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Northwest Missouri State University

Elementary Education Major

Elementary Education
with Early Childhood Education minor or Special Education certification

Why Major in Elementary Education?

Elementary Education majors with an early childhood minor or the early childhood special education certification learn specific knowledge and skills for working with children ages birth to 8 years old. Faculty focus on bridging the gap between theory and practice by engaging students in evidence-based practices, advances in brain research, the role of emotional intelligence in child development, and the importance of inquiry-based learning and responsive care-giving.

Minor in Early Childhood Education

The minor in early childhood earns students additional certification to teach birth through third grade. This minor is required for students wanting to teach kindergarten, and requires the completion of 30-31 credit hours.

Certification in Early Childhood Special Education

Students wanting to specialize in teaching children with special needs are required to pursue in early childhood special education certification minor. This certification requires the completion of 6-9 credit hours.  

Career Opportunities

placement rate

100% of students who graduate with a degree in elementary education with an early childhood minor obtain employment or continue their education within six months after graduation.

*Based on self-reported data in recent years.

Profession-Based Learning Experiences

Education majors get experience in the classroom during their freshman year. The School of Education is dedicated to ensuring students are career-ready and prepared for the first day of school.

Freshman-year observation provides students an opportunity to observe a professional teacher for 15 hours during their first year. Students interact with professionals in the field, and learn the operations of a classroom and effective teaching practices.

During a student’s sophomore year, students participate in a field experience, during which they outline a unit plan and teach lessons.

During the junior-year practicum experience, students spend 90 hours in the classroom, teaching lessons, integrating technology and literacy, engaging in learning strategies and using assessments to guide education.

The senior-year student teaching involves students in preparing lessons and teaching in a classroom for 16 weeks during their final year.


Horace Mann

Horace Mann Laboratory School is a clinical teaching environment on the Northwest campus to gain profession-based opportunities and skills. Horace Mann is one of a small number of laboratory schools in the United States, and provides hands-on, project-based learning for students to ensure they are career-ready upon graduation.

Northwest faculty have networks and work collaboratively with surrounding grade schools, middle schools and high schools, ensuring students have opportunities to participate in classrooms as early as their freshman year at Northwest.


QuoteJoni BeanBriarcliff Elementary School’s third grade class celebrated Red Friday in Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium. We explored the stadium and learned about healthy eating, exercise and safety in the new sports lab. It was a great opportunity to help connect students to the community, and learn about healthy living

Joni Bean
Kansas City, Mo.

QuoteTaylor MilesI did a cowboy-themed twist on the classic Cinderella tale during a shared reading. The students loved my costume, southern drawl and the new spin on the classic tale.Quote

Taylor Miles
Mound City, Mo.