Academic Planning: Elementary Education

The top 5 things to consider when planning a major in elementary education

  1. Take Ed 2121, Ed 2111, and Ed 2601 in your second or third semester. It’s fine to take these in the fourth semester too but by then you’ll have applied for the program. Only Ed 2121 and Ed 2111 must be taken together; this is a great place to start to explore the major. We suggest taking these in the spring of your freshman year. There are also Education Intellectual Community (IC) courses for students anxious to jump directly into major content.
  2. Keep your GPA up. You will need 3 letters of recommendation from UMN Morris professors in the fall of your sophomore year, so establish good relationships with faculty early. (Don’t work more than 10-15 hours if you’re a full-time student.)
  3. In addition to taking two visual and performing arts courses and two social science courses in different disciplines, students need to take two science courses (one with a lab) in different disciplines. Great options for elementary teachers include the solar system course in the physics discipline, basic biology, and earth science courses. El Ed teachers will not teach much chemistry, but they DO teach basic physics (force & motion, electricity, and space science), earth science (geography, geology, etc.), and biology (both plant & animal).
  4. Volunteer (or work) in children’s fields: summer camps, babysitter/nanny jobs, after-school programs, in school volunteering on UMN Morris holidays…. Check with the UMN Morris Office of Community Engagement for after-school and evening programs with children. Join the Education Minnesota Student Program (EMSP, the student education club).
  5. Consider a school year or summer practicum working in a school overseas (4 or more weeks) or completing your student teaching abroad your senior year in an English-language school (Europe, Oceania, and Africa placements are available most years).