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Elementary and Special Education

The Elementary and Special Education (ELESPED) program at the University of North Georgia offers a dual major of 127 hours in elementary and special education, preparing students to work in both fields from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Not only are our teacher candidates in the ELESPED program at UNG well-prepared for the classroom due to their intensive field experiences and internships, but our ELESPED candidates work with faculty who are experts in the most current pedagogies and research. Our faculty engage students in undergraduate research, grant work, and publishing opportunities.

Campus Availability

Dahlonega
Admissions Information

Our teacher candidates enter the program as a cohort, meaning students enroll in pre-set courses as a group. Our ELESPED program has one admissions cycle per year, which is in the fall. Students apply for the program in early February the semester prior. See the admissions page for more information our requirements.

Field Experience

Each cohort is assigned to a specific Professional Development Community (PDC). Teacher candidates will be assigned to one PDC during junior year and a different PDC during senior year. Teacher candidates are required to attend field placement at an assigned school within the PDC. Our model provides intensive field experiences during the junior year and the first semester of the senior year. Students spend at least three full days per week in their field placement schools, and the remaining two days are reserved for the accompanying college courses. Internship occurs during the spring semester (final semester) of the senior year. During internship, UNG teacher candidates are expected to assume all of the responsibilities of a full-time teacher. For more information, see the description of the ELESPED PDCs. (link)  

Occupational Outlook

The typical work environment for a teacher is in a classroom setting. 

 Careers and Salaries

Below you will find 2015 median annual salaries for teachers:

  • Preschool Teachers: $28,570
  • Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers: $54,550
  • Middle School Teachers: $55,860
  • High School Teachers: $57,200
  • Adult Literacy and High School Equivalency Diploma Teachers: $50,280
  • Special Education Teachers: $56,800

Job Outlook

  • Employment of preschool teachers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2014 to 2024.
  • Employment of kindergarten and elementary school teachers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024.
  • Employment of middle school teachers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024.
  • Employment of high school teachers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024. 
  • Employment of adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2014 to 2024. 
  • Employment of special education teachers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024.

 

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-2017 Edition

Study Abroad
Visit the UNG Study Abroad page for information.
Student Learning Outcomes

The Elementary Education/Special Education program at the University of North Georgia values community, relationships, and practice in the field.  We hold our teacher candidates in ELESPED to high professional and academic standards, and the following student learning outcomes define our expectations for our graduates:

 

  1. ELESPED teacher candidates will have an in-depth content knowledge as outlined by the standards set forth by The Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium and the Council for Exceptional Children.
  2. ELESPED teacher candidates will demonstrate entry-level preparedness for teaching in the elementary classroom as measured by mentor teacher evaluations and Internees, a state designed assessment system (part of the Teacher Effectiveness System.
  3. ELESPED teacher candidates will meet the objectives of each course in the program through the successful completion of key assessments aligned to college, state, and professional standards.
  4. ELESPED teacher candidates will uphold challenging expectations for all learners and develop and maintain appropriate learning outcomes that respect the multiple diversities of learners.
  5. ELESPED teacher candidates will use culturally sensitive practices when planning and implementing differentiated, meaningful curriculum, taking into account learning theories, data, and evidence-based practices.
  6. ELESPED teacher candidates will systematically gather, analyze, and utilize relevant data to measure student progress, inform instructional content and delivery methods, and provide timely and constructive feedback.
  7. ELESPED teacher candidates will use a variety of engaging research-based strategies that promote student learning and develop higher-level thinking to meet the needs of all children.
  8. ELESPED teacher candidates will communicate effectively with all stakeholders—including students, parents, administrators, colleagues, and community members—and maintain professional and ethical behavior at all times.
  9. ELESPED teacher candidates will integrate technology to support student learning and enhance instruction and assessment.

Student Spotlight

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