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Bradley’s Department of Teacher Education offers an undergraduate curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. The purpose of the program is to prepare graduates to become educators who work with children from kindergarten through ninth grade. The Elementary Education major also requires a concentration in a Liberal Arts field. Students may choose a concentration from Social Studies, General Science, Mathematics, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, or Language Arts. An endorsement composed of six semester hours of coursework is required for those who wish to teach in middle school. Successful completion of the program leads to the Illinois Type 03 Elementary certificate.
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
- Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI)
- Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)
For Elementary Education students, real world experience begins as soon as they step onto campus. At Bradley, students begin observing local classrooms during the first semester of their freshman year and continue in the classroom throughout their senior year. This opportunity allows students to gain a better understanding of the teaching process and prepares them for student teaching during their final semester.
The teaching faculty at Bradley put forth a conscious effort to align the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards with NCATE standards to ensure the Bradley University coursework, projects, assignments, and experiences will prepare students to obtain certification and licensure nationwide. Faculty also have relationships with several professional development schools where the students may gain experience in those classrooms instead of a lab school setting.
Students may become involved in campus chapters of professional organizations that relate to various programs in teacher education, including:
- Council of Exceptional Children (CEC)
- National Education Association (NEA)
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
- Golden Apple
Students may also be involved in the Best Buddies Program or tutor children through America Reads. Phi Delta Kappa and Pi Lambda Theta are two education honor societies that have chapters on the Bradley University campus.
Recently, graduates from the program have earned a 97 percent pass rate on the Illinois Certification Test. Bradley Teacher Education graduates enjoy an excellent placement rate of 95-99 percent in recent years.