Elementary Education and Youth Development (BS)

The Elementary Education and Youth Development major provides foundational knowledge and skills necessary for working with and for children, youth and families in a variety of roles in schools and communities. The major has two options; Teacher Certification is for those interested in pursuing careers as elementary school teachers, while Youth Development is for students interested in any of a variety of careers outside the traditional classroom.

The Elementary Education and Youth Development program is unique in its integrated nature and emphasis on early and extensive field work. Beginning in their very first semester, students in the program are enrolled in major coursework that includes carefully supported field experiences deliberately tied to the course content and methods. Thereafter, in every semester in which a student enrolls in a major course, s/he will engage in accompanying field work. This program prepares graduates for the complex, interdisciplinary situations they will face as they work with and for children, youth and families.

Elementary Education and Youth Development centers on a carefully designed set of program outcomes that are essential for any career working with or for children, youth and families. All coursework, field work and other academic experiences in the program are intended to gradually develop skill and knowledge in the key areas listed below.

Relationships and Empowerment

Recognize the most important role educators and youth development professionals play is in empowering children and youth, and to that end, nurture relationships that promote self-regulation, positive self-concept, coping mechanisms and skills for positive interactions.

Context and Diversity

Acknowledge that child and youth development is complex, shaped by both internal and contextual factors, and work to accommodate the needs, expectations and capacities of diverse families, communities, and constituents.

Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

Create and support meaningful and coherent learning experiences, instruction, and assessment that promote children and youth's academic success and well-being.

Professionalism, Leadership, and Advocacy

Develop professional dispositions. Advocate and lead on behalf of children, youth and families.

All Elementary Education and Youth Development majors who interact with youth through course-related field experiences, including internships, should be prepared to submit to background checks and fingerprinting prior to commencing work if required by the host site. The fee for this processing is the responsibility of the student. Each new site may require a separate fingerprinting and background check.

In order for students to participate in field experiences in diverse settings that are essential for their development as professionals, students must be willing and able to travel outside of the Plymouth area beyond walking distances. All Elementary Education and Youth Development majors should plan for and be able to secure their own transportation by the sophomore year.

Teacher Certification Option

This option prepares elementary school teachers to have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to create learning opportunities that support students’ intellectual, social, and personal development. Inherent in this professional preparation is the promotion of sensitivity to the variety of learners; understanding and respect for diversity within student populations, families, and communities; and appropriate and effective integration of technology in instruction to support students’ learning. The major provides the appropriate professional and field-based experience through collaborative partnerships that enable candidates to demonstrate both content and pedagogical knowledge in an elementary learning environment.

Students must apply and be accepted to the Teacher Certification option after completing 45 credits with a minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA. Students must be admitted to teacher candidacy which requires passing scores on the Praxis Core. Students must maintain a 3.00 cumulative GPA throughout the program and meet dispositional standards. All full-time or part-time matriculated candidates in this option are expected to make satisfactory academic progress toward their academic goals.

Completion of this K-6 program is the foundation for a K-8 certification. Additionally, to be certified as an elementary teacher for grades K-8, candidates must complete a content concentration in a core subject-area (English language arts, mathematics, science, or social studies), as defined by the most current New Hampshire Department of Education standards, and earn a passing score for the middle school Praxis II exam for their chosen field. Requirements for certification may change, subject to changes made by the New Hampshire Department of Education. Teacher candidates can find the most current New Hampshire Department of Education standards at education.nh.gov/index.htm.

The Educator Preparation programs at Plymouth State University are approved by the New Hampshire Department of Education. The University is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE). Because of New Hampshire’s membership in the Interstate Certification Contract, Plymouth graduates are eligible to earn a certificate or license in another Contract state upon application to that state’s department of education. Receiving states may have a difference in elementary grade range and may impose certain special requirements that must be met within a reasonable period of time. For further information, please see the Holmes Center for School Partnerships and Educator Preparation section in this Catalog.

All teacher candidates who interact with students in public school settings through course-related field experiences, including Elementary Internship in Teaching, are subject to New Hampshire state legislation that requires a full disclosure criminal records check. This may include fingerprinting. The processing of the criminal records check is conducted at the site school before the clinical experience begins. The fee for this processing is the responsibility of the teacher candidate and is paid directly to the school district. Each new site will require a separate fingerprinting and background check. Inquiries should be directed to the Holmes Center for School Partnerships and Educator Preparation.

Youth Development Option

Students who complete the Youth Development option pursue a variety of careers working with and for children, youth and families. Option graduates pursue careers and graduate education in a wide array of areas including informal education and afterschool programming; tourism, recreation and coaching; social work; special education; marriage and family therapy or school counseling; youth advocacy and case management; child life; non-profit work; and social services.

This option is flexible by design, with many free elective credits. Students are strongly encouraged to choose a minor or focused set of courses and select an internship placement that combines the skills and knowledge from all coursework to further focus their professional preparation. Career advising occurs throughout foundational and advanced coursework as well as through discussion with faculty responsible for field placements.

The Youth Development and Education program culminates in a professional degree; any meaningful professional degree includes hands-on learning and practical experience in the field. Within the program, the field experiences are designed to allow students to explore possible career interests, gain professional skills, receive feedback on their preparation and performance, and develop connections that enhance their professional networks. Field experiences allow developing professionals the opportunity to bring new perspectives to their classroom discussions and coursework, and to apply concepts and skills gained during their classroom experiences.

Students may declare the Youth Development option of the Elementary Education and Youth Development major as early as their first semester.

Core Courses and General Education 

Course Title Credits
Major Requirements
ED 1500Foundations of Education4
ED 2400Child and Youth Development in Context (WECO)4
ED 2600Learning and Development (WRCO)4
ED 2800Inclusive Education and Technology (TECO)4
ED 3000Identity in a Diverse Society (DICO)4
ED 3500Project Based Learning and Design Thinking4
Choose One of the Following Two Options to Complete:28-42
Teacher Certification (42 credits)
Youth Development (28-30 credits)
General Education
EN 1400Composition4
IS 1115Tackling a Wicked Problem4
CTDICreative Thought Direction3-4
PPDIPast and Present Direction3-4
SIDIScientific Inquiry Direction3-4
SSDISelf and Society Direction3-4
Directions (choose from CTDI, PPDI, SIDI, SSDI) 14-8
GACOGlobal Awareness Connection3-4
INCPIntegrated Capstone4
Free Elective Credits18-33
Total Credits120

Teacher Certification Option2

Course Title Credits
MA 2110Mathematics for PreK-Grade 3 Educators4
MA 2120Mathematics for Grades 4-6 Educators (QRCO)4
ED 3010Designing Positive Learning Environments4
ED 3150Early Literacy4
ED 4200Integrated Methods: Teaching for Authentic Understanding9
ED 4210Integrated Methods Practicum3
ED 4400Elementary Internship in Teaching12
ED 4450Elementary Education Internship Seminar2
Free Electives18-19
Total Credits60-61

Youth Development Option

Course Title Credits
Any Math Foundations3-4
Choose one QRCO:3-4
Statistical Literacy in Today's Society (QRCO)
Mathematics for Grades 4-6 Educators (QRCO)
Statistics I (QRCO)
Social Statistics (QRCO)
Social Statistics (QRCO)
ED 2550Mentoring & Empowering Youth2
ED 3020Competencies for Youth Development Professionals4
ED 3550Leadership and Advocacy4
ED 4240Youth Development Seminar3
ED 4330Youth Development Internship9
Free Elective Credits30-33
Total Credits58-63

Non-Certification Option3

Course Title Credits
MA 2110Mathematics for PreK-Grade 3 Educators4
MA 2120Mathematics for Grades 4-6 Educators (QRCO)4
ED 3010Designing Positive Learning Environments4
ED 3150Early Literacy4
ED 4200Integrated Methods: Teaching for Authentic Understanding9
ED 4210Integrated Methods Practicum3
Free Electives32-33
Total Credits60-61

Check all course descriptions for prerequisites before planning course schedule. Course sequence is suggested but not required.

To complete the bachelor’s degree in 4 years, you must successfully complete a minimum of 15 credits each semester or have a plan to make up credits over the course of the 4 years.  For example, if you take 14 credits one semester, you need to take 16 credits in another semester.  Credits completed must count toward your program requirements (major, option, minor, certificate, general education or free electives).

Teacher Certification Option

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
ED 1500 Foundations of Education 4
IS 1115 Tackling a Wicked Problem 4
EN 1400 Composition 4
MA 2110 Mathematics for PreK-Grade 3 Educators 4
 Credits16
Spring
ED 2400 Child and Youth Development in Context (WECO) 4
PPDIPast and Present Direction 3-4
CTDICreative Thought Direction 3-4
MA 2120 Mathematics for Grades 4-6 Educators (QRCO) 4
 Credits14-16
Year Two
Fall
ED 2600 Learning and Development (WRCO) 4
SIDIScientific Inquiry Direction 3-4
SSDISelf and Society Direction 3-4
Electives 3-4
 Credits13-16
Spring
ED 2800 Inclusive Education and Technology (TECO) 4
Directions (choose from CTDI, PPDI, SIDI, SSDI) 3-4
GACOGlobal Awareness Connection 3-4
Electives 3-4
 Credits13-16
Year Three
Fall
ED 3000 Identity in a Diverse Society (DICO) 4
ED 3010 Designing Positive Learning Environments 4
INCPIntegrated Capstone 3-4
Electives 3-4
 Credits14-16
Spring
ED 3500 Project Based Learning and Design Thinking 4
ED 3150 Early Literacy 4
Electives 6-8
 Credits14-16
Year Four
Fall
ED 4200 Integrated Methods: Teaching for Authentic Understanding 9
ED 4210 Integrated Methods Practicum 3
Electives 3-4
 Credits15-16
Spring
ED 4400 Elementary Internship in Teaching 12
ED 4450 Elementary Education Internship Seminar 2
 Credits14
 Total Credits120

Youth Development Option  

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
ED 1500 Foundations of Education 4
IS 1115 Tackling a Wicked Problem 4
EN 1400 Composition 4
Math Foundations Choice 4
 Credits16
Spring
ED 2400 Child and Youth Development in Context (WECO) 4
PPDIPast and Present Direction 3-4
CTDICreative Thought Direction 3-4
Choose one QRCO: 3-4
Statistical Literacy in Today's Society (QRCO)  
Mathematics for Grades 4-6 Educators (QRCO)  
Statistics I (QRCO)  
Social Statistics (QRCO)  
Social Statistics (QRCO)  
 Credits13-16
Year Two
Fall
ED 2600 Learning and Development (WRCO) 4
SIDIScientific Inquiry Direction 3-4 3-4
GACOGlobal Awareness Connection 3-4
Electives 3-4
 Credits13-16
Spring
ED 2800 Inclusive Education and Technology (TECO) 4
Directions (choose from CTDI, PPDI, SIDI, SSDI) 6-8
GACOGlobal Awareness Connection 3-4
 Credits13-16
Year Three
Fall
ED 3000 Identity in a Diverse Society (DICO) 4
ED 3020 Competencies for Youth Development Professionals 4
INCPIntegrated Capstone 4
Electives 3-4
 Credits15-16
Spring
ED 3500 Project Based Learning and Design Thinking 4
ED 3550 Leadership and Advocacy 4
Electives 6-8
 Credits14-16
Year Four
Fall
ED 4330 Youth Development Internship 9
ED 4240 Youth Development Seminar 3
 Credits12
Spring
Electives 1 15-16
 Credits15-16
 Total Credits120