“We get them in the schools early and provide them with support and mentorship. We prepare students to become highly effective teachers and they get jobs.”
If you are interested in becoming a teacher, you probably want to make a difference in the world. Our nationally-accredited program, supportive professors and experience in a classroom during your very first semester allows you to do just that.
Learn more about Bluffton’s program from faculty and students.
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.
The elementary education license prepares you to teach both typically developing children as well as children with mild-moderate disabilities, with a particular focus on teaching reading to children in pre-kindergarten through grade 5.
Early childhood education major Makayla Noble ’19 found meaningful community on campus through her involvement in Bluffton Education Organization (BEO).
"I just felt God was calling me to be that person that cares and helps lead kids.” Makayla's story >
Middle childhood education
A license for teaching in the middle grades (4-9) can be achieved by completing a middle childhood education major.
Nathan Otto ’18, a middle childhood education graduate, spent a semester exploring the urban educational setting while completing his student teaching in Chicago.
“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 >
Adolescent/Young Adult (AYA)
Ages 12-21, Grades 7-12
At Bluffton, you may choose a licensure program in one of three academic areas - language arts, mathematics and social studies - to teach in grades 7-12.
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
Jarod’s story >
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 at Bluffton include:
Follow a guideline for course selection to complete your degree in four years, for students beginning fall 2019 and after.
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.
Area elementary students are introduced to musical instruments by members of Bluffton's chapter of Ohio Collegiate Music Educators Association during the annual Instrument Petting Zoo.
Mild to moderate educational needs
Ages 5-21, Grades K-12
While nothing can “truly prepare” you for the transition into an actual classroom, there are lessons that stick out.
“There are numerous times when I hear Mr. Byers’s voice in the back of my head about
how to approach certain situations. His teaching has helped me with real-life application.”
Leslie’s story >
Prepare to teach in the area of special education by completing course requirements
for the intervention specialist major. This program provides preparation to teach
children with mild/moderate special educational needs, including those with learning
disabilities, developmental disabilities and emotional/behavioral disabilities, with
emphasis on inclusive practice.
>>>occupational outlook for special education teachers
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.
Complete a bachelors for intervention specialist and a Masters of Arts in Education with reading endorsement in just four years through Bluffton's 3+1 program.
Amryn Dover ’21 knew from an early age she wanted to work with kids. Dover’s ultimate dream is to open a facility that brings together neurotypical children with children on the Autism spectrum.
“Being the oldest child, I watched my siblings grow. It really influenced me to pursue
this major. I always loved helping them learn new things.”
>>> Amryn's story
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 for preschool and childcare center directors
Students with majors outside the education department may minor in education studies or special education.
The education studies minor fulfills requirements for the first step of the Alternative Pathway to Licensure for Bluffton students interested in teaching a high school subject other than history, English, mathematics, visual arts, music or as an intervention specialist.
As Bluffton doesn’t offer a direct licensure to become a science teacher. Ethan Zaerr is instead taking part in Ohio’s alternative licensure program that allows him to major in his field and become endorsed to pursue a teaching career.
“I’ve been really supported at Bluffton, considering that there’s not really a chemistry
and physics education licensure here.”
Ethan's story >
With completion of the Alternate Pathway to Licensure Intensive Pedagogical Program, a person may teach for four years while working toward
professional licensure. Courses in the education studies minor fulfil requirements
for the Intensive Pedagogical Program.
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
To contact the education department:
Apply for admission to the Educator Preparation Programs in the Introduction to Teaching course.
Additional information about Bluffton's Educator Preparation Programs is available in the Educator Preparation handbook.
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.