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How to Choose a Major: Elementary Education Edition

One of the biggest questions we get at the McKay School is: How do I pick a major?! With five different majors in the McKay School, it's sometimes tricky to know which one is right for you. This blog post will highlight the Elementary Education major, (affectionately shortened to EL ED), and hopefully help you decide if this is the path for you!



Guiding Questions

  • Do I like spending time with children?

  • Do I enjoy teaching?

  • Am I creative, enthusiastic, and an outside-the-box thinker?

  • Do I want to help people grow?

  • Do I want to inspire the next generation?

  • Am I having a hard timing deciding on just one subject to teach?

  • Do I want to teach children, but don't know what grade? Or am I torn between the younger and older grades?


If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then elementary education might be right for you! Often times, students have a hard time picking between Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education (ECE). We always say "ECE gives depth and EL ED gives breadth." ECE will go more in depth on the development of young children and their needs, and qualifies you to teach Pre-K through 3rd grade. EL ED is great for those who don't know what grade they want to teach, because it certifies you to teach Kindergarten-6th grade!


Overview of the Major

The Elementary Education program prepares teachers to work in Kindergarten-6th grade classrooms (K-6 Utah Teaching License). Program courses emphasize evidence-based, age appropriate teaching practices for all children in each of the content areas of the core curriculum (math, literacy, science, social studies). Read more by going to the education website: https://education.byu.edu/ted/eled


Career Options

Did you know that a degree in Elementary Education doesn't limit you to only teaching? That's right! With an Elementary Education degree you can work to become:

  • A K-6 Teacher

  • An administrator (principle, superintendent, etc.)

  • A curriculum designer and planner

  • A policy maker or advocate

  • And more!


Start Here

Ready to take that next step?! Check out these classes to learn more about Elementary Education:

  • EL ED 200 (Intro to Elementary Education)

  • SFL 210 (Human Development)


We hope this blog post helps you feel more prepared to declare a major in the McKay School. If you are interested in learning more, check out other blog posts about EL ED here or feel free to reach out to a student ambassador here

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