Education (Elementary)

The responsibility to help shape the lives and educations of young children is a big one. It requires an intelligent and exceptionally caring person, someone with a great deal of insight, creativity and stamina.

That’s what you bring to the table. Central matches it with a unique developmental model, one-of-a-kind programming and courses designed to enable you to become an effective teacher in grades K-8. You will participate in field experiences with local teachers and students in classroom settings, obtaining the early hands-on experience you need to succeed as a teacher.

With the help of one of the best education programs in Iowa, you’ll see your passion for education evolve into the résumé of a highly skilled professional teacher.

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

The Real World


Successful Careers

  • Kasey Wiedemaier ’17, second grade teacher, Collins- Maxwell School District
  • Jacob Wassenaar ’16 Fulbright Award Recipient, Taiwan
  • Amber Muntz ’14, third grade teacher, Harris Elementary (Phoenix, Ariz.)
  • Samuel Bernink ’14, math and reading teacher, Estherville-Lincoln Central Community School District
  • Madison Frehe ’14, second grade teacher, Leavenworth (Kans.) Unified School District
  • Ali Neevel ’14, first grade teacher, Springfield Elementary School (Michigan City, Ind.)
  • Amanda Deerr ’14, K-8 art teacher at Prairie City Monroe Community School DistrictSarah Seney ’01, principal, Fairview Elementary School, Grinnell
  • Matt Dunsbergen ’01, principal, Terrace Elementary, Ankeny
  • Mady Adamson ’17, third grade teacher, Osceola School District


  • 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
  • Escuela Colegio, Merida, Mexico
  • Northstar Elementary School, Knoxville, Iowa
  • Madison Elementary School, Pella, Iowa
  • Pella Christian Elementary, Pella, 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.

Meet the faculty:

Amanda Clark, B.S., M.Ed. Instructor 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

Alan Hastings, Assistant Professor of Education

Melissa McAninch, B.S., M.A., Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Education, interest areas include: teacher questioning practices, mathematical discourse and classroom assessment

Tamala Strawser, Lecturer of Education

Julianne Taylor, B.A., M.S. Lecturer of Education, interest areas include: literacy development, student engagement with interaction, intervention and professional school counseling

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

Learn Using a Unique Developmental Model

You’ll become a highly prepared teacher when you use the “I Understand, I Can, I Am” developmental model. It will provide you with a multitude of varying field experiences in diverse settings and ultimately ready you to become a highly qualified teacher in a global world. This model aligns with the InTASC standards for teacher preparation and provides fundamental, developmentally appropriate coursework and experiences.

Central education students exhibit highly successful Praxis Exam completion rates (over 96%) and are annually awarded the Recognition of Excellence Indicator Award for exemplary scores.

Central Teacher Academy

Apply to participate in the Central Teacher Academy (CTA) program — an exceptional teacher preparatory program and the only one of its kind in Iowa. If selected, you will be trained and paired with mentor teachers in the Pella Community School District and Pella Christian Schools for three years prior to student teaching. This early hands-on learning can be essential to your future success.

Learn more about the Central Teacher Academy.

Learn in Nationally Recognized Facilities

You’ll spend a lot of time in the three-story Roe Center, which houses classroom, office and instructional space for the education and psychology departments, along with communication studies and Central’s nationally recognized community-based learning department. The building features energy conservation and environmental responsibility, and was awarded a platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating from the United States Green Building Council.

Work Toward Distinguished Honors and Scholarships

The Geisler Penquite scholarships are awarded to juniors and seniors accepted into the teacher preparation program. When completely funded, 48-50 renewable scholarships of up to$5,000 will be available for 12 new students in the elementary and secondary education programs.

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


Central Announces Changes Among Faculty

Central Announces Changes Among Faculty

Central College is pleased to announce changes among its faculty for the 2019-20 school year.

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Central Education Department Presents 2019 Geisler Penquite Workshop
Central Education Department Presents 2019 Geisler Penquite Workshop

The Central College education department presents “Motivating and Managing Hard to Reach, Uninterested and Disruptive Students” on Wednesday, April 24.

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Central Alumni Magazine Wins Best Story of the Year Award
Central Alumni Magazine Wins Best Story of the Year Award

The cover story of the Summer 2018 issue of Civitas won a gold award in the platinum category for the best story of the year from CASE.

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Learn More

Want to find out more about Education (Elementary) 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.