Mount Mercy University’s elementary education major is designed to support and challenge students as they begin their professional journey.
Past graduates have established themselves as successful teachers and professional leaders throughout Iowa and the United States. Mount Mercy graduates can be found in leadership positions, such as principals, curriculum coordinators, school counselors and reading specialists.
The cornerstone of the program is hands-on classroom experiences. A gradual progression of classroom responsibilities allows students to apply knowledge, refine skills, and build relationships with elementary students. A unique Professional Development School Model (PDS) engages students in hands-on teaching, guided by university faculty and experienced classroom teachers. PDS experiences can be tailored to areas of specialization, including reading clinic, special education, and early childhood.
All elementary education majors are assigned education faculty advisors upon entering Mount Mercy. Personalized advising will help meet goals, whether students start Mount Mercy or transferring from another institution.
Working Portfolio for Education Majors
Education students complete and organize their core assignments from education courses in the teacher education program using Live Text, an electronic assessment system used by the education program at Mount Mercy. At the end of their first course, An Invitation to Teaching, education students are shown how to hyperlink the assignments they have completed to-date into a working portfolio which remains open throughout their tenure at Mount Mercy. Students are encouraged to hyperlink assignments at the end of each term to facilitate screening submission required prior to student teaching.
Senior Education Portfolio
Students enrolled in Education Leadership Seminar while student teaching, are required to complete an electronic portfolio in Live Text. The senior education portfolio is modeled after the initial portfolio that beginning teachers must complete for standard licensure. It is based on the eight Iowa teaching standards and the 42 sub-goals under those standards. Student teachers collect artifacts from their experience as evidence of their work in each standard, and submit their portfolio for feedback and a grade. Student teachers may also share this portfolio with principals during their job search to help them land a great teaching career.
Mount Mercy’s Education Department enjoys an exciting partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University in England. Students from Mount Mercy may visit both Canterbury and London during spring break. While at CCCU students visit local schools in the K-12 system as well as sit in on university classes. During the time spent in London students enjoy sightseeing, theater, and museums. Students from CCCU visit the MMU campus for three-weeks during which they spend time in the Cedar Rapids Schools and attend classes at MMU. CCCU groups also visit Chicago for sightseeing and shopping.
The partnership between CCCU and MMU is growing as faculty will soon collaborate on course content with the possibility of Skyping, and will work together on research and professional presentations at international conferences.
Elementary education majors have an opportunity to join S-ISEA, a statewide education organization. Students involved in S-ISEA attend conferences and participate in the student program of the Iowa State Education Association. The group is also involved in service learning projects with area youth, hosts speakers and social events to help students and teachers network together.
To supplement your coursework and practical experience, Mount Mercy also offers an opportunity to receive free certification in Orton-Gillingham multisensory approach to reading instruction.