Elementary/Middle Level Education (4–8) at Ship

At Ship, we want only the best students to enter teaching, so our admission standards are high. Those who successfully complete the program are qualified to apply for a teaching certificate in the area they choose to concentrate in, which makes graduates eligible to teach in fourth through eighth grade classrooms.

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Shippensburg University has a rich heritage of preparing some of the finest teachers in the region. Our outstanding faculty is devoted to designing and teaching a demanding, relevant, philosophical and clinical curriculum. Our graduates have one of the highest pass rates on the Praxis teacher certification exams among the fourteen Pennsylvania state universities. Ship's program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and meets high national standards of excellence.

The Grace B. Luhrs University Elementary School provides a unique opportunity for Ship students to observe and participate in elementary school activities and classroom teaching experiences with children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Shippensburg University College of Education and Human Services faculty and Shippensburg Area School District educators teach the lab school classes. The curriculum reflects the best developmental and educational practices. Lessons demonstrate how to apply the most current educational techniques.

Completion of the Elementary Education undergraduate program at Shippensburg University prepares students to obtain the certification required to teach in PA's public school system. Many graduates also go on to find work in private academies or as personal tutors. Others use their degree as a springboard to employment in social work, child and youth care, or other related fields.

The average salary for Elementary Education jobs in PA is $42,000.

  • Licensure assessment, or other content-based assessment
  • Content knowledge in middle level education
  • Candidate ability to plan appropriate teaching and learning experiences
  • Student teaching or internship
  • Candidate effect on student learning
  • Additional assessment that addresses AMLE standards.

In this program, students have the choice of selecting a concentration in one or two teaching areas. If two areas are selected, one of those areas MUST be math or science. The option areas are:

Option 1: (a) Math (b) Science (c) Social Studies (d) English/Language Arts

Option 2: (a) Math & Science (b) Math & Social Studies (c) Math & English/Language Arts (d) Science & Social Studies (e) Science & English/Language Arts

All Education students must complete a total of 120 credit hours:

  • General Education Courses: All undergraduate students are required to complete the university's general education program, which provides a balanced liberal arts foundation.
  • Content areas for certification: Option 1 students take 30 credits in their teaching area and 12 credits in each of the other areas; Option 2 students take 21 credits in each of their teaching certification areas and 12 credits in the other two areas.
  • Professional Core Courses: Course descriptions, scheduling strategies, and the complete program curriculum are available on the Teacher Education website.
  • Clinical Field Experiences: Each set of field experience hours places students in formal classroom situations in which they have increasing responsibility for children, providing instruction, using educational strategies and techniques, taking on leadership roles within the school environment, and working with dedicated professionals in the field. Student teaching is the culminating field experience and occurs for one semester during the senior year. It involves a sixteen-week assignment at a 4-8 grade level in a school in south central Pennsylvania.

The Shippensburg Education Association helps future educators develop an understanding and appreciation for the education profession. Students can join the Keystone State Reading Association to help promote literacy in local schools. Another great opportunity for education majors is the non-profit organization, Bridge for Kids that participates in tutoring local children, working with the parent and teacher organization (PTO) at Luhrs Elementary, and providing book fairs to underprivileged schools in the community. 

Teacher Education
214 Shippen Hall, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257
Department Website