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Elementary Education

Bachelor of the Arts Degree
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It takes a special calling to be an elementary school teacher.

The Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education is designed for future elementary school teachers, kindergarten through sixth grade. Through this program, the student will gain the skills to communicate effectively with diverse learners, particularly in urban school districts, and to promote the intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development of young minds. As the only college in Newark, NJ with a BA in Elementary Education, we’re putting it to work for our community. Newark teachers starting salary $62,000*

It takes a special calling to be an elementary school teacher. Teachers must be creative, experienced, knowledgeable, and discerning in order to give elementary students the strong beginning they need. If you believe you have this calling to inspire the next generation to become tomorrow’s leaders, then our Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education is right for you!

B.E.S.T. For Men (Black Elementary School Teachers) Program

Introducing B.E.S.T. FOR MEN (Black Elementary School Teachers), an innovative program to train and educate more Black male teachers by offering tuition-free full scholarships* to the Pillar College BA in Elementary Education.

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  • Close faculty mentoring. Faculty collaborate as a team to encourage students to reach their goals and challenges them academically and professionally in ways leading to lifelong impact.
  • Students early field experiences include Christian, private, and public schools. School partnerships provide an excellent opportunity for students to experience pedagogy and classroom learning in a variety of settings that are crucial for next-generation educators.
  • Small cohorts enable students to provide peer support and engage in project-based learning that is school-based and culturally relevant in community contexts.

In the first year, students will gain hands-on classroom experience by participating in field-based learning experiences in the classroom with seasoned teachers.

In your final year, you will solidify your skills as a planner, problem solver, classroom manager and collaborative educator working with master teachers to incorporate teaching concepts and strategies into everyday practices that will prepare you for a rewarding career in education. Small class sizes encourage individualized learning and peer support. Our courses equip you to develop the confidence and skills needed to teach in public and private schools across the country.

Students begin Pre-Professional Clinical Experience in year 3 Prior to Clinical Practice (student teaching). A Bachelor’s degree with a major in Elementary Education includes these courses:

EDUC220 Foundations of Teaching
EDUC326 Teaching the Exceptional Child
ENGL 230 Children and Young Adult Literature
EDUC345 Teaching and Assessing K-6 Literacy
EDUCXXX Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

EDUC365 Teaching and Assessing Mathematics
EDUC355 Teaching and Assessing Social Studies
EDUC375 Teaching and Assessing Science
EDUCXXX Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum

EDUC310 Inclusion in the 21st Century Classroom
EDUC320 Language Acquisition
EDUCXXX Family, School, and Comm Involvement

EDUC450 Collaborative Teaching
EDUC480 Clinical Seminar and Practice



Undergraduates at Pillar do preliminary coursework and field placements in Elementary Education as assigned beginning the second semester of the program. Students begin their professional education courses at the junior level upon completing the required General Education courses. Candidates are eligible for acceptance into the teacher preparation program when they have achieved the following:

  • Schedule a meeting with the Program Chair to complete all required paperwork as a teacher “candidate” and complete a transcript review.
  • Complete a minimum of 57 general education credits with a GPA of at least 2.7 in the following: Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Psychology.

BENCHMARK 2 (Non-Academic)


Candidates are eligible to apply to the professional education semester which begins the Teacher Preparation Program when they meet all requirements outlined in Benchmark 1 and after attaining a passing score on Praxis Core examinations with passing scores as follows: Reading: 156, Math: 150, Writing: 162.

Meet with Program Director to review all requirements for admission to the professional education semester. Complete the Statement of Understanding.
Submit a resume and complete a written essay as a teacher candidate. (Topic will be provided).
Provide a professional reference along with two references from current or previous instructors (at least one from Pillar College).
Participate in a small group interview process and receive positive disposition results based on feedback from the interview.



  • Successful completion of all requirements outlined in Benchmarks 1 and 2.
  • Meet with Program Director to review all requirements for clinical practice.
  • Attain a qualifying score for the appropriate PRAXIS II Exam** by posted deadline dates (Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies).
  • Maintain a 3.0 in all Professional Education courses including all Language Arts/Literacy, Mathematics, and Curriculum & Assessment and other professional education courses.
  • Maintain ratings of “Meets Expectations” on all Dispositional Reports from all Instructors & Cooperating Teachers.
  • Successful completion of all clinical experiences.
  • **For Fall/Spring Residency Year: Praxis II scores are due March 31 (prior to beginning Residency Year) For Spring/Fall Residency Year: Praxis II scores are due July 31 (year prior to beginning Residency Year)

BENCHMARK 4 (Clinical Residency)

  • successfully complete clinical practice (490 hours) with Acceptable evaluations from cooperating teachers and clinical supervisors
  • Attain a grade of B or higher in Clinical Practice and Seminar course
  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Timely submission of edTPA ePortfolio with a passing score
  • Completion of all degree requirements
  • Submission of all paperwork and fees for certification
  • Exit interview and completion of exit survey

*Source: https://patch.com/new-jersey/newarknj/newark-schools-try-attract-new-teachers-62k-starting-salary

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Meet the Program Chair

Sharon Harden
Sharon Harden
Chairperson, B.A. Elementary Education

60 Park Place, Suite 701
Newark, NJ 07102