Elementary Education

Get Involved

A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

  • Community Partnerships: Many classes involve working with children and teachers in the various schools around the Gunnison Valley.
     
  • Future Educators of America: Students in this club engage in volunteer work and professional development opportunities along with other like-minded students.
     
  • Residency Year: Students may choose to student teach in an elementary (K-6) classroom anywhere in the world.

Scholarships

Scholarships associated with academic programs usually have a specific scholarship application form that can easily be obtained by contacting that academic program's office or visiting that academic program's web page. If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid office at 970.943.3085 or 800.876.5309.

Brennecke/Elkins, Magdalene Scholarship: Amount TBD

Eligiblity

  • Students with junior stadning or above at the end of the term in which he/she applies
  • Must plan to teadch at either elementary or secondary level
  • Must be fully admitted to the Education program
  • Must have a 3.0 GPA in education and overall
  • Must have demonstrated personal characteristics which would predict success as a teacher
  • Financial need will be considered

Description

This scholarship is provided by the family and friends of Magdalene Elkins, who was a 1920 graduate and lifelong friend of Western.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: The Education Department.

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.  

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Champion Leadership & Responsibility Scholarship: Amount TBD

Eligibility

  • Intercollegiate athletes that are a junior or senior
  • Must be at least 21 years of age by the first day of classes in the academic yeat in which they recieve the scholarship
  • Recipient must be enrolled at Western and in good academic standing 
  • 3.0 GPA minimum
  • A member of WCU intercollegiate athletics teams
  • Must be eligible to compete under NCAA and RMAC rules and regulations
  • Must clear a back-ground check conducted by the Office of Student Affairs

Description

This scholarship is provided by Miller Brewing Company/Colorado Beverage Distributing Inc.

Award depends on fund availability.

Selected By: Intercollegiate Athletics Director or Assistant Intercollegiate Athletics Director for Internal Operations and Compliance, Assistant Intercollegiate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator, Sports Information Director, Faculty Intercollegiate Athletics Representative, one professional member of Student Affairs/Campus Life, two members of the Student Intercollegiate Athlete Advisory Committee (one male and one female).

Scholarship Criteria:

  • 10 percent Intercollegiate Athletics Achievement 
  • 15 percent Academic Achievement 
  • 75 percent of the criteria is based on the following: 
    • Demonstrated leadership and responsibility - this includes responsibility in all aspects of one's life, especially in the area of responsible decision making regarding alcohol. 
    • Demonstrated leadership and involvement in campus and off-campus activities including, but not limited to Student Government Association, Student Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory Council, Academic Leadership Program, on and off-campus community service engagement. 
    • Community service activities involving responsibilities regarding alcohol and alcohol awareness programs carry additional weight.
  • Continued Expectations: Throughout the year that an applicant receives and represents this scholarship, they are expected to continue to live to the ideals of the scholarship program. They are highly encouraged to engage in at least one service project that has focus on alcohol awareness and responsible behavior.

Application:

Contact the Intercollegiate Athletics Department for application and deadline information. 970.943.2079 - Paul Wright Gym 210. Hand deliver application packet which includes a letter of application, resume, support materials/portfolio demonstrating leadership and involvement activities, and three letters of reference to:

Champion Leader and Responsibility
Scholarship Program Selection Committee
Attn. Loretta
Intercollegiate Athletics Department
210 Paul Wright Gymnasium
Western Colorado University
Gunnison, Colorado 81231

Hansen, Dr. Kenneth H. and Mary Alice Memorial Education Scholarship: Amount TBD

Eligibility

  • Full-time student
  • 3.0 GPA or greater
  • Preference will be given to nontraditional students
  • Must be studying in Western's Education Program with plans to become a teacher
  • Must demonstrate appropriate abilities, skills and promise as observed by Western's Education faculty
  • Preference will be given to students with financial need

Description

This scholarship is provided by Mary Alice Hansen and her family to celebrate the memory of her late husband Kenneth

Depending on funds available

Selected by: Education faculty

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Knight, Sophie Hamrick Memorial Scholarship: Amount TBD

Eligibility

  • Western students who have established financial need and a positive attitude
  • Must demonstrate interest and potential in becoming a teacher
  • Preference will be given to freshmen, but is open to students in all classes and to high school graduates who may not be eligible for other scholarships awarded to top 5 percent of graduating class

Description

This scholarship is provided by her son, V. Robert Kerr, to perpetuate the memory of Sophie Simpson Knight, an outstanding example of academic achievement, citizenship and an exemplar of courage and dedication in the pursuit of education and knowledge. Mrs. Knight's association with Western began in 1944 and continued for more than 20 years, graduating with an A.B. and a Life Certificate in 1957 at the age of 64.

Award depends on funds available

Selected by: The Education Department.

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Nylund, Jennie & Fritz Memorial Scholarship: Amount TBD

Eligiblity

  • Graduates of Nucla High School attending Western full time who intend to pursue a career in teaching
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • If no candidate from Nucle High apples, any education major is eligible

Description

This scholarship is provided by Jennie and Fritz's daughter, Betty Nylund Gibbs and her husband, Verner.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: Western Colorado University Scholarship Committee (Director of Financial Aid).

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.  

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Randall, Edwin H. Memorial Scholarship: $500

Eligibility

  • Seniors at Western who are active members of intercolligiate sports teams who also plan to teach
  • Must demonstrate superior academic preformance
  • Must maintain an overall 3.0 GPA
  • Must exhibit outstanding character and leadership abilities (both in the classroom and in the intercollegiate setting)

Description

Established to honor the memory of Western Professor, Ed "Doc" Randall. Dr. Randall placed great value in both academics and Intercollegiate Athletics. This award was conceived to reward a student-Intercollegiate Athletics who has made admirable progress in teaching or coaching fields.

$500 per academic year.

Selected by: Western Scholarship Committee 

Application:

Nominations submitted by Western head coaches. Contact the Intercollegiate Athletics Department for additional information.

970.943.2079 | Paul Wright Gym 210

Reid, Paul and Dorothy Scholarship In Teacher Education: Amount TBD

Eligibility

  • Full-time junior or senior at Western
  • Must be fully admitted to the Teacher Education Program
  • Must be an active participant in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Cenference sport
  • 3.0 GPA in the major area of study for a lincensure as a teacher

Description

This scholarship is provided by Paul and Dorothy Reid.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by:The Education and Athletics Departments

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.  

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Rouse, Roberta M. Scholarship: $500

Eligibility

  • Colorado residents
  • Must be a full-time student in good academic standing
  • Must be planning a career in elementary education
  • Demonstrate academic performance and financial need
  • Preference is given to students returning to college to continue their education

Description

This scholarship is provided by her children to honor their mother. Roberta Rouse met her husband, Fred, while they were attending Western. Following WWII, they returned to Western where Roberta supported her husband as he completed his education and began his career as an educator. After the birth of their last of nine children, Roberta returned to complete her B.A. and M.A. degrees in Elementary Education. Seven of their children also attended Western and five became school teachers.

Award depends on available funds (approximately $500).

Selected by: The Education Department.

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.  

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Tredway, Dan Memorial Education Scholarship: Amount TBD

Eligibility

  • Colorado residents with preference given to Westen Slope
  • Must be a full-time senior obtaining an Education Licensure
  • Must demonstrate financial need
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA
  • Must be a motivated individual and high achiever

Description

This scholarship is provided by the family of Dan Tredway.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: The Education Department in cooperation with the Director of Financial Aid.

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.  

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Zugelder, Ann Award Fund: Amount TBD

Eligibility

  • Men and women students pursuing certification in elementary education
  • Must be full-time sophomore or junior at time of selection, or junior or senior at time award is given
  • Must have a 3.5 GPA or higher
  • Must exhibit high standards of scholarship, leadership, and citizenship and above average communicative skills

Description

This scholarship is provided by Ann Zugelder, one of Gunnison's most distinguished citizens. She was an elementary school teacher for more than 30 years, maintaining her interest and support of elementary education after her retirement in 1967.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: The Education Department

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Haefeli, Delia Fay Scholarship: Amount TBD

Eligibility

  • Female education students majoring in K-12 Teacher Education
  • 3.0 GPA minimum
  • Demonstrate past and present involvement in community service
  • Applicants must have graduated from Colorado Western Slope high school
  • Must be a first-generation student of a college, university, or post-secondary education

Description

Delia Fay Haefeli, a Colorado native who graduated from West Grand High School, in Kremmling, Colo. She graduated from Western in 1985 with a B.A. in Elementary Education. She received her Master's degree from UNC. She was the first person in her family to attend and graduate from college. Delia has taught elementary and middle school for 33 years and is an ardent Boston Red Sox fan.

Award depends on funds available

Selected by: The Education Department

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

 

Barr, Robert M. and Roberta Armstrong Scholarship: Amount TBD

Eligibility

  • Must be Colorado resident
  • Western student enrolled in at least 12 credits
  • Exhibit and document a solid history of exemplary citizenshup gaged by involvement in the community through civic engagement, service learning projects, etc. 
  • Prove commitment to teaching and academic excellence while continuing to hold the aformentioned values throughout the term of the scholarship
  • Must certify financial need

Description

This scholarship is provided by Mrs. Roberta Barr established this scholarship to help potential teachers gain the education they need to be successful. Mrs. Barr was an educator, over several decades, and understood the importance of well-trained, dedicated teachers. As an alumnus of Western, she was committed to providing scholarships to students who have demonstrated capability, promise, community involvement, and financial need.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: The Education Department

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2030 | Crawford Hall 101

Birkholz, John and Rosalie Scholarship: Amount TBD

Eligibility

  • Full-time students with a declared or a plan to declare an Education major
  • Minimum 2.75 GPA & maintain it in order to maintain eligibility
  • Recipients will be expected to volunteer their time with the Western Foundation, to help with special projects, fundraising events, ect. as a learning experience to advance their practical education

Description

This scholarship is provided by Peter Birkholz in loving memory of John and Rosalie Birkholz.

Depending on funds available.

Selected By : Peter Birkholz in consultation with the Education faculty and the Director of Financial Aid.

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2157 | Crawford Hall 103

Tutor, Dr. Charles R. Scholarship

Eligibility

  • Full-time Western Undergraduate and/or graduate juniors or seniors with an Education emphasis
  • Must have at lease a 3.0 GPA
  • Preference will be given to seniors and to those of underrepresented populations
  • Selections are based on financial need

Application:

Contact the Education Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2157 | Crawford Hall 103.

Faculty & Staff

Courses

FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a sample of courses offered by Western Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the university course search.

 ART 105 - Introduction to Art (3 credits)

An introduction to the visual arts, including consideration of the fundamentals of art making, artistic practice, design, art history, analysis, and interpretation. Students engage with art through a combination of lectures, demonstrations, gallery-based exercises, and/or hands-on studio projects. (Course does not count toward the Art major or minor.) GT-AH1

 COM 202 - Academic Writing and Inquiry (3 credits)

Students expand on the process and techniques begun in Academic Writing. Primary focus is on analytical written communication and on advocacy oral communication. Also included throughout the course is the reading of relevant academic professional writing, which promotes student awareness of the role of written and oral communication in academic and professional life. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 ECON 201 - Macroeconomics (3 credits)

An introduction to the methods, models, and approaches used by economists to analyze and interpret events and policies related to the overall operation of the economy. The course endeavors to make sense of unemployment, inflation, recessions, debt and deficits, economic growth, the expanding role of the Federal Reserve, and policies to provide stability to the economy. Additional attention is given to the making of economic policy in an era of globalization. Finally, students are exposed to multiple schools of thought regarding macroeconomic reasoning. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 19 or above; SAT math score of 500 or above; pass MATH 099; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 85 or higher, or university-level math requirement with a minimum grade of C-. Prerequisite or corequisite: ENG 102.

 ENG 102 - Academic Writing (3 credits)

Provides students the opportunity to practice strategies for developing writing projects on unfamiliar topics in unfamiliar formats to become more effective and efficient writers. Writers learn to practice strategies for making writing more comprehensible for readers and to use a wide range of writing processes for getting started, developing, organizing, and polishing writing projects. Prerequisites (one of the following): ENG 099; ACT English score of 18 or higher to demonstrate writing proficiency and ACT Reading score of 17 or higher to demonstrate reading proficiency; SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score of 470 or higher to demonstrate writing proficiency and SAT Critical Reading score of 430 or above to demonstrate reading proficiency; Accuplacer Sentence Skills test score of 95 or higher and Accuplacer Reading Comprehension test score of 80 or higher; or combination of ACT, SAT, and Accuplacer scores to fulfill both reading and writing proficiencies; or co-requisite ENG 100 (SAI).

 ENG 205 - Introduction to Creative Writing (3 credits)

An introduction to the basic techniques of writing fiction and poetry. Models of each are studied, and students write and share pieces in both of these literary forms. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of "C-".

 ENG 220 - Grammar and the English Language (3 credits)

A study of English grammar focusing on standard English. Students are also introduced to the history of the English language. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 ESS 353 - Coordinated School Health and Physical Activity Programs (2 credits)

Overview of coordinated school health programs with a heavy focus on local wellness policy, comprehensive school health education and the role of physical activity and physical education in schools. Includes 6-8 hours of required field experience. Prerequisites: EDUC 000 and junior standing.

 GEOG 120 - Introduction of Human Geography (3 credits)

A thematic study of cultural landscapes and the processes by which people create and modify them. Topics of discussion range from ancient to modern, rural to urban, local to international, and include themes as diverse as the origins and spread of agriculture, migration and immigration, urban morphologies and social interactions, ethnicity, development and underdevelopment, and environmental concerns.

 GEOG 250 - Geography of North America (3 credits)

A survey of the major biophysical, cultural, and economic regions of the United States and Canada. Major themes of human geography including demography, migration, land use change, and ecological concerns are addressed in appropriate regional contexts. Prerequisite: GEOG 120 or sophomore standing.

 HIST 260 - History of Latin America (3 credits)

A survey of the major events and themes of Latin American History from pre-Columbian times through the modern era with special emphasis on the interaction of New and Old World cultures and the impact of colonization and the construction of national identity after independence into the modern era. GT-HI1

 HIST 327 - Colorado History (3 credits)

A study of the history of Colorado from prehistoric times to the modern era, emphasizing the Native American and Spaniard, mining, cattle, transportation and farming frontiers, and problems of the 20th century involving water, energy, and growth. Prerequisites: minimum sophomore standing or instructor permission. HIST 200 recommended.

 MATH 113 - Statistical Thinking (3 credits)

A course introducing the ideas of statistical analysis. Topics include data visualization and summarization, parameter estimation, and hypothesis testing. This course emphasizes practical aspects of data analysis and makes extensive use of spreadsheets and real data. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 21 or above; SAT math score of 540 or above; MATH 099; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 106 or above; or co-requisite MATH 103 (SAI). GT-MA1

 MATH 140 - College Algebra (3 credits)

An integration of the essential algebraic manipulations, solving equations and inequalities, polynomial functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and techniques of graphing. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 21 or above; SAT math score of 540 or above; MATH 099; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 106 or above; or co-requisite MATH 102 (SAI). GT-MA1

 MATH 209 - Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers I (3 credits)

First of two courses designed for prospective elementary teachers. Emphasizes the real number system, arithmetic operations, and algebra. Explorations focus on representing, analyzing, generalizing, formalizing, and communicating patterns and structures. Content is presented using problem solving and exploration. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 23 or above; SAT math score of 560 or above; MATH 140 with a minimum grade of C-; or Accuplacer university-level mathematics test with a score of 65 or above.

 MATH 210 - Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers II (3 credits)

Second of two courses designed for prospective elementary teachers. Emphasizes probability, data analysis, and geometry. Explorations focus on representations of data and two and three-dimensional shapes, their properties, measurements, constructions, and transformations. Prerequisite: MATH 209 with a minimum grade of 'C-."

 MUS 100 - Fundamentals of Music (3 credits)

An introduction to music literacy and theory. Students acquire basic skills of reading, writing, and performing music and gain an understanding of scales, intervals, chords, and transposition. The course is open to students with little or no musical background.

 POLS 117 - Introduction to Political Ideas (3 credits)

An introduction to political analysis through a study of important political concepts and theories, as well as their historical development. Students study the ideas and practices of the public and philosophical development of concepts such as citizenship, democracy, equality, justice, liberty, or power.

 POLS 180 - Introduction to American Politics (3 credits)

Introduces institutions and processes of American politics, including themes such as constitutionalism, representation, participation, political development, political economy, civil liberties and rights, public policy, and the ideas and values of American democracy.

 POLS 282 - Issues in State and Local Government (3 credits)

Using the foundations of American Federalism, the class examines policy issues at the state and local levels. With a comparative perspective and, at the same time, with particular attention paid to Colorado, some of the themes examined in states and localities include: budgets and economic policy, education, energy, and environmental Policy. Prerequisite: recommended POLS 180.

 SCI 110 - Habitable Planet (with laboratory) (4 credits)

An introduction to earth science and ecology. Topics include earth history, the fossil record, biogeochemical cycles, climate, energy flow, biodiversity, evolution, population growth and regulation. This course is designed for students seeking licensure as elementary teachers (grades K-6). Additional course fee applies.

 SCI 111 - Nature of Science (1 credits)

An introduction to science as it relates to the individual, society, and the elementary school classroom. The process of science is examined, as well as the connection between science as it is done and science in textbooks. This course is designed for students seeking licensure as elementary teachers (grades K-6). Prerequisite or corequisite: SCI 110.

 SCI 120 - Living Planet (with laboratory) (0 to 4 credits)

An introduction to human biology, chemistry and biochemistry. Topics explored include anatomy, physiology, nutrition, cell biology, genetics, inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, development, and the application of biological and biochemical principles to understanding disease. This course is designed for students seeking licensure as elementary teachers (grades K-6). Additional course fee applies.

 SCI 210 - Dynamic Planet (with laboratory) (4 credits)

A foundation in physics, earth science, and space science. Topics explored include motion, force, energy, weather, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, and the solar system. This course is designed for students seeking licensure as elementary teachers (grades K-6). Additional course fee applies. Prerequisite: SCI 110 or SCI 120 and completion of the general education essential skills mathematics requirement.

  • Bachelor of Arts
    • Major

    Overview

    The Elementary Education major is designed to prepare students to teach in a standards-based classroom and offers preparation for diverse educational opportunities. Students develop a professional knowledge base as they research and reflect upon best teaching practices, including collaboration and relationship-building that extend well beyond traditional educational goals of individual achievement.

    The Program

    Throughout their first three years, Elementary Education students engage in interdisciplinary studies to learn the content they need to become excellent teachers. Upon completion of these core studies, students apply for the yearlong clinical residency that is completed during their senior year—in the location of their choice. Students will attend an on-campus summer session to prepare them for their residency. Students continue to take online Education courses during their residency year.

    The Elementary Education major integrates the requirements to earn a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) emphasis and/or endorsement. After completing their residency year, students graduate with a degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in CLD, a license to teach Elementary Education and a possible CLD endorsement from the Colorado Department of Education.

    Careers & Opportunities

    Elementary Education graduates are set to become teachers, but there are many different types of teaching positions and pathways to landing a job that fits. Many undergraduates choose to continue to earn their master’s degree, which opens up the possibility of higher wages, specialty licensures and administrative and district-level jobs later in their career. In addition to being a classroom teacher, the following positions may be open to graduates:

    • Coaches
    • Tutors
    • Teachers in International Schools
    • Online Teachers
    • Outdoor Educators
    • Literacy Coaches

    Learn More

    Reach out to Barbara Woerner, BEd for more information.