Elementary Education Major

Board of Regents Approve New Program (04/11/2014)

By: John Mielke

As part of its April meeting, the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents today approved a bachelor of science degree in elementary education for the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Since the new major would lead to Wisconsin teacher licensure, approval by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) also is required prior to the university enrolling students in the major.

If DPI approval is granted, it will be the first teacher education major offered at the university.

Dr. Walt Jacobs, dean of the UW-Parkside College of Social Sciences and Professional Studies, said the new teacher preparation program is driven by three key goals. "We set out to construct an innovative system for career-long educator development; meet the needs of the school districts in our region; and continue to respond to the changing demands of professional educators," Jacobs said. "These goals define the mission and vision for what is quickly being recognized as a regional and national model for developing knowledgeable, responsive educators."

The elementary education major is part of the university's new Institute of Professional Educator Development and is designed to prepare effective teachers to meet the challenges and opportunities of educating today's diverse student population. UW-Parkside currently offers teacher licensure for grades 6-12 in biological sciences, chemistry, English language arts, geography, geosciences, history, mathematics, political science, and sociology.

Enrollment in the previous UW-Parkside teacher preparation program was closed in 2010 to enable a collaborative redesign process that involved community partners and regional K-12 school districts. Students were admitted to the new Institute of Professional Educator Development for approved licensure areas and classes began in fall 2013.

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is one of 13 four-year campuses in the University of Wisconsin System. Founded in 1968 to better serve the needs of a growing population in southeastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois, UW-Parkside offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs and serves as an academic and cultural resource. The campus is located at 900 Wood Rd. in Somers.

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