Elementary Education

Elementary Education Master of Education (M.Ed.) With Certification

About Elementary Education

Give children a strong foundation for their future by earning an M.Ed. at PennWest California.

PennWest California's elementary education master's degree program is designed for bachelor's degree holders with or without prior teaching certification who wish to broaden their knowledge of elementary education expand their career options. Program courses are centered on research-based best practices and aligned with the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

This program results in a Master of Education degree and eligibility for Pre-K-4 teaching certification at the same time. If you are not seeking teaching certification, PennWest California also offers a degree-only Master of Education program in elementary education.

Gain the in-depth knowledge and skill you need to excel as an elementary school teacher.

  • Become well versed in current materials and best practices.
  • Learn constructivist teaching strategies and techniques.
  • Explore technology in the classroom.
  • Study Pennsylvania school laws relevant to the work of the classroom teacher.


Top Accreditation: This  degree program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In addition, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accredits PennWest California. CAEP promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement. See CAEP reporting measures of program impact and outcomes.


Flexible Schedule: With a combination of online courses and evening classes, you can complete your master's degree and teaching certification while continuing to work full time.


Over 50% 
Of the courses in this master's degree program can be taken online.
165 Years 
For more than 165 years, PennWest California has been dedicated to world-class teacher education. 
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Degree Benefits

As an elementary education master's degree student at PennWest California, you will:

  • Be able to earn your master's degree and elementary certification in the same program.
  • Learn how to apply knowledge of child development, families and best teaching practices to a variety of teaching
  • Receive job-placement support from professors, alumni and PennWest California's Career and Professional Development Center.
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Graduate Outcomes

Career prospects for graduates with a Master of Education: Pre-K-Grade 4 Education degree are promising. Students with graduate degrees in these fields advance faster than their counterparts and have more job-earning potential. An advanced degree is required for specialists, education administrators, college-level educators and other professional positions. Program alumni employers include:

  • Adoption agencies and child abuse centers.
  • Elementary schools and boards of education.
  • Tutorial learning organizations, camps and community recreation centers.
  • Publishers and school service supply companies.

Elementary Education Master's Degree Courses

This master's degree program emphasizes a constructivist teaching philosophy that takes into consideration the prior knowledge and background of individual learners. Program courses will prepare you to become an effective and versatile teacher in classrooms for young students in grades Pre-K-4.



Course Credits
ECE 703  Literacy Development  3
EDE 701  Standards Aligned Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment 3
ELE 621  Instructional Strategies 3
ELE 701  Teaching and Assessment in Language Arts 3
ELE 702  Teaching and Assessment in Reading 3
ELE 703  Field Experience 3
ELE 711  Teaching and Assessment in Mathematics 3
ELE 721  Teaching and Assessment in Science 3
ELE 731  Teaching and Assessment in Social Studies 3
ELE 741  Diverse Arts and Culture in Education 3
ELE 795  Student Teaching 9
ESP 610  Special Education Foundations and Collaboration 3
ESP 612  Evidence-based Practices for Pre-K-8 Inclusion 3
ESP 701  Introduction to Behavior Analysis 3
PSY 712  Advanced Psychology of Learning 3
RES 800  Methods of Research 3
Total 54


Admission Requirements

Regular Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.80 or a 3.00 in last 48 credits earned (Students with a GPA below 2.80 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements:
    • Bachelor's degree with a GPA under 2.80 will be reviewed for a decision

Provisional Admission:
Applicants who have provided unofficial documentation of test scores, prerequisite courses, transcripts or lack of letter(s) of recommendation may be admitted provisionally.

This policy also applies to undergraduate students who apply for graduate admission pending bachelor degree completion. Upon receipt of all official documents, a student will be changed from Provisional Admission to either Regular Admission or Conditional Admission. Provisional Admission students may take classes for one term but will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid.

Program Requirements

How to Apply:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
PennWest California
Box 91
250 University Ave.
California, PA 15419

For additional information:
Email: GradAdmissions@pennwest.edu   
Phone: 724-938-4187

Out of State Students:
All students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania are responsible for securing and following the certification requirements in the state in which they intend to apply for certification.

Related Programs
A male teacher helps children with an activity.

Student-Teaching Internships

As an elementary education major you'll work in two public school classrooms and attend weekly practicums. In addition to these school-based experiences, you'll be encouraged to engage in a series of community and cultural events with the surrounding school community. Note: If you are a Pennsylvania certified teacher in another specialty area, you are not required to take the internship.

Ashely Baird Roth.

What can you do with an M.Ed. from PennWest California?

Alumna Ashley Baird Roth '10, '12 went on to become the director of nationally accredited childcare programs at The Village Early Childhood Education Center in California, Pennsylvania. She also teaches as an adjunct professor in PennWest California's Childhood Education Department.

A teacher helps children in a library.

Alumni Advice

Christopher M. Very '01, '07 has a career path that has branched out in several different directions, but he has always been an advocate for children. This former teacher is now principal of Carnegie Elementary in the Carlynton School District. "My advice to students is not to wait for things to happen. You need to be aggressive with your career, create opportunities for yourself, and capitalize on those opportunities."