Do you have a passion for working with children? Are you interested in teaching? Do you want to apply your creativity to plan learning experiences that are highly engaging and will motivate young learners?

East Carolina's BS in elementary education program allows students to work closely with faculty regarded as experts in their field. A hallmark of the elementary education program at East Carolina is the prevalence of practicum experiences throughout the program. Even from the beginning of the program, students have the chance to be observing and working in classrooms throughout eastern North Carolina. Each semester, students have the opportunity to be in an elementary classroom applying the concepts and knowledge from their coursework.

The program culminates in a yearlong internship placement in a K-6 elementary classroom. In the first semester, students spend one day a week in their placement getting to know the students, teaching lessons, and collaborating with the teacher. In the second semester, students attend their internship every day and gradually pick up teaching responsibilities until they are teaching all day long. Student interns have the support of ECU faculty, the classroom teacher, and a university supervisor as they finish program requirements and prepare to enter the work force.

ECU Advantage

East Carolina's elementary education program is nationally recognized for excellence in developing pre-service educators. ECU faculty members have been called upon by organizations from around the country to present on the innovative methods used with teacher candidates in East Carolina's undergraduate elementary education program.

ECU is the largest producer of new teachers in North Carolina. Our graduates are highly sought after and can be found working throughout the region and around the United States. Many graduates go on to earn master's degrees and become nationally board certified in their area of expertise.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Mark L'Esperance (230 Speight Building; 252-328-1136; lesperancem@ecu.edu)

Minimum degree requirement is 125 s.h. of credit as follows:

1. General education requirements - 40 s.h.

(For information about courses that carry general education credit see General Education Program.)

  • ART 3850 - Art in the Elementary School
  • MATH 2127 - Basic Concepts of Mathematics
  • MUSC 3018 - Introduction to Basic Music Skills for Elementary School Teachers
  • • Choose 3 s.h. humanities (literature)*
  • Note:

    *Children's literature cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.

    2. Professional studies - 30 s.h.
    • EDTC 4001 - Technology in Education

    • EDUC 3002 - Introduction to Diversity or
    • PSYC 2777 - Ethnocultural Psychology or
    • SOCI 1010 - Race, Gender, Class

    • EDUC 3200 - Foundations of American Education

    • EDUC 4400 - Foundations of School Learning, Motivation, and Assessment or
    • PSYC 4305 - Educational Psychology

    • ELEM 2123 - Early Experience for the Prospective Teacher
    • ELEM 4324 - Internship in the Elementary School
    • ELEM 4325 - Internship Seminar: Issues in Elementary Education
    • READ 3301 - Reading Instruction in the Primary Grades
    • SPED 4020 - Teaching Students with Exceptionalities in Elementary Classrooms
    3. Academic concentration - 18 s.h.*

    (See Academic Concentration.)


      *A maximum of 6 s.h. may be counted toward general education requirements. The reading concentration is an exception; 12 s.h. of program requirements may be counted - ELEM 3200; ENGL 3950 or LIBS 4950; READ 3301, READ 3302.

      4. Specialty area - 41 s.h.
      • ELEM 3000 - Curriculum and Standards in Elementary School
      • ELEM 3100 - Learning and Instruction in Elementary School
      • ELEM 3200 - Language Arts in Elementary School
      • ELEM 3300 - K-2 Practicum
      • ELEM 3500 - Teaching Social Studies in Elementary School
      • ELEM 3600 - Grades 3-5 Practicum
      • ELEM 4300 - Classroom Organization and Management in Elementary School
      • ELEM 4400 - Assessment for Elementary Educators
      • ELEM 4500 - Internship I
      • MATE 3050 - Mathematics and Methods for Grades Pre-K-2
      • MATE 3051 - Field Experience in Mathematics Grades K-2
      • MATE 3060 - Mathematics and Methods for Grades 3-6
      • READ 3302 - Reading Instruction in the Intermediate Grades
      • SCIE 3216 - Teaching Science in the Elementary School
      5. Cognate - 5 s.h.
      • ENGL 3950 - Literature for Children or
      • LIBS 4950 - Literature for Children

      • MATE 2129 - Basic Concepts of Mathematics II
      • Note:

        One of the above literature for children courses may be counted toward general education requirements. Please discuss this option with your academic advisor prior to registration.

        For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

        Careers With This Degree

        Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

        • Elementary Education and Teaching
        • Elementary School teachers, Except Special Education
        • Elementary Education and Teaching

        Career Opportunities

        ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

        NC Tower

        This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

        • Self-employed;
        • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
        • Work outside of North Carolina.

        US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

        This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

        Degree-specific internships

        For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.