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Academics

Education

You want

  • to work with children and youth
  • to share your own love of learning
  • to make a difference

Not many careers fit that description as tightly as teaching.

More than theory

These things distinguish Bethel College’s teacher education program:

  • Emphasis on reflection: self-reflection through journaling with feedback from your professors, wider reflection through peer discussion with mutual feedback. It’s called “read-experience-reflect” – moving from theory to practice to evaluation.
  • Hands-on, starting early. You’ll be in school classrooms as an observer almost from the beginning. You’ll do micro-teaching with your peers in the college classroom. And you’ll finish your degree with a semester of student teaching.

Faculty who care about you

That means

  • a low faculty-to-student ratio that equals professors who know your strengths and weaknesses
  • faculty with school classroom teaching experience who are mentors as well as instructors
  • personalized help, when it comes to student teaching, to find the classroom and supervising teacher that match your teaching interests

 

Bethel College’s teacher education programs are accredited by:

The Kansas Department of Education (KSDE) and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

A variety of licensing options within teacher education are available at Bethel College:

  • major/licensing in elementary education: kindergarten-Grade 6

or, in conjunction with a content major, licensing in KSDE-approved programs for

  • art (preschool-12)
  • biology (6-12)
  • chemistry (6-12)
  • English (6-12)
  • health (P-12)
  • history and government (6-12)
  • math (6-12)
  • music (P-12)
  • physical education (P-12)
  • speech/theater (6-12)

A special program

Bethel College is a member of the Kansas Independent College Association (KICA), an educational cooperative of several small, liberal-arts colleges.

If your teaching passion is directed toward kids with

  • learning disabilities
  • intellectual disabilities
  • behavior disorders
  • physical disabilities

the Bethel/KICA special education teacher program might be for you. Bethel College offers a special endorsement for licensing, through KICA and approved by the KSDE, for

  • special education adaptive: K-6, 6-12, or P (preschool)-12

Want to talk more with faculty and current students? Schedule a campus visit.

 

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All education methods classes include field experience. Field experience, including student teaching, takes place in settings that range from large urban to small rural public school systems, from Christian and other private schools to multicultural (multiple language) institutions and one-on-one or small-group tutoring situations.

Because hands-on experience is so important for learning how to put concepts and strategies into practice, all Bethel education licensure candidates complete a semester of student teaching. Our faculty members, who will get to know you well, will be able to place you with a teacher whose styles and priorities match your own. Through professional contacts and Bethel’s alumni network, our faculty can help arrange student teaching experiences for you in other states and even other countries.

Bethel professors worked with me every step of the way to find placements in schools that were compatible with my interests.
—Victoria Janzen ’10, teacher education

When you graduate from Bethel with an elementary education major or your teacher licensure in another area, you take with you not only your degree but also Bethel’s reputation for educating excellent teachers.

Many of our graduates have received local, state and national teaching awards. At Bethel, you get the high-quality, specialized instruction available at large universities with the academic and lifestyle advantages of a small college.

Many Bethel College education graduates score 20 points over the “cut” score on the Principles of Learning and Teaching exam, the national teaching certification test. As a result, Bethel graduates are in great demand – some school systems even maintain a “standing order” for them.

Post-graduate careers include:

  • Classroom teaching in public and private school systems of all sizes
  • Administration (e.g., principal, assistant principal, superintendent)
  • School counseling
  • Tutoring (e.g., Sylvan Learning Center; teaching English language learners [ELL])
  • Coaching
  • Preschool and early childhood services
  • Camp counseling and camp directing
  • Special education, including Adapted Physical Education
  • Youth pastoring
  • Reading specialties
  • Bilingual education

Recent graduates

Nick Preheim ’19
After his first year teaching first grade at Hutchinson (Kan.) Magnet School at Allen, Nick received a 2020 Horizon Award from the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), which recognizes "exemplary first-year teachers who perform in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding." Nick majored in elementary education at Bethel. 
 
Elizabeth Ratzlaff ’19
After her first year teaching English Language Arts at Moundridge (Kan.) Middle School, Elizabeth received a 2020 Horizon Award from the KSDE, which recognizes "exemplary first-year teachers who perform in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding." Elizabeth majored in English and completed teacher licensure at Bethel. .
 
Jill Siebert ’17
After her first year teaching music and art at Hillsboro (Kan.) Elementary School, Jill Siebert received a 2018 Horizon Award from the KSDE, which recognizes "exemplary first-year teachers who perform in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding." Jill majored in music and completed teacher licensure at Bethel. 
 
Josh Chittum ’04
Josh has used his teacher education degree from Bethel to become a children’s program coordinator for a company that helps find housing for those with fewer resources.

Bethel College data demonstrates that of the students that completed the Bethel College teacher education program and completed the appropriate PRAXIS tests in the 2018-19 school year, 100% passed the professional knowledge component of the PRAXIS exam (Principles of Learning and Teaching - PLT). Of the students who completed the program and the appropriate PRAXIS content test(s), 88% passed the appropriate content test for licensure. 

Elementary Education Major requirements:
32 hours, taken within the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree.
Elementary Education Teacher Licensure (K–6):
All candidates for initial teacher licensure at the K–6 level are required to complete 50 hours of professional education requirements plus 33 hours required supporting courses for a total of 83 hours.
Special Education Teacher Endorsement:
Students who are majoring in elementary education, or who are working toward licensure in secondary education, may also take a concentration in the approved special education program, leading to endorsement in adaptive special education (mental retardation, learning disabilities, behavior disorders and other health impairments) at the K–6 and 6–12 levels. Each adaptive endorsement requires 21 hours.
Secondary and P–12 Teacher Licensure:
For 6–12 and P–12 level licensure, candidates are required to complete a major in an approved subject area, leading to a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree. A second teaching program is strongly recommended. In addition, candidates may take an endorsement in special education. Some teaching licensure areas such as health education are not majors. The majors with secondary and P–12 licensure are listed as the major with teacher licensure.
Major requirements for Secondary Education:
vary by major; Academic catalog or our Areas of Study page for major desired

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.