Advising for Teacher Certification and Education Studies

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Teachers are in demand across the U.S., and there is no better preparation for this rewarding career than a Lawrence education.  See below for an introduction to teacher certification and the minor in education studies.  Interested students are encouraged to take Psychology of Learning (EDST 180) early in their Lawrence career.  This course includes a practicum in a school setting, which will help you explore your interest in education as a possible career.  The course also satisfies the social science distribution requirement for your Lawrence degree.  For additional advice, contact Stewart Purkey, Director of Teacher Education, or any member of the Education Department.


Lawrence students can pursue teacher certification in the following subjects and grade levels:

Elementary (K-9) Secondary (4-12) All Levels (PK-12)

English Language Arts
Social Studies
Computer Science

Music - through the Conservatory
World Languages
nglish as a Second Language (ESL)


For elementary certification, students can major in any subject (college or conservatory). For secondary or all-levels certification, students major in their certification area (or for ESL, complete the Teaching ESL minor in the Linguistics program). To be certified in social studies or science, students also take courses in each of the other social studies or science departments.

In addition to the major, teacher certification requires the following courses (each with a 20-hour practicum):

Education Studies - open to all interested students

  • EDST 180: Psychology of Learning – open to first-year students
  • EDST 350: Ethnicity, Cultural Diversity, and Education - requires sophomore standing
  • EDST 440: Sociology of Education - requires sophomore standing
  • EDST 412: Foundations of Literacy in a Diverse Society - for elementary & English language arts

Education Methods - for teacher certification (open to others by approval)

  • EDUC 430 (College) / MUEP 431 (Conservatory): Educating All Learners – prereq: EDST 180
  • EDUC 555 / 560 / 563 / 565 / 585 or MUEP: Teaching Methods – by subject/level; taken in the spring before student teaching

Student Teaching

  • Elementary: fall school semester in an Appleton school; includes methods instruction
  • Secondary/All-levels: fall or spring school semester near Lawrence, in Chicago, or internationally (first nine weeks near Lawrence, second nine weeks abroad)

For more information, see the teacher certification web page.  Students interested in certification in music should view the Conservatory of Music's music education website.


Students interested in work or graduate study in education-related fields (such as education policy, law, or administration; counseling, school psychology, or special education; library, museum, or arts programs) should consider the minor in education studies. The minor requires three foundational courses plus three electives in education studies or child/adolescent development.

See the education studies web page for more information.

Elementary Certification

There is no finer preparation for elementary teaching than a strong liberal arts education. Click below to read about Lawrence's approach to elementary certification and the apprenticeship through which you can become a skilled elementary classroom teacher.

Elementary Education (PDF)