Elementary Education

Why study elementary education?

The elementary education program prepares future classroom teachers of young children to meet the needs of today's diverse students.

  • Mentors and professors with K-12 teaching experience guide future teachers to become fully-certified in South Dakota by graduation. Teacher candidates may pursue certification in other states, as well.
  • Before the culminating semester of full-time student teaching, education majors spend 100+ hours in a variety of classrooms in area school districts.
  • All programs leading to initial level licensure are accredited and approved by the South Dakota Department of Education (SD DOE).

AU Education Classroom

Academics at AU

Course Descriptions

Major Map


Related Programs of Study



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Augustana understands the value and impact that historically marginalized people have on communities all over the world — recognizing that this university would not be the place it is without these students, faculty and staff. For the month of November — Native American Heritage Month — Augustana is featuring TJ Ashes ‘27.

Headlines surrounding what Augustana University student-athletes are doing in their sport and the classroom are very familiar, but we don’t always hear what they’re doing to make the community around them a better place. But, as you’ll discover, they are truly making a difference in this arena as well.

At Augustana, opportunities for student research are plentiful — from the Arthur Olsen Student Research Symposium and Ralph and Susie Wagoner Student-Faculty Research Award to the Augustana Research Institute (ARI) and Civitas Honors Program vocation projects. What sets AU apart from other universities, though, is the caliber of research performed by undergraduate students which often rivals graduate-level research.


Rachel Boer, elementary education major


Graduates are highly sought after to fill elementary-level teaching positions and other career opportunities, including principal or superintendent, librarian and camp director.

Hands-On Learning  

In the teacher education program, campus classroom experiences are hands-on, and field experiences start from the first year — working as tutors, mentors and classroom assistants. This program’s renowned experiential learning leads to a semester of full-time student teaching, which often includes multiple placements.

Internship opportunities include:

  • Augustana’s model classroom
  • Camp counselor
  • Surrounding school districts

Education students study away in:

  • Kenya — focusing on the intersection of global food security and education with AU faculty
  • Norway — for the exceptional children and youth practicum
  • China — focusing on human relations in education with AU faculty

Courses & Organizations

Many education majors choose to earn a kindergarten endorsement or a minor in special education, athletic coaching, American Sign Language or Spanish.

Other certified teacher education paths include:

  • Special Education 
  • Secondary Education (paired with a content major) 
  • All-Grades Education (paired with a content major) 

Students may have a declared education major but must meet established program entrance and exit requirements to be considered a teacher candidate. The application to the teacher education program is completed during enrollment in EDUC 275. Students must also fill out an application of intent to student teach and complete the Praxis exam. 

Elementary education students often participate in:

  • Augustana University Education Association (AUEA)
  • Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
  • Deaf Awareness
  • National Student Speech Language Hearing Association(NSSLHA)
  • Residence Life
  • Lost & Found
  • Peer Navigator (Augie Access)