Elementary Education

Elementary Education Master of Education (M.Ed.) Degree Only

About Elementary Education

Become a master teacher of children in grades Pre-K-4 with an M.Ed. degree from PennWest California.

Develop expertise in elementary education and expand your career options at PennWest California. Designed for certified teachers, this degree-only Master of Education program will grow your leadership skills while giving you in-depth instruction in current pedagogy and research-based best practices.

PennWest California's M.Ed. in elementary education is aligned with the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). If you are seeking teaching certification along with your M.Ed., PennWest California also offers a Master of Education program with certification in elementary education.

Excel as an elementary school leader.

In this graduate program you will:

  • 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 graduate 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.


On-Campus and Online: A combination of online courses and evening classes enable you to complete your master's degree while continuing to work full time.

Learn more about applying.

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

Benefits of earning your elementary education master's degree at PennWest California include:

  • Learning how to apply research on child development, families and best teaching practices to a variety of teaching
  • Receiving job-placement support from faculty, alumni and PennWest California's Career and Professional Development Center.
  • Satisfying the 180-hour professional development requirements of Pennsylvania's Act 48.
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Graduate Outcomes

A Master of Education degree in elementary education opens the door to many opportunities. Holding a graduate degree in this field will help you advance faster than your counterparts and have more job-earning potential. A master's degree is required for specialists, educational administrators, college-level educators and other professional positions. PennWest California 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.

Curriculum, Admission Requirements and Related Programs

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
ECE 707  Leadership and Management in Early Childhood 3
EDE 701  Development and Organization of School Curriculum 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 718  Teaching and Assessment in Expressive Arts 3
ELE 721  Teaching and Assessment in Science 3
ELE 731  Teaching and Assessment in Social Studies 3
ESP 610  Special Education: Foundations and Collaboration 3
ESP 612  Evidence-based Practices for Pre-K-8 Inclusion 3
ESP 701  Introduction to Behavior Principles 3
PSY 712  Advanced Psychology of Learning 3
RES 800  Methods of Research 3
Total 45


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
Ashley Baird-Roth.

Alumni Success

Meet successful PennWest California alumna Ashley Baird Roth '10, '12. After her PennWest California education, she 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 helpds children in a library.

Career Advice

Christopher M. Very '01, '07 has always been an advocate for children, and his career path has branched out in several directions. 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."

Elementary Education Faculty

Dr. Peter Cormas
Associate Professor


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Dr. Holly L. Diehl
Professor and Coordinator of Professional Development Schools Program


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Dr. Diane Fine
Associate Professor and Coordinator, Reading Specialist Program and Integrative STEM Education Program


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Dr. J. William Hug
Associate Professor; Science, Environment and STEM Teacher Education


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Dr. Rebecca Maddas
Associate Professor


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Please Note: All students who will be seeking licensure/certification outside of Pennsylvania should consult the State Authorization web page for more information.