The Pennsylvania Department of Education considers students in kindergarten through sixth grade (K-6) to be elementary age. Programs in elementary education explore methods for developing cognitive and social skills in young children.
Bachelor's and master's degree programs are available at universities throughout the state of Pennsylvania that prepare students to become teachers or advance their careers in regular and special needs settings. The programs offer lectures, various concentration areas and field experiences. Students can learn on a full- or part-time basis and, in some cases, may study online.
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
This school in Bloomsburg offers various degrees for students looking to teach children in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade (PK-8). In the College of Education, students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Education (BSEd) in the following areas: early childhood (PK-4), elementary education (K-6) and middle level (4-8). The department also has BSEd programs that cover teaching methods for children with special needs. Master's programs in early childhood education and middle level education are available as well.
California University of Pennsylvania
Located in the city of California, this school offers bachelor's and master's degrees to aspiring elementary teachers. The bachelor's program in PK-4 education includes coursework in child psychology, student assessment techniques and literacy; field experiences are also part of the curriculum. With the Master of Education (MEd) program, students learn the essential skills for teaching elementary students. Comprising a minimum of 45 credits, the curriculum covers teaching methods in topics like reading, social studies and expressive arts.
Philadelphia's Drexel University offers a Bachelor of Science in Education with an elementary PK-4 concentration. Students can attend on a full- or part-time basis, and some classes can be taken online. A middle grades 4-8 concentration is available as well. This school also offers a Master of Science (MS) degree in elementary-level teaching that qualifies students for certification. Spanning 45 credits, the curriculum involves methods for teaching young children about everything from language and literature to art and math. Drexel also offers a program for secondary education and teaching advanced students.
This private not-for-profit school in Pittsburgh has bachelor's and master's programs in elementary education. The 129-credit bachelor's program prepares students to teach grades PK-4 with a combination of field experiences and lecture-based classes. The master's program consists of 46 credits and, like the bachelor's program, leads to initial certification in elementary education.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Situated in the town of Indiana, this school has a BSEd program with an emphasis on early childhood special education. Students in this program can choose a traditional or urban track. IUP's Department of Professional Studies in Education also offers BSEd concentrations in mid-level and special education, in addition to MEd options. The school's master's program is only offered to currently certified teachers.
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
The Kutztown campus of the University of Pennsylvania offers a BSEd in Elementary Education. The program is split into 2 different concentrations: one aimed at teaching PK-4 students and the other geared for teaching children in grades 4-8. Students enrolled in the first concentration learn how to develop cognition in young children, while the second program puts a greater emphasis on academic topics like math, science and social studies. Certified teachers can enroll in this school's 30-36 semester-hour elementary education master's program.
Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania State University (PSU) in University Park has a Bachelor of Science (BS) program in childhood education. Students can choose between 2 areas of focus: children below grade 4 and students in grades 4-8. PSU also has BS programs for teaching world languages and secondary education.
Temple University in Philadelphia has bachelor's and master's degree options for students who aspire to teach young children. With the BSEd program, students are taught how to nurture children in the early grades of the public school system. Students interested in pursuing the field of special education can opt for the 27-credit MEd program, which focuses on teaching methods for special needs children in grades PK-8. Both of these degrees can be earned through an accelerated 4+1 program. In addition, certified teachers seeking advanced skills can pursue an education master's degree with an accomplished teaching specialization.
University of Pennsylvania
Set in the heart of Philadelphia, the main campus of the University of Pennsylvania offers a Master of Science in Education (MSEd) program for students who want to teach youth in elementary schools. Conducted during summer, fall and spring semesters, each course is designed to show students how to enhance the cognitive skills in young, developing minds. The curriculum for the major includes courses in education and society, diverse learners and literature for children. A master's program that focuses on the middle grades is available as well.
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
The Early and Middle Grades Education Department at the West Chester campus of the University of Pennsylvania (WCUPA) offers various degrees that can lead to teaching certification. With the BSEd in Early Grades Preparation program, students learn how to meet the educational needs of children in grades 4 and under. For teachers seeking advanced instructional methods, WCUPA offers an MEd degree in early childhood education with an accomplished teacher concentration.
Licensing requirements for public school elementary teachers in Pennsylvania include completion of a bachelor's program with at least a 3.0 GPA, a state-approved teacher preparation program that includes student teaching experiences, the Praxis content exams and the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) in reading, writing and mathematics. Below is a list and comparison table for ten of the largest Pennsylvania schools that offer early childhood education degrees.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Elementary Teaching Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania||Four-year, public; small city||BSEd in Early Childhood Education,
BSEd in Elementary Education,
BSEd in Special Education K-8/Early Childhood Education PK-4,
Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
| $10,958 in-state,
|California University of Pennsylvania||Four-year, public; small suburb||BSEd in Elementary Education,
MEd in Elementary Education
| $11,108 in-state,
|Drexel University||Four-year, private not-for-profit; large city|| BSEd in Elementary Education,
MS in Teaching Learning & Curriculum - Teacher Certification
|Duquesne University||Four-year, private not-for-profit; large city|| BSEd in Early Level Education,
MSEd in Elementary Education
|Indiana University of Pennsylvania||Four-year, public; distant town||BSEd in Early Childhood Special Education,
MEd in Education
| $12,979 in-state,
|Kutztown University of Pennsylvania||Four-year, public; fringe town||BSEd in Elementary Education - Early Childhood Education PK-4,
BSEd in Elementary Education - Elementary Education 4-8,
MEd in Elementary Education
| $10,802 in-state,
|Pennsylvania State University||Four-year, public; small city||BS in Childhood and Early Adolescent Education|| $18,454 in-state,
|Temple University||Four-year, public; large city||BSEd in Early Childhood Education,
MSEd in Accomplished Teaching,
MEd in Special Education PK-8
| $16,970 in-state,
|University of Pennsylvania||Four-year, private not-for-profit; large city||MSEd in Elementary Education||$55,584*|
|West Chester University of Pennsylvania||Four-year, public; large suburb||BSEd in Early Grades Preparation PK-4,
MEd in Early Childhood Education
| $10,412 in-state,
Source: *NCES College Navigator