Education (elementary)

Central’s education department offers an elementary education major with courses designed to enable students to become effective teachers in grades K-8. All education majors participate in field experiences with local teachers and students in classroom settings. In addition, the one-of-a-kind Central Teacher Academy provides a distinctive preparatory experience that pairs students with mentor teachers in local schools before student teaching. 

hours of required field experience in elementary classrooms
  • Nearly 100% of graduates are employed within six months of graduation

See Why Our Teachers Stand Out

Central College Education Video

The Real World


Successful Careers

  • Kindergarten teacher, Torreon, Mexico
  • Second grade teacher, Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Sixth grade teacher, Baltimore City Public Schools, Baltimore, Md.
  • Grades 3-5 ELL teacher, Des Moines
  • Grades K-4 special education teacher, Lone Tree


  • Education Club
  • Geisler-Penquite Scholarship program
  • Council for Exceptional Children

Education majors can travel the world with faculty to Puerto Rico or Sierra Leone, Africa or attend regional and national education conferences. No matter what your interests are, Central has something for you! Learn how you can get involved with groups and organizations at Central.

Central College student

Graduate Placement

Education students pursuing graduate school typically do so after several years teaching in the field. Educational leadership, reading, special education and content specific areas are typical graduate school studies for education graduates. Central education students have attended graduate school in varying states across the United States. 


  • Thorpe Elementary School, Chicago
  • Capital View Elementary School, Des Moines
  • Jamieson Elementary School, Chicago
  • Northstar Elementary School, Knoxville, Iowa

Courses & Faculty

In addition to rigorous coursework, Central education majors are expected to immerse themselves in their chosen field–whether through a short-term faculty-led trip to work in schools in Puerto Rico or the Central Teacher Academy where students gain hands-on experience with a local K-12 mentor teacher.

Students can also get involved with a development-focused mission trip to Sierra Leone, Africa, or student teach in inner-city Chicago or on one of Central's international study abroad programs. 

Learn more about education (elementary) in the course catalog.

Education (elementary) photo
Meet the faculty:
  • Rebecca Addleman, B.A., M.S., Ed.D., Associate Professor of Education
  • Jennifer Diers, B.A., M.Ed., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education, interest areas include child and adolescent development, technology in education and international education
  • Melanie Hatch, B.A., M.A., Lecturer of Education
  • Mindi Kacmarynski, Coordinator of the Central Teacher Academy
  • Susan Lyons, Adjunct Instructor of Education
  • Melissa McAninch, B.S., M.A., Assistant Professor of Education, interest areas include teacher questioning practices, mathematical discourse and classroom assessment
  • Christine McConville, Office Manager Education Department
  • Mary Stark, B.S., M.A., Ph.D., John and Anna Poole Endowed Chair in the Humanities and Professor of English, interest areas include nature and environmental literature, literature for children and young adults and secondary education
  • Linda Steddom, Director of Clinical/Field Experiences in Education
  • Jason Surian, B.A., M.Ed., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Education
  • Julianne Taylor, B.A., M.S., Lecturer of Education

Sample Schedule

First year
  • Foundations of Education
  • Children with Exceptionalities
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Core, licensure & endorsement courses
Sophomore year
  • Human Relations
  • Educational Psychology
  • Teaching of Language Arts & Reading
  • Literature for Children
  • Art, Music & PE Methods for Elementary
  • Core, licensure & endorsement courses
Junior year
  • Teaching Reading
  • Teaching of Math
  • Behavior Classroom Management
  • Core, licensure & endorsement courses
Senior year
  • Science and Technology Curriculum and Methods
  • Social Studies Curriculum and Methods
  • Advanced Integration of Technology in Education - Elementary
  • Student teaching
  • Senior Seminar
  • Core, licensure & endorsement courses

The Central Difference

Developmental Model for Teacher Education

Central College implements a developmental model to prepare students to be educators. This unique “I Understand, I Can, I Am” model aligns with the InTASC standards for teacher preparation and provides students with fundamental, developmentally appropriate coursework and experiences.

This model leads to highly prepared teachers, who have a multitude of varying field experiences in diverse settings, ultimately preparing students to be highly qualified teachers in a global world.

Central education students exhibit highly successful Praxis Exam completion rates (100% in 2014-2015). 

Honors and Scholarships

The Geisler Penquite scholarships are awarded annually to elementary, secondary, and/or K-12 education students. When fully funded, up to twelve scholarships will be awarded on a renewable basis.

The Scholars Program honors students who exemplify essential values and skills, and work collaboratively to build upon Central’s reputation to recruit exemplary teachers for future generations.

Central Teacher Academy

The Central Teacher Academy (CTA) program is an exceptional teacher preparatory program — the only one of its kind in Iowa. Elementary education majors apply to be a CTA participant. CTA students are trained and paired with mentor teachers in the Pella Community School District and Pella Christian Schools for three years, while also receiving current, applicable professional development training. This voluntary, selective program is in addition to the requirements all students complete for an elementary education major and teacher licensure. 

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad with one of Central’s international programs to enhance their development as global citizens, or with partner programs in Chicago, Washington, D.C. or New York City. Education majors can complete internships and service learning in many locations. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.

Community Service

Central is an Iowa Campus Compact Institution. Education majors can serve the community through Iowa College Americorps and earn earn an education award to help with expenses. 

Central College education major working with student


Jake Wassenaar receives Fulbright award to Taiwan

Jake Wassenaar receives Fulbright award to Taiwan

Central College senior Jake Wassenaar of Pella has won a 2016-2017 Fulbright U.S. Student Award to Taiwan.

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Central’s Extraordinary Education Majors
Central’s Extraordinary Education Majors

Experience in the classroom sets these teachers apart.

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Our Fabulous First Year
Our Fabulous First Year

So, what is it like being a brand-new teacher? One year after graduation, four education majors from Central tell about their first years as teachers.

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Learn More

Want to find out more about elementary education at Central? Contact us to learn more about this major and our other strong academic programs. Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.