Early & Primary Teacher Education

Early & Primary Teacher Education

Do you hope to make a difference in the lives of children and contribute significantly to their future? A career in education may be right for you.


Early and primary teacher education is a major in which University students learn to teach young students at the preschool level through fourth grade. In addition to the basics of teaching reading, math, science and social studies, students learn about family and community relations, educational psychology and teaching methodology. Students are prepared for state licensure exams, which they must pass to earn teaching positions.   

The classes I took in the undergraduate program helped shape me as a reflective teacher, always making sure to view the student as a whole person, and appreciate the diversity of each child.

Monica Vaidya
B.S. Early Childhood and Elementary, 2016/M.S. Special Education, 2017

Why Early and Primary Education is in Demand

  • “Regardless of temporary economic conditions, hiring practices, budget cuts or any other factors that impact the education system, the need for teachers is timeless and universal. Society will always need educators, and in that respect, teaching is one career in which you can be confident you will always have a purpose. ‑Teach.com
  • There is always a need for K-12 teachers. Currently, some of the greater needs and more lucrative job opportunities for K-12 teachers are in math, science and bilingual education. However, opportunities for teachers of all subjects are regularly available and usually dependent upon geography.” - Lorenzo and Associates, Education, Research, Writing and Publishing

Is it for me?

Are You:

  • Determined and hard working?
  • Interested in working with children?
  • Compassionate in working with students of diverse abilities and backgrounds?

Five Reasons to Choose Scranton for Early & Primary Teacher Education

Jesuit education.   The values of academic excellence, respect for the whole person and reflection in all endeavors are at the core of the education program.
Hands-on teaching experiences.   In addition to classic student-teaching positions, education students observe in pre-k through fourth grade classrooms, assist in after school programs, and create sample lesson plans and assessment tools.
Technology.   Smart Boards, iPads and other instructional technology are used by students in preparation for use in their careers.
Connections with schools.   The University of Scranton has close ties with school systems and private/Catholic schools throughout the Scranton area. These partnerships are mutually beneficial.
Dedicated faculty and strong community.   Professors are role models, and classmates are supportive peers in all endeavors of education majors.
  • Preparing You For Personal & Professional Successplus or minus

    You’ll learn how to:

    • Utilize proven teaching methodologies and technology
    • Effectively evaluate students
    • Put your compassion into action to help students to succeed
    • Produce lesson plans linked to clear learning goals
    • Work with children who possess a range of abilities
  • What You'll Learnplus or minus


    Early and primary teacher education majors begin taking courses specific to their majors in first year. In addition to courses in teaching math, reading, social studies and science, students have specific courses on topics like educational psychology and family and community relations to prepare them to interact successfully as public servants. Students are also trained in educational methods, planning, assessment, evaluation and even online teaching.

    Before progressing beyond 48 credits (usually before the third year of study), students must apply for and earn Teacher Candidate Status. An information seminar and pre-testing are available in advance. For more information, click here.

    Students are required to keep journals of their experiences in the classroom to help them process and reflect upon what they are learning. A seminar class as part of student teaching gives education majors an opportunity to share ideas, discuss challenges and support one another in the transition to professional work.

    Click here to see the curriculum.

    You also have the option to apply for the BS in early and primary teacher education program with direct entry into the MS in special education program (5-year curriculum plan).
  • Pursue Your Passion and Make a Differenceplus or minus

    Sophomore students have field experiences in pre-k through fourth grade classrooms even before their extensive student teaching in senior year. They interact productively with young students and teach as part of their training. Throughout their years of study, Scranton education majors learn to teach students of diverse backgrounds and skills.


Where will Early and Elementary Education Take Me?

Education graduates are expertly prepared to teach, not only in traditional classroom settings, but also in other settings. Graduates have gotten jobs in “cyber schools,” in prison education programs, and on military bases, for example. Here are some examples of job titles of recent graduates:

  • Teacher
  • Co-teacher
  • Para-professional
  • Teacher’s Assistant
  • Learning Support Aide
  • Permanent Substitute Teacher

Leading Employers:

You’ll find Scranton graduates working a wide range of schools and organizations including:

  • Oyster Bay, New York School District
  • Quakertown, Pennsylvania School District
  • The Goddard School
  • Kiddie Academy
  • Teach for America
  • Bright Horizons
  • Family Solutions

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for kindergarten and elementary school teachers in 2017 was $56,900.

Graduate Studies

Some graduates choose to continue their education in master’s degree programs and many continue their master’s degree studies at The University of Scranton. We offer three options within our nationally accredited master’s degree programs in Early Childhood and Primary Teacher Education.

The graduates from Early Childhood and Primary Teacher Education program may continue their graduate studies in M.S. Special Education program, which leads to P-8 certification in the state of Pennsylvania.

"My education at The University of Scranton opened my eyes to the education injustice that exists in this country. The education department has prepared me to serve with and for others and continue to prove that all children can learn regardless of socio-economic status, race and class."

Joe Lofstedt '13
Teach for America Corps Member

How Scranton Gives You a Competitive Edge

Competitive Edge

The significant field experiences that Scranton education students complete prepare them to teach in the classroom and also to interact in a professional environment. Graduates report that they are exceptionally prepared to put together lesson plans and assessments of student progress and they can “hit the ground running” as teachers.

Close relationships with professors is also a great asset. For state licensure, students need letters of recommendation from two faculty members. At Scranton, professors have had the opportunity to get to know students in small classes; they write personalized recommendations based on the talents and experience of each student. Professors stay in touch with graduates, serving as mentors, especially early in the teaching careers of alumni.

Take the Next Step

Get the Facts

View PDF with Program Overview
& Curriculum

For More Information

Office of Admissions
The Estate
Scranton, PA 18510
1-888-SCRANTON or (570) 941-7540

Education Department
Maria J. Oreshkina, Ph.D.
(570) 941-6244

Tata Mbugua, Ph.D.
Undergraduate Program Director
(570) 941-5884