elementary students

Elementary Education – B.S.

This program is offered in-person.

The elementary education program prepares new educators to meet the unique needs of learners in Pre-Kindergarten to third grade (PK-3) and in third to sixth grades (3-6) with an emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. WMU provides preservice teachers specialized knowledge about the learning needs of children from various contexts and across subjects to be successful in future classrooms. Graduates of this program will be eligible to teach all subjects in PK-3 and 3-6 and will qualify to take the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) PK-3 (ZO) and/or 3-6 (ZP) endorsement. This program follows a cohort model in which students progress through the same academic curriculum and finish their 4-year degree together. 

Why elementary education at Western Michigan University?

Cohort Model: A community experience with a much greater focus on a shared learning experience throughout the entire program. Students progress through the same academic curriculum and finish their degree together. 

Culturally diverse: Increase your knowledge about the needs of culturally diverse students in the PK-6th grade based on current research, theory and standards. 

Real-world experience: This major includes multiple field experiences, pre-internships, and a full-time internship that will culminate your teaching experience. 

Prepared educators: Collaborate with, engage, and develop disciplinary area methods to better serve the academic needs of students across ELA, science, social studies, math and specials. 

Instructional knowledge: Learn to analyze and modify instructional material and assessments to ensure equitable instruction within classroom settings and beyond.

Creating exceptional educators: Michigan school principals ranked 95% of new teachers prepared at WMU as “effective” or “highly effective” in 2021-22. 

Hitting the standard: The WMU teacher education unit is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

  • High demand
    About 120,300 job openings per year are predicted for elementary school teachers over the next ten years. 

    - Bureau of Labor Statistics

Our program is founded on the belief that we're preparing for futures that we can't even imagine.

Dr. Brianne Pitts, Assistant Professor

Additional information

  • Study abroad

    Students are encouraged to pursue additional educational opportunities through one of many study abroad options offered by the TLES department or WMU in general.

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  • WMU signature

    All WMU students have the option to stand out with an integrative learning project in one of several pathways including health and wellness, entrepreneurship, leadership and more!

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  • Visit campus

    There's simply no substitute for seeing WMU for yourself and experiencing a little slice of what makes WMU so unique and beloved. In-person and virtual tours are available.

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Teacher education resources


    The TRIO Future Educator Success Program is a selective program designed to serve teaching majors throughout their time at WMU to help them meet their personal, professional, and educational goals while having fun, meeting new people, and learning skills to help them be successful in college and their future teaching careers.

    Learn more

  • Office of Clinical Experiences

    The Office of Clinical Experiences at Western Michigan University is responsible for the coordination and oversight of all field experiences (internships and student teaching) associated with teacher education curricula.

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  • Office of Teacher Administration

    Western Michigan University's Office of Teacher and Administrator is here to assist you with the application process and aid in preparing you for recommendation for certification.

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Our faculty

  • Dr. Allison Downey

    Associate Professor


  • Dr. Brianne Pitts

    Assistant Professor


  • Dr. Meredith Reinhart

    Assistant Professor