Elementary Education Program (K-6)

Program Overview

Beginning fall 2021, the elementary education major will offer two unique pathways: (1) a 47-credit hour professional licensure pathway that includes a full-semester student teaching internship and (2) a 35-credit hour non-licensure pathway where students substitute fewer elective courses in lieu of the student teaching internship.

Undergraduate students must take the following pre-requisite courses in the Department of Education. These courses are usually taken during the freshman or sophomore years, or no later than fall of the junior year.

  • EDU 102L: Exploring School Communities (2 hr)
  • EDU 201: Educational Policy and Practice (3 hr)
  • EDU 311: Learning and Cognitive Science (3 hr)

The following courses are strongly recommended to be taken prior to the spring of the junior year for all licensure Elementary Education majors.

  • EDU 307: Instructional Design, Assessment, and Technology (3 hr)
  • EDU 395: Teaching Diverse Learners (3 hr)

Elementary Education Major (Licensure Pathway)

The Elementary Education Licensure Pathway is perfect for undergraduate students who are planning to pursue a career in teaching and hope to obtain a North Carolina teaching license (K-6). This pathway includes a full-semester student teaching internship in a local elementary school. To learn more, see the Elementary Education Major Licensure Pathway Course of Study.

To earn a North Carolina Elementary teaching license (K-6), Wake Forest undergraduates must major in Elementary Education. For more information about major/minor declaration, see the University Registrar’s Office.

Admission to the licensure pathway major requires a formal application and includes the following requirements:

  • Successful completion of EDU 102L, EDU 201, and EDU 311.
  • Provide Evidence of Meeting NC State Testing Requirements.
  • Possession of a grade point average of 2.70 or higher (minimum 2.70 must be maintained throughout the program).
  • Successful completion of an interview with the Elementary Education Committee or a faculty designee.
  • Positive recommendations as a strong candidate for teaching by the instructors of EDU 102L, 201, and 311.

The formal application, submission of supporting documentation, and completion of these requirements must be completed by January 1st of the junior year.

Once admitted to the program, students become teacher candidates, form a cohort, and are immersed in education coursework during the spring semester of their junior year and fall semester of their senior year. Recommendation for licensure in North Carolina occurs upon completion of all program requirements, usually in the spring of the senior year.

Teaching licenses are issued through the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. All licensing questions should be addressed to Dr. Neelam Awan in the WFU Department of Education Teacher Licensure Office.


Elementary Education Major (Non-licensure Pathway)

The Elementary Education Non-licensure Pathway is perfect for undergraduate students with an interest in teaching and/or grades K-6 education but who do not plan to student teach or pursue a teaching license as an undergraduate. This 35-credit hour pathway is different from the licensure pathway in that it does not require a full-semester of student teaching and related coursework and therefore does not lead to a North Carolina teaching license.

Further, this pathway is optimal for students whose schedules are limited due to studying abroad, double-majoring, participating in collegiate athletics, and/or seeking a teaching license as part of an initial licensure graduate school program after graduation.

There is no formal application to the Elementary Education Non-licensure Pathway. For more information about major/minor declaration, see the University Registrar’s Office.


Graduate Elementary Education Programs

We offer two graduate programs in Elementary Education. Both the initial Master Teacher Fellows (MTF) and advanced Master Teacher Associates (MTA) in Elementary Education are fully accredited.

The Elementary Education MTF program, an initial-licensure program, involves coursework and fieldwork, including one semester of full-time student teaching. This program lasts 1.5 years.

The Elementary Education MTA program, an advanced-licensure program, provides an extension of the candidate’s current teaching license. It lasts for thirteen months and includes coursework and fieldwork to foster the candidate’s development in content, pedagogy, and leadership.

For more information, see the graduate program website. Application, admission, and financial aid information can be found on the graduate program admissions information page.


Elementary Education Faculty

Photo of Dr. Leni Caldwell from the shoulders up.
Dr. Leni Caldwell
Photo of Dr. Pat Cunningham from the waist up.
Dr. Pat Cunningham
Headshot of Dr. Donal Mulcahy
Dr. Donal Mulcahy
Headshot of Dr. Michelle Myers
Dr. Michelle Myers






Further information about the elementary education program can be found in the 2021-2022 Elementary Education Handbook.

To learn more about the Elementary Education program, prospective majors should contact Dr. Donal Mulcahy.