Elementary Education, Bachelor of Science in Education

Department of Teaching and Learning

College of Education

“Good teaching is more a giving of the right questions than a giving of the right answers,” said Josef Albers, designer and educator. This degree provides future teachers with the tools to stimulate their students to learn and to question. The plan includes grounding in teaching methods and best practices, as well as an understanding of issues and challenges faced by today’s and tomorrow’s schools. 

The BSEd in Elementary Education is available in person at several sites across the state of Arizona, including Yuma and Flagstaff. Additionally, NAU offers the BSEd in Elementary Education using instructional technology. Students meet online at a specific time using live online technology with the entire class and instructor and engage in learning experiences together. This option replaces face-to-face classes at the South Mountain and Pima CC-Downtown campuses in order to best serve our teacher candidates.

This program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

This program is nationally recognized by the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI).

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's diversity, liberal studies, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.

    The full policy can be viewed here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • At least 66 units of major requirements
  • At least 12 units of concentration requirements

  • Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements.

  • Contact your department for information about liberal studies courses that are specific to this major

  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units.

Candidates in this program are required to demonstrate content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and skills, professional knowledge, and professional dispositions to be eligible to enter student teaching or internship placements.

Content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge or skills, professional dispositions are demonstrated through candidate performance on key assessments embedded in the following course(s):

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Major GPA 3.0
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 155
Additional Admission Requirements Required
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
Student Teaching/Supervised Teaching Required
University Honors Program Optional
AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-A Recommended
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan

This program may lead to licensure.

Purpose Statement

The Bachelor of Science in Education, Elementary Education degree program, which leads to Arizona teacher certification, provides candidates with the necessary foundation to teach in K-8th grade classrooms. This nationally recognized program emphasizes sound pedagogical practices while stressing the skills, knowledge, and dispositions necessary to confidently enter the field of education. Candidates engage in a purposeful program of study, which is grounded in theory and infused with practical experiences in schools. Candidates pursue foundational coursework in mathematics, liberal studies, educational foundations, bilingual and multi-cultural education, educational psychology, special education, curriculum and instruction, and educational technology curriculum.  Candidates select from various Clinically-Based Partnership sites and models and complete 135 practicum hours over the course of three semesters prior to student teaching, which occurs in semester four.

During the course of study, candidates are able to demonstrate outcomes aligned to the standards of the CAEP and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium. These outcomes include, but are not limited to, constructing learning opportunities that support students’ development, acquisition of knowledge, and motivation; knowing, understanding, and using major concepts in subject matter fields to enhance student learning and development; creating instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse students; knowing, understanding, and using various assessment strategies to plan, evaluate, and improve teaching and learning; and reflecting and continuously improving educational practice.

Candidates who complete this program will be prepared to contribute to and participate in the education of future generations through public, charter, and private schools, as well as other venues where such coursework and certification may serve the job, such as training/teaching in organizations, non-profits, and agencies.

Student Learning Outcomes 

Outcomes align with the Standards from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC).

Detailed Learning Outcomes

STANDARD 1 – Understanding and Addressing Each Child’s Developmental and Learning Needs Candidates use their understanding of child growth and development, individual differences, and diverse families, cultures and communities to plan and implement inclusive learning environments that provide each child with equitable access to high quality learning experiences that engage and create learning opportunities for them to meet high standards. They work collaboratively with families to gain a holistic perspective on children’s strengths and needs and how to motivate their learning.
STANDARD 2 – Understanding and Applying Content and Curricular Knowledge for Teaching Candidates demonstrate and apply understandings of major concepts, skills, and practices, as they interpret disciplinary curricular standards and related expectations within and across literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies.
STANDARD 3 – Assessing, Planning, and Designing Contexts for Learning Candidates assess students, plan instruction and design classroom contexts for learning. Candidates use formative and summative assessment to monitor students’ learning and guide instruction. Candidates plan learning activities to promote a full range of competencies for each student. They differentiate instructional materials and activities to address learners’ diversity. Candidates foster engagement in learning by establishing and maintaining social norms for classrooms. They build interpersonal relationships with students that generate motivation, and promote students social and emotional development.
STANDARD 4 – Supporting Each Child’s Learning Using Effective Instruction. Candidates make informed decisions about instruction guided by knowledge of children and assessment of children’s learning that result in the use of a variety of effective instructional practices that employ print, and digital appropriate resources. Instruction is delivered using a cohesive sequence of lessons and employing effective instructional practices. Candidates use explicit instruction and effective feedback as appropriate, and use whole class discussions to support and enhance children’s learning. Candidates use flexible grouping arrangements, including small group and individual instruction to support effective instruction and improved learning for every child.
STANDARD 5- Developing as a Professional Candidates promote learning and development of every child through participation in collaborative learning environments, reflective self-study and professional learning, and involvement in their professional community.

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

  • To be eligible for admission to the Professional Education Programs (PEP), candidates must meet the following requirements:

    45 units of coursework which includes:

    • EDF 200, MAT 150, and MAT 155 with grades of "C" or better
    • Two lab science courses with grades of "C" or better
    • The English foundations requirement (ENG 105 or equivalent) with a minimum GPA of 3.0.  (If your English GPA is below 3.0, you may take an approved writing course to achieve the 3.0 GPA.)
    • One of the following GPA requirements:
      • A cumulative 2.5 GPA in Liberal Studies courses
      • A cumulative 2.5 GPA 
    • A copy of your State-approved Identity-Verified Print (IVP) fingerprint clearance card obtainable through the Arizona Department of Public Safety (602-223-2279).
Major Requirements
  • This major requires 78-82 units distributed as follows:

    • Elementary Education Common Courses: 66 units
    • Concentration: 12-16 units
      • History/Social Studies: 12 units
      • Humanities: 12 units
      • Language/Cultural Diversity: 12 units
      • Physical Education: 13 units
      • Science: 12 units
      • Math: 13-16 units

    Take the following 66 units. A minimum NAU cumulative GPA of 2.5. Additionally, a minimum combined GPA of 3.0 is required for teacher preparation courses noted with an asterisk (*).  For all major requirements, a passing grade is required and a Grade of "C" or better is required for course evaluated on an A-F scale.  

    Concentration Requirements (Select One):
    Note:  You must earn a Grade of "C" or better in all concentration courses.


    • History/Social Studies (12 units)
      • Select any coursework with the following prefixes:  HIS, POS, ANT, GSP
      Humanities (12 units)
      • Select any coursework with the following prefixes:  ENG, HUM TH, MUS, ARH, ART
      Language/Cultural Diversity (12 units)
      • Select any coursework with the following prefixes:  BME, FRE, GER, SPA, ASL, NAV, Navajo Culture and Navajo Language (taken from Dine College)
      Physical Education (13 units)
      Science (12 units)
      • Select any coursework with the following prefixes:  GLG, GSP, BIO, ENV, AST, PHS, PHY, CHM, FOR
      Math - K-6 Focus a minimum of 12 units from any of the following courses.
    • Math: Middle School Focus (a minimum of 12 units from any of the following courses) 

      Note:  Students may only repeat courses in which a grade of “D” or “F” was earned, see Course Repeat Policy

  • You may not complete the Special and Elementary Education BSEd in conjunction with this degree.

    You may choose to complete the Early Childhood Education Certificate program instead of a concentration area.  The Early Childhood Certificate leads to the Early Childhood Endorsement through the Arizona Department of Education.  This certificate requires 25 units of coursework and specific student teaching requirements.

Teacher Preparation
  • Teacher education programs require a student teaching or internship experience. A minimum number of practicum units are also required, which involves supervised field experience with a practicing teacher. These required experiences are embedded in the major requirements courses. 

    Before being accepted to student teaching, the following criteria must be met:

    • Admission to the Professional Education Programs
    • GPA and course grade requirements for degree program as stated in Additional Admission and Major Requirements
    • Complete all plan requirements.  
    • All major coursework, with the exception of EDF 200 and ESE 280, must be completed within the six years prior to student teaching
    • Successful completion of required state and university training modules
    • All candidates must demonstrate professional and ethical standards of practice as described in the Model Code of Ethics for Educators and adhere to NAU’s and PEP’s Student Code of Conduct
    • All outstanding PEP Alerts must be resolved per improvement plan
    • Attend mandatory Student Teaching Orientation
    • For candidates requesting a middle school student teaching placement ECI 490C, the following requirement must also be met:
      • A passing score(s) on the required Arizona Educator Middle Grade content exam(s).
  • In order to obtain an AZ teaching certificate, you must pass the following required Arizona Educator Exams:

    • Elementary Education Professional Knowledge Exam

    Plan Options
    Students select from various Clinically-Based Partnership sites and models. All students will complete at least 135 practica hours over the course of three semesters prior to student teaching (which occurs in semester four). Multiple Clinically-Based Partnerships offer a variety of models designed to meet the professional teaching standards, the needs of the students, and accreditation and Arizona Department of Education Institutional Recommendation requirements.

General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.

    You may take these remaining courses from any of the academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. You may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.

    We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you.

Additional Information
  • Be aware that Arizona state teacher certification requirements leading to an Institutional Recommendation may change at any time, and may impact program of study requirements.

    Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information, see course information contained in the catalog or your advisor.