- Major Name: Elementary Education
- Degree Program: Education
- Degree Designation: AA
- College / School: Liberal Arts
Students enrolled in Potomac State College’s Elementary Education program of study are completing the initial phases of degree work required to become a certified teacher. Future teachers naturally expect to be responsible for lesson planning, instruction and assessment in their future classrooms; however, with society’s demands for critical thinkers and citizens committed to lifelong learning, it is crucial that future educators experience teacher-preparation rich in opportunities to discover the impact of culturally relevant teaching, learner centered classrooms and integrated curriculum as well as solid communication, management and organizational classroom skills. Potomac State College offers direct classroom experience for prospective elementary educators as early as the first semester of study.
Potomac State College offers a rigorous two-year approach designed to provide an interdisciplinary background for prospective teachers. Graduates of the Elementary Education program of Potomac State College earn an Associate of Arts degree and should expect to continue coursework in elementary education at an accredited baccalaureate granting institution to become certified (possessing a teaching license) teachers. Many of Potomac State’s students do go on to continue their education at the WVU Morgantown Campus; however, students may also elect to transfer to a variety of institutions, including but not limited to Frostburg State University and Shepherd University, to earn a BA or even continue to pursue an MA in education. To accommodate students intending to transfer to the WVU Morgantown Campus as well as other regional institutions, three tracks are available for the Elementary Education program. Students should obtain curriculum/advisement information from their adviser to determine which track is appropriate for their transfer plans.
Overall, future Elementary Education majors can expect to spend many hours in the classroom during their college experience
- Creating lesson plans and instructional resources for use in the classroom;
- Integrating age-specific objectives/learning outcomes in lesson plans;
- Delivering instructional activities designed for a variety of learners;
- Fostering positive educational climates;
- Maintaining and reporting grades;
- Grading papers, projects and other assignments;
- Performing assigned administrative duties as needed;
- Researching current topics in education and implementing researched-based best practice in the classroom environment
- Utilizing curricula that reflect the diverse educational, cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the students served;
- Assessing student learning both formally and informally;
- Collaborating with parents and community to provide an effective educational experience and environment for students;
- Although most Elementary Education majors expect to become elementary teachers, other career options (some requiring advanced degrees) include teaching in a private school or charter school; curriculum design and development; curriculum sales; educational support services; child care administration; educationally focused government work; administration; educational psychology; and higher education support or teaching.
Nationally, the mean salary for elementary educators is $54,550 with West Virginia reporting a mean salary of $46,010 (starting salary as high as $33,000 in some parts of the state) and the opportunity for salary increase yearly. Close neighboring states report attractive salaries as well with mean salaries as high as $60,000 for seasoned teachers. The demand for elementary teachers is expected to grow by 6 percent from 2014 to 2024.
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2016). Elementary school teachers.
Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved from www.bls.gov