Full accreditation

Nationally accredited 

Bluffton University is one of just 147 providers approved under the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) teacher preparation standards.

Zoom classroom

Master of Arts in Education

Bluffton's graduate program in education provides an affordable and accessible experience with classes one day a week through Zoom Technology, or self-paced and fully on-line. 

Education department

Through Bluffton's Educator Preparation Programs, you will be prepared to create communities of learning and respect in your classroom. Bluffton graduates are among the best qualified in the nation, as reflected in student rankings on the Ohio Educator Preparation Performance Report and in the reputation our graduates enjoy once they enter the teaching profession.

What's special about our programs?

  • Bluffton's educator preparation program received full accredited with no areas for improvement by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation in 2018. (CAEP).
  • Students gain experience in a classroom in a local school (field experience) in their first semester as an educator preparation candidate. 
  • The Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center of Bluffton University provides peace and conflict resolution programs and resources for education students and public school teachers and students.
  • A specially designed 3+1 program  so you can earn a teaching license and a Masters of Arts in Education with reading endorsement in just four years. 
  • In addition to Educator Preparation Programs, Bluffton offers a Child Development major.

The traditional route to becoming a teacher in Ohio involves completing a bachelor's degree then obtaining a teaching license from the Ohio Department of Education.  >>>occupational outlook

Education majors and minors 

Teaching licenses


Specialized program


You will apply for admission to the Educator Preparation Programs in EDU 200 Introduction to Teaching, taken during your first or second semester on campus. 

Additional information about Bluffton's Educator Preparation Programs is available in the Educator Preparation handbook.


hands-on training
Sixteen future teachers at Bluffton University recently took part in a unique training for hands-on science education. Officials from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources led a training for Project Wild, the organization’s conservation education program.

Pre-K to grade 5
Earn a license to teach in preschool through grade 5 by completing an elementary education major. This license prepares you to teach both typically developing children as well as children with mild-moderate disabilities and provides particular focus on teaching reading to young children.
Did you know Bluffton offers a 3+1 program? You could complete a bachelors in elementary education and a Masters of Arts in Education with reading endorsement in just four years.  Learn more! 

Judy Pierman, education alumni

When Judy (Mull ‘63) Pierman sees a need, the recipient of the 2016 Lifetime Service alumni award seeks a solution. The need could be quality preschool education, or understanding English. What began as a volunteer position teaching literacy in the workplace, became a  career with the Hispanic Human Resources Council.

“Our mission is to prepare children to go to school speaking English while maintaining their home language.”  >>> Judy's story

You may also add an endorsements for pre-kindergarten special needs. The intervention specialist (K-12) major may be completed with the elementary education major in four years.

Explore the courses required for a

Complete the elementary education major in four years by following this guideline for course selection.


Grades 4-9
A license for teaching in the middle grades (grades 4-9) can be achieved by completing a middle childhood education major. 

You must select at least two areas of concentration:
You may earn a middle childhood generalist endorsement by completing all four areas of concentration. 
  >>>occupational outlook

Student teaching in Chicago

While many students choose to teach close to home, Nathan Otto '18, a middle childhood education major, decided to take the chance to experience not only what it’s like teaching in an urban environment but also living in one.

“I knew this was an opportunity I might not have again, and I wanted to get out of the area and experience something totally new.”
>>> Nathan's story

Explore the courses required for a

Complete the middle childhood education major in four years by following this guideline for course selection.


Ages 12-21 and grades 7-12

At Bluffton, you may choose a licensure program in one of three academic areas to teach in grades 7-12. An AYA teaching license requires completing a major in a content area, licensure requirements for that area and professional education courses. The areas in which an adolescent/young adult license may be earned include:

Jarod Siekman

After studying abroad in Guatemala for a semester, Jarod Siekman returned to Bluffton with a new understanding of numbers that crossed cultures and opened up ideas about mathematical concepts.

“I think there’s a lot of cool math ideas that you can teach students even if it doesn’t really apply to the curriculum. Even if it’s just to get them more excited and interested in math.” - Jarod’s story


Ages 3-21, Grades Pre-K- 12
Students may choose a teaching licensure program in specific areas, which permits teaching across a broader age range in either music or visual arts.

Multi-age licensure programs are offered in:

Instrumental Petting Zoo

Area elementary students are introduced to musical instruments by members of Bluffton's chapter of Ohio Collegiate Music Educators Association during the Instrument Petting Zoo.

Explore courses for

Four-year plans:
Follow a guideline for course selection to complete your degree in four years


Mild to moderate educational needs
Ages 5-21, Grades K-12

Prepare to teach in the area of special education by completing course requirements for the intervention specialist major. This program provided preparation to teach children in grades K-12 with mild/moderate special educational needs, including children with learning disabilities, developmental disabilities and emotional/behavioral disabilities, with emphasis on inclusive practice.  >>>occupational outlook

A special education minor is offered for students who are interested in working with people with disabilities whether in their major field or as a service. 

Did you know Bluffton offers a 3+1 program to help you complete a bachelors for intervention specialist and  a Masters of Arts in Education with reading endorsement in just four years?  Learn more! 

Tutoring at the Juvenile Detention Center

Education majors taking Phonics at Bluffton can choose the Allen County Juvenile Detention Center for their site selection. Claire DeOrio '17 is one Bluffton student who volunteered at the detention center for three semesters. 

“The Bluffton students are learning a lot about themselves, they’re learning about incarcerated youth, they’re learning about the reading process and they’re learning about the importance of relationships.”  >>> Claire's story

Explore courses for a:

Complete the intervention specialist major in four years by following this guideline for course selection.


The child development major provides opportunities to study young children in a variety of settings. Coursework includes developmental curriculum, preschool classrooms and nutrition and opportunities to gain experience in various infant/toddler/early childhood environments.

Students also gain knowledge about working with young children outside the traditional classroom setting, such as day care, Head Start and other child development centers.

While the major does not lead to licensure, one possibility would be to add a minor in business administration to learn to manage a small business.  >>>occupational outlook

Highly motivated students may complete this major in 3 years. >>> more info

Explore the courses required for a

Complete the child development major in four years by following this guideline for course selection.


Students with majors outside the education department may minor in education studies or special education.

    Completion of the Education Studies Minor fulfills requirements for the Alternate Pathway to Licensure's Intensive Pedagogical Program. This allows a person to teach for four years while completing the Professional Development Institute en route to professional licensure.

    Students who plan to work in settings where there are educational opportunities (e.g. training, tutoring, program development, religious education, etc.) may also benefit from an education studies minor.
    >>> course requirements
    For students who are interested in working with people with disabilities whether in their major field or as a service. 
    >>> course requirements

To contact the education department:
Email:  education@bluffton.edu
Phone:  419-358-3331
Fax:  419-358-3074

Want to learn more about Bluffton?