In a rapidly changing society, there is a real need for teachers who can contribute to the positive development of young children and to the development of effective schools for them. The Western Carolina University Elementary Education Program is designed for prospective elementary school teachers and current teaching professionals who strive to meet these goals and transform the future. Following a carefully designed curriculum, students learn from and work alongside faculty, instructors and cooperating teachers dedicated to their intellectual and professional growth. Program graduates find employment as teachers, principals and superintendents, educational programmers, academic program directors, and tutors.
The program curriculum combines challenging academic coursework with numerous opportunities for students to engage in field experiences in area public schools. All students complete a capstone experience that includes a year-long internship in a participating public school. Teachers-in-training benefit from several support and outreach units as they pursue their studies at WCU. These valuable resources include Beginning Teacher Support, Suite 201 Advising and WHEE Teach, a student organization that gives future teachers the opportunity to volunteer in schools and participate in educational service learning and social events. With successful completion of the program, graduates earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and are recommended to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for K-6 initial licensure.
WCU’s rate of teacher placement is one of the best in North Carolina. In addition to teaching positions and leadership roles in public and private schools, graduates find employment in business training and development, library and school media programs, and within private organizations. Graduates also find employment with test preparation companies, daycare centers, nursery schools, and universities and colleges. Many graduates choose to deepen their knowledge and further their education by enrolling in a graduate degree program such as the Master of Arts in Education.