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Total Credit Hours: 124

Transfer Credits: Up to 94

Be ready to shape the young minds of tomorrow with your bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Southwestern College! Whether you are looking to become an elementary school teacher, counselor, or consultant, you’ll graduate with the tools you need to be successful. Courses are taught by experienced education professionals who incorporate real-world application to the course material. Learners enjoy the flexibility they need to balance school, work, and family with courses taught completely online in 12-week session.

Recently ranked by U.S. News and World Report for its online bachelor’s degree programs, Southwestern College offers quality online degrees to adult learners. With courses taught by expert faculty and access to a variety of student resources, SC learners are provided with the tools and flexibility needed to succeed in their education while preparing for professional advancement.

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Projected Job Growth (BLS): 3%

Average Salary (PayScale): $51k

Graduates of the online elementary education program at Southwestern College will be prepared for a variety of careers, including:

  • Elementary school teacher
  • Education consultant
  • Admissions counselor
  • Youth organization director


“What was really attractive about Southwestern was the online capability. You kind of get out what you put into it and so I felt like even though it was going to be a challenging experience to go and learn completely online, it was the right option for me at the time.”
Ginnie, 2015 Elementary Education Graduate


Visit our faculty page to view current education instructors.

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Article: 5 Degrees with Career Versatility


Early Childhood Education


The Southwestern College teacher education program is a student-centered learning community dedicated to optimal intellectual growth, preparation for leadership in the field of education, personal development, ethical values, and lifelong service in a world beyond cultural boundaries.

Anyone interested in the program who resides in a state other than Kansas must check with that state’s department of education to determine specific licensure requirements for teaching within that state and the acceptability of out-of-state licensure.

Admission Requirements

  1. Have completed a minimum of 6 post-high school college credits
  2. Minimum GPA of 2.75

General Education Requirements

CORE101: Developing Academic and Professional Strengths

How does higher education help create the type of person that businesses want to hire? Learners will explore the answer to this question, and in doing so, help lay the foundation for academic and professional success. Each learner will develop a core set of skills needed to be both an effective college student and a successful professional in the 21st‐century workplace. Learners will develop and practice practical strategies with which to become more efficient and effective learners, while also developing higher‐order learning skills to reflect on critical issues relevant to both academic and professional environments such as personal responsibility and ethics.

ENGL101: Composition 1

This course helps learners develop writing skills that are transferrable to any academic or workplace writing task. The course guides learners through the process of planning, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading academic and workplace writing. Learners will develop skills necessary to craft coherent sentences and paragraphs, to edit editing their writing for proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. They will learn about narrative structure and techniques as well as the elements of successful argumentation and persuasive discourse. This course also guides learners through every stage of the research process. Learners will develop a research plan, conduct research, organize and draft a research paper, and then revise, edit, and proofread that research paper.

ENGL102: Composition 2

This course builds on the thinking and writing skills introduced in Composition 1. Learners will write critical, argumentative essays based on their interpretations of nonfictional texts, including literary, film, and cultural texts, and in doing so, will recognize the role of rhetoric in the writing situation as they craft persuasive discourse. In doing so, they will learn methods of questioning, analyzing, and evaluating their own beliefs as well as the perceptions and perspectives of others. These methods of critical thinking are intended to improve the quality and organization of learners’ writing for any purpose, including academic and workplace purposes. In addition to writing essays, learners will develop more advanced research strategies, as well greater proficiency in APA style.
Prerequisite: ENGL101

COM125: Speech

This course helps learners majoring in any discipline strengthen communication skills essential for success in academics and the workplace. Learners will focus on listening, evaluating, and delivering spoken discourse based on audience and purpose. Learners will evaluate why some people are more effective than others as public speakers, analyze speeches and audiences, study ethical considerations for speakers, research and organize findings on a topic, and present findings before an audience, and learn techniques for identifying and reducing speech anxiety.

MASC110: Statistics and Probability

This course acquaints learners with the tools and major components of statistics. Learners will apply technology to analyze data. The course also includes the foundational terminology and practices used in contemporary statistics, such as data collection, metrics, score interpretation, and experimental design. Additionally, this course will promote the skills that learners need to be able to take information from the world around them and use it to make sound decisions based on solid evidence.

PSY110: General Psychology

This course explores major perspectives, principles, theories, and methods that govern the study of mental processes and behaviors. Learners will trace psychology’s historical roots, scientific basis, and major perspectives and consider contemporary and historical theories of how biological, cognitive, and environmental factors underlie and influence human development, sensation and perception, consciousness, intelligence, and social dynamics. Learners will also examine the theories and processes essential to learning, memory, motivation, and personality, identify psychological disorders and their treatments, and discuss application of psychological principles to everyday experiences and real-life examples.

PSYC252: Developmental Psychology

Learners in this course will gain a basic understanding of the biosocial, cognitive, and psychosocial development in humans from birth through adolescence, with additional emphasis on young adult through death.
Prerequisite: PSY 110.

HUM 499: Responsibility for the Future

Seniors from various majors will share approaches from their different disciplines towards dealing holistically with issues that shape the future, seeking to integrate disciplines and to synthesize knowing, caring and doing.

Disciplinary Perspective Requirements

Social Science (3 credit hours)
Humanities (3 credit hours)
The Arts (3 credit hours)
Other Cultures (3 credit hours)
Natural Science (4 credit hours)

Exploratory Education Coursework

EDU212: Education Entrance Seminar

Education Entrance Seminar provides an introduction to education as a career for second career and delayed start undergraduate learners . This course is designed to assist each prospective teacher in gaining a valid and comprehensive knowledge of what is involved in a teaching career. Emphasis is placed upon inquiry and personal involvement in planning an effective and successful career in education. This course is only for second career and delayed start learners.

EDUC215: Foundations of Education

This course explores the theories and applications of educational philosophies for students’ use in both the classroom and their personal and professional lives. Additionally, educational institutions will be examined from historical, economic, sociological, and political perspectives.

EDUC216: Diversity Field Experience

This course provides an opportunity for prospective teachers to observe, tutor, or mentor students in a school where there is a diverse population. Students must complete at least 20 hours of work in a school with a diverse population.
Prerequisite: EDUC215 (or concurrent enrollment).

EDUC220: Educational Technology

Students will investigate and evaluate the significant impact technology has on learning, motivation, and pedagogy. Students will interpret and implement the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS‐T) and for students (NETS‐S) and apply the NETS‐T to construct valuable teaching experiences, as well as experiences to highlight student learning that reflect the NETS‐S. Technology integration across the curriculum will be explored and students will develop and design lessons and use technology tools to support learning in an educational environment.

EDUC280: The Other Literacies

Students will familiarize themselves with the literacy components of writing, speaking, and listening. Students will refine their own writing skills, explore the writing process, understand the role of grammar in writing, and identify strategies to helppre‐K through 12th grade learners develop their own skills. The skills needed to view and comprehend material, arrange it, and aid pre‐K through 12th grade learners in the various ways information can be processed will also be addressed. Additionally, students will examine the benefits of cooperative learning in enhancing the speaking and listening skills of pre‐K through 12th grade learners, as well as the characteristics of exemplary speakers and listeners in the classroom.
Prerequisite: ENGL102.

EDUC328: Instructional Strategies in Physical Education for the Elementary Classroom Teacher

Designed for K‐5 classroom teacher, this course addresses the major concepts of health education, human movement, and physical activity as essential elements which foster a healthy lifestyle. Content includes health, nutrition, safety, impact of movement on brain development and learning, and integrates movement learning theories and practice across all curricular areas and instruction.

EDUC329: Children’s and Adolescents’ Literature

This is a survey of literature K‐12. It explores literature and relevant contemporary issues regarding literary works and pedagogy for pre‐K through 12th grade.

Pre-Professional Education Requirements

EDUC336: Introduction to the Reading Process

This course introduces prospective early childhood and elementary teachers to children’s speech and language development, the recognition and development of emergent literacy, and the foundational knowledge of the reading process. This will include an understanding of basic literacy development and the cultural and linguistic diversity issues related to this development, knowledge of the major components of reading, appropriate methodologies for building an effective balanced reading program, and a variety of assessment tools and practices used to plan and evaluate effective reading instruction.

EDUC337: Science in the Elementary School

A course that focuses on methods of science instruction, organizing and presenting science materials for instruction, observation of classroom science presentation, familiarization with current trends in science education, and the development of a background in the content areas of science.

EDUC318: Numbers, Computation, and Mathematical Processes

A course focusing on number sense, number systems, and their properties with an emphasis on analyzing the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) numbers and computation standard, benchmarks, and indicators. An introduction of theorists, theories, and developmental stages will be addressed and integrated into activities and lessons. Development and understanding of the five process standards, connection, and application with number sense in the classroom. All methods, concepts, and strategies will be applied to a classroom environment and differentiated for all learners.

EDUC338: Math in the Elementary School

A course focusing on principles and methods of mathematics instruction at the elementary level organized around the 13 math standards of the Kansas State Board of Education (adapted from NCTM guidelines). Development and presentation of math materials and units of instruction, familiarization with current trends in math curriculum and instructional methodology, and attention to evaluating and adapting instructional materials and delivery methods to the needs and learning styles of students are components of this course.
Prerequisite: EDUC318.

EDUC343: Home, School & Community

The purpose of this class is to promote the understanding that quality services for young children and their families are best ensured by establishing collaborative relationships between the home, school, program, and community. A portion of the course focuses on techniques for establishing collaborative relationships with parents and involving family members in the growth and development of the young child. Health, nutrition, and safety issues also will be explored.

EDUC345: Social Science in the Elementary School

This course emphasizes the relationship of the various social science areas and the elementary school curriculum. Content includes unit and instructional material development and presentation, familiarization with current trends in social studies instruction. Emphases include multicultural instruction, interdisciplinary unit development, and the methodology of content delivery.

EDUC223: Fine Arts in the Elementary School

The course provides a pre‐service teacher with the design, implementation, and evaluation of fine arts (music, art, dance) learning activities that are developmentally appropriate, meaningful, and challenging for all K‐6 students, and the learning activities leading to positive learning outcomes that develop positive dispositions toward artistic explorations and expression.

EDUC450: Introduction to Language and Linguistics

This is an introductory course in language and linguistics which explores the nature, structure and diversity of language, emphasizing the phonological, syntactic and semantic patterns of English. Prospective teachers will explore the principles of linguistic systems and major theorists and schools of linguistic thought in anticipation of working with communities of nonnative English‐speakers. Theories and research of secondary language acquisition will also be explored, along with the relationship of communication, culture, and identity as it relates to language learning. This course is designed as one of two courses to enable the learner to successfully prepare for the ESOL praxis.

EDUC490: Teaching English as a Second Language and Assessing Language Competency

This course provides the foundation for second language instruction by examining a broad range of methodologies to provide academic experiences for English Language Learners. (SIOP model included.) Application of these “best practice” concepts will be used to plan, implement, and evaluate instruction for ESOL students. An opportunity to volunteer with ESOL students for 8 hours during the course will be included.

EDUC344: Content Area Literacy

This course will address the content area literacy movement and the philosophy behind this approach to instruction in K‐12. Schema activation for pre‐ reading, metacognitive monitoring for during reading and post‐reading discussion building and critical thinking will be addressed. This class will also address vocabulary and concept development, study skills, effective writing prompts, assessments and considerations for special‐needs and English language learners.

Professional Teacher Courses

EDUC322: Educational Psychology

A course designed specifically to study the behavior of individuals and groups in educational settings. Emphases are placed upon development, motivation, assessment, individual differences, teaching modalities and learning preferences. Attention is also given to character education and attitudes. Directed observation and participation in the public schools provide practical application of course theory. Twenty hours of observation/participation in a public school classroom is required.
Prerequisite: Admission to Teacher Education.

EDUC323: Introduction to Exceptionalities

A course designed to prepare prospective elementary and secondary teachers in the understanding and appreciation of students with exceptionalities. Emphases are placed upon characteristics and categories of exceptionality, processes of referral, assessment, and placement of exceptional students. Effective teaching practices and observation in the public schools provide practical application of course theory. Twenty hours of observation/participation in a public school classroom is required.
Prerequisite: Admission to Teacher Education.

EDUC437: Elementary School Methods and Management

This course focuses on the development of professional teaching skills for the elementary and middle school teacher, including a personal philosophy of education; classroom management procedures; a discipline plan; instructional methods and strategies; program, course, unit, and lesson planning; awareness of current trends in education; and assessment/evaluation strategies. During this semester, students complete their professional portfolio and make application for student teaching placement. This course is taken immediately prior to the professional block.
Prerequisites: Admission to Teacher Education and senior standing.

Capstone Student Teaching Courses

EDUC440: Student Teaching Seminar

A seminar course designed to be taken in conjunction with the student teaching block. This course focuses on the theory and application of educational philosophies for the student’s use in both classroom and personal professional life. Candidates practice reflection and problem solving of professional issues and tasks which may be encountered by the beginning teacher. Students are also prepared to seek professional positions.
Prerequisites: Unconditional admission into student teaching. Concurrent enrollment with either EDUC446, 447, 448, or 449.

EDUC447: Observation and Supervised Teaching in the Elementary School

Clinical experiences in the public schools for teacher licensure candidates.
Prerequisites: Unconditional admission into student teaching.Concurrent enrollment with EDUC440.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Complete all foundation and major courses with an overall GPA of 2.75
  2. Complete a minimum of 124 credit hours, with at least 60 hours at a bachelor’s degree-granting institution
  3. Complete at least 30 credit hours with a C average or above from Southwestern College

All degree requirements are subject to change. Please see Southwestern College Catalog for the most current degree requirements.

*Online courses are six weeks long with the exception of some RN to BSN and Education courses. Please review the course catalogs for more information.

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