/ Education Department

Elementary Education

Our elementary education majors are well prepared to teach in early education or K–8 programs thanks to extensive clinical experiences, extracurricular activities and our student teaching semester.

After you’ve completed Level 1 coursework and been formally admitted to the Teacher Education Program, you’ll move on to your specialized certification in elementary education. As an elementary education teacher candidate, you will:

  1. Complete Level 2 and 3 coursework and clinical experiences for the Teacher Education Program.
  2. Complete coursework in one of five majors:
    • English Language Arts
    • Integrated Science
    • Mathematics
    • Social Studies
    • Comprehensive
      If you choose the Comprehensive major, you’ll specialize in one of four areas:
      • Early Childhood
      • Spanish
      • Special Education – Emotional Impairments
      • Special Education – Learning Disabilities
  3. Pursue any additional minors or endorsements.

Major Subject Areas

Click the links below to download PDF course requirement worksheets for each major program of study.

You can also pursue a K–12 endorsement to teach dance, music, kinesiology/physical education or visual arts. These programs prepare you to teach at the elementary or secondary level and are offered through the Secondary Education track.

Additional Minors & Endorsements


In addition to your major area of study and required coursework, you may choose to pursue an additional endorsement in a minor area of study. Elementary track students can choose from:

English as a Second Language Endorsement

Hope College offers a K–12 endorsement in teaching English as a Second Language to all elementary and secondary track students. Earning this 22 credit-hour endorsement and completing MTTC Test 086 certifies you to teach in an ESL classroom setting, enhancing your marketability. Coursework is in addition to requirements for your major and minor and cannot be declared as a stand-alone minor. Download the ESL course requirement worksheet.

Teacher Certification

All program requirements must be completed for students to be recommended for a teaching certificate in the State of Michigan.

Certification Requirements

To qualify for an elementary teaching certificate*, you must:

  1. Complete all general education requirements for the B.S., B.A. or B.M. degree at Hope College.
  2. Complete the Teacher Education Program coursework and field experiences, including student teaching.
  3. Complete the requirements for a major and minor approved by the Education Department and affirmed by the Michigan Department of Education.
  4. Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale in:
    1. Overall coursework at Hope College
    2. Coursework in major area of study
    3. Coursework in minor area of study
    4. Coursework in the Teacher Education Program
  5. Pass the required Michigan Tests for Teacher Certification (MTTC) in appropriate areas.
  6. Hold valid CPR and First Aid certification at the time of application for Michigan teacher certification.

*State of Michigan requirements for teacher certification are subject to periodic change. Students must meet all requirements in effect at the time of application.

Michigan Tests for Teacher Certification (MTTC)

In order to meet Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) requirements mandated by the State of Michigan for teacher education candidates, all elementary track students:

  • Must pass the Elementary Education exam (Test #103).
  • Are encouraged to take relevant major and minor subject area exams. These are optional but are strongly recommended for marketability purposes and in order to earn certification to teach at the middle school level (grades 6–8).

Don’t attempt these exams until you’ve completed 90% of coursework in each subject area. Most students take the test immediately preceding or during student teaching. Registration, test objectives and study guides are available on the MTTC website.