Redefining the Classroom

Knowledge and Skills for Effective Teachers

The Elementary Education program is highlighted by in-depth study in a subject major, subject concentration, or student-focused concentration, extended field experience in elementary school settings; and focused development of the knowledge and skills critical for effective teachers.

Elementary-level teacher certification in Michigan permits individuals to teach in self-contained classrooms at grade K - 8, and in all subjects at grades K -5. Individuals may also qualify to teach the subjects of their academic major or minors in grades 6 - 8.

"You can teach a student a lesson for a day, but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives," by Clay P. Bedford, is a quote that I first read on a professor's door at LSSU. LSSU teaches you how to teach by guiding the children in your class to a positive future. LSSU gives you the foundation that makes a person into a teacher who will make a difference in the lives of children."

--Krista Vit
School of Education graduate

Program options include:

  • Language Arts and Mathematics Concentration (includes Language Arts and Mathematics minors)
  • Early Childhood Education Concentration
  • Language Arts Major
  • Mathematics Major

Students begin their studies with a focus on general education requirements, and an academic major or specific concentration. They complete the initial professional education coursework in their sophomore year, and apply for formal admission to the program at the end of that year. By that time, they will have also passed the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification Professional Readiness Examination.

Upper level professional education coursework, along with the completion of the major or concentration, is the focus for the junior and senior years. Student teaching, a semester-long culminating experience, may be completed in the spring of the fourth year or fall of the fifth year, depending on the individual student's progress through the program. Generally, this student teaching experience will be in the Eastern Upper Peninsula or in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The Michigan Test for Teacher Certification Elementary Education tests must be passed prior to beginning student teaching.

Candidates who pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification in their major or concentration meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act and are considered "highly qualified" for the subject areas of the endorsements shown on their Michigan teaching certificates.

Practical Experience

Clinical field experience is a hallmark of all programs in the School of Education. Students complete field experience hours as part of their professional education coursework, being placed at appropriate levels in area elementary schools, and secondary schools. Specific assignments and tasks are designed for these placements, which serve to integrate the classwork on campus and the experience in the field. This intentional design serves to strengthen students ability to learn from these experiences and to reflect on their professional development as an educator.

The School of Education is also committed to preparing teachers for small, rural schools, which have unique cultures and expectations. Many LSSU students are from smaller communities in the United States and Canada, and aspire to return to those communities (or similar ones) for their careers. Through partnerships with schools in the Eastern Upper Peninsula and in Ontario, School of Education students work closely with cooperating teachers in their clinical field experiences and in the culminating practicums and student teaching experiences. This further supports the preparation of effective teachers for the small school environment.

"Lake Superior State University has provided me with invaluable teaching experience. From my first year to my last, I was able to complete field work, which provided me with four years of teaching experience in a variety of classrooms. Throughout this time I was also immersed in educational theory, and by the time I completed my internship, I felt like I had already completed my first year of teaching. A major benefit of this teaching program was the valuable contacts I was able to make within the schools, which helped me to gain employment when I graduated. I was also able to graduate with 12 post-graduate credits, which I plan to put toward a Masters in Education. The teaching program at Lake State has not only given me a solid foundation to build from, but has helped me develop into a competent and confident professional."

-- Beth Orlando
Teacher Education Graduate


  • BS Elementary Education
    • Language Arts and Mathematics Concentration
    • Early Childhood Education Concentration
    • Language Arts
    • Mathematics

Career Choices

Salary Range

Elementary Teacher: $43,470 - $68,400 ($56,830 national mean)

  • Elementary Teacher
  • Middle School Teacher
  • Curriculum Developer
  • Education Program Coordinator

Professional Organizations

ASCD - A global community dedicated to excellence in teaching, learning, and leading
Michigan ASCD  

Early Childhood Education
National Association for the Education of the Young Child
Michigan Association for the Education of the Young Child

English Language Arts
National Council of Teachers of English  
Michigan Council of Teachers of English  

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 
Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics  

National Science Teachers Association 
Michigan Science Teacher Association 

Social Studies
National Council for the Social Studies  
Michigan Council for the Social Studies  

Special Education
National Association of Special Education Teachers  
Council for Exceptional Children 
Council for Exceptional Children Michigan  



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