Elementary Education Licensure

These requirements are from an excerpt from the University Academic Catalog, which outlines the requirements for a student to earn the distinction of being a Castleton University graduate. The complete catalog is available online.

Contact: Dr. Anne Slonaker (Chair, Education Department) 802-468-1328 anne.slonaker@castleton.edu Facebook: Castleton University Education DepartmentTwitter: @CUEdDept

Continuing a more than 200 year old tradition, Castleton prepares teachers within a supportive community developed for the future as well as the present.

Castleton's Education Program promotes four central tenets: inquiry and critical thinking, praxis between theory and practice, reflective and research-based methodology, as well as collaboration and social justice. We believe these pillars support future teachers in the public sector as educational advocates in both local communities and the world at large.

Courses in Elementary Education Licensure focus on understanding the world of teaching and learning and developing the skills necessary to enter that world successfully. Op­portunities to engage in the field occur early in the students' educa­tional career and continue throughout the program. In early courses, students gain an understanding of pedagogical theory and practice. The later part of the program is devoted to honing pedagogical content knowledge through extended opportunities in schools. The final semester is devoted to a full-time student teaching experience. Along the way, civic engagement initiatives keep prospective teach­ers connected in authentic ways. Throughout the program, students capture their learning in an electronic Portfolio that allows them to record and assess their progress toward the goal of achiev­ing teacher licensure.

Students interested in elementary education will major in Multidisciplinary Studies (BA.MDS), or Mathematics: Elementary Education. (Students majoring in Art Education, Health Promotion: School Health, Music Education, Physical Education, and Spanish will be eligible for PreK-12 licensure.)


-Complete the following required courses (35 cr):

Code Course Credits

EDU 1012

Education Inquiries

This course critically analyzes our societies' educational institutions. Students explore the historical, social, and philosophical foundations of education. The course will cultivate an understanding of the teaching profession today by exploring provocative contemporary issues. Students will explore political, economic, legal, international, and cultural perspectives on education, including issues of adequacy, discrimination, access, and equity. Field observations will be central to Educational Inquiries. Groups of students will periodically observe highly regarded local classes, then engage in seminars designed to understand the classroom culture, instruction, curriculum, and assessments that they observe. Model faculty observed will be asked to share a brief overview of their lesson, which will be the basis for reflection on classroom practices.

Every semester


EDU 2011

Reading/Writing: Elementary Classroom

This course focuses on how constructivist, language-based principles apply to learning to read and to writ. It is an inquiry course focused on two principal questions: (1) What is your relationship to language? Who are you, a prospective teacher, as a reader and a writer? (2) What is the nature of language and what is its place in the teaching/learning process in an elementary school classroom? This course offers practical experience in how to manage and monitor a reading-writing classroom through the design and/or use of appropriate curricula, the organization of the physical space and learning processes, and the development of methods of assessment and instruction. Fieldwork will include a child study that addresses both literacy learning and exceptionality.

Prerequisite: EDU 1012 with a grade of B- or better.



EDU 2012

Special Education: Elementary Classroom

This course prepares elementary teachers to instruct students with high incidence and low incidence challenges who are included in the general education classroom. Topics include instruction in assessment, reading and writing, communication, behavior management, assistive technology, and special education law as it informs each student's Individual Education Plan. Fieldwork will include a child study that addresses both exceptionality and literacy learning.

Prerequisite: EDU 1012 with a grade of B- or better.



EDU 3011

Elementary Pedagogy

This course prepares elementary teachers to support the needs of their students at a systems level by addressing academic, social, cultural, and emotional diversity in classrooms. To facilitate the creation of equitable learning environments, the course will focus on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). Drawing from the needs of students in the associated field placement, teacher candidates will consider the needs of their learners to create cross-curricular lessons that are based on prominent learning theories and Common Core Standards.

Prerequisite: EDU 1012, EDU 2011 and EDU 2012 with grades of B- or better.



EDU 4031

Educational Collaborations

This course represents an interdisciplinary collaboration, fusing content and perspectives from Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (CIA), Special Education, and Literacy. Thoughtful and substantive inquiry and opportunities for deep reflection promote analytical and creative professional practice. Integrating the three components allows students to refine their pedagogical practices through fieldwork that develops skill in meeting the needs of diverse learners. Each semester's Educational Collaboration cohort will facilitate a public, community-oriented event, driven by local issues, needs, and questions. Thus, recognizing the importance of social justice in education, civic engagement practices also emerge as central to this course's vision.

Prerequisite: EDU 1012, and either EDU 2011 and EDU 2012, or EDU 2031 and EDU 2032 with grades of B- or better.

Every semester


EDU 4720

Student Teaching Seminar

The seminar prepares the student for the student teaching experience, supports the student during this experience and introduces and/or reviews competencies associated with the role of the professional educator. Taken concurrently with EDU 4871 and EDU 4872.

Prerequisite: Required Education courses and Senior standing.

Fee Fee $50


EDU 4871

Directed Student Teaching I

This course is an opportunity for the student to teach under the guidance of a qualified cooperating teacher and university supervisor. Taken concurrently with EDU 4720 and EDU 4872.

Prerequisite: Required Education courses, departmental recommendation, professional and intellectual competencies as stated in exit requirements.


EDU 4872

Directed Student Teaching II

Extension of student teaching. Under the guidance of a qualified cooperating teacher, the student gradually assumes responsibilities involved in classroom teaching. School and community relations are emphasized. Must be taken concurrently with EDU 4720 and EDU 4871.

Fee Lab fee $10.


PSY 1050

Human Growth and Development

select one of these:

A survey of human developmental psychology from the prenatal period to late adulthood. The major focus is on theoretical and practical implications of developmental research for cognitive, personality and social development. Special attention will be given to interactions between maturation and experience.

Every semester


PSY 2110

Educational Psychology

An examination of the principles and theories of learning as they apply to the developmental changes of the child. Special emphasis will be placed on how the child learns and ways of producing optimal conditions for childhood learning.



PSY 2265

Child and Adolescent Development

This course surveys the major areas of the psychology of child and adolescent development, emphasizing an understanding of the important methods, terms, theories, and findings in the field of child development.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every semester


-And complete 6 credits of electives from the following courses and/or any non-required EDU course:

Code Course Credits

EDU 2035

Gender and Education

Gender and Education is designed to provide an overview of the major discussions and debates in the area of gender and education. The main questions this courses addresses are: What role does gender play in defining and reproducing gender roles? How can education promote gender equity? We will explore these questions through a series of readings and case studies from the United States.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral frame of reference.


EDU 3065

Alternative Education Field Experiences

The purpose of this course is to learn how K-12 students navigate the educational system when they are not successful in traditional school settings. The class will visit local area sites including vocational-technology schools, alternative high school settings, schools that emphasize the arts, science, or technology, and others. Reflective writing and discussion will be the central strategies to facilitate student understanding of best practices for individual students in educational systems.



EDU 3415

Science for Elementary Teachers

In this science inquiry-based course, students will develop an in-depth understanding of how children learn inquiry-based science by learning current methods, developing authentic lessons, and by participating in formal and informal field experiences. Teaching and assessment experiences will be based on criteria established in the Next Generation Science Standards. This course is appropriate for students who may be interested in an initial experience in education.

Prerequisite: EDU 1012 with a grade of B- or better.



EDU 3450

Instructional Application of Computers

Students will learn to use computer-based applications that are currently used in local schools. Students will learn advanced uses of web-based tools for teaching and learning, and multimedia hardware and software. This course will be primarily project based and requires intensive student participation.

Prerequisite: EDU 1012

Fee Lab fee $25.



THA 3030

Children's Theater

This course focuses on the development of scripted and non-scripted works for performance by and/or for children. Students will create productions and may work on productions in the community.

This course fulfills the Aesthetic Understanding frame of reference.



THA 4410

Theater in Education

Explores the range and possibilities of theater as a pedagogical method. Emphasizes the use of theater as a developmental teaching tool, and as a means of reinforcing other areas of K-12 school curriculum. Students may be required to work directly with children in a classroom or extra-curricular setting.

This course counts towards the Aesthetic Understanding Frame of Reference.




There are three Gateways required for successful completion of this program.

Gateway 1

It is expected that students will complete Gateway 1 by the end of their second semester.

  • Receive a positive recommendation encouraging continuation in the program;
  • Earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a GPA of 3.0 in the education program;
  • Select education and liberal arts faculty advisors;
  • Identify a liberal arts major;
  • Complete and submit the Change of Academic Program (CAP); and
  • Make progress toward completion of the General Education Program.

In addition, students are strongly encouraged to pass the Core Academic Skills Test (Praxis I). Students are responsible for completing the Praxis exam on their own accord; this is a state requirements.

Gateway 2

Prior to completing EDU 4031 Educational Collaborations, students will satisfy the requirements of Gateway 2.

  • Pass Part I of the electronic portfolio;
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a GPA of 3.0 in the education program;
  • Exemplify in conduct and attitude the maturity, judgment, ethical standards, and dedication expected in the teaching profession; and
  • Receive a recommendation from EDU and liberal arts faculty

In addition, students are strongly encouraged to Pass Praxis II: The Subjects Assessment. Students are responsible for completing Praxis exams on their own accord, as these are state requirements.

Gateway 3

To be recommended for licensure to teach in Vermont the student must:

  • Complete all University and departmental course requirements;
  • Pass the Core Academic Skills Test (Praxis I) and Praxis II examinations;
  • Complete all coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0; earn a GPA of 3.0 in the education program;
  • Exemplify in conduct and attitude the maturity, judgment, ethical standards, and dedication expected in the teaching profession;
  • Receive a grade of "B" or better or "Pass" in EDU 4871, 4872, and 4720;
  • Submit Licensure Portfolio and appropriate application materials for review by the Castleton Licensure Committee.


Students seeking Elementary Licensure may also add these Endorsements:

  • Middle Grades Endorsement

This Endorsement is earned by taking four extra courses that provide expertise on teaching students in grades 5-9. (Click here for details.)

  • Special Education Endorsement

This Endorsement is earned by taking four extra courses that provide expertise on teaching students with disabilities. (Click here for details.)

(Note that Endorsement courses can be woven through the four years of undergraduate coursework but may require students to take an additional semester or two to finish.)