The Columbia College Elementary Education Program is a 4-year undergraduate program preparing elementary professionals to work primarily in public and private schools (grades 2-6). Students graduate with a BA degree from the Education Department with a major in Elementary Education.
The main scope of preparation is to work with children and youth ages 7-12, although courses and field experiences introduce students to a broader developmental range. The program is designed to meet the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) Guidelines for initial certification for 4-year institutions. The Mission of the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) is to promote and support in the global community the optimal education and development of children, from birth through early adolescence, and to influence the professional growth of educators and the efforts of others who are committed to the needs of children in a changing society.
Our philosophy of elementary education reflects the theories of several psychologists and theorists and how these theories apply to the development and learning of children and youth. We believe that for children and youth learning occurs naturally in the context of the ecological settings and that curriculum should address all aspects of the child’s development—social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic, aesthetic, and physical. The interconnectedness of these domains dictates that the goal of the elementary program is the education of the whole child.
We, the education faculty, are committed to preparing teachers as Collaborative Professionals who are knowledgeable in the content and practice of their respective discipline. The collaborative professional believes the student’s capacity for learning is most fully developed through the participation of a group of individuals sharing their collective knowledge.
Graduates of the program will be educators who embody the attitudes and skills of dedicated professionals and are committed to working with others to provide quality education for all students. As collaborative professionals, teacher candidates will be prepared to teach in classrooms where students and teachers acquire knowledge collaboratively and together positively influence student outcomes.
Throughout the program there is an emphasis on attaining professionalism. Life-long learning, reflective practice, inquiry, collaboration in the learning community, caring, ethical behavior, respect for diversity, and advocacy for children and youth are hallmarks of the Columbia College elementary collaborative professional. These ideals are introduced early in course work, modeled and encouraged throughout the program and demonstrated by the teacher candidates in field experiences. Major emphases on professionalism and collaboration are combined in the Columbia College elementary program to produce a caring, committed, knowledgeable, responsible, reflective, creative member of the education profession.
The Columbia College elementary education program follows the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) standards and is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Columbia College is also recognized as a Teaching Fellows institution by the South Carolina Center for Teacher Recruitment. Students awarded Teaching Fellowships may use their awards to attend Columbia College.
To find out more information about elementary education philosophy or to investigate elementary education as a career, go to the Association for Childhood Education International website at www.acei.org. If you would like more information on or have questions about the elementary education program at Columbia College, please contact:
Dr. James Lane, Elementary Program Area Leader