Elementary Education majors who graduate from Illinois State University are certified to teach kindergarten through ninth grade in Illinois. The program prepares students to teach in both the self-contained classroom and in at least one subject in a middle school or junior high school.
The Elementary Education major is the largest major at Illinois State and admission is competitive. This major program is founded on the national standards by the Association for Childhood Education International. The guidelines focus on what beginning teachers are expected to know and to be able to do.
One of the ways this is carried out is in the PDS program. The goal is to meet those guidelines by providing situations that give students the opportunity to better connect theory with the reality of the classroom.
Once you are accepted into the Elementary Education PDS program, you will be asked your grade level preference, but the decision will be based on available mentors at the site. During your internship, you will be able to experience a variety of classrooms, preparing you to teach at all grade levels. During your first semester you will be placed at different grade levels (primary and intermediate classes) at different schools within the district. You will learn which grade level you will be placed in during an orientation meeting in May.