Elementary Education Certification Recommendation, BS

Rochester University is authorized by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) to recommend teacher candidates to the state for certification. SUBJECT TO MDE APPROVAL, candidates for certification at the elementary level may choose to certify in lower elementary (PK - Grade 3), upper elementary (Grades 3 - 6), or both. Upper elementary candidates may also choose a major in learning disabilities. English as a Second Language (ESL) may be added as an additional minor.

Graduates who receive elementary certification may teach all subject areas in grades PK-3 and/or grades 3-6. Graduates who earn the upper elementary grade band with the learning disabilities major may work with students with learning disabilities in grades K-12, and teach all subjects grades 3-6. To be as marketable as possible, elementary candidates are advised to seek both lower and upper elementary grade band programs.

Since the process of becoming a teacher includes both a baccalaureate degree and professional certification, students must declare their intent as early as possible in order to plan with an education adviser. The advising process is a critical aspect of teacher preparation; for example, some courses meet both general education and teacher education requirements at the same time. Education advisers work with each student to plan appropriate progress toward the completion of requirements of the teacher education program.

Post-baccalaureate students seeking initial certification must meet all of the MDE’s Standards, Rules, and Guidelines for the standard teaching certificate. Students must complete the university's "Calling" requirement, the appropriate grade band courses, and all coursework and field experiences in the professional studies component.

Program Learning Outcomes (aligned to CAEP program outcomes - InTASC):

After completing this program, students will be proficient in:

    Standard 1: Learner Development
    The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.

    Standard 2: Learning Differences
    The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.

    Standard 3: Learning Environments
    The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

    Standard 4: Content Knowledge
    The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structure of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.

    Standard 5: Application of Content
    The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.

    Standard 6: Assessment
    The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.

    Standard 7: Planning for Instruction
    The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.

    Standard 8: Instructional Strategies
    The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.

    Standard 9: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice
    The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

    Standard 10: Leadership and Collaboration
    The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

Admission to the Teacher Education Program

All students seeking a Michigan standard teaching certificate must apply for and be admitted to the Teacher Education Program. The following must be documented at the time of application for admission:

  • Completion of 30 hours with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00, with no grade below a “C” in the major, minor, and professional studies.
  • Satisfactory completion of EDU 3213 Educational Psychology with a minimum grade of C.
Criteria for admission to the Teacher Education Program include the following:
  • Completion of an Application for Admission to Teacher Education.
  • Submission of a completed Criminal Record Disclosure.
  • Submission of SAT or ACT scores to the Teacher Education Office.
  • Submission of two positive evaluations to be completed by two RU faculty members the candidate has had as an instructor.
  • Completion of an interview with the Education Admission Committee.
  • Successful field placement evaluations from EDU 3213 Educational Psychology.
  • Acceptable or accomplished scores on Attributes and Dispositions Evaluations.
  • Compliance with all standards expected of the Rochester University campus community, as outlined in the Student Handbook and the University Catalog.
The application package is reviewed by the Admission Subcommittee. Candidates are notified of admission status through a letter from the director of the School of Education.

The application package deadline for the fall semester is November 1. The spring semester deadline is April 1.  Admission is valid for six years; however, changes mandated by the Michigan Department of Education may impose additional requirements during that time period.

Approval for Student Teaching

Student teaching is often considered the most exciting and demanding aspect of the Teacher Education Program. It is the final field experience; therefore, it is the doorway into the teaching profession. Prospective employers place a premium on the successful completion of student teaching.

The field placement sites for student teaching are established in the Educational Foundations and Assessment course.  With the approval of the mentor teacher and coordinator for student teaching, placement for Educational Foundations and Assessment will also be the student teaching placement.

The following requirements must be met prior to beginning the student teaching experience:
  • Submission of an Application for Student Teaching.
  • Submission of a completed Criminal Record Disclosure.
  • Evidence of academic competency by a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 overall, in professional studies, and in the appropriate grade band courses, with no grade lower than a “C.”
  • Demonstration of standards expected of the Rochester University campus community, as outlined in the Student Handbook and the University Catalog.
  • Completion of all courses in professional studies (with the exception of EDU 4721/4821 Seminar), general education, the major, and the minor.
  • Successful completion of all field experiences. The 60-hour field experience corresponding to Educational Foundations and Assessment weighs heavily.
  • Taking applicable tests of the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC).
Applicants for student teaching are reviewed and approved by the Teacher Education Department.

Requirements for the BS with Elementary Education Certification Recommendation

General Education Core 25 hours

When a student is enrolled in a degree program that requires over 120 credits and a general education requirement is waived, the overall number of credits toward graduation may be reduced. All Rochester University students must earn 120 credits in order to graduate. All adjustments must be made within the first semester of the program.

Lower, Upper Elementary, or Both Grade Bands 55-71 hours

Professional Studies Core 29 hours

EDU 2262Media and Technology


EDU 3213Educational Psychology


EDU 3224Classroom Teaching and Management


EDU 3243Teaching Exceptional Students


EDU 3251Professional Preparation Workshop


EDU 3263Ethics and Culture in Education


EDU 3271Ethics and Culture Field Experience


EDU 4583Educational Foundations and Assessment - Elementary


EDU 4721Student Teaching Seminar: Elementary


EDU 4728Student Teaching: Elementary


Electives 0-11 hours

Total Credit Hours: 120-125