NOTICE: Classes canceled today due to weather conditions. Check Blackboard for communication from your instructors.

female college student reads book to young boy

Elementary Education Major

Become an elementary school teacher

Do you have a passion for teaching and enjoy working with young children? Study elementary education at a university that has set itself up as one of the leading producers of teachers in the region.

As an elementary education major at SBU, you will become certified to teach in elementary school settings (grades 1-6 in Missouri). Coursework and experiences in local school settings will prepare you to meet the needs of young students while being aware of their growth and development.

You can choose to further your career potential by taking additional coursework in early childhood education or a middle school content area, or taking elective courses in other areas of interest such as English as a Second Language (ESL), intercultural studies, Christian ministry, psychology, etc.

The Elementary Education bachelor's degree is offered through SBU's College of Professional Programs


Degree Plan

pass rate

(Pass rate on Missouri's elementary education certification exam
for the past six years.)

Earn Your Degree at Any of These Campuses

Bolivar Campus

Be a part of a Christ-centered, caring environment as you succeed academically and grow spiritually. You’ll find our Bolivar campus is the perfect place to discover your passions while being supported by faculty and staff.

Bolivar Campus Information

Salem Campus

A higher education close to home for residents of Dent County and surrounding areas. Classes are taught in the afternoon and evening, making a degree at SBU-Salem attainable for people who are in the workforce.

Salem Campus Information

Mountain View Campus

Join a tight-knit community when you become part of the SBU-Mountain View family! Students and faculty form close connections through small class sizes and small group opportunities. 

Mountain View Campus Information

two girls holding welcome to S-B-U sign

The SBU Advantage

  • 100% of SBU's elementary education teacher candidates passed the Missouri Pre-Service Teacher Assessment (MoPTA) completed during student teaching.
  • All elementary education majors at SBU are enrolled in "Junior Block" during their junior years, which provides a tight link between methods classes and extensive field experiences.
  • Engage in field experience opportunities as early as your freshman year and culminating with your student teaching experience your senior year.
  • Learn from faculty who are experts in their field and come from diverse educational and professional backgrounds, including public school, private school and homeschool.
  • Faculty are dedicated to helping you succeed and will work with you one-on-one to develop your resume, network for jobs, pursue teaching certification in other states, etc.


Faith Integration

The intentional integration of Christian faith with the education curriculum distinguishes SBU's education department. Christian principles are discussed in the classroom and applied to educational strategies, philosophies, and best practices. At SBU, we approach education and teaching from the basis of a Christian worldview.

As an education major at SBU, you will be challenged to consider your job to be more than just teacher but also role model and servant leader. You will learn to view the classroom as a mission field in which well-trained Christian teachers are desperately needed.

Department of education faculty live out their own walks with Christ in all they do - in the classroom, with advisees, with fellow faculty and in service to the University, community and their local churches.


Employers want our graduates and frequently call to request them. Our education alumni have been hired as:

  • Public school teachers
  • Private school teachers
  • Preschool teachers
  • Daycare center administrators and teachers
  • International school teachers
  • Military base teachers
  • Missionaries
  • Camp ministry leaders
  • Christian camp recruitment leaders
  • Children’s ministers

Graduate Schools

An advantage to studying education at SBU is the access to SBU's distinguished master's and doctorate degree programs in education. Many students begin their teaching careers while simultaneously pursuing further education at SBU with one of the following degree programs:

Student Missouri State Teachers Association

As an elementary education major, you are encouraged to join SBU's chapter of Student Missouri State Teachers Association (SMSTA) to benefit from professional development and networking opportunities as you prepare for your future teaching career.


Thanks to generous donors, more than $40,000 in privately funded scholarships is available annually by application to anyone pursuing an education degree.

Additionally, you are encouraged to apply for any of the various competitive scholarships announced annually by outside organizations, such as the Missouri Association of Rural Education Scholarship (three to five $1,000 awards statewide annually) or the Jack J. Isgur Foundation Scholarship (approximately 35 $3,000 awards statewide annually).

Admission and Certification

Admission to the elementary education and middle school education degree programs at SBU is contingent on a cumulative GPA of 2.75. You must also pass all sections of the Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA).

SBU's Department of Education receives program approval on an annual basis from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Program approval is current so SBU graduates are able to apply for and receive teaching certification in Missouri.

Once you have your initial Missouri teaching certificate, you may add other areas of certification by taking and passing the appropriate exam(s). For example, many elementary education majors take the Early Childhood Education exam to add certification for birth through third grade, allowing them to teach in preschools, daycare centers or kindergarten classrooms. Many middle school education majors choose to add additional content area certifications.

Many students are interested in becoming certified special education teachers. Both elementary education and middle school education majors will receive the coursework and training helpful to this career path through classes such as Educational Psychology, Teaching Diverse Learners and Assessment and Evaluation of Learners. You then would be equipped to take and pass the Special Education Certification exam. This would give you greater career flexibility as you would be certified as either an elementary or middle school teacher and as a special education teacher.