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Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education


The elementary years establish the foundation for one’s future. They’re a time not only of introducing basic skills but a love of learning and enthusiasm for trying something new. Teachers become the integral connection between nascent curiosity and developing subject competency. They foster a classroom culture of engagement and excitement and strive to guide every student toward their individual version of success.

Saginaw Valley State University’s Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education degree doesn’t solely teach course content and classroom skills. We strive to transform you into tomorrow’s leader—a doer and a thinker who not only shepherds the growth of each and every student but teaches them to believe in themselves and follow their dreams. Within this framework, our program emphasizes the importance of building relationships in the classroom: through student teaching, you’ll observe talented, seasoned educators captivate a room, and then you’ll actively discover your instructional style. Through a combination of coursework and in-classroom experiences, you’ll not only prepare for the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC), but you’ll become a passionate supporter of today’s and tomorrow’s burgeoning minds.

Students considering the Bachelor’s in Elementary Education degree select from two paths leading toward certification and an endorsement. You can double major in elementary education and a dedicated content area or opt for the comprehensive content program and complete a specialty area as a second major or minor.

The state of Michigan has authorized SVSU to recommend students enrolled in this program for initial certification at the elementary level (K–8). Beyond coursework and student teaching requirements, we aim to ensure every candidate is qualified to enter today’s highly competitive job market ready to lead, nurture, and impact the current generation of learners. Students interested in this major start with key general education and prerequisite subjects before applying to the Teacher Education Program (TEP). Review all requirements for admission.

For more information, contact the Department of Teacher Education: Elementary, Early Childhood, Special Education, and Educational Technology & Development at

Cardinal Points

  • SVSU's Elementary Education Program is Nationally Recognized by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI).

  • Elementary Education students have diverse field experiences in city, suburban and rural settings before student teaching—applying theory to practice. 

  • SVSU hosts the Annual Educator Leadership Institute, a three-day conference, which consists of a wide range of workshops and speakers focusing on the K-12 education system.

  • SVSU recently received a $99,672 grant from the Michigan Department of Education’s MiSTEM Advisory Council to train elementary school teachers in engaging STEM education strategies.

SVSU’s Teacher Education Program stands on four tenets. We seek to have all candidates become proficient in basic skills, develop a versatile foundation in the liberal arts, acquire subject matter competency for the K–8 grades, and learn the techniques and methodologies crucial for connecting with and empowering a classroom.

This approach shapes how we structure the Bachelor’s in Elementary Education degree and the curriculum. This degree program takes two forms:

  • Elementary Education with a Content Area and Planned Program: This format envisions you instructing a specific subject to an elementary or middle school–level classroom while gaining a comprehensive understanding of the skills needed to teach students at this stage. Content areas include Integrated Science, Language Arts, Mathematics, or Social Studies, all of which allow you to add a subject endorsement to your teaching certificate. Outside of your major, you’ll enrich your knowledge through courses across the other three content areas.
  • Elementary Education with a Comprehensive Content Area and a Specialty Area: You’ll take courses across Integrated Science, Language Arts, Mathematics, and Social Studies while honing in on a specialty instructional area such as early childhood education, special education, English as a second language, French, or Spanish, all of which can supplement your certification as an endorsement. Considering the program’s goals, you’ll be exposed to practical classroom skills while discovering all there is to know about your content or specialty area and preparing to teach in a range of settings:
  • General Education Requirements: Students considering the Bachelor’s in Elementary Education degree are advised to follow the recommended sequence of preparatory subjects encompassing world literature, the arts, mathematics, physical science, history, geography, political science, public speaking, writing, and cultural studies. Additional prerequisite courses in psychology, child development, and introductory teaching skills equip you to handle the program’s rigors. You’ll cover these subjects while fulfilling SVSU’s Basic Skills courses and General Education requirements.
  • Professional Studies: This 45-credit progression anticipates what you’ll be doing in the classroom as an elementary or middle school educator. You’ll become familiar with classroom management techniques, age-appropriate health education, teaching subjects from math and science to language arts, and topics related to special education and learning disabilities.
  • Student Teaching: Scheduled for your final two semesters, this 500-hour field experience allows you to apply and refine classroom management strategies, uncover your teaching style, and assist with curriculum development, curricular, and extracurricular programs.

Highlighted Courses

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Key Electives

Click here to see a listing of programs




Our Students After Graduation...


Bay City Public Schools
Freeland Community Schools
Akron-Fairgrove Schools
Bullock Creek School District
Bangor Township Schools
Swan Valley Community Schools
Saginaw Township Community Schools
Lansing School District
Island City Academy
L'Anse Creuse Public Schools
Memphis Community Schools
Yale Public Schools
Owosso Public Schools

Graduate Programs

Harvard University
Saginaw Valley State University
Central Michigan University
Michigan State University
University of Michigan
Oakland University

Career Opportunities

7th Grade ELA Teacher/Reading Specialist
Title 1 Teacher - K-5
Spanish K-4 Teacher
Elementary/Middle School Specialists (Mathematics, Science, Special Education, English as a Second Language, etc.)

Nourish your desire to uplift others and encourage diversity, equality, and a love of learning as an elementary educator. SVSU’s comprehensive degree prepares you to pursue teacher certification in the state of Michigan following graduation, along with at least one endorsement to give you an edge. You’re in the position to not only develop curriculum and classroom practices but to shape the lives of young learners during their most formative years and charter the success of everyone who sits in your classroom.

With a bachelor’s degree from SVSU’s Elementary Education program, career doors open to a multitude of teaching positions in preschool, elementary, middle, or secondary classrooms, as well as applying to a master’s program to continue your studies and expand your credentials to eventually hold a position as a school administrator, principal, or superintendent. 

Cardinal Successes

The stories below provide an insight into how students have turned their SVSU education into successful opportunities yielding real-world success.

Mallory Rivard Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education Majors

Read more…

Fully integrated into social networks, SVSU Connect is a valuable networking space dedicated to the community of SVSU students, faculty and alumni which cultivates a culture of helping and giving back. In addition to connecting with each other, students at all points along their journey can reach out to alumni mentors for guidance and insight into making the most of their SVSU experience and successfully transitioning into life after graduation.