SBUBolivar, Missouri Est. 1878


Be prepared to enter a 21st-century elementary classroom.

At Southwest Baptist University, elementary education majors are prepared with the foundations of teaching elementary students through classroom instruction, technology integration, and multiple classroom field experiences.

The SBU Advantage

  • Our caring, close-knit supportive learning environment provides plenty of interaction, both in and out of the classroom.
  • Faculty are certified teachers experienced in the classroom.
  • Classroom field experiences begin during the sophomore year.
  • Our faculty’s commitment to networking will help you with job placement.
  • A large percentage of our recent graduating classes of teachers are already using their degree professionally. Many others have chosen to attend graduate school.

Engaged Learning in the Classroom

Our education classrooms are equipped with the same technology that is utilized in many public school classrooms, and our faculty utilize hands-on teaching methods and projects to teach our future teachers.

Course Information

Elementary Education Certification for grades 1-6 is available in a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. Education coursework begins during the sophomore year with classes such as Foundations of Education, Educational Psychology, Emergent Literacy, Children’s Literature and Technology for Educators, in addition to the first field experience in an area elementary classroom. The junior year curriculum focuses on how to teach specific content areas, along with two more field experiences. Senior-level classes focus on preparing the student for the full semester student teaching experience.

Clubs and Organizations

SBU has a chapter of Student Missouri State Teachers Association, the pre-professional organization for education majors on Missouri college and university campuses that provides opportunities for personal and professional growth and development of leadership skills.

Internship Opportunities

Classroom field experiences begin during a student’s sophomore year and continue throughout the program, culminating with a full semester student teaching experience during the senior year. Field experiences provide students with a variety of experiences to help the student decide what is the best fit. During the student teaching experience, the student will work directly with a cooperating teacher at the school, as well as an SBU faculty member who will supervise the student’s experience.

Career Opportunities

SBU elementary education graduates receive initial teaching certification in the State of Missouri with the option of secondary certification in 10 other areas, each of which requires an additional 21 or more semester hours to qualify for certification.

  • Early childhood
    • (Birth-grade 3)
    • K-9 Art
    • K-9 Health
    • K-9 Physical Education
    • K-9 Spanish
    • Middle School Certification (5-9) in one of these areas of concentration: Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Science, Spanish, or Speech.

    Other areas of certification available within the Department of Education include:

    • Certification in Content Areas, grades 9-12 or K-12.

    Graduate Opportunities

    Students who want to pursue a graduate-level degree in education can return to SBU, which offers a variety of options for master’s and specialist’s degrees, as well as a doctoral degree in education.

    Special Features

    • As part of a Christian university, we integrate the Christian faith into classroom instruction within the Department of Education. Scriptural truths are brought into the classroom for supporting educational truth and theoretical truth.
    • Area school district leaders seek out SBU graduates because they are well-prepared to teach in the classroom and be servant leaders in the academic community.
    • We offer 26 certifications in a wide range of programs.

    Degree Requirements

    ECO 2003 L.I.F.E. Economics
    This General Education course will help the student develop an understanding of economic systems based on freedom. It will emphasize the importance of individual initiative and involvement in day-to-day community and business matters. Developing literacy about individual responsibility in personal and community decision making is a primary concern.
    GEO 1103 Geography
    Basic survey introducing the various elements of geographical study.
    MAT 2283 Math for Elementary/Middle School Teachers I
    This course presents sets, set notation, and symbolic logic in order to describe and define number properties and operations. It includes an axiomatic development of the system of whole numbers. The course investigates the concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division algorithms for whole numbers, integers, and rational numbers, using manipulatives. This leads to the development of algorithms. Open only to students preparing to teach in the elementary or middle school.
    MAT 2293 Math for Elementary/Middle School Teachers II
    This course extends the concepts of number theory to algebraic reasoning. Concepts of probability and statistics are explored. Analytic, synthetic, and transformation geometry are investigated.
    PHS 2005 Physical Science for Elementary and Middle School Teachers
    A study of the basics of astronomy, chemistry, geology, meteorology, and physics. Designed to emphasize discovery-based learning and inquiry-related instructional techniques by significantly utilizing enhanced classroom technology, hands-on laboratory experimentation, library research, and writing components. Four lectures, one laboratory period each week.
    EDU 2113 Educational Psychology
    Study of social and behavioral theory, including the nature of educational psychology, measurement, personality, the classroom as a social system, learning and instruction.
    EDU 2121 Field Experience Level 1
    Forty-five clock hours of supervised practical experience in the classroom at the elementary school level.
    EDU 2313 Foundations of Education
    The course presents major issues of schooling and education basic to professional preparation. Areas included are philosophy, history of American education, administration, governance, finance, legal aspects, social issues, use of technology in instruction, and current topics in the field.
    EDU 2343 Emergent Literacy
    This course develops an understanding of communication arts instruction with a particular focus on emergent language and literacy development. It is designed as a foundational course to additional reading methods courses and provides an understanding of how young children learn oral and written language, of the learning environment necessary for this learning to develop naturally, and the cultural and societal influences upon literacy development.
    EDU 2353 Children's Literature
    This course presents an overview of the various genres of children's literature with demonstrations of teaching and integrating literature in the early childhood through middle school classrooms.
    EDU 2823 Technology for Educators
    Develops teachers who are able to apply technology skills and strategies in a variety of personal and professional functions including the development of an electronic portfolio, to effectively use media to maximize student learning, and to use a wide variety of media and technological systems in teaching and evaluation of student learning. Because the student teaching portfolio is developed in this class, this course is designed for elementary education majors in their sophomore year and for middle and secondary education teacher candidates during their junior or senior years before student teaching.
    EDU 3002 Teaching Social Sciences in the Early Childhood and Elementary Classroom I
    This course is designed for interactive, integrated learning of methods, techniques, and skills for engaging early childhood and elementary students in social studies concepts including history, civics, social and cultural relationships.
    EDU 3022 Teaching Social Sciences in the Early Childhood and Elementary Classroom II
    This course is designed for interactive, integrated learning of methods, techniques, and skills for engaging early childhood and elementary students in social studies concepts including geography, economics, and civic education.
    EDU 3114 Teaching Reading/Language Arts in the Early Childhood and Elementary Classroom I
    Teacher candidates examine the teaching of the language arts components (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) as well as “Literacy’s Big 5.” Teacher candidates will also explore approaches and strategies that are appropriate for use in facilitating developmental reading in today’s early childhood and elementary classrooms. Specifically, topics include handwriting, the reading and writing process, phonics, phonemic awareness, language arts programs, and differentiated instruction.
    EDU 3124 Teaching Reading/Language Arts in the Early Childhood and Elementary Classroom II
    Teacher candidates apply the principles of integrated language arts teaching throughout the curriculum. Teacher candidates will plan instruction and prepare materials to be used to foster developmental and functional reading skills that enable students to use reading as a tool to learn. Pre-service teachers will also assess and evaluate students with diverse needs in the regular classroom. Specific topics to be covered include multiple intelligences, vocabulary, fluency, spelling, grammar, comprehension, and listening/speaking.
    EDU 3143 Integrating Art, Music, and Movement in the Early Childhood and Elementary Classroom
    This course is designed to enable the student to integrate literature, art, music and physical education/movement into the early childhood and elementary classroom.
    EDU 3162 Teaching Integrated Math in the Early Childhood and Elementary Classroom
    Analyzes methods of teaching mathematics in early childhood and elementary classrooms and integrating mathematics in other content areas in ways that are developmentally appropriate and are reflective of the NCTM standards. Methodology includes developing investigative lesson plans, using technology and learning centers in the math classroom, evaluating mathematics textbooks, formulating performance goals and objectives, and assessing the learning of mathematics.
    EDU 3182 Teaching Integrated Science in the Early Childhood and Elementary Classroom
    Analyzes methods of teaching science in the early childhood and elementary schools using process inquiry skills, integrating science with other content areas, and teaching science in ways that are developmentally appropriate and are reflective of the National Science Education Standards and the Missouri Grade-level Expectations.
    EDU 3311 Field Experience Level 2 in Lower Elementary (Grades 1-3)
    Minimum of forty-five clock hours of supervised practical experience in the classroom at the early childhood level taken concurrently with methods courses.
    EDU 3321 Field Experience Level 2 in Upper Elementary (Grades 4-6)
    Minimum of forty-five clock hours of supervised practical experience in the classroom at the elementary school level taken concurrently with methods courses.
    EDU 3823 Behavior and Classroom Management in the Early Childhood and Elementary Classroom
    The content of this class is an exploration of the dynamics of behavior and management that make a community of learners in a classroom. Emotional, social, and physical aspects will be considered in making an environment conducive to teaching and learning. Management of student behavior, discipline approaches, and the total make-up of the classroom will be studied, discussed, researched, and observed in early childhood and elementary class settings.
    EDU 4691 Student Teaching Seminar
    This course is designed as a seminar/discussion section to accompany the student teaching clinical experiences of EDU 4929, 4939, 4949 and 4959. Students will refine their skills as reflective practitioners through a variety of experiences that focus on contemporary problems and issues in the field of education.
    EDU 4832 Assessment and Evaluation of Learners
    Study of the principles of assessment from organizing the classroom as a social setting, to planning and conducting instruction based on sound objectives, to the formal assessment of student learning, to grading students and finally to interpreting standardized tests and statewide assessments.
    EDU 4842 Teaching Diverse Learners
    Mentally, emotionally and physically exceptional children are studied. Diagnosis and methods of teaching gifted, mentally retarded, visual and sound-impaired, learning disabled and physically handicapped children and children with communication and behavior problems are included.
    EDU 4929 Student Teaching in the Elementary School
    Observation, participation and directed teaching in public schools. Prerequisites: Unconditional admittance to Teacher Education Program. Must be taken as part of the professional block semester.
    EDU/PSY 3053 Child Development
    A study of the operation of normal psychological and developmental processes in the lives of children from birth to adolescence.
    KIN 3092 Standard First Aid
    Study of treatment for common emergencies including treatment of wounds, shock, poisoning, fractures, unconsciousness and stoppage of breathing. American Red Cross certificate may be earned.

    Early Childhood Concentration

    EDU 2232 Introduction to Early Childhood Education
    This course is designed to provide an introduction to the study of early childhood education birth through eight years of age (grade 3). It includes a historical perspective, goals of early childhood education, the role of play in early childhood development, developmentally appropriate programs and curriculum models. Concurrent enrollment in EDU 2381 or EDU 2391 is required.
    EDU 2243 Health, Safety and Nutrition for the Young Child
    Provides information about current concepts in the fields of health, safety and nutrition and their relationship to the young child; includes application of principles of health, safety and nutrition for young children.
    EDU 2381 Practicum - Infant/Toddler
    Provides 45 clock hours of experience with infants and toddlers. Teacher candidates will experience a variety of infant/toddler facilities and will apply developmentally appropriate practices for young children.
    EDU 2332 Teaching the Young Child
    This course provides a continuation of the study of early childhood education B birth through eight years of age (grade 3). It includes a study of how to establish and maintain a safe, healthy learning environment and how to set up a well-run, purposeful, developmentally appropriate program that is responsive to participant needs. Additionally, there is a focus on how to advance the physical, intellectual, social and emotional needs of young children with an emphasis on the application of brain research in the preschool and kindergarten classroom. Concurrent enrollment in EDU 2381 or EDU 2391 is required.
    EDU 2391 Practicum - Preschool/Kindergarten
    Provides 45 clock hours of clinical experience and participation in a PreK and Kindergarten setting. Involves planning and teaching daily activities and a weekly unit that incorporates the use of literature, art, science, music, mathematics, language and motor skills which are developmentally appropriate for the preschool child.
    EDU 2483 School, Home, and Community Partnerships
    This course exposes future early childhood teachers to the history, current trends and issues of parent and community involvement in the schools. Additionally, the course utilizes materials, techniques and resources for the improvement of home, school and community partnerships in the education of children from birth through third grade.
    EDU 3212 Screening, Diagnosis and Prescription in Early Childhood
    A study of methods, procedures and instruments used in early childhood for screening and diagnosing individual children in order to prescribe specific learning activities.
    KIN 2022 Perceptual Motor Development
    Methods of teaching children through movement experiences. An emphasis will be placed on perceptual motor development as it relates to movement.