Welcome to the Elementary Education major! The Grace College School of Education's elementary education program meets the licensure requirements to teach in K-6 grade classroom setting. Both primary generalist (K-3) and intermediate generalist (4-6) issues are addressed in course content and application experiences.
The focus of the elementary education program is to prepare candidates in the disposition, knowledge and skills needed to be effective in the K-6 classroom. Graduates of the program will be teachers of character who are competent in the profession and have a heart for service. The program includes a balance of foundational content and methods courses focused on current, research-based practices and procedures. Course content is designed to provide guided training in the educational components of planning, instruction, classroom management and professionalism.
In addition to campus-based coursework, candidates also devote over 80 hours of field experience to work in local K-6 classrooms. Faculty teaching in the program include professors who are highly skilled and trained in the area of elementary education. The combined professional background of School of Education faculty provides for the perfect blend of theory and applied practice. Full-time faculty serve as advisors for elementary education majors. Their knowledge and understanding of all program requirements allow for more effective use of advising opportunities.
The School of Education is fortunate to have a wonderful working relationship with neighboring private, charter and public school corporations. These positive relationships provide diverse learning opportunities for our candidates. Tutoring, after school clubs, mentoring programs and part-time employment are just a few of the possible connections candidates can have with local schools. Additional community efforts that depend on the skills and talents of our candidates include our work with the Center for Lakes & Streams, in which elementary education candidates create and implement learning opportunities focused on the importance of our local lakes and streams for area fourth grade students. School of Education candidates have opportunities in local P-12 communities through carnivals, field trips, family programs and Science Central events. These are just some of the many ways you will be connected with faculty, community and students while earning your Elementary Education degree at Grace College!
Examples of courses in this major:
An introduction to the profession of teaching. Learning experiences are structured both in and out of the classroom with the purpose of assisting the college student in making career decisions relative to this profession such as to teach or not, at which level, and in which subject area. Students observe in local schools. Three hours. A grade of "B-" or better is required to reach candidacy status.
A study of the learner at all grade levels and the many factors affecting learning, which include but are not limited to, theories of learning, environment, heredity, cultural impact, discipline, classroom management, exceptionalities and development. The measurement of academic aptitude and achievement is also covered. Practical application is stressed. Three hours. Prerequisite: SED 1000
This course is designed to develop an understanding of children with disabilities, especially in an educational setting. It provides an introduction to the field of special education, but it is also helpful to the regular classroom teacher. Three hours. Prerequisite: SED 1000
This course develops understanding and skill for working with children and parents who come from diverse backgrounds. Areas of diversity include race, ethnicity, native language, culture, class, gender, age, religion and ability. The focus is on increasing knowledge and respect for the diverse child in the classroom setting. Three hours. Prerequisite: SED 1000
Common elements are taught to both elementary and secondary majors with techniques specific to each covered. Students develop a repertoire of methods and strategies appropriate to their major and teaching level. Students will also survey strategies, techniques and skills for managing a classroom as well as construct and analyze tests and evaluation tools for classroom teachers. Field experience is required. Three hours. Prerequisites: SED 1000, SED 2200.
B.S. in Elementary Education, Eastern Illinois University; M.A. in Education, Ball State University; Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education, Walden University
Laurie Owen joined the Grace faculty in 2001 after 17 years of teaching elementary education in the public school system. In 2010, she was appointed dean of the School of Education, but she continues to teach all levels of Education students. She was recognized for her hands-on, practical, applied and innovative teaching with Grace College's Alva J. McClain Excellence in Teaching award in 2004. Owen is actively involved in local scholarship committees. Her family attends Warsaw Community Church, where she is a storyteller for the 4-year old room, serves on the Thread Team, and volunteers as a barista in the coffee shop. Laurie lives in Winona Lake with her husband, Randy. They have four children—two of whom have already graduated from Grace.
B.A. in German Education, Indiana University; M.S in Education: Secondary Administration, Indiana University; Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction: Instructional Design and Development, Purdue University
Dennis Gaerte has served as teacher and principal at both the elementary and secondary levels in both Christian and public schools. He was the Virginia state representative for ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) and served two years as president of Indiana's ATE-I (Association of Teacher Educators). Gaerte has also been a presenter at the National ATE Conference workshop regarding Grace's alternative placement program for student teachers.
B.S. in Elementary Education, Grace College; M.A. in Christian School Administration, Grace Theological Seminary; Ph.D. in Teacher Education, The Ohio State University
Jeffrey Peck taught for 13 years in elementary and middle schools in Arkansas and Ohio before earning his doctoral degree in Teacher Education at The Ohio State University. Since 1997, he has taught at the college level in Ohio, North Carolina and Indiana. He has been at Grace College since 2008.
B.S. in Music Education: All area/All grade, Grace College; B.S. in Applied Music: Oboe Performance, Grace College; M.S. in Special Education, Indiana University; Ed.D. in Special Education, Regent University
Cheryl Bremer has served as a special educator at both the elementary and middle school levels. She earned the Outstanding Student Teacher Award at Grace College in 1992. In addition to her public school teaching experience, Bremer owned and operated an early childhood movement and music studio for eight years. Her research interests include special education recruitment and peer mediated instruction. She is department chair for Special Education for the School of Education, teaches courses in special education, and is involved in curriculum development for the Master of Education Program at Grace College.
B.A. in Elementary Education, Anderson University, with an endorsement in Middle School Social Studies; M.A. in Curriculum, Design, and Instruction, Olivet Nazarene University
Rachael Hoffert joined the Grace College faculty in 2011 and teaches courses in reading development, assessment, instruction and intervention. Hoffert began her career teaching third and fifth grade in a diverse public school setting. After earning her master's degree, she completed an additional year of literacy coordinator training through Purdue University. Her training focused on best practices in literacy instruction, job-embedded coaching and effective professional development. Following her Purdue training, Hoffert was asked to serve as a district literacy coach and staff developer for Warsaw Community Schools. During this time, the district made significant gains in their language arts standardized test scores. Her professional interests include early literacy assessment, response to instruction/intervention, and teaching reading to English Language Learners. Hoffert lives in Warsaw with her husband, David, and their three young children, Ryun, Robinson and Roosevelt.
B.S. in Elementary Education, Grace College; M.S. in Elementary Education: Reading Endorsement, University of St. Francis
Carol Vosberg taught first grade for 20 years in the Whitko, Indiana corporation before coming to Grace. Vosberg also coordinates the Education Resource Center in the School of Education. She and her husband, Jim, a Grace College graduate and retired elementary school teacher, have two grown sons who are also Grace graduates.
B.S. in Elementary Education, Grace College; M.S., Indiana-Purdue University, Fort Wayne
Florell Hand joined the Grace College faculty and staff in the fall of 2014. Having taught first, second and third grades in the Warsaw Community School Corporation, and having later served in the School of Education as a part-time instructor (2008-2011), Florell has returned to her alma mater as systems manager, a position in which she coordinates accreditation, field experience and teacher licensure. She and her husband, John, reside in Warsaw and have two children, Jessica and John-Dillon.
Some of the positions you can obtain:
Elementary school teachers are responsible for assisting children with educational and emotional development in the beginning of their academic years. Most elementary school teachers instruct one class of children in several subjects. In some cases, two or more teachers team up to cover a class. There are some elementary school teachers who teach one special subject (usually music, art, reading, science, arithmetic or physical education) to a number of different classes at different times. A small but growing number of teachers instruct multilevel classrooms, which contain students at several different learning levels.
Help children and adults reach their full potential in reading and/or math through one-on-one instruction in a nonprofit educational center that emphasizes fluency and comprehension as well as proper study skills.
Assist the teacher in achieving teaching objectives by working with individual students or small groups to help them achieve the skill levels of the class as a whole.
What others are saying:
I have supervised five student teachers during my experience as a teacher. Four of them were from Grace College. The students from Grace were knowledgeable in new teaching trends, hard-working and ready to experience the classroom environment. The college's faculty has been accommodating and helpful in facilitating a positive experience for the student and classroom teacher. I have been extremely impressed with the staff and students in the School of Education at Grace College.
- Stacy Huffer, supervising teacher, 4th grade
I loved my time at Grace. My years there were easily among the most enjoyable and impactful of my life! I felt well-prepared for my first teaching position, and, more importantly, I believe the spiritual influence at Grace solidified my walk with Christ. I’m privileged to work in a position where I have a great deal of interaction with current Grace students. I am overwhelmingly impressed with their aptitude and the quality of their character.
- Dennis Duncan, school principal, B.S. Elementary Education, 1980
Grace College plays an integral part of the Warsaw/Winona Lake community, including the local public school system. Teacher education students begin to participate in the local classrooms very quickly after arriving as freshmen. The students are highly skilled and energetic contributors to their assigned schools. The educational professionals that are produced by Grace College upon graduation have become part of the entire Warsaw system, from the classroom to the principal's office to the district administration. Grace College produces high quality graduates!
- Jan Knoop, supervising teacher
I have always been impressed with the quality of student teachers from Grace College. They are well-prepared, understand the expectations of teaching, and are professional.
- Carla Milliman, supervising teacher
The professors at Grace College are caring, dedicated and committed. Grace not only provided me with quality education, but also helped me to grow as a person.
- Randy Dahms, school principal, B.A., Elementary Education, 1998
Grace provided me with an incredible education that prepared me for my career as an educator. I appreciated learning from professors and coaches who exhibited the skills and qualities they taught about. They were more than willing to go the extra mile and often poured into my life outside the classroom, on their own time.
- Corey Smith, classroom teacher, B.S., Elementary Education, 2004
It is a distinct pleasure to work with the Grace College School of Education. I view Grace College students entering my classroom as an opportunity for my fourth graders to benefit from role models of character and competence. The education program at Grace College encourages students to gain valuable hours of classroom experiences early in their teaching program. This model program builds competency by scaffolding skill development in planning, instruction, classroom management and professionalism. The teaching profession is indeed a balance of choices and relationships. I’ve worked closely enough with Grace College professors to recognize and appreciate their ability to guide education students with compassion and wisdom [that is] grounded in faith along career pathways that on occasion change direction.
- Judy Kinsey, supervising teacher, 4th grade
The professors in the School of Education at Grace did three things for me that continue to move me forward in my career. First, they shared with me their joy of teaching others to learn. Second, they demanded my best effort. I had to take responsibility for my learning. Third, they taught me to be a reflective practitioner. Consistent re-evaluation of my practices, my motivations and my faith is critical to my effectiveness as an educator.
- Rick Glass, B.S., Communication, 1993; B.S. Elementary Education, 2005, 4th grade teacher