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Department of Education & Child Development

Degrees Offered


The purpose of the undergraduate program in Education is to prepare students to function as competent and effective professionals who are critical thinkers and problem solvers.  The broad content knowledge of the University core courses provides the knowledge base of the professional education component.  The breadth of this foundation includes content knowledge in communications, mathematics, science, history, philosophy, literature, and the arts.  Courses in these disciplines introduce students to traditional forms of scholarly inquiry such as the research paper, the oral and written report, and scientific methods in a laboratory setting.

The professional education component provides additional breadth as stu­dents are engaged in: 1) the investigation of topics using technical skills, 2) reviewing and critiquing print and digital content, and 3) attending sem­inars to enhance their exposure to current trends and issues in education.

The program's emphasis on critical thinking makes questioning an integral part of the Unit’s approach to scholarship.  Through exposure to theory and theory development in professional studies courses in concert with clinical and practicum experiences, students develop their own theory and philosophy of education and are able to make effective application to practical settings.

The entering freshman and transfer students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5.  Students must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA as they continue through their course of study.  A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required in the courses of their major. 

Program Learning Outcomes

North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards (NCPTS) General

  1. Teachers Demonstrate Leadership
  2. Teachers establish a respectful environment for a diverse population of students.
  3. Teachers know the content they teach.
  4. Teachers facilitate learning for their students
  5. Teachers reflect on their practice

Professional Educational Program

Note: Subject to change if the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s standards and indicators change.)

Shaw University students who seek a career as a public school teacher must select from the following areas: Birth-Kindergarten Education and Elementary Education: General Curriculum.

The professional educational program leads to initial certification in North Carolina after satisfactory completion of all course and test requirements. All students must apply for formal admission to the Teacher Education Program. The admission process is outlined in the departmental handbook.  All education courses are web-enhanced.  Many of the courses are delivered online.  All education majors must pass Praxis I or be exempt from the exam before they are eligible to apply for formal admission to the Teacher Education Program.  Students are exempt if they have high SAT or ACT scores (see department for actual scores).

Test Requirements

All education majors must successfully pass Praxis I based on the current North Carolina state criteria or have an exemption based on their SAT or ACT scores, before they will be eligible to apply for formal admission to the Teacher Education Program in the major area selected. All Elementary Ed majors must successfully pass Praxis II in order to earn their degree.

Majors Offered

Majors are offered in specialty areas that lead to the standard professional license as a teacher. Each student who is accepted into the program is required to select a major after the completion of the common professional studies courses.  Listed below are majors that are offered in the teacher preparation area.

  • Major in Birth-Kindergarten Education (B-K Licensure): The Bachelor of Arts degree in Birth-Kindergarten Education is designed for persons who seek an entry-level “A” (the standard professional 1) license to teach pre-school through kindergarten.  In order to fulfill degree requirements in this major, students must complete a minimum of 120 semester hours. 
  • Major In Elementary Education – (K-6 Licensure): The Elementary Education Major is for students who wish to pursue a degree in teacher education at the elementary level.  Students must earn a grade of “C” or better in each professional and specialty area course. Students must have a total GPA of 3.0 in this area. The curriculum provides an understanding of child development, intellectual development, and issues related to elementary education.  Students develop skills needed to instruct children in kindergarten through grade six.