Curriculum & Instruction

Majors/Minors: 
Curriculum and Instruction

Majors:

Early Childhood Education-Teaching, B.A. 

Elementary Education-Teaching, B.A.

Middle Level Education Dual Major-Teaching, B.A. 

Minors:

Educational Technology

Literacy Education-Teaching

Certificates

Instructional Technology Facilitator

(Click major/minor/certificate title to see typical courses for the program)

    

Plan of Study

Discover the courses you'll take as a curriculum and instruction major in the Plan of Study.

   

Early Childhood Education

For more than a century, the University of Northern Iowa has educated teachers of young children. Because of their fine education and dedication, these teachers have assumed leadership roles in the education field. Today, the Early Childhood Education program continues to prepare its graduates to assume leadership roles in education in Iowa, the United States and in countries throughout the world.

Since the fall of 1998, the early childhood education program at UNI has incorporated a curriculum that features both regular education and special education for early childhood, called the Unified Program. Teaching positions in this field include the following: infant and toddler teacher, nursery school teacher, kindergarten teacher, and primary teacher. Other careers that early childhood education graduates choose are those of day-care director, child life specialist in hospitals, and early childhood coordinator of programs for young children. The undergraduate sequence of courses in early childhood education offered by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Northern Iowa is based on an understanding of the development of young children and how they learn. The program of study is a planned series of academic courses in conjunction with practical experiences with young children in both public and private educational learning centers and schools.


Elementary Education

The University of Northern Iowa was founded as a teacher preparation school in 1876, and that historic emphasis continues today. Although our university has become far more diversified, the College of Education continues to be one of our primary strengths. A career as an elementary teacher allows a person to help children learn more about themselves, others and the world. Those who enjoy helping children learn new ideas and skills will find the work rewarding. The undergraduate program in elementary education offered by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Northern Iowa provides teacher candidates with the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for becoming teachers who are responsible, reflective decision makers in a global society. The greatest strength of the curriculum is its carefully planned sequence of classroom and practical experiences that builds on the understanding of children and learning.

Common minors pursued

Students majoring in elementary education can choose from the following minors as part of the elementary education curriculum:

  • Art (K-6), B.A. -teaching

  • Basic Science (K-6), B.A. -teaching

  • Communication-Theatre (K-6), B.A. -teaching

  • Educational Technology (K-12), B.A. -teaching

  • Elementary School Media Specialist (K-6), B.A. -teaching

  • English/Language Arts (K-6), B.A. -teaching

  • Health Education (K-6), B.A. -teaching

  • History (K-6), B.A. -teaching

  • Mathematics (K-8), B.A. -teaching

  • Modern Languages (K-6), B.A. -teaching

  • Physical Education (K-6), B.A. -teaching

  • Reading Education (K-6), B.A. -teaching

  • Social Studies (K-6), B.A. -teaching

  • Special Education, B.A. -teaching


Middle Level Education

Teaching at the middle level has challenges and rewards that no other level of schooling offers. Young adolescents need teachers who can appreciate their special qualities and who can adapt and create an environment in which they can grow academically and personally. If you enjoy collaborating with others, designing creative ways to learn, and helping young adolescents make the transition from childhood to young adulthood, then middle level education may be for you.

Because the middle level education major is a dual major (students are also enrolled in either the elementary education program or in a secondary education program), the undergraduate major in middle level education is ideal for those students interested in graduating with a variety of teaching options. The middle level education program offers students a unique advantage when seeking employment in middle level schools. When making employment decisions, middle level administrators tend to favor teachers who have been specifically trained to teach at the middle level. By completing this major, students learn about effective teaching strategies, organizational patterns, programs and practices, and the characteristics of young adolescents in middle level schools.

Common minors pursued

While a minor is recommended for the elementary/middle level education dual major, the secondary/middle level education dual major does not require a minor. Elementary/middle level education dual majors may pursue minors in such areas as mathematics, reading, science or social studies. Students should contact the College of Education Advising Center for a complete list of appropriate minors.

Middle level education endorsement

In addition to the middle level education major, a state of Iowa endorsement to teach in grades five through eight in the subject areas of math, science, social studies, and language arts is available. The requirements for the endorsement include the completion of:

  • An elementary or secondary education certification

  • The UNI middle level education major

  • Six semester hours in each of the following content areas:
    math - to include algebra
    science - to include life and physical science
    social studies - to include world history, American history and geography and,
    language arts - to include speech, composition and grammar

Careers: 

A teaching degree from the University of Northern Iowa is as close to a guarantee of a teaching job as you can get. In recent years, approximately 80 percent of teacher education majors who graduated from the University of Northern Iowa have found teaching positions; most of those who are not teaching have simply elected to go into a different field. Of those who are employed as teachers, 72 percent are teaching in Iowa. Northern Iowa graduates are recruited by school districts from all over the nation. The All-Iowa Teacher Recruiting Fair and the UNI Overseas Recruiting Fair, regarded worldwide as one the foremost teacher recruiting events, is hosted annually by UNI. For those graduates who seek teaching positions in other states, opportunities for employment are even greater. Recent graduates are teaching in Nevada, Texas, Georgia, Florida and Arizona.

Unique Features: 
Early Childhood Education
  • Outstanding teaching faculty who have practical experience in early childhood education and are known nationally and internationally for their contributions to the field

  • The Regents Center for Early Developmental Education provides cooperation with and support for the early childhood education program.

  • An active National Association for the Education of Young Children student organization

  • All-Iowa Teacher Recruiting Fair and the UNI Overseas Recruiting Fair, regarded worldwide as one of the foremost teacher recruiting events

  • Courses designed for both regular and special needs children in the unified early childhood program

  • Nationally recognized Minorities in Teaching program, designed to encourage minority students as young as sixth grade to pursue teaching as a career

  • A yearly teacher education induction convocation to honor students admitted to teacher education

  • Kappa Delta Pi education honorary for students with cumulative grade point averages above 3.25

  • An opportunity is available to minor in early childhood special education and reading. Other endorsements, such as coaching, are also available.

Elementary Education
  • Outstanding teaching faculty who have won many teaching awards and are known nationally and internationally for contributions to the field

  • Development of a student portfolio

  • More than 100 hours of field experience prior to student teaching, including a full-day, week-long participation experience while studying teaching methods

  • A variety of student teaching sites including 10 centers in Iowa, plus Omaha, San Antonio and international student teaching opportunities

  • Nationally recognized Minorities in Teaching program, designed to encourage minority students as young sixth grade to pursue teaching as a career

  • A teacher education induction convocation to honor students admitted to teacher education

  • Kappa Delta Pi education honorary for students with cumulative grade point averages above 3.25

Middle Level Education
  • Only three additional courses are needed to complete the dual major for most elementary/middle level majors

  • Only five additional courses are needed to complete the dual major for most secondary/middle level majors

  • A week-long, full-day practicum experience is included during Middle Level Classroom Management in addition to other field experiences in the elementary or secondary major

  • One of the student teaching placements will be in a middle level department or team setting

  • Outstanding teaching faculty who have won many teaching awards and are known nationally and internationally for contributions to the field

  • Development of a professional educator’s portfolio

  • The Student Association of Middle Level Educators (SAMLE) offers peer/faculty support and monthly programs

  • Opportunities for undergraduate research

  • Nationally recognized Minorities in Teaching program, designed to encourage minority students as young as sixth grade to pursue teaching as a career

  • A yearly teacher education induction convocation to honor students admitted to teacher education

  • Kappa Delta Pi Education honorary for students with cumulative grade point averages above 3.25

  • All-Iowa Teacher Recruiting Fair and the UNI Overseas Recruiting Fair, regarded worldwide as one of the foremost teacher recruiting events

Facilities: 
  • Housed in Schindler Education Center, featuring extensive clinical areas, media facilities and a curriculum laboratory

  • UNI Child Development Center is used for the education and care of infants, toddlers and preschoolers. It also serves as an observation and participation site for UNI early childhood education majors.

  • Computer linkages with area schools for college student-grade school student communication

Scholarships & Awards: 

Full-tuition College of Education scholarships available to incoming freshmen include the Teacher Education Scholarship for Iowa residents; nearly 20 other scholarships are available in varying amounts.

The R. Paul Brimm Scholarship is awarded annually to an undergraduate or graduate student exemplifying a commitment to middle level education and young adolescents.

More information on department scholarships can found at Financial Aid.