student in class

Teachers of elementary-age students must be proficient in the design and delivery of instruction, student assessment classroom management, and other research-based best practices that support quality teaching and learning. Fairleigh Dickinson University’s School of Education (SOE) offers a preparation program leading to New Jersey certification in Elementary Education (K-6) that requires 24 credits for certification and another twelve (12) credits to complete the M.A.T. degree.

Candidates for New Jersey Certification and/or the Master of Arts in Teaching are responsible for working collaboratively with their SOE faculty adviser, following the approved plan of courses, meeting all program requirements, and maintaining good academic standing per New Jersey Department of Education, School of Education, and Fairleigh Dickinson University policies.

Degree Plan

Required Courses for Certification (24 credits)

  • EDUC6835     Effective Teaching and Effective Schools
  • EDUC6818     Language Development and Literacy I
  • EDUC6820     Problem-based Strategies in Elementary Mathematics 
  • EDUC6893     Evaluation and Measurement in Education 

Required Clinical Work for Certification

  • EDUC6824     Teaching Laboratory and Field Experience I
  • EDUC6828     Teaching Laboratory and Field Experience II  
  • EDUC6583     Advanced Clinical Practice  (first semester of student teaching)
  • EDUC6575     Apprenticeship Teaching (second semester of student teaching)
  • EDUC6825     Apprenticeship Teaching Seminar

Additional courses to complete M.A.T. Degree (12 credits)

  • EDUC6819     Language Development and Literacy II                          
  • EDUC6740     Introduction to Students with Disabilities and Autistic Spectrum Disorders                
  • EDUC6584     Computers as a Teacher’s Aid                                                                  
  • EDUC7812     Final Project: Applied Research  


Candidates also must:

  • Pass the Praxis I Core Academic Skills for Educators exams (5713, 5723, 5733)and
  • Pass the Praxis II Test(s) required for elementary education certification;

NOTE: Certification requirements often change. For the most up-to-date information about requirements, please visit the New Jersey Department of Education website to obtain the latest information about the minimum passing scores on these exams. For suggestions and other information for preparing for the Praxis tests, please click here.

Career Outcomes

There is a current and projected need for teachers at all grade levels.  For elementary education, teachers who have additional areas of specialization will have an advantage as they move forward in their careers.

The best prospects for teaching positions for program completers in elementary education are when the teacher has additional training in high needs areas such as:

  • Special education,
  • Bilingual education,
  • English as a second language (ESL),
  • Specializations in math and science,
  • Diversity training, and,
  • Reading specialist.


Course Descriptions

  • EDUC6575 This full-semester teaching experience is offered in the spring or fall following completion of field experiences and prescribed courses. This experience exposes the preservice teacher to the functions of teaching under the mentorship of a cooperating teacher and clinical supervision of a School of Education faculty member. The responsibilities of the student teacher increase during the apprenticeship until she/he is conducting the class with full teaching responsibilities.

  • EDUC6583 Guided observation and clinical experience of 125 hours in an educational setting. Program assessment and design. Supervised practical experiences in classroom, increasing in intensity and duration. Orientation to the certification-required portfolio to be submitted at the completion of student teaching and required videotaping of classroom experiences. Intense preparation and analysis of acceptable lesson planning, instruction and engagement of students and assessment of student learning.

  • EDUC6584 This course will focus on how technology can be used in the classroom to address the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. Students will learn how to use applications such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel to support classroom instruction. The Internet will be explored as a tool. Students will explore how instructional technology can be integrated into classroom curriculum to support state and national standards.

  • EDUC6740 Introduction to the student with disabilities and autistic spectrum disorders. Overview of normal growth and development as a basis to identify developmental delays and learning differences. Characteristics of different disabilities and their effects on how children learn. Review of federal, state and local regulations and their effects on local policies, procedures and placement. Transition planning, resources and assistive technology to enhance the performance of students with disabilities and autistic spectrum disorders.

  • EDUC6818 Recent research and findings in language development and literacy and its application in elementary education will be the focus of this course. Literacy skills in reading and language arts across grade levels for students with varying abilities and cultural and linguistic backgrounds will be included.

  • EDUC6819 Recent research and findings in language development and literacy and applications in social studies and science in the elementary school will be the focus of this course. Literacy across the curriculum will be emphasized.

  • EDUC6820 This course introduces recent research in critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, problem solving, and interdisciplinary problem-based strategies as they apply to mathematics and their application across all elementary subjects. Emphasis is placed on standards-based mathematics curriculum development and instruction in elementary classroom aligned with the NCIM and NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards, highlighting national and statewide efforts to reshape mathematics content, instruction and assessment. Additional emphasis is placed on the central role of mathematics in science instruction and integrating appropriate use of calculators, computers and other technologies as learning tools that are routinely used in instruction and assessment.

  • EDUC6824 Guided observation and clinical analysis in an education setting. Program assessment and design. Supervised practical experiences in the classroom, increasing in intensity and duration.

  • EDUC6825 Seminar will provide an opportunity to review current theories and practices in education as they directly relate to the students' teaching experiences. This course is taken as a corequisite with EDUC 6575 Apprentice Teaching.

  • EDUC6828 Guided observation and clinical analysis in an educational setting. Program assessment and design. Supervised practical experiences in the classroom, increasing in intensity and duration.

  • EDUC6835 Students will acquire and demonstrate skills in effective teaching for students with varying abilities and cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Essential skills are identified by the New Jersey State Department of Education for beginning teachers will be emphasized. Presentations of research findings, demonstrations of essential teaching skills by faculty, microteaching, peer coaching and audiovisual instructional materials will be used to impart skills. Students also will acquire a thorough knowledge of effective school management and operations that relate to successful classroom instruction.

  • EDUC6893 This course emphasizes the use of multiple methods to assess student learning in K-12 classrooms, development and assessment of portfolios and performance-based tasks, and objective and standardized tests. Analysis of assessment information and self-/ peer assessments to enhance teaching and address individual student learning needs is integral to the course. Strategies for evaluation and grading and the use of rubrics are addressed. Emphasis is placed on standards-based instruction and assessment using the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and statewide assessments as reference points.

  • EDUC7812 The fundamentals of educational research and the link between theory and practice are explored. Students develop a research proposal that is specific to their needs and interests as practitioners. This course explores the fundamentals of educational research, its value and the links between educational research and practice. Students will conduct a survey of the literature on a selected topic and use higher order thinking skills to develop a research question or series of questions and research proposal.