Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education

Students preparing to be elementary teachers complete an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with coursework and field experience in literacy and language, content methods, and education practices. An emphasis in one of the following approved academic areas is required:

culturally and linguistically diverse education (CLD)
early childhood education
physical education
social studies

A Special Education Generalist Endorsement is offered and requires coursework, field hours, and student teaching in addition to that required for the initial elementary license.

Stages of the Teacher Education Undergraduate Program

The stages in the program provide for sequential development of research based knowledge about student learning and instructional practice. The program of preparation for initial licensure begins with an introduction to teaching and education in a series of prerequisite courses in education. Coursework taken after admission to the program provides a research-based foundation that is both theoretical and practical, for student teaching. Student teaching is a one-semester, full-time practicum in the classroom.

Stage I: Admission

Admission Application to Initial Licensure Programs

Submit to the Department of Teacher Education the completed admission application and accompanying documents that include:

  1. Belief statement
  2. Evidence of prior work with children
  3. Two recommendation forms
  4. Signed degree/licensure plan completed with the Undergraduate Teacher Education Advisor

Applications are accepted once during the spring and fall semesters. Specific dates, admission materials, rubrics, and guidelines are at

Academic Requirements and Prerequisites for Admission

  • Current enrollment, in good standing, at Adams State University
  • Complete 30 hours of undergraduate coursework from an accredited college or university prior to the semester of application to program
  • Cumulative and semester GPA of 2.75 or better
  • Completion of the following pre-requisite courses with a grade of C or better (note: C- is below the requirement):
    • ED 200 (30 hours of field experience required)
    • ED 220 (10 hours of field experience required)
    • ED 230 (elementary licensure only)
    • PSYC 204 (elementary licensure only)
    • ENG 101
    • ENG 102
    • MATH 104 or higher

Additional Prerequisites

  1. Submission of completed Colorado Bureau of Investigation background check form
  2. Possession of an Adams State University Department of Teacher Education identification card
  3. Evidence (signed attendance) of participation in Professional and Ethical Behavior Orientation and acceptance of Professional Conduct Agreement for Field Experience Lab Students

Stage II: Continuation (Teacher Education Field Experience)

Once admitted to the program, the student must maintain semester and cumulative GPAs of 2.75. Students are placed in K-12 classrooms throughout the initial licensure program for a total of

800 field experience hours, as required by the State of Colorado. Field placement hours are a requirement of specific courses in the initial licensure program and include assignments that correspond to the courses.

Field hours must be completed during enrollment in required courses. All placements are in regular K-12 classrooms in Colorado public schools during the regular school day. Students are advised to plan their personal schedules in order to be available during school hours. All field placements, including student teaching, are made by the Field Services Office.

All contacts with the K-12 schools are made by the Field Services Office. Students may not initiate their own placement contacts or arrangements. Violation of these guidelines is grounds for suspension or dismissal from the program. Placements are made in a variety of settings and involve the professional judgment of the Field Services Office. Students should anticipate the need to make their own arrangements for transportation to field placements sites. Students will not be placed in schools that they have attended or in which relatives work or are in attendance. This information must be disclosed by the candidate.

Stage III: Student Teaching

Student teaching is the final phase in the preparation for initial licensure. Student teaching is a full-time, one-semester assignment in a K-12 classroom. Under the supervision of a mentor teacher, student teachers assume responsibility for instructional planning and student learning. They must also review and modify practice based upon evidence-based theories and strategies in order to insure learning success for all students. In the semester prior to student teaching, candidates complete a written application and provide supporting documents for placement (documents available at Placement areas are limited to the San Luis Valley. Placements outside the San Luis Valley are by permission only from the Student Review Committee.

Student Teaching Requirements

  1. Be admitted and in good standing in an ASU initial licensure program
  2. Maintain a 2.75 semester and cumulative GPA
  3. Pass the appropriate PLACE or PRAXIS II content exam by the seventh week of the fall or spring semester prior to student teaching. (The student is responsible for all fees and costs.)
  4. Have a current signed degree/licensure plan on file in the undergraduate office
  5. Complete all program coursework with a C or better. Additional information can be found in the departmental Handbook for Student Teaching and Field Experience.

Stage IV: Recommendation for Licensure

Upon completing all program requirements, the candidate may be recommended by the Department of Teacher Education to the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) for initial licensure. These requirements include, but are not limited to: all program coursework, proficiencies, field hours, student teaching, a 2.75 cumulative GPA, and graduation.

Application forms for initial licensure are at the Colorado Department of Education Web site. The candidate submits the CDE form and Verification of Completion of Approved Educator Preparation Program to the undergraduate office in the Department of Teacher Education. After the appropriate records are reviewed, the verification form is signed by the Licensure Officer and emailed to the applicant. The candidate is responsible for all fees and costs.

Degree Requirements

Completion of the general education requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree including a total of 120 hours of acceptable coursework, 42 hours of which must be upper-division courses.

Education Major Courses

Courses completed to meet any other degree or general education requirements cannot be used to fulfill the requirements listed below.

  • HIST 202: American Hist to 1865 GT-HI1 (3 hours) OR HIST 203: Amer Hist 1865-Present GT-HI1 (3 hours)
  • ED 303: Promote Healthy Environment (3 hours)
  • GEOG 300: World Geography (3 hours)
  • Choose one course (3 hours):
    • CLD 401: Introduction to Study of Language
    • CLD 402: Language & Culture
    • CLD 403: Second Language Acquisition
    • CLD XXX: CLD/TESOL Topics Course
  • MATH XXX — at the 100 level or above, in addition to the course taken for general education credit
  • PSYC 211: Intro to Stats Lecture/Lab (4 hours)

Prerequisite to Professional Core

  • ED 200: Perspectives Teaching/Learning (3 hours)
  • ED 220: The Exceptional Learner (3 hours)
  • ED 230: Lit/Language Development I (3 hours)
  • PSYC 204: Child Development (3 hours)

Professional Core

Students must be admitted to the Teacher Education Preparation Program and earn a grade of C or better in each professional education course.

  • ED 300: Literacy & Language Dev II (3 hours)
  • ED 328: Methods/Teaching Math-Elem (3 hours)
  • ED 345: Educational Psychology (3 hours)

Content Area Emphasis (15-21 credits)

Select an approved content area emphasis with your advisor and complete the corresponding curriculum.

culturally and linguistically diverse education (CLD)
physical education
social studies
Science Emphasis for Elementary Education Licensure

A minimum 15 credits from the following:

  • BIOL 101: Introductory Biology GT-SC1 (4 hours) OR BIOL 209: General Biology GT-SC1 (5 hours)
  • CHEM 111: Introductory Chemistry GT-SC1 (4 hours) OR CHEM 132: General Chemistry GT-SC1 (4 hours)
  • GSCI 109: Dynamic Earth (3 hours) OR ENV 101: Intro to Environmental Science (3hours)
  • PHYS 110: Astronomy: Stars and Galaxies (3 hours)
  • PHYS 225: College Physics I GT-SC1 (5 hours)


  • GSCI 300: World Geography (3 hours)

Senior Block (courses taken concurrently)

  • ED 310: Methods/Teaching Science-Elem (3 hours)
  • ED 404: Literacy and Language Dev III (2 hours)
  • ED 414: Class Instruct/Mngmnt – Elem (2 hours)
  • ED 424: Elem Ed Practices/Assessment (2 hours)
  • ED 434L: Field Experience Lab – Elem (3 hours)

Student Teaching

  • ED 435: Student Teaching-Elementary (1 TO 15 hours)

Student Responsibility

Students entering a program for professional preparation to become a licensed teacher in the State of Colorado are responsible for understanding and following the requirements, procedures, and policies in the most current Adams State University Academic Catalog, the Initial Licensure Handbook, and additional program materials related to their specific licensure program, including their signed degree plan. For questions or clarification, contact the Department of Teacher Education. Failure to read and understand requirements for the program does not excuse students from responsibility for program compliance.

An overview is provided each semester during an information session on basic professional and academic expectations. This is required of all ED 200 students. Evidence of attendance and signed agreement of compliance with requirements, procedures, and policies is required.

Information in the most current Adams State University Academic Catalog, which is accurate at the time of publication, takes precedence over other published ASU information, except in the case of requirements from the State of Colorado and other accrediting agencies.

Before enrolling in any coursework that requires presence in a K-12 classroom for practicum or student teaching, the student must submit a completed set of fingerprints and application for background check through the ASU Department of Teacher Education; forms are available in the Undergraduate Teacher Education office.

Academic and Professional Standards

While enrolled in prerequisite courses in the Department of Education, admission to the initial licensure programs, placement in schools for field experience, and during student teaching, students are expected to maintain academic and professional standards in accord with the profession of teaching.

Expectations include, but are not limited to:

  • Adherence to the ASU Code of Conduct regarding academic performance, including academic honesty and professional conduct
  • Maintaining the minimum semester and cumulative GPA of 2.75
  • Compliance to professional attitudes and dispositions (see Teacher Professionalism Rubric)
  • Demonstration of state mandated teaching competencies (Performance Based Standards for Colorado Teachers)
  • Knowledge of school and district rules for teacher behavior.
  • Direct supervision by a licensed classroom teacher while working with K-12 students during practicum assignments and student teaching. The classroom teacher must be immediately accessible. Personal involvement in the K-12 setting, e.g., parental involvement or substitute teaching, must be clearly separated from practicum and student teaching.
  • Appropriate interactions with students. Note: The faculty reserves the right to suspend, place on probation or remove from the program any candidate who, in their professional judgment, fails to satisfy requirements of scholarship, performance, academic or professional ethics or integrity or personal suitability. The principal or teacher at a host school may request the removal of a candidate at any time.

Students are urged to confer with assigned advisors early and often concerning the progress of their programs. It is necessary to consult with the Department of Teacher Education to receive information about the admissions process and courses which are prerequisites to the professional core and courses required in the professional core.