Frequently Asked Questions

What is a major in interdisciplinary studies?

The program was planned by faculty and public school teachers to provide both the depth and breadth in many subject areas which are required of elementary teachers. It also provides the student with several options for concentrations in two areas: science, social science, foreign language, special education, English, and mathematics/statistics.

How is Radford University's program different from teacher preparation programs at other institutions?

Unique features of Radford University's program include its year-long, field-based emphasis and the use of small cohorts of fifteen to twenty students focused upon professional development. The core of the program consists of two intense semesters of working in classrooms integrated with campus courses and professional development seminars. University and school faculty work closely to integrate university courses with work in the classroom. The program was awarded the Innovative Teacher Preparation Program award from the Southern Regional Association of Teacher Educators.

How do I get into the elementary education program?

You must meet basic requirements for applying to the Teacher Education Programs that will include tests required for licensure (PRAXIS I and VCLA) which evaluates basic competencies in reading, writing, and mathematics; achieving academic excellence (minimum GPA of 3.0); pedagogical content knowledge (as measured by the VRA and PRAXIS II tests); and exhibiting personal and professional characteristics contributing to success in teaching. Information regarding specific requirements for admission can be requested from the Field Experience Office or from the Center for Academic Advising and Student Support,

What courses do I take?

You will complete the core curriculum requirements, as do all students, typically during the first two years. The first course in the program is essentially taken during the junior year. The senior year consists of two semesters of field-based experiences integrated with courses and seminars in curriculum and instruction, classroom management, assessment of learning, using media, reading, science, mathematics, and language arts and children’s literature. Prior to the junior year, students are strongly encouraged to participate in workshops offered by the Center for Academic Advising and Student Support and in the experiential opportunities (working in GED, teaching in after-school programs, tutoring, etc.) available through the Student Education Association.

What if I am transferring?

You can obtain information regarding courses which transfer from the advising offices or from the Center for Academic Advising and Student Support (RU Box 6960). You should apply to the teacher education program when you apply to Radford University, and plan on at least two semesters of campus courses before you begin the two semesters of field-based experiences.

What is the employment rate for students in Elementary Education?

The employment rate for students pursuing licensure to teach at Radford University is currently 94 percent. Career Services provides special workshops on job search, resume writing, etc., establishes career files for students, and sponsors on-campus interviews with school division.

Should I pursue a graduate degree in Education to be more marketable?

At this time, there is no clear requirement for a graduate degree. Rather, employers look for a strong record of experience in school settings. We strongly encourage students to accumulate a variety of experiences in working with children in structured learning situations through the Student Education Association, applying for substitute teacher status, using college breaks and summer to observe and participate in classrooms, and taking courses related to working with children and youth.

Where can I obtain more information about teaching in the elementary schools?