Why major in Elementary Education?

Teaching is more than a job; it is a rewarding career. UPIKE-Patton College of Education’s teacher education program will prepare you to make a difference in the lives of students and positively impact the future. If you have the dedication and passion to pursue a career in education, we can help you reach your goal. We work closely with surrounding schools and districts to design and implement a quality educator training program that will prepare you to be a successful teacher at the elementary level. As an elementary education student, you’ll benefit from a variety of field hours and clinical experiences in a real-world setting within P-12 classrooms.

Student teachers helps elementary student at her desk.

Program Distinctives

UPIKE has a rich history of training educators. UPIKE’s Patton College of Education faculty members have many years of combined experience within P-12 classrooms and are committed to your success. Our undergraduate teacher education program will help you in several unique ways:

Education coursework will provide you with practical, authentic teaching experiences throughout the program.

Education faculty and staff will provide a supportive environment from the time you enter the program until you receive your teacher certification.

Education faculty advisors will guide you throughout your program to keep you on target to graduate on time.

You will engage in student teaching at many colleges and universities during one semester; however, in UPIKE’s teacher education program you will be actively engaged with local schools for an entire academic year. By the time you begin student teaching, you will be well-prepared to begin assuming classroom responsibilities.

You can seamlessly transition into UPIKE’s Teacher Leader Master’s program, which offers individual attention and practical experiences to help you further your career.

Professor smiles as she teaches an education class.

Interesting Courses

EDU 411 Clinical Practice I in the Elementary School
In this course, elementary education students spend 20 hours a week in an elementary classroom observing and assisting a master teacher who has the knowledge, skills and professional disposition to enable all students to learn.

EDU 440 Clinical Practice II in the Elementary School
Clinical II is viewed as the capstone to the elementary education program. All areas of knowledge are integrated and theory is put into practice as the pre-service teacher assumes full responsibility for the student’s learning in an elementary classroom.

Education student gives a presentation.

Student Learning Outcomes

After graduating, you’ll be able to demonstrate an understanding of how students learn, the instructional process, assessment, professional development, leadership and community. The undergraduate teacher preparation program at elementary level will prepare you for eligibility for Kentucky certification. With UPIKE’s focus on hands-on experience, you’ll finish the program ready to effectively teach P-12 students. Most UPIKE graduates obtain jobs within the first year following graduation and remain in education throughout their careers.

Career paths in Elementary Education

Elementary education graduates will be prepared to teach in primary through fifth grade.


Where Recent Graduates have gone to work or study

Graduates work in private and public middle schools throughout Kentucky and beyond. Many recent graduates have enrolled graduate programs including UPIKE’s Teacher Leader Master’s program, a fully online program designed for practicing educators that offers personalized professional development and integrated learning opportunities.


*The Patton College of Education is state accredited with all approved programs. In addition, we are working toward national accreditation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).


“The elementary education program at UPIKE provided the necessary foundation for my profession. The faculty has been a continual source of support and encouragement throughout my teaching career.”



Lisa Asbury

Data, Records, and Clinical Experience Manager
(606) 218-5317