Teaching License: Elementary PreK-6 Overview
At Bluefield College, students who dream of teaching elementary-aged children have the opportunity to start that journey as early as the freshman year. An integral aspect of the program includes public school field experience opportunities that are strategically placed within the required courses throughout the four years. A strong major in Interdisciplinary Studies prepares students to pass Praxis II: Elementary Content Knowledge required in Virginia. Completing requirements for the teaching license and the bachelor’s degree within 4 years opens the door for graduates to obtain additional credentials through master’s degrees in a number of areas.
Teaching License: Elementary PreK-6 Licensure Area
The following degree combined with required education courses and field experiences lead to the teaching license in elementary grades PreK-6:
Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies
Teaching License: Elementary PreK-6 Field Experiences
All students in the teacher education program participate in Pre-Student Teaching Field Experience Courses which consists of classroom observation and participation in public school, combined with seminars on campus for discussion and reflection. Topics include teaching strategies, student differences and classroom management. Prior to taking the field experiences classes, students enroll in a human growth and development class which includes a public school field experience focusing on child and adolescent development.
Students seeking an elementary PreK-6 license also take reading and literacy courses that are tied to specific field experience hours. Bluefield College partners with local elementary schools so students can work with elementary-aged children in a hands-on approach to apply course theories related to instruction and assessment.
Student teaching takes place the last semester, usually spring of the senior year. To prepare students to work with different age levels, student teaching is organized into two placements: one in an upper elementary grade, and one in a lower elementary grade. Bluefield College faculty serve as the college supervisors for the student teachers, and the student teachers meet weekly for seminars. Throughout the semester, the student teachers build a professional portfolio which is presented to a faculty and school personnel panel for review and practice with interviewing skills.
Common sites for Field Experiences
Bluefield College holds partnership agreements with the public schools in Tazewell and Bland Counties in Virginia, and Mercer County in West Virginia. School personnel from these school systems are involved in the mentoring and assessment of our students..
Teaching License: Elementary PreK-6 Outcomes
Students are placed in public schools with diverse student populations providing them with the experience of working with children who have different backgrounds and needs. In addition, college coursework emphasizes the teacher’s role in valuing diversity and maintaining high expectations that all students can learn.
Many graduates from the Bluefield College School of Education have successfully completed master’s degrees from various institutions including: Virginia Tech, Radford University, University of Virginia, and Concord University. Beyond that level, other students have achieved a doctoral degree from Virginia Tech. They have received master’s degrees in reading, guidance counseling, library science, educational psychology, curriculum and instruction, and leadership, as well as content areas.
Positions Held by Alumni
Graduates from the program are licensed for jobs throughout Virginia to teach in high and middle schools. Many other states recognize and accept the Virginia license without additional requirements.
Clubs and Organizations
Students belong to the Student Virginia Education Association (SVEA) which allows them to connect with the National Education Association and provides opportunities for leadership, service, professionalism and celebration of the profession.
Dr. Donna Hardy Watson