Elementary Education

Degree Offered

  • Associate of Arts

Nature of Program

Elementary Education students complete 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 life-long 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 and a rigorous two-year approach designed to provide an interdisciplinary background for prospective teachers. 

Graduates should expect to continue course work in Elementary Education at an accredited baccalaureate granting institution to become certified teachers.  

Career Opportunities

Many 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. Four-year graduates can begin working as a classroom teacher while simultaneously earning their graduate degree.

Admission Requirements

Entering freshmen are admitted directly into the major.

Benchmark Expectations

Elementary Education majors must earn a C- or better in EDUC 100, EDUC 200, and EDUC 301 for graduation. Students must demonstrate competence and professionalism, following all College and school district guidelines and policies, in their school-based placement(s). Students must meet with their education adviser each semester. Students who do not meet these benchmarks may be removed from their major.

Students who plan to continue at WVU-Morgantown must earn a C- or better in all professional education courses and will need to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5. Major transfers from within WVU, including from Potomac State, must follow the elementary education program’s admission requirements for transfer students.

Testing Requirements

In West Virginia, Praxis Core tests are waived if you have already completed a master’s degree OR if you scored 26 on the ACT OR if you scored 1170 on the SAT (Math and Verbal, pre-March 2016 sitting) OR SAT Evidence Based Reading/Writing and Math Section 1240 (post-March 2016 sitting). All other students must earn passing scores (based on score benchmarks for the intended transfer institution) on all subsections of the Praxis Core by the application or transfer deadline set by the intended transfer institution. More information about the Praxis CORE can be found at  https://www.ets.org/praxis/about/core/

Disclaimer: State Board of Education requirements may change testing and program requirements.

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.

Curriculum Requirements

WVUE 191First Year Seminar1
ENGL 101
ENGL 102
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research (GEF 1)
BIOL 101
BIOL 103
General Biology
and General Biology Laboratory (GEF 2)
Select one of the following (GEF 3):3
College Algebra 5-Day
College Algebra 4-Day
College Algebra 3-Day
PSYC 101Introduction to Psychology (GEF 4)3
Select one of the following (GEF 5):3
Growth of the American Nation to 1865
Making of Modern America: 1865 to the Present
GEF 6 ENGL course in World Literature3
Select one of the following (GEF 7):3
Introduction to Anthropology
Global Political Issues
Select one of the following (GEF 8):3
World History to 1500
World History Since 1500
Science Electives (ASTR, CHEM, GEOL, PHYS - GEF 8)6
Select one of the following:3
Families Across the Life Span
Introduction to Human Development
GEOG 102World Regions3
Select two of the following: *6
Materials and Procedures
Music in the Elementary School
Dance and Movement in PK-12 Schools
EDUC 100Education Colloquium1
EDUC 200Professional Inquiry in Education *3
EDUC 301Learning in Educational Settings *3
C&I 230Mathematics for Elementary Teachers 13
or C&I 231 Mathematics for Elementary Teachers 2
Total Hours60

 Courses only available on the WVU-Morgantown Campus.


Students pursuing the BA in Elementary Education will complete one year on the PSC Campus before making application to the BA program and continuing program requirements on the Morgantown Campus. Students are encouraged to meet all recommended requirements listed in year one before continuing on to the Morgantown Campus. Not completing all listed requirements may influence program completion timeline. These students must make application to the program and meet all program admission requirements, including passing scores for appropriate PRAXIS examination and specified GPA, by the spring application deadline. Consult BA Elementary Education Program Website http://cils.wvu.edu/elementary-ed

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
WVUE 1911ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3Select one of the following (GEF 5):3
EDUC 1001 
PSYC 101 (GEF 4)3 
GEOG 1023Science Elective (ASTR, CHEM, GEOL, PHYS - GEF 8)3
BIOL 101
BIOL 103 (GEF 2)
4Select one of the following (GEF 3):3
 Select one of the following:3
 15 15
Second Year
Science Elective (ASTR, CHEM, GEOL, PHYS - GEF 8)3EDUC 2003
EDUC 3013GEF 6 ENGL course in World Literature3
C&I 230 or 2313Select one of the following (GEF 8):3
Select one of the following:3 
 Select one of the following:3
Select one of the following (GEF 7):3 
 15 15
Total credit hours: 60

Students may satisfy requirements to earn an Associate’s Degree in Elementary Education by completing the additional courses listed in Second Year, First and Second semester on the Morgantown Campus.

Major Learning Goals

elementary education

A primary mission of the AA in Elementary Education at Potomac State College is to prepare individuals for a changing teaching profession. Teachers influence many facets of education including students, parents, school policies and procedures, curriculum design, instructional materials, and classroom environment. Educational issues must be grounded in current research on best practices and deep reflection on ways to implement them in teaching practice.

Upon successful completion of the A.A. degree, Elementary Education majors will be able to:

  • Utilize commitment and skills to engage in life-long learning, including research skills applied to the discipline;
  • Practice effective communication; both oral and written;
  • Recognize that teaching is a professional, moral, and ethical enterprise with well-developed ethical frameworks which facilitate effective teaching;
  • Serve as facilitators of learning for all students;
  • Apply in-depth knowledge of both pedagogy and content, and the relationship between them
  • Be reflective practitioners;
  • Be aware of, and have respect, human diversity;
  • Value and integrate knowledge from a wide variety of fields, be creative and open to new ideas, and be able to act constructively in a world characterized by technological, cultural, and societal diversity and change. 


Associate professor

  • Ruth Upton - M.A. (West Virginia University)
    Special Education


  • Andrea Schafer - M.A. (West Virginia University)
    Elementary Education