The Elementary-Middle Education Program

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Students who major in Elementary Education K-6—5-8 as their First Major are the responsibility of our Middle and Secondary Education Program. This includes the primary responsibility for advisement, registration and Declaration of Major.

General Education

Required General Education courses have been chosen specifically to better prepare our students as teachers of elementary and middle-school children. All students in the Elementary-Middle Education program take the same General Education requirements. These classes are itemized on our MSE Department guidesheets.

Academic Major

As the Middle-Secondary Education program specializes in Middle School Education, your academic major must be one of those recognized by the State of New Jersey for endorsement as a Teacher of Elementary with Subject Matter Specialization 5-8. At Kean University, these six majors are:

Admission Requirements

Admission to Kean University does not mean acceptance into the Major in Elementary Education K-6—5-8. Students seeking admission to the major must complete the application and all of the required courses, tests, and requirements, including their Professional Essay. The official list of requirements appears below.

As a prerequisite to applying to the MSE Program for Declaration of Major, a student planning to major in Elementary Education must be in good academic standing, maintain a 3.0 GPA, and have a grade of B- or higher in each of the following courses: ENG 1030, MATH 1000, COMM 1402, BIO 1000, HIST 2303 or HIST 2304, and EMSE 2802.

When applying to the MSE Program a student in either Elementary or Secondary Education must submit the following:

When you have collected all the items listed above, present them to your assigned advisor. Admissions and major requirements are summarized on the reverse side of each departmental guidesheet. Consult the University Catalog for course and program requirements. Students with completed application materials should bring them to the appropriate departmental official for their interview.

Major Requirements for Elementary-Middle Education

Education courses are either classroom courses or field courses. These are listed on the major guidesheet. The Middle and Secondary Education program has separate guidesheets corresponding to each of the six permissible academic majors, listed above, that a student can elect for their Academic Sequence. Current guidesheets and 4-year graduation plans are available here. Because of changes in certification announced by the State of New Jersey, old guidesheets are no longer accurate.

Field Courses

Field courses are known as Introductory Field, Pre-Professional Field and Professional Field experiences. These classes involve observing, working with, and teaching children in public schools. Which field class you take depends on the level of the children you intend to teach.

Introductory Field

Students take Introductory Field class as part of their admission requirements for entering their major program in education. Because of this, all students in Introductory Field are “Intended” majors, meaning that they have not been admitted to the major program yet via the Declaration of Major process. These are the choices.

The Introductory Field class meets for three hours per week. Generally, nine of these class meetings take place on campus, three take place in a urban school, and three take place in a suburban school. This is your first official academic step into a classroom so put your best foot forward. There are behaviors that are expected of any professional in a school and there are things that must not be done. These are detailed in the Teaching Performance Center’s Guide for Professional Laboratory Experiences: Introductory Field Experience Handbook I. Handbooks can be downloaded from the TPC website

During introductory field class, you will begin to work on your Philosophy Statement of teaching and you will begin to learn the fine art of reflection as it is used professionally in education. Also, you will complete Section 1 (Contextual Factors) of your Teacher Work Sample Portfolio. As you will learn, teachers learn new things from their first day in a classroom until their last year. Therefore, anything in the Teacher Work Sample is never completely done and is subject to revision and improvement.

You will receive several assessments in the Introductory Field class in addition to your final grade. To enter Introductory Field you must be an Intended education major. This means that your official major of record must be one of the major programs in education and you must be carrying Intended status.

Pre-Professional Field

Pre-professional Field classes generally meet one day per week in a school for 15 weeks. Here you observe and work with a cooperating teacher who will guide you through the activities in their classroom. Typical activities include observing and assisting the teacher with the children, planning and presenting small lessons, and finally larger lessons. Entry into Pre-professional field class is made via application to the Teaching Performance Center .

To help you understand the content, you should be enrolling in Junior Block courses along with Pre-professional Field. The appropriate courses are listed below. Pre-professional field and Junior Block classes are available only to Declared education majors.

Each certification program has a mandatory companion course that must be taken with Pre-professional Field class.

Pre-Professional Field ClassMandatory Companion Course
EMSE 3800EMSE 3123
EMSE 3801EMSE 3210, 3220, 3230, 3240 or 3250
EMSE 3802EMSE 3300

Companion courses and Pre-professional Field classes must be taken together in the same term so as to enable you to complete the Mini Teacher Work Sample properly.

During the entirety of this pre-professional experience (field and course work) you will complete the Mini-Teacher Work Sample including the following sections of the Teacher Work Sample:

Professional Field

Professional Internship the final component of your field experience. The courses listed below are 9 credits and are taken with the appropriate class of Senior Seminar.

Professional Field ClassSeminar Course
EMSE 4810 (K-6)EMSE 4900
EMSE 4811 (P-12)EDUC 4000
EMSE 4812EMSE 4900

Professional Field and Seminar classesmust be taken together in the same term and no other registrations are permitted.

The seminar is the Capstone Course of your professional education courses. In this class, you will complete all sections of the Teacher Work Sample Portfolio.