Program in Elementary Education

The Elementary Education Program provides students with knowledge of philosophical and psychological elements of  teaching and learning, general and specific methods of instruction, and clinical intern experiences of at least 200 hours in local schools prior to the full-day student teaching experience.  Students who complete this program qualify for elementary education licensure. Upon licensure, they are eligible to teach elementary school (grades 1-6).

Program Outcomes:

Students completing the Elementary Education major will:

  1. Develop highly reflective, creative, and critical teaching skills and demonstrate the knowledge to connect theory to practice. 

  2. Show evidence of a wide repertoire of teaching strategies across the curriculum, and an understanding of inquiry and project-based 

  3. Demonstrate deep content knowledge across the curriculum. 

  4. Demonstrate knowledge of skills and practices in literacy instruction for diverse learners across the curriculum. 

  5. Develop the skills and habits of mind to critique knowledge, curriculum, and standards, and analyze the political and moral dimensions of 
schooling and teaching. 

  6. Develop the skills and knowledge to implement culturally relevant pedagogy that considers all forms of diversity; and show evidence of the 
ability to integrate this content into their classroom curriculum. 

  7. Demonstrate their ability to use and integrate technology and media in their teaching and across the curriculum. 

  8. Demonstrate their ability to use a variety of assessment approaches for instructional decision-making. 

  9. Have an understanding of educational research and demonstrate the skills to locate and critique scholarly and relevant studies. 

  10. Demonstrate excellent oral and written communication skills. 

  11. Demonstrate the ability to create a classroom community that is safe, creative, caring, inclusive, and motivating for learning. 

  12. Understand the principles of social justice, the role of schooling in a democracy, and the ability to teach for active citizenship and critical 

  13. Demonstrate the ability to integrate critical thinking and problem solving in their teaching. 

  14. Show evidence of professionalism, responsibility, integrity, and the ability to work collaboratively for the success of all students. 

  15. Assume responsibility for their own on-going professional development, and understand the role of teachers as school and social change agents 

Important NOTE: 

Per ISBE requirements, all students admitted into the program before September 1, 2015 must complete their ELED or ELED/BLBC program by September 1, 2018 or be subjected to the requirements of the new program.  Students must also apply for licensure and be entitled by September 1, 2019.

If unable to complete the program by September 1, 2018, students will have to be re-admitted to the new program.  Transcripts will be evaluated, and additional coursework may be required.

It is in the student's best interest to complete the Elementary or Bilingual-Bicultural Education program within this timeline.  Advisors are always available for guidance through the professional sequence coursework.

Bilingual Education Endorsement

Candidates in the elementary program who want to add a bilingual education endorsement need to pass a Language Proficiency Test (TLP), complete a 100 clock hours in bilingual clinical experience and 18 credit hours in the following areas:

  • Foundations of Bilingual Education 
    • BLBC 338  Bilingualism and Education (3 hours) 
  • Assessment of Bilingual Students
    • BLBC 342  Assessment in the Bilingual Classroom (3 hours)
  •  Methods and Materials for Teaching Limited English Proficient Students in Bilingual Programs 
    • BLBC 341  Methods of Teaching in Bilingual Classrooms (3 hours)
  • Cross-Cultural Studies for Teaching Limited English Proficient Students
    • BLBC 339  Culturally Responsive Teaching in Diverse Classrooms (3 hours) 
  • Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language
    • BLBC 340 Teaching English Learners in Diverse Classrooms (3 hours) 
    • TESL 301  The English Language for Teachers (suggested to be able to add the ESL endorsement) (3 hours)

University Core Curriculum Requirements

General Education Distribution Area Cr. Hrs.
Fine Arts (FA)*
2 courses, from at least two of the following areas of study: Art, CMT (Mass Media or Theatre), Music (includes Dance).
Humanities (HU)*
3 courses, from at least two of the following areas of study: CMT (Communication), English, Linguistics. Philosophy, Women's and Gender Studies, World Languages and Cultures, (Note: No more than two foreign language courses may be used to fulfill this requirement.)

Behavioral/Social Sciences (SB)*

3 courses, from at least two of the following areas of study: African & African American Studies, Anthropology, Computer Science, Economics, Geography & Environmental Studies, History, Justice Studies, Latino & Latin American Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work


Natural Sciences (NS and NSL)**

3 courses, from at least two of the following areas of study; one course must have a laboratory component (NSL): Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Physics (Note: If an FYE ANTH that counts as Natural Science is taken, only one Biology course may be used for Natural Science).


Engaged Learning Experiences  

Students must complete, at Northeastern, three courses designated as Engaged Learning Experiences courses. One of the Engaged Learning Experiences courses must be at the 300-level, and one Engaged Learning Experiences course must be designated as "Boundary Crossing".


Discipline Specific (ELE-DS)

These courses have pre-requisites that are specific courses within a program of study. Discipline Specific courses give students a deeper understanding of how knowledge is created and applied in their field.


Boundary Crossing (ELE-X)

These are courses that cross disciplinary boundaries and/or cross boundaries through engagements outside the classroom or University allowing students to see how knowledge gained in one field might inform other fields or other aspects of society.


Math/Quantitative Reasoning (MA)

1 Math course, that has intermediate Algebra as prerequisite OR is a course listed on the General Education Distributive Learning List of Approved Courses. Any 3 hour college level math course, beyond Intermediate Algebra, meets this requirement.


Majors in Fine Arts, Humanities or Social/Behavioral Sciences, may waive up to 6 credit hours of General Education requirements in the corresponding distribution area.


 Majors in Natural Sciences may waive up to 9 credit hours of General Education requirements in the Natural Sciences distribution area.

Students should also be aware of all other university requirements to obtain a degree - NEIU requirements

Degree and Program completion/Entitlement Requirements

In order to graduate from the program and be entitled to state licensure, students must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours, which include the following requirements:

  • University General Education Program Requirements
  • Professional Education Coursework
  • Approved Area of Concentration
  • Additional Courses and Tests Required for State Licensure
  • Program Completion Criteria

Required Professional Education Courses

EDFN-305Philosophical And Historical Foundations Of Public Education3
Attend mandatory clinical information meeting and apply for Clinical Field Experiences
EDFN-306Education And Individual Differences3
ELED-300Instructional Design In The 21st Century Classroom1.5
SPED-317Inclusive Teaching Strategies1.5
ELED-302Writing Intensive Program: Foundation Of Teaching The English Language Arts3
ELED-310Methods Of Teaching Mathematics In The Elementary Grades3
BLBC-340Teaching English Learners In Diverse Classrooms3
EDFN-343Using Technology In Classrooms2
ELED-304Inquiry-Based Social Studies In The Elementary Grades3
BLBC-339Culturally Responsive Teaching in Diverse Classrooms3
ELED-328AClinical Experiences3
ELED-303Children's And Young Adult Literature1.5
ELED-309Content Area Literacy1.5
ELED-305Teaching Science In The Elementary School3
ELED-320Classroom Management1.5
ELED-342Classroom Assessment1.5
ELED-306Methods Of Literacy Instruction3
ELED-328BClinical Experience In Elementary Education3
ELED-329Student Teaching In Elementary Grades7.5
EDFN-308Teaching And Learning1.5
PEMT-235Teaching Physical And Health Education Concepts For Classroom Teachers3
Total Hours56

Declaration of Major/Admission to Program

In order to register for ELED 300, students must have declared their majors and be admitted to the College of Education. Students should meet with program advisors to plan their programs prior to taking EDFN-306. Students should complete the necessary procedures to declare their majors while they are enrolled in EDFN-306. Only students who have declared their majors, or have a passing score on ACT plus writing or SAT (critical reading & mathematics), and are admitted to the College of Education will be permitted to register for Elementary Education Courses. An NEIU GPA of 2.5 is required to declare a major.

Areas of Concentration


Students may select an area of concentration with a minimum of 9 credit hours in a content area.

The above requirements apply to undergraduate transfer students and graduates of accredited universities (Second B.A. or TLP Programs). All students must consult with a Program Advisor in the Elementary Education Program.


Each block of courses must be completed before moving forward.

  • A 3.0 GPA must be maintained in professional sequence coursework.
  • A 2.5 GPA must be maintained overall. (If GPA levels are not maintained, student will not be allowed to proceed through the program).
  • Students must successfully complete each block of courses in order to move to the next block. All floating courses must be completed before student teaching.

Prior to Admission to the GCoE

Complete EDFN-305 and EDFN-306 with a combined grade of 2.75 or better. Complete application to be admitted to College of Education

Block 1

Complete ELED 300, SPED 317, ELED 310, and ELED-302 with an average GPA of 3.0.

  • For approval to enroll in ELED-306 and ELED 328B, a disposition form with a rating of Satisfactory must be obtained from student’s instructor in ELED 300. A 2nd disposition form, also with a Satisfactory rating must be obtained from the student’s instructor of ELED-304ELED-305 OR ELED-310. See Program Advisor for more information.
  • Attend mandatory clinical information meeting and apply for Clinical Field Experiences: clinical-experiences-and-student-teaching
  • ELED 300 and ELED-302 must be completed with a "B" or better

Block 2

Complete BLBC 339, ELED 328A (with a grade of B or better), ELED 303 and ELED 309, ELED 305 (floating courses may be taken concurrently).
Attend mandatory Student Teaching Information meeting and apply for Student Teaching field placement: cestdept

block 3

Complete ELED 306, ELED 328B (with a grade of B or better), ELED 320 and ELED 342 (floating courses may be taken concurrently).
Pass the ILTS Content Area Examination, #197-200 Elementary
All of the above requirements must be met before proceeding to student teaching.
Attend mandatory CEST student teaching orientation meeting.

block 4

Complete student teaching - ELED-329 and EDFN 308
Completion of edTPA in ELED 329 Student Teaching.

floating courses

The following floating courses may be taken any time after Block 1 and before Block 4: ELED 304: Inquiry-Based Social Studies in the Elementary Grades, EDFN 343: Technology for Educators , BLBC 340: Methods of Teaching English Learners, PEMT 235: Teaching Physical and Health Education Concepts for Classroom Teachers

licensure requirements

In order for students to be entitled by NEIU for the Illinois Professional Educator License (elementary grades 1-6), they must receive a “B” or better in student teaching and have passed the ILTS Elementary Grades Content Area Test #197-200. In order for students to be licensed by the Illinois State Board of Education, they must pass the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA).

Prior to student teaching, all Elementary Education majors must complete a minimum of 200 clock hours of clinical experience to be eligible for licensure in the State of Illinois. These clinical experiences (completed concurrently with BLBC 339 and ELED-306) require placement in a public or private elementary school with a state licensed teacher. To request placement for clinical experience, students must register in the Office of Clinical Experiences and Student Teaching (Please see the section, Clinical Experiences and Student Teaching in this catalog).

In order to be considered for Clinical Experiences, students must be admitted to the College of Education and accepted into the Elementary Education Program. In addition, students must have completed courses in Block 1 (in order to take ELED 328A) and Block 2 (in order to take ELED 328B).

To qualify for Student Teaching, students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in the Professional Sequence and a 2.5 cumulative grade point average and have passed the ICTS Content Area Test. No required professional education course may be taken more than twice to achieve an acceptable grade. To be entitled for licensure by the State of Illinois, a student must earn a grade of “B” or better in Student Teaching.


  • Successful completion of all NEIU General Education Requirements.
  • Minimum credit hours for degree:  120 credit hours.
  • Maintain cumulative GPA of 2.5.
  • Maintain professional sequence GPA of 3.0.
  • Evidence of passing ILTS Content Area Test #197-200
  • B Grade or better in Student Teaching

In addition to the successful completion of the Elementary Education major and area of concentration, students must complete the general education requirements for the College of Education. These requirements overlap with NEIU's General Education Requirements:

General Education Requirements
Fine Arts6
Select 6 credit hours from the General Education Program List
Literatures And Literacies
6 credit hours to be selected
Behavioral and Social Science12
United States History 1607-1877
United States History 1877-Present
American National Government
World Geography
Geography And Map Skills For Teachers
Select one of the following Non-Western or Third-World Cultures courses:
World History: East Asia
World History: Latin America
World History: Africa
World History: Islam
Introduction To Cultural Anthropology
Biological & Physical Sciences10
Introduction To Biology For Educators
Introduction To Earth Science
Chemical Concepts
Physics In Everyday Life
Total hours37

General Education Requirements which are not on the Gen Ed List

ENGL-101Writing I 13
ENGL-102Writing II 13
CMTC-101Public Speaking 13
or CMTC-202 Voice and Diction
Math For Elementary Teachers I
and Math For Elementary Teachers II With Problem Solving
Total Hours18

 Must receive a grade of "C'' or higher.


  • Successful completion of Block 1-4  with evidence of passing score on the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA).

It is recommended to consult with your advisor at least once each semester.

This sample curricular map is provided to guide you in the planning of your progression for this major.  This guide should not replace regular consultations with your program advisor. For specific recommendations of courses not identified, please consult your program advisor.

First Year
Term 1Hours
ENGL-101Writing I3
Fine Arts course3
Humanities course3
Non-Western/Third World course3
 Term Hours12
Term 2
MATH-149Math For Elementary Teachers I4
ENGL-102Writing II3
HIST-214 or 215United States History 1607-18773
CMTC-101Public Speaking3
 Term Hours13
Term 3
Humanities course3
Area of concentration course3
 Term Hours6
Second Year
Term 1
MATH-150Math For Elementary Teachers II With Problem Solving5
EDFN-305Philosophical And Historical Foundations Of Public Education3
ENGL-205Literatures And Literacies3
GES-104World Geography3
 Term Hours14
Term 2
ESCI-121Introduction To Earth Science3
PSCI-216American National Government3
EDFN-306Education And Individual Differences3
CHEM-110 or PHYS 110Chemical Concepts3
Area of concentration course3
 Term Hours15
Term 3
Fine Arts3
 Term Hours3
Third Year
Term 1
Instructional Design In The 21st Century Classroom3
BIOS-110Introduction To Biology For Educators4
ELED-302Writing Intensive Program: Foundation Of Teaching The English Language Arts3
ELED-310Methods Of Teaching Mathematics In The Elementary Grades3
BLBC-340Teaching English Learners In Diverse Classrooms3
 Term Hours16
Term 2
BLBC-339Culturally Responsive Teaching in Diverse Classrooms3
ELED-328AClinical Experiences3
Children's And Young Adult Literature3
ELED-305Teaching Science In The Elementary School3
EDFN-343Using Technology In Classrooms2
ELED-304Inquiry-Based Social Studies In The Elementary Grades3
 Term Hours17
Fourth Year
Term 1
Methods Of Literacy Instruction6
ELED-320Classroom Management1.5
ELED-342Classroom Assessment1.5
PEMT 235 or equivalent3
 Term Hours12
Term 2
ELED-329Student Teaching In Elementary Grades7.5
EDFN-308Teaching And Learning1.5
 Term Hours9
 Total Hours: 117