Education (Elementary)

Education Central

Central College continues to stand out in preparing tomorrow’s educators.

Central College has one of the best education programs in Iowa.

How? Central’s unique developmental model, one-of-a-kind programming and curriculum are designed to open minds. Open-minded teachers are leaders in creative problem solving, compassionate collaborators and fierce advocates. Open-minded teachers embrace opportunities to gain common ground and pursue learning outside of the classroom.

“I understand. I can. I am.”

Elementary Education graduates since 2007
of Central’s education graduates are employed
ALL 99
Central education graduates are teachers or administrators in each of Iowa’s 99 counties

The Central Difference

Learn Using a Unique Developmental Model

You’ll become a highly prepared teacher when you use the “I Understand, I Can, I Am” developmental model. It will provide you with a multitude of varying field experiences in diverse settings and ultimately ready you to become a highly qualified teacher in a global world. This model aligns with the InTASC standards for teacher preparation and provides fundamental, developmentally appropriate coursework and experiences.

Central education students exhibit highly successful Praxis Exam completion rates (over 96%) and are annually awarded the Recognition of Excellence Indicator Award for exemplary scores.

Central’s Education Facilities

Central College has one of the best education programs in Iowa. How? Central’s unique developmental model, one-of-a-kind programming and curriculum are designed to open minds.

Central Teacher Academy

Apply to participate in the Central Teacher Academy (CTA) program — an exceptional teacher preparatory program and the only one of its kind in Iowa. If selected, you will be trained and paired with mentor teachers in the Pella Community School District and Pella Christian Schools for three years prior to student teaching. This early hands-on learning can be essential to your future success.

Learn more about the Central Teacher Academy.

Learn in Nationally Recognized Facilities

You’ll spend a lot of time in the three-story Roe Center, which houses classroom, office and instructional space for the education and psychology departments, along with communication studies and Central’s nationally recognized community-based learning department. The building features energy conservation and environmental responsibility, and was awarded a platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating from the United States Green Building Council.

Learn more about Central’s education facilities and resources.

Work Toward Distinguished Honors and Scholarships

The Geisler Penquite scholarships are awarded to juniors and seniors accepted into the teacher preparation program. When completely funded, 48-50 renewable scholarships of up to $5,000 will be available for 12 new students in the elementary and secondary education programs.

The Scholars Program honors students who exemplify essential values and skills, advocate for future teachers in very direct ways and work collaboratively to build upon Central’s reputation to recruit exemplary teachers for future generations.

STEM Endorsements

Central is one of just eight institutions in the state of Iowa to offer STEM endorsements for students majoring in elementary education and secondary education.

Students seeking jobs teaching K-8 mathematics, K-8 science and middle school math and science can enhance their degrees with a STEM endorsement, which will give them a leg up when finding a job after graduation.

Project Lead the Way

Central is a pre-service partner with Project Lead the Way, which provides the ability for the education program to provide pre-service teachers with a PLTW teacher credential, resources and support for the PreK-5 Launch curriculum. PLTW curriculum offers transformative learning experiences for students by creating an engaging, hands-on classroom environment, which empowers students to develop in-demand knowledge and skills they need to thrive.

Project Lead the Way Launch training complements science and technology courses offered at Central, including the new STEM endorsement. The education program is in the process of developing new courses for these STEM endorsements.

Off-Campus Experiences

Central students can study off-campus — both internationally or domestically in the United States. These opportunities give students the chance to prepare to be global citizens, equipped to compete in the global job market. Students can check out experiences led by Central faculty or attend select academic programs across the world that provide opportunities for study, service, internships and other types of experiential learning. Options include experiences in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Central America, Ghana, England, the Scottish Highlands and more.

Beyond Central

Putting the “Hire” in Higher Education

Central College graduates have found successful careers in elementary education.

  • Yuan Bank ’22, Teacher, Anchorage Community School District
  • Megan Van Brocklin ’21, Fourth-grade Teacher, Carlisle Community School District
  • Taylor Fisher ’20, Kindergarten Teacher, West Des Moines Community Schools
  • Anna Rethmeier Petty ’20, Second-grade Teacher, Des Moines Public Schools
  • Hunter Caspers ’18, Third-grade Teacher, Ankeny Community School District
  • McKenzi Everts James ’17, K-5 Special Education Teacher, Bondurant-Farrar Community School District
  • Allison Balk ’16, Kindergarten Teacher, Pella Community Schools

Two Central College Students Named Gilman Scholars

Lily Bardwell ’25 and Veronica Johnson ’26 received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to study in Murcia, Spain, during Spring 2024.


  • Education Club
  • Geisler-Penquite Scholarship program
  • Council for Exceptional Children

Education majors can travel the world with faculty to Puerto Rico or Sierra Leone, Africa or attend regional and national education conferences. No matter what your interests are, Central has something for you!

Learn how you can get involved with groups and organizations at Central.

Graduate Placement

Education students pursuing graduate school typically do so after several years teaching in the field. Educational leadership, reading, special education and content specific areas are typical graduate school studies for education graduates. Central education students have attended graduate school in varying states across the United States.


  • Thorpe Elementary School, Chicago
  • Capital View Elementary School, Des Moines
  • Jamieson Elementary School, Chicago
  • Escuela Colegio, Merida, Mexico
  • Northstar Elementary School, Knoxville, Iowa
  • Madison Elementary School, Pella, Iowa
  • Pella Christian Elementary, Pella, Iowa
Central College student

Courses & Faculty

In addition to rigorous coursework, Central education majors are expected to immerse themselves in their chosen field–whether through a short-term faculty-led trip to work in schools in Puerto Rico or the Central Teacher Academy where students gain hands-on experience with a local K-12 mentor teacher.

Students can also get involved with a development-focused mission trip to Sierra Leone, Africa, or student teach in inner-city Chicago or on one of Central's international partner programs.

Learn more about this discipline in the course catalog.

Meet the Faculty

Sample Coursework

First Year

  • Foundations of Education
  • Children with Exceptionalities
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Core, licensure & endorsement courses

Sophomore Year

  • Human Relations
  • Educational Psychology
  • Teaching of Language Arts & Reading
  • Literature for Children
  • Art, Music & PE Methods for Elementary
  • Core, licensure & endorsement courses

Junior Year

  • Teaching Reading
  • Teaching of Math
  • Behavior Classroom Management
  • Core, licensure & endorsement courses

Senior Year

  • Science and Technology Curriculum and Methods
  • Social Studies Curriculum and Methods
  • Advanced Integration of Technology in Education - Elementary
  • Student teaching
  • Senior Seminar
  • Core, licensure & endorsement courses


Learn More

Want to find out more about Education (Elementary) at Central? Contact us to learn more about this discipline and our other strong academic programs.

Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.


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