Overview of Major:
Students enrolled in Potomac State College’s Elementary Education program of study are completing the initial phases of degree work required to become a certified teacher. Future teachers naturally expect to be responsible for lesson planning, instruction, and assessment in their future classrooms; however, with society’s demands for critical thinkers and citizens committed to life-long learning, it is crucial that future educators experience teacher-preparation rich in opportunities to discover the impact of culturally relevant teaching, learner centered classrooms, and integrated curriculum as well as solid communication, management, and organizational classroom skills. Potomac State College offers direct classroom experience for prospective elementary educators as early as the first semester of study.
Potomac State College offers a rigorous two year approach designed to provide an inter-disciplinary background for prospective teachers. Graduates of the Elementary Education program of Potomac State College earn an Associate of Arts Degree and should expect to continue coursework in Elementary Education at an accredited baccalaureate granting institution to become certified (possessing a teaching license) teachers. Many of Potomac State’s students do go on to continue their education at WVU’s Morgantown Campus ; however, students may also elect to transfer to a variety of institutions, including but not limited to, Frostburg State University and Shepherd University to earn a BA, or even continue to pursue an MA, in education.
Overall, Future Elementary Education majors can expect to spend many hours in the classroom during their college experience
- Creating lesson plans and instructional resources for use in the classroom;
- Integrating age-specific objectives/learning outcomes in lesson plans;
- Delivering instructional activities designed for a variety of learners;
- Fostering positive educational climates;
- Maintaining and reporting grades;
- Grading papers, projects and other assignments;
- Performing assigned administrative duties as needed;
- Researching current topics in education and implementing researched-based best practice in the classroom environment
- Utilizing curricula that reflect the diverse educational, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds of the students served;
- Assessing student learning both formally and informally;
- Collaborating with parents and community to provide an effective educational experience and environment for students;
Although most Elementary Education majors expect to become elementary teachers, other career options (some requiring advanced degrees) include teaching in a private school or charter school; curriculum design and development; curriculum sales; educational support services; child care administration; educationally focused government work; administration; educational psychology; and higher education support or teaching.
Nationally, the mean salary for elementary educators is $54,550 with West Virginia reporting a mean salary of $46,010 (starting salary as high as $33,000 in some parts of the state) and the opportunity for salary increase yearly. Close neighboring states report attractive salaries as well with mean salaries as high as $60,000 for seasoned teachers. The demand for elementary teachers is expected to grow by 6 percent from 2014 to 2024.
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2016). Elementary school teachers.
Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov
“After my second semester at Potomac State College, I decided to go into the field of elementary education. As soon as I walked into my first education class, I felt welcomed and cared about. When I entered my second education class in my fourth semester, I again experience the support of peers and instructors, but the material became more challenging. It was a lot of work, but it was the challenge I needed to become a better person, student, and future educator. The education professors are the best! They care and make sure you are always at your best. They are always encouraging and fully motivated. They truly encouraged me to always do better. Potomac State College really is a great option for education while still being super affordable. Choosing the elementary education program at PSC was one of the best decisions I ever made. “
-Brooke, PSC Elementary Education Graduate
“I would say that PSC has really prepared me for my transition to WVU. I feel that the classes I took there gave me the ability to develop the critical thinking skills I need to become a stronger teacher.
There were lots of chances for me to take the skills I learned in the classroom out into the public, especially as a mentor with Energy Express during the summer. With these opportunities, my teaching skills were brought to life. I would recommend coming to Potomac State because of meaningful connections you can form with staff here. The small class sizes allow you to learn at a more individualized pace than at other colleges.”
-Jenna, PSC Elementary Education Graduate
Associate of Arts