Elementary Education

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Ready to become the elementary school teacher you loved as a child?

Our experiential and research-informed program in Elementary Education prepares you to work with children in first- through sixth-grades, ready to teach in all subject areas. We're grounded in theory, research and best practices, and our graduates work in a wide variety of linguistic, socio-economic and cultural contexts. You'll learn about multicultural curriculum and instruction, classroom management, educational technology, special education, assessment, educational philosophy and psychology. We are accredited nationally by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and approved by the Illinois State Board of Education.

Elgin Community College Cohort 2+2

Learn more about the Elementary Education with Bilingual/ESL endorsement program between NIU and ECC.

Students admitted to NIU to pursue the B.S.Ed. degree in Elementary Education enter directly into the major program.

  • Admission to teacher education and retention in this major requires a university GPA of 2.75.
  • Grades of C or better are required in specific major courses.
  • Current verification of TB test (required for specific coursework).
  • You must meet all ISBE testing requirements for teacher licensure

The NIU College of Education embeds diverse, real-world learning opportunities in elementary education, offering you valuable experiences you won't get anywhere else.

  • You'll have four field experiences prior to student teaching, each focusing on a specific element of education, including literacy and teaching learners from diverse backgrounds.
  • If you choose to live in Stevenson Towers' T.E.A.C.H. House, home to students pursuing any area of teacher licensure, you'll interact with teacher licensure faculty as well as peers with similar professional aspirations.
  • Our Educate and Engage Program provides hands-on experiences close and far from home. Educate Global sends selected students to China to teach English. Educate U.S. allows selected students to travel to the Houston Independent School District in Texas for an all-expenses-paid week during which they practice their skills and broaden their perspectives. Educate Local provides opportunities to volunteer, observe and participate in various campus, community and educational settings.

As an NIU Elementary Education major, you’ll enter the teaching field a step ahead of your peers. You have the flexibility to pick one of four emphasis areas, which can broaden your employment options. Three of the four emphases: Bilingual/ESL, Reading Teacher and Special Education, lead to an additional endorsement. The fourth emphasis, Elementary Mathematics Education, will help you meet the growing demand for math specialists in elementary and middle schools. These innovative program offerings allow you to complete your degree and endorsements quicker, saving time and money.

NIU's annual Educators' Job Fair brings school districts from throughout the state and around the country to interview for teaching positions. Our students and alumni are admitted free and are offered an extended open session time with recruiters. It's a great way to practice your professional communication skills and learn about employment opportunities, with the possibility of invitation-only interviews at the event.

LTIC 301 Teaching with a Multicultural Perspective (3)

LTIC 420 Methods and Materials for Teaching English Language Learners in the Content Areas (3)

LTLA 341 Language Arts in the Elementary School (3)

LTRE 300 Elementary School Developmental Reading Programs (3)

LTRE 350 Content Area Literacy for Elementary Education (3)

TLEE 282 Educational Participation in Clinical Experiences: Elementary Education (1)

TLEE 342 The Teaching of Social Studies in the Elementary School (3)

TLEE 344 Teaching Science in the Elementary School (3)

TLEE 382 Clinical Experience in Elementary School Curriculum and Instruction (1)

TLEE 383 Elementary Education Professional Year I: Internship to Student Teaching (2)

TLEE 385 Differentiation in Elementary School Instruction: Field Experience with Diverse Learners (1)

TLEE 485 Elementary Education Professional Year II: Student Teaching to Practitioner (10)

ELACHE is an organization of faculty in Illinois universities and other institutions that are involved in bilingual and English Learners (ELs) research and teacher preparation. ELACHE also has affiliated members who have an interest in advocating and promoting educational equity for ELs. James Cohen (Northern Illinois University) and Sonia Soltero (DePaul University) are the co-founders and current co-chairs of the organization. If you are interested in the field of bilingual/ESL and elementary education, you are invited to become a student member of ELACHE. As a member, you will learn about real-world advocacy and how advocacy fits into your future role as teachers of culturally and linguistically diverse students.
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"Every teacher in the NIU College of Education cared about my success and helped me in any way they could. I was lucky enough to have a full year of student-teaching, and the program allows you to have many different experiences within different schools. This amount of classroom practice helps future teachers to get a high level of experience."by Kristina Dakas, B.S.Ed., Elementary Education, Kindergarten Teacher, Gwendolyn Brooks Elementary School