Southern Utah University’s Department of Teacher Education & Family Development offers students the opportunity to major in elementary education or secondary education.
Students interested in teaching in the elementary schools of Utah can choose between three license programs: K-3, K-6 or 1-8 grade levels. Each student is required to specialize in one area. They can also complete a dual licensure program in conjunction with their elementary education degree in special education or early childhood education.
Secondary education majors for grades 7-12 earn a licence when they complete a composite teaching major or an academic teaching major in one or more of the University’s academic colleges. There are 17 majors approved for licensure from German and Art to Mathematics.
The goals of the education department are to develop educators who are academically competent, experience, prepared, understand the need for both art and science in education and have effective classroom management.
Alyssa Willmore, from Nephi, Utah, is currently working on an elementary education degree with an emphasis in early childhood.
You will make a difference
“I chose to major in education, specifically at the elementary level, because I want to make an impact on people’s lives,” Willmore shared. “Even though being a teacher will have its difficult moments, it is one of the most rewarding careers.”
Every surgeon, scientist and famous artist was taught by a teacher. Educators have the rare opportunity to shape and mold the future society. They help students recognize and use their full potential, provide them with skills, foster creativity and develop character. In many circumstances teachers are role models for children and provide support when they need it most.
There are plenty of volunteer opportunities
SUU partners with many local schools to give students access to internships and service opportunities. In Cedar City alone there are two high schools, two middle schools, two alternative/advanced schools, six elementaries and two preschools. Chat with an SUU professor for recommendations or visit any school yourself to volunteer and gain experience.
Students experience hands-on education
Aside from student teaching right before graduation, students at SUU gain experience in the classroom to help them know if teaching is the job for them and prepare for the workforce. In the very first upper-division education class, EDUC 3000, students already begin creating lesson plans, practicing them with their peers and visiting schools to observe and volunteer.
“Don’t get discouraged if your first lesson doesn’t go as well as planned,” said Willmore. “You’ll get better at creating lessons and delivering them as you continue in the program.”
You will learn from professionals
Every professor in the SUU education program has taught in an elementary or secondary classroom. Because of their experience in the field, they offer practical knowledge and prepare SUU graduate students to meet the up-to-date demands of public schools. They have the knowledge and experience and, because of SUU’s smaller size, students get more personalized attention and training.
The program, which consists of experienced professors, hands-on education and relevant homework, is the perfect starting point for a student who plans to work in the field of education. After graduation students can immediately jump into the workforce or continue their studies with a Master of Education.
To learn more, visit the Department of Teacher Education & Family Development.