2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Dec 04, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Elementary Education (B.S.)

Location(s): Brookings Main Campus

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Program Coordinator/Contact

Anne Karabon, Wendell and Marlys Thompson Director of the School of Education, Counseling and Human Development 
School of Education, Counseling and Human Development
Wenona Hall 108

Program Information

Elementary educators set the stage for lifelong learning. This important responsibility demands an understanding of modern teaching methods and child development, as well as a broad knowledge in multiple subjects, from literacy, mathematics and science to the arts, health and physical education. The Elementary Education program prepares graduates to teach students in the elementary grades, including kindergarten through eighth grade, in order to promote their cognitive, physical, emotional, and social development. Program content includes the theory and practice of working with children and their families and communities. Students complete a student teaching experience at a selected public school.

Accreditation, Certification, and Licensure


  • South Dakota State University’s educator preparation programs are approved by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).  Elementary Education is a new major at SDSU starting in the 2023-2024 academic year.  This program will be eligible for accreditation review in 2026.
  • South Dakota Department of Education

Certification and Licensure

  • Completion of an approved bachelor’s Elementary Education preparation program.
  • Completion of an approved South Dakota Indian studies course.
  • Pass the state designated content knowledge test.
  • Pass the state designated pedagogy test.
  • Completion of a Suicide Awareness and Prevention training, available free online through the South Dakota Department of Education.
  • Apply online with the South Dakota Department of Education.
  • Written recommendation from institution of higher education (SDSU) verifying program completion.

Course Delivery Format

Courses in Elementary Education are delivered face-to-face, online, and hybrid (face to face and online combination). All ELED courses have practical applications in field experience settings in K-8.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Elementary Education major, students will be able to:

  • Provide instruction that supports intellectual, social, and personal development using a variety of instructional strategies, including using technology. 
  • Organize and plan systematic instruction based upon their knowledge of subject matter, children, the community, and curriculum goals.
  • Create learning environments that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the central concepts, tools of inquiry and ways of knowing that are central to the discipline(s) they teach.
  • Encourage children’s development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills. 
  • Use effective verbal and nonverbal communication techniques as well as instructional media and technology in fostering active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom. 
  • Implement formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of children.
  • Show evidence of ethical and professional behaviors and reflect upon and continuously evaluate the effect of their choices and actions on children, families, professionals in the learning community, and others, and will actively seek out opportunities to grow professionally. 
  • Foster relationships with school colleagues, families, and agencies in the larger community and will support a child’s learning and well-being while acting with integrity, fairness, and ethically.

Academic Requirements

  • Entry into the major academic courses in all ELED program tracks include passing scores in Praxis I: Core Reading (140), Writing (150), and Math (132). Students will work their academic advisor for registering for the Praxis exams.
  • A grade of “C” or better is required in CMST 101 ENGL 101 PSYC 101 , and MATH 103  or higher, and all courses for the major (classes with school/program prefix).
  • An overall GPA of 2.5 is required to enroll in any education courses.

Requirements for Elementary Education Major: 120 Credits

System General Education Requirements

College of Education and Human Sciences Requirements

Major Requirements

Total Required Credits: 120


  • Students will be required to pass the PRAXIS content and Principles of Teaching and Learning exams in order to be considered a Highly Qualified Teacher.

Summary of Program Requirements

Bachelor of Science

System General Education Requirements* 31 Credit Hours
College of Education and Human Sciences Requirements 4 Credit Hours
Major Requirements 85 Credit Hours
Electives ** 0 Credit Hours

*System General Education Requirements for students pursuing a baccalaureate degree shall include a minimum of 30 credit hours. Some general education coursework may be counted for Major Requirements and Supporting Coursework.
**Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.

Academic Advising Guide Sheet

The goal of the academic advising guide sheets and sample plans of study is to promote undergraduate student success by guiding all students to timely completion of an undergraduate degree. Students are not limited to the course sequence provided for their academic program. Instead, the sample plan of study is one possible path to completing your degree and is meant to be used as a guide for planning purposes in consultation with an academic advisor. The plans also help students prepare for meetings with their academic advisor and track their progress in their selected academic program.