Elementary Education

Major, Accelerated Pathway

School of Education

4-Year Degree

Student teacher in front of elementary school class

The Elementary Education Program at Westminster University

The Elementary Education program develops future educators through extensive mentoring, helpful supervision, and field opportunities at diverse schools. The program’s comprehensive approach prepares you to face any challenge the field may offer and gives you the skills that are key to effective teaching. 

Westminster’s Elementary Education program focuses heavily on social justice issues so that you better understand the relationship between formal education systems and inequitable societal issues. You are encouraged to become an advocate of the social issues related to education and realize the power teachers hold for positive change in the system.

You will spend a lot of time in classrooms—from the onset of the program until graduation—building the confidence and skills you need to excel as a teacher. Westminster faculty members, who are experienced teachers themselves, get to know you to give you a personalized placement that allows you to get the most out of your teacher education. They will be there every step of the way, supervising you in the classroom and offering all the support and advice you need to succeed.

Explore helpful student resources provided by education faculty and get insight on the perspectives of Westminster education students and successful alumni.

Who the Elementary Education Program Is For

Students in the Elementary Education program want to make a major difference in the lives and education of others. The elementary years are crucial in determining students’ future educational success. Playing an important role in this process is very rewarding.

As you develop your teaching skills through a combination of classroom instruction at Westminster and hands-on student-teaching experience in the community, you will prepare yourself to impact the youngest minds in the education system.

What You'll Learn in the Elementary Education Program 

The School of Education adopted the Utah Effective Teaching Standards for the teacher education program in the Fall 2015 Semester. Students must satisfy these standards to complete the program and be recommended for a teaching license. These standards are education-specific versions of Westminster’s university-wide learning goals.

  • Learner development
  • Learning differences
  • Learning environments
  • Content knowledge
  • Assessment
  • Instructional planning
  • Instructional strategies
  • Reflection and continuous growth
  • Leadership and collaboration
  • Professional and ethical behavior

sample elementary education courses

  • EDUC-220: Math for K-6 Teachers I
  • EDUC-301: Educational Policy
  • EDUC-313: Theories of Adult Learning
  • EDUC-312: Specialized Education Services


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Our Faculty

Peggy Cain, PhD

Anneliese Cannon, PhD
Associate Professor

Lowell Oswald, PhD
Associate Professor



You will graduate with a Utah K-6 teaching license. Westminster has not determined whether it meets the educational requirements for licensure in all other states within the United States, including U.S. territories. Students will need to inquire with additional states for information.


potential elementary education careers

  • Classroom teacher
  • District coach (math coach, science coach)
  • Curriculum developer
  • Director of after school programs and/or youth organization

"I am concerned as an educator about issues of justice, inequality, and equity where some languages are valued more, some are considered more scholarly, and some people’s experiences are valued more than others."

Read The Story

Anneliese Cannon
assistant professor in the School of Education at Westminster

Accelerated Programs and Partnerships

Several undergraduate programs at Westminster feature an accelerated track or partnership that allows our graduates to earn a graduate degree as quickly as possible.

Learn About Accelerated Programs and Partnerships

What Are the Key Benefits of the Elementary Education Program?

Faculty support you through individualized attention and constructive feedback, helping you develop your skills through valuable mentorship.
Experience working with students and teachers in schools starts very early in the program.
Faculty are experienced elementary teachers. They share effective teaching strategies that will contribute to your success in the classroom.
Your student-teaching placement inside an actual elementary school setting in the community builds your confidence and skill set, allowing you to learn by doing.

Elementary Education Career Opportunities

Westminster’s strong, longstanding relationships with school districts and administrators in the area benefit students in the Elementary Education program. Beginning in March of your final semester, Westminster’s Career Center will arrange on-campus interviews for local school districts. Many graduates secure teaching positions well before they graduate. Program graduates often become leaders early in their careers at their schools and the district level. Westminster graduates are known for this and the confidence they exhibit in the classroom as early career teachers.

If you have chosen to pursue a TESOL minor to meet your minor requirement, this endorsement is highly sought after by districts. Endorsements can lead to you becoming a team leader or district specialist in TESOL.

Potential Employers

  • Murray City School District  


If you choose to pursue a master’s degree, you can also open up additional opportunities for yourself in roles such as a school librarian, counselor, or administrator. Westminster offers a Master of Education program, which past Elementary Education program students have come back to pursue.

Elementary Education Program Plan of Study

Through the Elementary Education program, you will develop the skills and knowledge necessary to teach comfortably and effectively in an elementary school classroom. Over the course of your studies, you will explore teaching methods, classroom management, and student-teach.

Admission to the elementary education Program

The Elementary Education program requires admission to the program. You should register to take EDUC 252 in your sophomore year at Westminster. This introductory course is where the application process will take place. Program directors will visit with students in this class early in the semester and explain all requirements involved in the application process.

elementary education Program Format

  • Initial courses cover developmental theories, teaching principles, and practices that promote culturally sustainable teaching.
  • Methods courses cover best practices for teaching the elementary content areas (math, language arts, science, reading, creative arts, social studies). Each methods course requires 10–15 hours of classroom observation time, which involves teaching lessons you design as part of the methods course. This allows you to spend many hours in various classrooms before you student-teach in your final semester.
  • You will participate in a lot of collaborative work so you can replicate that style of teaching in your classrooms.
  • Instead of exams, you will develop engaging lesson plans and units.
  • Faculty will model best practices that you will be able to use in the classroom.

Minor Requirement

Elementary Education program students are required to take a minor. This can be any minor offered on campus. However, education faculty encourage you to select a minor that is helpful in the classroom. Westminster offers teaching speakers of other languages (TESOL). Completion of the TESOL minor earns you a TESOL endorsement.

Student Teaching

Student teaching takes place during your last semester at Westminster. Faculty work hard to find the best placement for you; however, you can submit requests for a particular grade/district you would prefer to work with to be considered.

Secondary Education Teacher Education at Westminster

If you already know that you are interested in teaching at the secondary education level (grades 6-12) rather than elementary, you should enroll in the applicable major for what you intend to teach and additionally complete 7 education credits (EDUC 302 and EDUC 312) as a part of your undergraduate studies. These credits can be used for Westminster’s Accelerated Master of Arts in Teaching program, through which you would earn a master of arts in teaching degree and a secondary education license.

Email Dr. Lowell Oswald (loswald@westminsteru.edu) if you have any questions about this opportunity.

Liberal Education Courses

You must complete the WCore program or join the Honors College (and complete requirements) to fulfill your liberal education credits.

Tuition and Aid

There's No Better Investment Than You

Westminster University knows you want an education where you matter—a place that will serve as a launchpad for a successful career and a meaningful life. Westminster will work with you individually through every step of the financial aid process. From scholarships to grants and loans, Westminster helps you make it happen.

With the highest percentage of students who complete one or more internships in the state, Westminster students hit the ground running with real-world experience. Plus, 90% of students were either employed or attending graduate school within 5 months of graduating. With a Westminster degree, you don't have to choose between a successful career and a fulfilling life.

Learn About Tuition

You’ll be automatically considered for scholarship and grant opportunities.

In addition to general merit scholarships, other scholarship programs are available to support you throughout your time at Westminster.

Check Out Scholarships

Your tuition, fully paid

All students should have the ability to explore their passions. Westminster University is proud to cover the cost of tuition for qualifying students through the Westminster Commitment.

Learn About the Westminster Commitment