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About the Elementary Education Teacher Preparation Program

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The Elementary Education Teacher Preparation Program leads to initial licensure in Virginia and prepares elementary teachers to be successful in 21st century classrooms. Students learn how to develop instruction that values students’ cultural contexts and helps them engage with rigorous academic content.

The Elementary Education Teacher Preparation Program is designed to prepare elementary teachers to provide developmentally and culturally responsive instruction with diverse student populations and across diverse contexts. As a student in our program, you’ll have the opportunity to observe and prepare instruction in multiple placements in rural, suburban, and urban school districts.  

Students learn how to plan lessons that provide for differentiation, accommodations, and modifications to meet the needs of all students. You’ll be invited to reflect on child development, teaching and learning, and challenged to consider ways to advance the profession, making it more innovative, inclusive, and equity focused.  

Successful graduates of our Elementary Education Teacher Preparation Program will be eligible for licensure in Virginia, which offers licensure reciprocity with many states across the U.S. Our graduates have the perfect mix of theory and practice that help them land a job after graduation and prepare them for ongoing professional and personal growth.

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The Elementary Education Teacher Preparation Program requires completion of 39 graduate credit hours in education.

VT undergraduate students who complete EDCI 5554 Educating Exceptional Learners Across the Life Span and EDEP 5154 Psychological Foundations for Teachers during the bachelor's program may be able to complete the program in 10 months. These classes have to be taken in the spring semester of senior year. NOTE: In order to be eligible for 5000-level courses, an undergraduate must be a senior and have a 3.0 GPA. 

However, completing the program in 12 months instead of 10 does not delay your degree or licensure, nor does it prevent you from applying for a teaching position.


The program includes 15 credits of field studies and internship, focused on moving research and theory into practice. Students begin by observing master elementary education teachers in their very first course.  Gradually, and over time, students have the opportunity to work with elementary students 1:1, in small groups, eventually assuming responsibility for planning and implementing instruction for all students in the class.

Your confidence and ability in the classroom will grow steadily over the course of your studies, and you will be prepared for the classroom through this practical component!


This program operates on a cohort model. Members of a given cohort attend all of the same classes in the same sequence and pursue common plans of study.

The benefits of a cohort model are many. It is designed to facilitate social interaction, collaboration, and the formation of a supportive learning community.

Students in cohorts learn from and help each other with the successful completion of coursework and professional networking. They report a strong sense of community and are more likely to complete their programs of study in a timely manner.