Few careers offer the sense of fulfillment and accomplishment that teaching does. Successful people, whether they lead large companies, hold public office or quietly contribute in their communities, often can recall a teacher or mentor who made a difference in their lives.
Widely recognized for the success of its teacher education program, which is guided by a philosophy of “thoughtful practice in a community of learners,” Elon is one of only a few private schools in the state selected to offer the prestigious North Carolina Teaching Fellows program. The Department of Education prepares you for a career as an elementary, middle, high school, special education, Spanish, French, physical education or music teacher. You will learn how to use various teaching methods effectively, including how to incorporate technology in your teaching. Through specially designed classes, you will discover how to create a learning environment that meets the needs of students with diverse abilities and backgrounds.
Elon’s teacher education program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
“The administration that I work with has commented on the difference they see between first-year teachers from Elon compared to first-year teachers from other schools. We are more prepared because we are exposed to so many enriching experiences that impact our performance as teachers.”
One important goal of the education program is to give future teachers a better understanding of the purpose of education and the role of schools in our society. To bring these concepts to life, Elon offers education majors the opportunity to observe and learn in public school classrooms beginning their freshman year. This early exposure to a real classroom is possible because Elon has developed supportive partnerships with area public schools. A sequence of courses involving field experiences culminates in a full semester of student teaching during the senior year. By the time you graduate, you will have developed the necessary knowledge and skills to enter your own classroom with confidence.
At Elon, you can earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood education, elementary education, special education or middle grades education. The School of Education also awards a master’s degree (M.Ed.) in elementary education, gifted education and special education.
Elon offers programs leading to North Carolina licensure in the following areas:
Teaching Fellows receive a $6,500 Elon University scholarship, renewable annually for four years provided the student remains in good standing with the program. North Carolina students may apply for the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program; if accepted, they receive an additional $6,500 from the N.C. Teaching Fellows Commission plus the N.C. Legislative Tuition Grant ($1,850 for 2009-2010). Teaching Fellows must be U.S. citizens, and N.C. Teaching Fellows must also be residents of the state. N.C. Teaching Fellows must teach at least four years in North Carolina public schools after graduation or repay the Teaching Fellows Commission's portion of the scholarship with interest. Visit the Elon Fellows programs website for more information.
At Elon, you will study alongside accomplished faculty who encourage students to strive for excellence.
Dr. Angela Ansah, associate dean of the School of Education, director of the M.Ed. and teacher education programs, teaches assessment in the undergraduate program and social science research in the graduate program. She researches intercultural competence, provides experiential teaching models for an MBA program in Ghana, and has experience designing electronic unit assessment systems.
Dr. Joan Barnatt teaches and researches integrated language arts and social studies methods. Working with the Asia Institute, she designed curricula for elementary and middle grades students on Southeast Asian cultures, and she has experience developing charter schools for middle grades students.
Dr. Stephen Byrd teaches special education courses for undergraduate and graduate students. He researches international special education service delivery and support for families of special-needs students, and he provides development support to special educators in Madurai, India.
Dr. David Cooper, dean of the School of Education, conducts research in early childhood education and evaluation of professional development schools. He will guide development of new programs providing Elon students with 21st-century skills and competencies.
Dr. Glenda Crawford is Elon’s director of the N.C. Teaching Fellows and coordinator of the middle grades program. She received Elon’s 2008-09 Daniels-Danieley award for Excellence in teaching and recently published a book, Differentiation for the Adolescent Learner.
Dr. Gerald Dillashaw serves as coordinator of the secondary science education program, and he teaches research and measurement courses in the graduate program. He represents the Department of Education at state-level organizations for higher education and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
Dr. Mark Enfield teaches mathematics and science methods, and the philosophical and historical foundations of U.S. public school education. He researches the effect of children’s dialogue during group interaction on their development of science concepts and methods of inquiry.
Dr. Mary Knight-McKenna teaches literacy and special education courses, and recently presented at the Oxford Round Table Symposium on Early Childhood Literacy. She researches the preparation of teacher candidates for working with families and teaching in high-poverty schools.
Dr. Rich Mihans, chair of the Department of Education, coordinator of the elementary education program, teaches literacy and language arts and social studies methodology. He researches teacher and satisfaction, and course design, and has published in the Phi Delta Kappan and the International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.
Dr. Jean Rohr teaches courses in literacy and diversity and uses service-learning as pedagogy in her courses. Dr. Rohr is widely published, and her play, Valued Voices, depicting the struggles of minority students in public schools, has been performed by the Black Repertory Theatre.
Dr. Terry Tomasek teaches and conducts research on the efficacy of specific science and mathematics instructional methods and recently published in Research in Science Education and International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.
The Department of Education is housed in Mooney building and includes a curriculum resource center that provides professional literature, textbooks and other resources for instructional planning. Students use two computer labs for access to the campus network and the Internet. Education majors also have the opportunity to conduct research with faculty mentors. Outstanding students can become members of Kappa Delta Pi, the national honor society for education majors.
Elon recommends that education students interested in graduate school first gain some teaching experience. At some institutions, classroom experience is a requirement. Recent graduates have pursued advanced teaching degrees at Elon and the following institutions: