A Christian Liberal Arts University, Est. 1846

Elementary Education Major

More Than Teachers

Elementary Education majors at Taylor are shaped to become more than teachers. They begin as passionate leaders who hope to pass on their excitement for learning to the next generation and complete the Education program as experienced mentors, confident and encouraging educators, and creative lesson planners.

Our students gain in-classroom experiences from the beginning of their freshman years, assisting local elementary teachers and teaching lessons. The more time they spend learning in local elementary classrooms, the more confidently they can walk into their own classrooms after graduation.

Every Elementary Education student spends a full semester during their senior years teaching domestically or abroad. The semester is split between two placements in different schools, teaching different grade levels. The Elementary Education major leads to a K-6 Elementary Generalist License approved by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) and accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Practicums and Student Teaching Timeline

Taylor University’s Elementary Education program prepares students in areas of instruction, subject matter, and classroom management, but the best training comes from being in Elementary classrooms. To set our students apart, we begin them in the classrooms their freshman years.

Check out the teaching timeline below for more information.

  • Freshman Year: You are given a school assignment and begin working with local students and teachers and getting comfortable in the classroom. You will observe classes and assist teachers with everyday tasks.
  • Sophomore Year: Elementary Education majors continue assisting in classrooms and begin gaining more responsibilities, including teaching more lessons and lesson planning. Education students can spend three weeks during sophomore or junior J-Term in a teaching practicum in Indiana, the Philippines, or Belize.
  • Junior Year: During junior year, students take Junior Methods Practicum (JuMP), altering day-to-day between taking campus courses and student teaching in two locally assigned schools, gaining experience in both lower and upper elementary classrooms.
  • Senior Year: For one senior semester, all Education majors are placed as full-time student teachers, splitting their semester between two placements. Students can teach in Grant, Blackford, and/or Delaware County schools; the Indianapolis- and Fort Wayne-area schools; or abroad in international, Christian, or secular schools.
Building on the Basics

All Elementary Education students must complete a concentration through at least one of the following means:

  • A concentration in mathematics, language arts, modern language, music, science, social studies, or visual arts
  • Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL) minor or certificate
  • Special Education licensure
  • Junior High/Middle School licensure in language arts, mathematics, science, or social studies
  • An approved minor in Biology, Chemistry, Economics, English, Geography, History, Mathematics, Applied Music, Music Composition, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, or Spanish

Elementary Education Curriculum & Degree Options

Contact the Education Department

Dr. Ben Hotmire, Chair of the Education Department

Shannon Shilts, Education Program Assistant

Special Programs
  • Special Education

    Expand your education opportunities by adding a Mild Intervention certification to your degree. This Preschool-12 Special Education certificate allows Education majors to work with a broad range of students who have mild to moderate special needs. Learn More

  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages - TESOL

    Develop the skills to teach English as a second language to a diverse range of students. Complete the TESOL program with a significant amount of practical experience that will set you up for success. Learn More

Education Department
Being His Hands and Feet

Taylor University’s national- and state-accredited Education programs seek to develop competent, caring, and reflective teachers who are prepared for both local and global service. We offer license-track degrees in Elementary Education and Secondary Education, and a degree in Educational Studies for those who love education but don’t want to be a licensed classroom teacher. All of our Education majors will learn to make professional decisions, plan engaging instruction, interact with learners, and create stimulating learning environments.

Our freshmen Education majors are placed in local schools right away, giving our students more hours in the Indiana classrooms than many other university education programs. Local and international practicums allow students to observe classroom behaviors, assist teachers, and begin putting education theories into practice. Elementary and Secondary Education majors will build upon these short-term practicums with student teaching opportunities during their senior years.

Setting the Example

Our dedicated faculty don’t merely tell you how to be a teacher—they set examples for how to be engaging teachers and provide opportunities for you to gain several interactive teaching experiences. Not only do the professors practice an open-door policy to encourage students to stop by and chat about their lives, but the Education professors also host events and meals in their homes—creating a family atmosphere. They hope to personally see every student grow mentally and spiritually as well as professionally.

Teaching Around the World

Since 1962, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, now the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), has accredited the Taylor University Education program. This means you have an opportunity to find work almost anywhere after graduation, from Indiana to India.

The Education department has global connections for students interested in teaching overseas. As an Education major, you can find stretching experiences that will test your teaching abilities across borders by student teaching in locations like Ecuador, the Bahamas, the Philippines, Mexico, and Belize.

Any student interested in staying stateside but transferring his or her Indiana teaching license to another U.S. state can speak with our Director of Teacher Certification for advising. Indiana has reciprocity with 46 states, allowing our students to smoothly transfer their licenses.

From Student to Teacher
  • Alspaugh-Hodson Family Scholarship: must be an Indiana resident and full-time student majoring in Education, eligible for need-based aid, and have a personal relationship with Christ
  • Halbrook Freedom Scholarship: for students interested in entrepreneurship, education, media, and government, who grasp the essentiality of, and strive to uphold, the enduring principles of the United States of America
  • Art Scholarship: for declared Art or Art Education majors
Career Opportunities

With a success rate of 98%, Taylor Education students should have no trouble finding post-graduation jobs, internships, or graduate school placements. Education majors have many career options—from camp director to in-class teacher to missionary. Taylor’s Bachelor’s in Education degrees also will prepare interested students to enter graduate school.

Most of our graduates are teaching in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan, though some alumni teach outside of the Midwest in Colorado, Texas, Kentucky, and Arizona, among other states. An increasing number of our graduates are teaching abroad. We have sent Education graduates to the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Ghana, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Bolivia, and many others.

Learn more about Taylor University’s Education philosophy.

Faculty & Staff
Department Head

Ben Hotmire

Department Chair, Assistant Professor of Education & Co-Director of Student Teaching



Alexis Armstrong

Professor of Education & Director of Teacher Education


Melissa Jessup

Assistant Professor of Education


Tammy Mahon

Director of Special Education & Associate Professor of Education


Carol Sisson

Associate Professor of Education


Cindy Tyner

Co–Director of Student Teaching & Professor of Education



Pam Medows

Director of Transition to Teaching


Kim Overbey

Director of Teacher Certification


Shannon Shilts

Education Program Assistant