Welcome to the Elementary Education major! The Grace College School of Education's elementary education program meets the licensure requirements to teach in K-6 grade classroom setting. Both primary generalist (K-3) and intermediate generalist (4-6) issues are addressed in course content and application experiences.
The focus of the elementary education program is to prepare candidates in the dispositions, knowledge and skills needed to be effective in the K-6 classroom. Graduates of the program will be teachers of character who are competent in the profession and have a heart for service. The program includes a balance of foundational content and methods courses focused on current, research-based practices and procedures. Course content is designed to provide guided training in the educational components of planning, instruction, classroom management and professionalism.
In addition to campus-based coursework, candidates also devote100+ hours of field experience to work in local K-6 classrooms. Faculty teaching in the program include professors who are highly skilled and trained in the area of elementary education. The combined professional background of School of Education faculty provides for the perfect blend of theory and applied practice. Full-time faculty serve as advisors for elementary education majors. Their knowledge and understanding of all program requirements allow for more effective use of advising opportunities.
The School of Education is fortunate to have a wonderful working relationship with neighboring private, charter and public school corporations. These positive relationships provide diverse learning opportunities for our candidates. Tutoring, after school clubs, mentoring programs and part-time employment are just a few of the possible connections candidates can have with local schools. Additional community efforts that depend on the skills and talents of our candidates include our work with the Center for Lakes & Streams, in which elementary education candidates create and implement learning opportunities focused on the importance of our local lakes and streams for area fourth grade students. School of Education candidates have opportunities in local P-12 communities through carnivals, field trips, family programs and Science Central events. These are just some of the many ways you will be connected with faculty, community and students while earning your Elementary Education degree at Grace College!
Examples of courses in this major:
An introduction to the profession of teaching. Learning experiences are structured both in and out of the classroom with the purpose of assisting the college student in making career decisions relative to this profession such as to teach or not, at which level, and in which subject area. Students observe in local schools. Three hours. A grade of "B-" or better is required to reach candidacy status.
A study of the learner at all grade levels and the many factors affecting learning, which include but are not limited to, theories of learning, environment, heredity, cultural impact, discipline, classroom management, exceptionalities and development. The measurement of academic aptitude and achievement is also covered. Practical application is stressed. Three hours. Prerequisite: SED 1000
This course is designed to develop an understanding of children with disabilities, especially in an educational setting. It provides an introduction to the field of special education, but it is also helpful to the regular classroom teacher. Three hours. Prerequisite: SED 1000
This course develops understanding and skill for working with children and parents who come from diverse backgrounds. Areas of diversity include race, ethnicity, native language, culture, class, gender, age, religion and ability. The focus is on increasing knowledge and respect for the diverse child in the classroom setting. Three hours. Prerequisite: SED 1000
Common elements are taught to both elementary and secondary majors with techniques specific to each covered. Students develop a repertoire of methods and strategies appropriate to their major and teaching level. Students will also survey strategies, techniques and skills for managing a classroom as well as construct and analyze tests and evaluation tools for classroom teachers. Field experience is required. Three hours. Prerequisites: SED 1000, SED 2200.
B.S. in Elementary Education, Eastern Illinois University; M.A. in Education, Ball State University; Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education, Walden University
Laurie Owen joined the Grace faculty in 2001 after 17 years of teaching elementary education in the public school system. In 2010, she was appointed Dean of the School of Education, but she continues to teach all levels of Education students. She was recognized for her hands-on, practical, applied and innovative teaching with Grace College's Alva J. McClain Excellence in Teaching award in 2004. Owen is actively involved in local scholarship committees. Her family attends Mission Pointe Church. Laurie lives in Winona Lake with her husband, Randy. They have four children—three of whom have already graduated from Grace and are all employed in the field of education.
B.S. in Elementary Education, Grace College; M.A. in Christian School Administration, Grace Theological Seminary; Ph.D. in Teacher Education, The Ohio State University
Jeffrey Peck taught for 13 years in elementary and middle schools in Arkansas and Ohio before earning his doctoral degree in Teacher Education at The Ohio State University. Since 1997, he has taught at the college level in Ohio, North Carolina and Indiana. He has been at Grace College since 2008.
B.S. in Music Education: All area/All grade, Grace College; B.S. in Applied Music: Oboe Performance, Grace College; M.S. in Special Education, Indiana University; Ed.D. in Special Education, Regent University
Cheryl Bremer has served as a special educator at both the elementary and middle school levels. She earned the Outstanding Student Teacher Award at Grace College in 1992. In addition to her public school teaching experience, Bremer owned and operated an early childhood movement and music studio for eight years. Her research interests include special education recruitment and peer mediated instruction. She is department chair for Special Education for the School of Education, teaches courses in special education, and sponsors the student-led chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children.
B.A. in Elementary Education, Anderson University, with an endorsement in Middle School Social Studies; M.A. in Curriculum, Design, and Instruction, Olivet Nazarene University; and ABD, Concordia University.
Rachael Hoffert joined the Grace College faculty in 2011 and teaches courses in reading development, assessment, instruction and intervention. Hoffert began her career teaching third and fifth grade in a diverse public school setting. After earning her master's degree, she completed an additional year of literacy coordinator training through Purdue University. Her training focused on best practices in literacy instruction, job-embedded coaching and effective professional development. Following her Purdue training, Hoffert was asked to serve as a district literacy coach and staff developer for Warsaw Community Schools. During this time, the district made significant gains in their language arts standardized test scores. Her professional interests include early literacy assessment, response to instruction/intervention, and teaching reading to English Language Learners. Hoffert lives in Warsaw with her husband, David, and their three young children, Ryun, Robinson and Roosevelt.
B.S. in Elementary Education, Grace College; M.S. in Elementary Education: Reading Endorsement, University of St. Francis
Carol Vosberg taught first grade for 20 years in the Whitko, Indiana corporation before coming to Grace. Vosberg also coordinates the Education Resource Center in the School of Education. She and her husband, Jim, a Grace College graduate and retired elementary school teacher, have two grown sons who are also Grace graduates.
B.S. in Elementary Education, Grace College; M.S., Indiana-Purdue University, Fort Wayne
Florell Hand joined the Grace College faculty and staff in the fall of 2014. Having taught first, second and third grades in the Warsaw Community School Corporation, and having later served in the School of Education as a part-time instructor (2008-2011), Florell has returned to her alma mater as systems manager, a position in which she coordinates accreditation, field experience and teacher licensure. She and her husband, John, reside in Warsaw and have two children, Jessica and John-Dillon.
Some of the positions you can obtain:
Elementary school teachers are responsible for assisting children with educational and emotional development in the beginning of their academic years. Most elementary school teachers instruct one class of children in several subjects. In some cases, two or more teachers team up to cover a class. There are some elementary school teachers who teach one special subject (usually music, art, reading, science, arithmetic or physical education) to a number of different classes at different times. A small but growing number of teachers instruct multilevel classrooms, which contain students at several different learning levels.
Assist the teacher in achieving teaching objectives by working with individual students or small groups to help them achieve the skill levels of the class as a whole.
What others are saying:
I have supervised five student teachers during my experience as a teacher. Four of them were from Grace College. The students from Grace were knowledgeable in new teaching trends, hard-working and ready to experience the classroom environment. The college's faculty has been accommodating and helpful in facilitating a positive experience for the student and classroom teacher. I have been extremely impressed with the staff and students in the School of Education at Grace College.
- Jan Knoop, supervising teacher
I have always been impressed with the quality of student teachers from Grace College. They are well-prepared, understand the expectations of teaching, and are professional.
- Carla Milliman, supervising teacher
The professors at Grace College are caring, dedicated and committed. Grace not only provided me with quality education, but also helped me to grow as a person.
- Randy Dahms, school principal, B.A., Elementary Education, 1998
Grace provided me with an incredible education that prepared me for my career as an educator. I appreciated learning from professors and coaches who exhibited the skills and qualities they taught about. They were more than willing to go the extra mile and often poured into my life outside the classroom, on their own time.
- Corey Smith, classroom teacher, B.S., Elementary Education, 2004
Warsaw Community Schools (WCS) is a proud partner and collaborator with the faculty and students of Grace College. Our partnership goes far beyond the traditional boundaries of a public K-12 school and college of higher education. Grace College education professors spend a considerable amount of time deepening their understanding of the Professional Learning Communities methodology and the curriculum critical to WCS. Warsaw Community Schools opens its doors each year for Grace to thousands of student practicum hours and between 50-75 student co-teaching placements. Grace students come into our school prepared to reach the needs of our students and community. WCS is extremely proud and thankful for our strong relationship with the Grace College Education Department.
-Dr. David A Hoffert, Superintendent Warsaw Community Schools
As an alum of Grace College and its Department of Education, I have both a personal and professional pride in what they do. In my role as Chief Academic Officer for Warsaw Community Schools I have the privilege of meeting teacher candidates from all over the Midwest. Graduates of Grace College's Department of Education consistently outperform those from other institutions. Grace College's School of Education prepares teachers that understand the best practices of education. They are ready to hit the workforce and make a difference right away. What sets many of their graduates apart, however, is the moral imperative that they have for education. The School of Education instills in its students the motivation for teaching: to make a lasting difference in the world through education. As times can be tough for educators, this larger mission sets Grace's students apart. This focus on servant leadership is something I learned as a student at Grace and that I'm proud I continue to see in today's graduates.
-David Robertson, Chief Academic Officer Warsaw Community Schools, B.S., Elementary Education, 2003