridgewater College provides a state-approved program for the preparation of elementary teachers. Candidates who successfully complete this program and pass the PRAXIS Core Mathematics, Virginia Communications and Literacy Assessment (VCLA), Reading for Virginia Educators (PreK–6 only) and PRAXIS II within individual content certification areas receive licensure in Virginia and may receive initial licensure to teach in many other states through reciprocal certification contracts.In the Commonwealth of Virginia candidates are not permitted to have education as a major; therefore, our elementary candidates choose majors in content disciplines.

Who should apply to the PreK-6 Elementary Teacher Education Program?

Photo of Students

Students who would like to be licensed to teach in grades PreK-6 apply to be in the PreK–6 Elementary Teacher Education Program.

Candidates seeking licensure to teach in the elementary schools can choose any content discipline major; however, most choose the liberal studies major. It is vital for prospective elementary teachers to have a solid working knowledge in the core subject areas (English, science, mathematics, or social studies) in order to implement the standards of learning as established by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Common Core standards of other states. The PreK-6 licensure requirements at Bridgewater College include successful completion of three tracks: (1) courses of the major, (2) the General Education requirements, and (3) the required education (EDUC) courses.

All students should consult early with the education department faculty regarding a choice of major.

There are different teacher education programs for students seeking 6-12 licensure in upper-level subject areas, or PreK-12 licensure in others. Candidates in any of the three programs may also seek an add-on endorsement in Algebra I and Driver Education.

Transfer candidates should meet with a member of the education department upon arrival at Bridgewater in order to plan their education course sequence.

Liberal Studies Major

The liberal studies major is a 38 credit-hour major consisting of courses from the content disciplines of English, mathematics, history and geography, biological and physical sciences, and child development. In addition, candidates are required to take General Education courses in core skills, world history, global diversity, humanities, fine arts, religion and philosophy, social sciences, natural science and mathematics. Since this major is linked with PreK-6 licensure, all requirements (major, General Education, and PreK-6 education courses) must be met prior to graduation. A candidate cannot graduate with this major and then return to complete student teaching. This major is currently available in either a B.A. or B.S. However, liberal studies majors who enter the program under the 2014-2015 academic catalogue will receive a B.A.

The following courses are required for the Liberal Studies major:

ENG 275:
ENG 300:

Grammar, Style, and Editing (3)

Linguistics (3)

ENG 315:

Teaching Writing (3)

ENG 345:

Literature for Children (3)

MATH 105:

Math Theory and Computation I (3)

MATH 115:

Math Theory and Computation II (3)

MATH 200:

Introduction to Statistics (3)

HIST 201:

History of the United States to 1877 (3)

HIST 302:

The American Experience 1877- Present (3)

GEOG 340:

Regional Geography (3)

BIOL 100:

The Nature of the Biological World (4)

PHYS 110:
PHYS 125:

Introductory Astronomy (4)

Concepts of Physics (4)

FCS 400

Child Growth and Development (3)

Education Curriculum

All candidates admitted to the TEP must take required education courses outlined for their endorsement/program level. These courses have been designed to meet the professional competencies outlined in the Virginia Department of Education Licensure Regulations for School Personnel and Technology Standards for Instructional Personnel guidelines, effective Sept. 21, 2007.

Note: Field experiences are developmental and sequential and should be taken in separate semesters, unless approved by the director of the TEP and the TEP faculty member teaching the concurrent course.

Elementary Education (PreK-6) Licensure Courses

EDUC 140: Introduction to Foundations of American Education
EDUC 200: Psychology of Education and Development
EDUC 215: Diversity in the Classroom (EDUC 201 Field Experience I taken concurrently)
EDUC 316: Strategies for Teaching Mathematics in the Elementary Classroom
EDUC 330: Early Literacy (EDUC 302 Field Experience I taken concurrently)
EDUC 332: Intermediate Literacy
EDUC 370: Classroom Management (Elementary) (EDUC 303 Field Experience III taken concurrently)
EDUC 406: Curriculum and Instruction for the Elementary Classroom (EDUC 304 Field Experience IV taken concurrently)
EDUC 450: Seminar in Educational Philosophies (Elementary)
EDUC 380: Practicum in Current Teaching Techniques (Elementary)
EDUC 470: Professional Student Teaching (15 weeks)
GEOG 340: Regional Geography

Program Transition Points

All candidates for teacher certification must complete a series of steps called Program Transition Points.

Technology Competencies

Candidates seeking certification to teach are required to meet all minimum technology competencies identified by the Virginia Department of Education. All courses in the education department emphasize the use of instructional technology in preparing teachers for today’s schools. 

Professional Student Teaching Semester

During the senior year, candidates will enroll in the professional student teaching experience that consists of student teaching for the entire 15-week semester.

More Information

Please visit the education department on the third floor of Flory Hall when you come to campus. We look forward to meeting you and providing you with more information. Explore options for a major and think of the disciplines you enjoy. Members of the education department faculty may also be able to introduce you to majors that will complement your career objectives.