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Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education | Undergraduate Degree Program

Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education

About OU's Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education

Are you interested in pursuing a degree in elementary education? Ottawa University’s accelerated, online Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education (BAEE) degree program is designed to produce teachers who have the knowledge, social competencies, methods, communication skills, and sensitivity to be effective in elementary classrooms. As you complete your elementary education degree online, you will develop critical thinking skills through an analysis of educational history, philosophy and psychology; assessment of learning; and classroom management.

Ottawa’s accelerated, online BAEE program consists of the liberal arts subjects of mathematics, science, writing, communication, and the fine arts. Upon completion of the core courses, you will be required to complete a clinical practice, which consists of 12 weeks of student teaching and research. Curriculum for Ottawa’s BAEE can help you develop critical-thinking skills, awareness of cultural diversity, and knowledge of the social and political contexts of education.

Students in OU’s BAEE program can earn their teaching degree in Arizona or Kansas. The education major is based on state, regional, and national licensure criteria and testing competencies. The Ottawa University teacher education programs are state approved in Arizona and Kansas and accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Perspective on the BAEE

Teachers play an important role in fostering the intellectual and social development of their students. Teachers act as facilitators or coaches, using classroom presentations or individual instruction to help students learn and apply concepts in identified subjects. They plan, evaluate and assign lessons; prepare, administer and grade tests; listen to oral presentations; and maintain classroom discipline. Teachers observe and evaluate a student’s performance and potential, and increasingly are asked to use new assessment methods. Teachers also grade papers, prepare report cards and meet with students, parents and/or school staff to discuss a student’s academic progress or personal problems.

Watch a testimonial from one of OU’s Education graduates! 

For curriculum and course descriptions please download a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education program overview.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in elementary education, contact us today.

See Also:

Educational Specialist Degree in School Psychology (Leads to Arizona Certification)

Master of Arts in Education | Online Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction

Master of Arts in Education | Hybrid Masters in Elementary Education Unified (Leads to Elementary Education Unified Licensure in Kansas)

Master of Arts in Education | Hybrid Masters in Elementary Education (Non-Licensing Program)

Master of Arts in Education Online Masters Degree in Learning Technologies

Master of Arts in Education | Hybrid Masters in School Counseling (Leads to School Counseling Certification in Arizona and Kansas)

Master of Arts in Education | Online Masters Degree in School Leadership (Leads to Principal Licensure in Arizona and Kansas)

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Elementary Education is offered at the following locations.

  • Ottawa, KS (Residential Campus)
  • Surprise, AZ (Residential Campus)
  • Overland Park, Kansas
  • Online

Education and Qualifications

The traditional route to becoming a public-school teacher involves completing a bachelor’s degree from a teacher education program and then obtaining a certificate/license in a specific state. Those who have a college degree in other fields may meet state guidelines by completing a teacher certification/licensure program. Graduates of our Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education often pursue an online MAED Elementary Ed unified (leads to licensure) or a Master of Arts in Elementary Education (non-licensure).

Careers in Elementary Education

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers work in public and private schools. They generally work during school hours when students are present and use nights and weekends to prepare lessons and grade papers. Most kindergarten and elementary school teachers do not work during the summer.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for elementary education teachers was $61,690 in May 2022. About 109,000 openings for kindergarten and elementary school teachers are projected each year, on average, from 2022 to 2032. Most of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Elementary Education Required Courses

The Teaching Profession I | EDU 30731 (3 credits)

Explores current and future teaching profession. Introduces Ottawa University’s mission and teacher education program’s conceptual framework. Learn about topics such as reflective inquiry, standards driven classrooms, use of technology, and diversity of learners. Skills assessed in relation to profession.

The Exceptional Child | EDU 31132 (3 credits)
Become familiar with various emotional and behavioral disorders, health and physical impairments, and intellectual deviations associated with children (birth through high school age) who are identified as exceptional. Addresses strategies for meeting academic, social and emotional needs of these children within the confines of the classroom (including IEPS). Examines criteria for effectively working with administrators, specialists, support personnel, and family who impact the educational experiences of these children. Field experience required.

Educational Psychology | EDU 31233 (3 credits)
Designed to acquaint students with knowledge gained from educational psychologists in learning theory and practice, motivation and management, and effective instruction. Meets required competencies in research, teaching methods and materials, media and technology, teaching effectiveness, interpersonal relations, educational ethics, understanding the learner, teaching-learning process, learning styles, and understanding the relationship between school and home. Emphasis placed on understanding methods needed to maintain an effective learning environment through classroom management strategies and motivational techniques.

Foundations of Schools in a Diverse Society | EDU 33035 (3 credits)
Provides candidate with understanding of historical, philosophical and social foundations of education in the United States. Addresses legal and ethical issues. Learn how educational policy is formulated and affects classroom practice. Provides opportunities to learn from a variety of professionals from diverse backgrounds.

Integrating the Fine Arts | EDU 20033 (2 credits)

Design, implement and evaluate art experiences that are interrelated with other disciplines and developmentally appropriate, meaningful and challenging for all students. Lessons (designed and taught) demonstrate that the learners are developing positive disposition towards artistic exploration and expression.

Elementary Mathematics Methods | EDU 30030 (3 credits)
Approaches and methodologies used in teaching mathematics in the elementary school. Emphasizes
knowledge of mathematical concepts and their use in developing understanding of computational skills and logic of mathematics.

Elementary Mathematics Methods & Practicum | EDU 30031 (3 credits)

Focuses on learning how to teach mathematics in the elementary school. Helps teacher candidates know, understand and use the major content and processes, as defined in state and national standards, with kindergarten through sixth grade students. Observe and practice mathematical procedures in authentic settings. 20 hours of field experience is required.

Elementary Language Arts and Social Studies Methods | EDU 33000 (3 credits)
Emphasis on approaches and methodologies used in teaching language arts in the elementary school. Learn to present techniques for teaching listening, oral language, writing, spelling, grammar, and handwriting through social science experiences (history, geography, social sciences, and other related areas) that are developmentally appropriate, meaningful and challenging for all students. Construct lessons that demonstrate ways for elementary students to become effective decision makers and responsible citizen in a culturally diverse democratic society and interdependent world.

Elementary Science Methods | EDU 33132 (3 credits)
Emphasis on approaches and methodologies used in teaching science in the elementary school. A hands-on approach to science methods for the acquisition of attitudes, skills and knowledge to teach science.

Elementary Primary Reading Methods Practicum | EDU 33136 (3 credits)
Assists prospective elementary teachers in exploring and questioning how reading is taught. Develop skills in a variety of methods and approaches in reading programs in the primary classroom. Field experience is required.

Elementary Intermediate Reading Methods/Practicum | EDU 33236 (3 credits)
Assists prospective elementary teachers in exploring and questioning how reading is taught. Develop skills in a variety of methods and approaches to reading programs in the intermediate classroom. Field experience required.

The Teaching Experience | EDU 34550 | (0 or 1 credit) This course will help students explore strategies for instruction, inclusion, classroom organization, data management and student engagement. Student will also gain experiences with research-based strategies, project-based instruction, global collaboration, and reflective practices, which assumes use of technology and universal design. Course is required prior to taking a practicum course. Students who have taken EDU 30731 can take this course for 1 or 0 credits. If a student transfers in a substitution for EDU 30731, they must take this course for credit.

Foundations of Instruction in English Language Learners | EDU 36003 | (3 credits)
The study of philosophical and theoretical frameworks of English language learners (ELL) building on the foundation of the science of reading including aspects of SEI programs and phonetic programs. The review of historical and legislative foundations, teaching strategies/methods, culture related factors used in determining educational strategies and interventions (including tools for dyslexia), assessment/placement, special education/ gifted ELL programs, and parent/community programs.

Elementary Student Teaching I | EDU 49001 (4 credits)
Capstone field experience for elementary pre-service teachers. Provides opportunity to observe and teach in an elementary school setting. Consult Education Department for placement information. Prerequisite: All professional education courses and courses in the major must be completed prior to enrollment in course.

Elementary Student Teaching II | EDU 49002 (4 credits)
Capstone field experience for elementary pre-service teachers. Provides opportunity to observe and teach in an elementary school setting. Consult Education Department for placement information. Prerequisite: All professional education courses and courses in the major must be completed prior to enrollment in course.

Health and Physical Education Methods for Elem Teachers | PED 30933 (2 credits)
Learn and use major concepts of health education, human movement and physical activity of central elements to foster active healthy lifestyles. Address integration of physical education and health concepts across curriculum instruction.

General Education Licensure Requirements

The American Experience I | HPS 11053 (3 credits)

Introduces the study of American history and its cultural, intellectual, political, economic, religious, racial and diplomatic topics. Emphasis on development of the country from discovery through Reconstruction.

Twentieth Century World History | HPS 31654 (3 credits)
Course focuses on the history of Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa in the twentieth century. Course will address globalization and consequences, colonization versus nationalism, militarization, collective security, and the effects of technology on nations. Students will assess the consequences of global, regional and civil wars throughout the century and the subsequent shift in influence to emerging nations.

Principles of Psychology | SOC 32253 (3 credits)
Introduces basic elements in understanding human behavior. Emphasis on basic concepts and terminology of psychology including the biological basis of behavior, sensation, perception, history of psychology, growth and development, motivation, learning, measurement and scientific methodology, emotion, personality, abnormal behavior, and psychotherapy.

Intermediate College Algebra | MAT 10443 (3 credits)
Emphasizes algebraic skill development such as linear and quadratic equations, rational exponents, radicals and systems of equations. Designed to prepare students for college level mathematics.

Principles of Biology & Lab | BIO 10043 (4 credits)

Introduces major biological processes occurring in animals and plants and basic concepts underlying the biology field. Includes corresponding lab.

Physical Science & Lab | PHY 11043 (4 credits)
Basic method and principles of physical sciences, examining selected concepts in physics, chemistry, geology and astronomy, with emphasis on relating fundamental physical laws to current environmental, energy and other societal problems. Includes corresponding lab.

Intermediate Writing | ENG 23723 (3 credits)
Examines steps of the writing process from sight to insight: perceive, identify, analyze, discover, write, re-write and edit. Critical thinking, library research, peer conferencing, and the art of argument integral to the course.

Courses listed are examples only. Relevant substitutions may be made with advisor approval.

State-Specific Requirements - Arizona

SEI Methods for English Language Learners II | EDU 44033 (3 credits)
Course will examine the format and alignment of ELL Proficiency Standards to the Arizona Language Arts Academic Standards. It will also analyze and apply disaggregated data to differentiate instruction as well as integrate diagnostic, formative, and summative assessments for ELLs. In addition, the course will describe the legal, historical and educational reasons for SEI. The course will further identify and use multiple strategies to improve student achievement by integrating: 1. comprehensible input; 2. ongoing, specific and immediate feedback; 3. grouping structures and techniques; 4. building background and vocabulary development; and 5. integrating student engagement. It will also identify the socio-cultural influences on ELLs such as Language shift, identity issues, and the role of culture in learning.

Arizona Constitution | HPS 30151 (1 credit)
Overview of Arizona's history and constitution from territorial days to the present.

United States Constitution | HPS 30251 (1 credit)
Overview of the history of the United States Constitution to establish a foundation of understanding.

For curriculum and course descriptions please download a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education program overview.

Full Degree Catalog

University Accreditation

Ottawa University, as a whole, is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Specific degree programs within our institution have also been accredited by relevant bodies within the field:

We are proudly recognized for our commitment to student excellence by the following designations:

Why Choose Ottawa
Almost all courses in Ottawa University’s programs are available online and accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. We make it easy for you to transfer credits in order to help keep tuition costs down. We also offer courses in accelerated 8-week terms in order to reduce your time to completion. These are just a few of the reasons why we are proud to be the best, fastest, and most affordable option locally in the Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Phoenix areas, as well as serving students nationally through our online degrees.

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