Open a world of possibilities for children by teaching them how to learn and grow.

If your passion is to help children build the fundamental skills needed for lifelong learning success, this bachelor's degree in elementary education (P-5) is for you! University of the Cumberlands’ college major in elementary education was designed with you in mind — the aspiring elementary school teacher who has a calling to encourage and excite learning growth in young children.

Plus, you can earn your elementary education degree online as you build the skills you need to enter the education field – where and when it works best for you. An online elementary education degree can give you the freedom to pursue your teaching aspirations alongside your other commitments. 

Anchor: Stats
Anchor: Programs & Requirements
Programs & Requirements

Programs & Requirements

* The credit hours listed on this page only reference the specific program requirements and is not reflective of the total hours necessary to receive your degree. Cumberlands requires all students obtain a minimum of 60 hours for an associate’s degree and a total of 120 hours for a bachelor’s degree. Transfer and prior learning credits may be counted toward those totals.

To learn more about our General Education Requirements, please visit the page referenced below or explore our Academic Catalog

General Education Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (P-5)

The elementary education degree program is designed for students wishing to be certified in grades P-5. Individual programs should be planned with an advisor from the faculty of the School of Education. In addition to the General Education and required Professional Education courses, students pursuing this option must also complete one academic emphasis.

Course Requirements

Taking the following General Education courses will facilitate the timely completion of certification requirements detailed below: 

  • MATH 130 Concepts of Mathematics for the Elementary and Middle School Teacher
  • MATH 230 Concepts of Mathematics for the Elementary and Middle School Teacher
  • PSYC 131 Basic Psychology
  • EDUC 130 Technology in the P-12 Classroom
  • COMM 230 Introduction to Public Speaking
  • EDUC 235 Basic Concepts Concerning Education 
  • EDUC 237 Effective Teaching Practices 
  • SPED 233 Survey of Individuals with Exceptionalities (P-12) 

The following may not be taken prior to admission to Teacher Education:

  • EDUC 331 Studies in Education: Special Topics in Literacy 
  • EDUC 332 Reading and Language Arts I 
  • EDUC 338 Reading and Language Arts II
  • EDUC 430 Classroom Management and Behavior 
  • EDUC 497 Supervised Student Teaching 
  • ELEM 334 P-5 Teaching of Social Studies
  • ELEM 339  P-5 Teaching of Science  
  • MATH 332 P-5 Teaching Math
  • ART 331 School Art 
  • MUED 331 School Music 
  • SOWK 436 Human Diversity in a Global Society or SPAN 134 Spanish for Public Service
  • ELEM 333 Children’s Literature 
  • PSYC 232 Child and Adolescent Development (prerequisite: PSYC 131*) 
  • PSYC 238 Educational Psychology (prerequisite: PSYC 131*) 
  • POLS 233 American National Government 
  • HLTH 438 Health Education in the School and Community 

Available to on-campus students, Bachelor of Arts degree requires completing the same courses as a Bachelor of Science with the addition of completing one foreign language sequence through the intermediate level.

  • FREN 131        Elementary French I
  • FREN 132        Elementary French II
  • FREN 231        Intermediate French I
  • FREN 232        Intermediate French II


  • SPAN 131        Elementary Spanish I
  • SPAN 132        Elementary Spanish II
  • SPAN 231        Intermediate Spanish I
  • SPAN 232        Intermediate Spanish II

Academic Emphasis Areas

In addition to the listed required courses in the Bachelor of Science tab, all Elementary education majors must complete one academic emphasis area.

Course Requirements

Required Courses. An asterisk denotes a General Education course.

BIOL 131*     Biology and Society (with BIOL 111* Biology and Society Laboratory) 

CHEM 140*     Chemistry for Everyday Life OR PHYS 137*/117* Physical Science with Lab OR PHYS 140 Astronomy 

HIST 137     World Civilization to 1648 or HIST 138* World Civilization since 1648 

MATH 130*     Concepts of Mathematics for the Elementary and Middle School Teacher I

The following courses chosen as electives cannot have been taken for General Education credit. Some of the courses are taught in a rotation of semesters. Refer to the Undergraduate Catalog for the semesters courses are to be offered.

A minimum of nine (9) semester hours may be chosen from the following courses, NO TWO WITH THE SAME PREFIX. Candidates may need to choose an additional elective from the following options in order to meet graduation requirements.

BADM 136     Microeconomics 

BADM 137     Macroeconomics 

BIOL 231     Introduction to Environmental Science  

COMM 332     Small Group Communication in Organizations 

ENGL 330     Literary Studies 

FREN 131     Elementary French I 

HESS 234     First Aid and Safety 

HLTH 338     Family Life 

MUSC 401    World Music

PHYS 140     Astronomy 

PHYS 241     Physics I 

POLS 235     Introduction to International Relations 

SPAN 131     Elementary Spanish I 

MATH 130*     Concepts of Mathematics for the Elementary and Middle School Teacher I 

MATH 132     College Algebra 

MATH 136     Pre-Calculus 

MATH 230*     Concepts of Mathematics for the Elementary & Middle School Teacher II 

MATH 330     Geometry for the Elementary and Middle School Teacher 

MATH 335     Introduction to Probability and Statistics 

And one mathematics elective or PHYS 241 Physics I

Required Course

  • CHEM 140* Chemistry for Everyday Life

Four credit hours selected from the following:

  • BIOL 133*/113*  Introduction to Population Biology/Laboratory 
  • BIOL 134*/114*  Introduction to Cellular Biology/Laboratory 
  • BIOL 246  Biodiversity 

Four credit hours selected from the following:

  • PHYS 137*/117*  Physical Science/Laboratory 
  • PHYS 140*  Astronomy 
  • CHEM 132*/CHEM 111*   General College Chemistry I/Laboratory 

Three science courses (at least 9 semester hours) with at least 2 courses (6 semester hours) at or above the 200 level.

Required courses:

ENGL 131* English Composition I

ENGL 132*  English Composition II   

ENGL 438  Advanced Writing or ENGL 439 Descriptive Linguistics 

ENGL 334*  American Literature through 1865 or ENGL 335* American Literature since 1865 

COMM 230*  Introduction to Public Speaking   

The remaining 6 hours may be chosen from:

COMM 332  Small Group Communication 

COMM 432  Theories of Persuasion

ENGL 430  Literary Criticism 

ENGL 337  Adolescent Literature 

ENGL 431  Studies in British Literature

ENGL 432 Studies in Modern Literature 

ENGL 433  Women in Literature   

ENGL437  Studies in British and American Authors 

ENGL 334* or ENGL 335* if not chosen above 

ENGL 438 or ENGL 439 if not chosen above 

*denotes a General Education course

Required courses:

ART 331* School Art 

ELEM 333 Children’s Literature 

ESS 233 Physical Education in the Classroom

MUED 331* School Music 

Remaining nine (9) hours may be chosen from: 

ART 134* Drawing I 

ENGL 337 Adolescent Literature 

ESS 332 Techniques of Teaching Rhythmic Activities 

THTR 130* Introduction to Theatre 

THTR 131 Acting I 

Required Courses

HIST 137     World Civilization to 1648 

HIST 138*     World Civilization since 1648 

HIST 231*     American History to 1877 

HIST 232     American History since 1877 

Remaining three (3) hours may be chosen from: 

HIST 331     Kentucky 

POLS 235*     Introduction to International Relations

The remaining six (6) hours must include three (3) semester hours each from two of the following disciplines: 

BADM 136*     Microeconomics 

BADM 137*     Macroeconomics 

HSRV 436     Human Diversity and Ethics 

POLS 131*     Introduction to Political Science 

SOCI 131*     Introduction to Sociology 

SPED 234     Special Education Instructional Programs (P-12) 

SPED 236     Special Education Programs for Adolescents with Mild Disabilities (5-12) 

SPED 238     Special Education Early Childhood (P-5) 

SPED 336     Educational Assessment and Prescriptive Programming for Individuals with Disabilities (P-12) Part I 

SPED 337     Educational Assessment and Prescriptive Programming for Individuals with Disabilities (P-12) Part II 

SPED 435     Special Education Methods and Materials (Mild Disabilities) P -12 

SPED 436     Special Education Methods and Materials Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities (P-12) 

Minor in Elementary Education

If you are considering teaching children someday - or you aspire toward a career that you know would benefit from having strong teaching and communication skills - then this minor is for you. Though it doesn't prepare you for full certification as an educator, it lays the groundwork for success in related work by offering a curriculum that covers all the basics of Elementary education.

Course Requirements

ART 331 School Art

EDUC 235 Basic Concepts Concerning Education

ELEM 333 Children’s Literature

MATH 130 Concepts of Mathematics for the Elementary and Middle School Teacher I

MATH 230 Concepts of Mathematics for the Elementary and Middle School Teacher II

MUED 331 School Music

PSYC 232 Child and Adolescent Development

PSYC 238 Educational Psychology

SPED 233 Survey of Individuals with Exceptionalities (P - 12)

SPED 234 Special Education Instructional Programs (P - 12)

SPED 236 Special Education Programs for Adolescents with Mild Disabilities (5 - 12)

SPED 238 Special Education Early Education (P - 5)

Pathways for KCTCS Students

Under this pathway, students who have completed an Associate’s degree in Educator Preparation at KCTCS can transfer up to 80 hours of course credit to University of the Cumberlands.

University of the Cumberlands and Somerset KCTCS have entered into an agreement for Elementary Education students. This agreement provides for a seamless pathway for students completing the Associate of Applied Science degree in Educator Preparation at Somerset KCTCS to move towards completion of the Bachelor of Science degree in Education through the School of Education at University of the Cumberlands.

The general requirement for graduation from University of the Cumberlands with the Bachelor of Science in Education is the completion of at least 120 semester hours including:

  • General education – 37 hours
  • Education major – 72 hours + emphasis area(s) Some of these hours are completed at the Community College level.

The academic advisor assigned to the student at the time of their admission to the Education Online Program will work with the student to develop a planned program that lists the courses completed/transferred and a list of courses to be completed.   As a part of this process, the academic advisor will also develop the planned program to ensure that a minimum of 30 semester hours numbered 300 or above are identified.  An approved copy of the planned program is forwarded to the student. 

All of the courses needed to complete the Bachelor of Science degree in Education are offered in an online format to accommodate the needs of today’s working adult.

KCTCS students interested in additional information regarding transferring coursework to University of the Cumberlands should contact the Office of Admissions. Please email ucoadm [at] (ucoadm[at]ucumberlands[dot]edu) 

Option 9 Education Certification Pathways

The influence of a teacher on a child’s life leaves an immeasurable impact. Now is your time.

University of the Cumberlands offers an  EPSB-approved Option 9 program. This alternative route is available to both in-seat and online Cumberlands students. Cumberlands offers programs in early interdisciplinary education, elementary education, and middle school education.

While education students at Cumberlands are completing coursework, they will have the opportunity to immediately put their learning into practice as an instructional assistant in a classroom, receive mentorship from experienced teachers in the district, and complete their bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate, in as little as three years.

We offer Option 9 pathways for candidates pursuing certification in early childhood education, elementary education, and middle school education.

To learn more information or to find out if your school district has an Option 9 partnership in place with Cumberlands, visit our Option 9 page.

Learn More

Anchor: Mission & Goals

Mission & Goals

The purpose of the School of Education is to develop entry level education students into highly qualified, knowledgeable and caring teachers. We provide training and experiences using best practices for teacher education candidates.

Develop entry-level education students into highly qualified, knowledgeable and caring teachers who provide for diverse learners.
Provide the pedagogical instructional methods necessary to meet the Kentucky Teacher Standards and University of the Cumberlands’ Standards.
Strengthen your abilities to critically reflect and evaluate your skills, thereby providing the opportunity for growth.
Nurture an appreciation and refinement of ethical and Christian moral values in future teachers.
Build robust oral, written, and information literacy skills in students.
Anchor: Career Outcomes

Elementary Education Careers & Outcomes

All stats from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Elementary Teacher: $61,350

Elementary Teacher: $61,350

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers instruct young students in basic subjects in order to prepare them for future schooling.

Childcare Worker: $27,490

Childcare Worker: $27,490

Childcare workers attend to children's needs while helping to foster early development.

Childcare Center Director: $47,310

Childcare Center Director: $47,310

Preschool and childcare center directors supervise and lead their staffs, design program plans, oversee daily activities, and prepare budgets.

Special Education Teacher: $61,820

Special Education Teacher: $61,820

Special education teachers work with students who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities.

Education Administrator: $49,690

Education Administrator: $49,690

Plan, direct, or coordinate academic or nonacademic activities of preschools or childcare centers and programs, including before- and after-school care.

Recreation worker: $29,680

Recreation worker: $29,680

Recreation workers design and lead activities to help people stay active, improve fitness, and have fun.

Anchor: FAQs

Common Questions

All programs at University of the Cumberlands are offered at some of the lowest rates in the nation – and we even include free textbooks through our One Price Promise! For more information on how affordable this program would be for you, visit our Financial Aid page.

A bachelor’s degree in Elementary education provides the training aspiring school teachers need to pursue certifications that qualify them for teaching careers. College coursework helps students gain a solid understanding of what it takes to teach young learners. They’ll cover everything from integrating technology into curriculum to best practices in teaching for young minds. These future educators should also gain a comprehensive education in age-appropriate lesson planning, classroom management and supervision strategies, how to plan educational activities, and more. 

You will likely need to pass a state test for whichever state in which you hope to teach. Upon passing the exam, you should apply for a teaching license. Once you’ve obtained that, you can apply to open teaching positions!  

When you major in Elementary education, you will receive the training and skills you need to:

  • Teach in specific certification areas and levels (elementary, middle school, high school)
  • Work with special education programs
  • Tutor at-risk students
  • Serve in children or youth ministries
  • Become a textbook representative
  • Teach or train employees in large companies
  • Become an educational consultant
  • Teach on military bases or in international schools

Yes! University of the Cumberlands' School of Education is accredited through Kentucky's Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB) and has national accreditation through the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) at the initial-licensure level and advanced-level. UC’s School of Education has earned national accreditation by demonstrating excellence in the areas of content and pedagogy, clinical experiences, selectivity, program impact, and capacity for continuous improvement.

If you don't know yet whether you want to become an educator, we recommend that you first pursue a minor in Elementary education so you can learn more about what it would be like to be a teacher. From there, you can decide whether to pursue an education major and whether you would like to complete your education minor. Regardless of which path you choose, since every employer looks for people who can manage groups, communicate well, and approach situations with empathy, what you learn in your education classes at Cumberlands will benefit you in any career path.

Anchor: Faculty

Faculty Experts in Education

Learn more about your future education professors!

Elisha Sester Web

Elisha Sester

Field/Clinical Coordinator | Assistant Professor

Elisha Sester

Contact Information

elisha.sester [at]
Luecker Building
Dr. Lance Boston

Dr. Lance M. Boston

Adjunct Professor

Dr. Lance M. Boston

Contact Information [at]
Victor Snow

Dr. Victor Snow

Adjunct Professor

Dr. Victor Snow

Contact Information

victor.snow [at]

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