Elementary Education Comprehensive Major: Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education Emphasis

Program Requirements

The Elementary Education Major prepares students to be inspiring, self-aware, and effective K-6 educators. It is aligned to the Colorado P-12 Academic Standards of 2020, the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Professional Development Standards for all educators, the revised Teacher Quality Standards, and current educational policy and best practices. The depth and breadth of the Elementary Education Major curriculum is designed to prepare students to teach in Colorado standards-based classrooms in rural and urban communities through the development of content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and knowledge of current challenges in the teaching profession, as well as opportunities to explore and develop content knowledge in relevant disciplines.

In addition to a Colorado Initial Elementary Education License, students completing the Elementary Education Major may be eligible to earn an added endorsement in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Education, dependent on the residents’ teaching placement. All CLD endorsement standard requirements are met in the Education Core coursework and the successful completion of at least one semester of EDUC 459 Elementary Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Student Teaching. This student teaching course requires students to complete a minimum of 135 hours of instruction with English Language Learning students. In cases where the K-6 residency placement precludes meeting the 135-hour minimum, a candidate would graduate with a BA in Elementary Education with an emphasis, but not the endorsement, in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education, and be eligible to apply for initial Elementary licensure.

Finally, students will have the opportunity to engage in courses in a discipline or area of emphasis of their choice. Students will be able either to minor in one of the minors currently offered in other programs at Western, or to choose one of the following Areas of Emphasis: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity, Global Citizenship, or Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). Most minors and the additional areas of emphasis enable students to seek licensure in Secondary/K12 areas of endorsement by providing students with the ability to take the required 24 credits to meet the content requirements of the Secondary and K-12 licensure areas. This is particularly advantageous for teachers who work in K-8 settings.

The Elementary Education Major requires students to complete all requirements of the Licensure Program, including 40 credits of Education (EDUC) coursework. The major also requires students to complete 40 credits of interdisciplinary content coursework.

Elementary Education Content Core
MATH 113Statistical Thinking (GT-MA1)3
MATH 209Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers I3
MATH 210Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers II3
SCI 110Habitable Planet (with laboratory)4
SCI 111Nature of Science1
SCI 120Living Planet (with laboratory)4
SCI 210Dynamic Planet (with laboratory)4
Two of the following:6
Introduction to Literature
Introduction to Creative Writing
Grammar and the English Language
Critical Approaches to Literature
Literature and Ethnicity: Studies in:
Poetry: Studies in:
Women Writers
Children's Literature
Four of the following (courses must include at least 3 disciplines):12
Environmental Economics
Introduction to Human Geography (GT-SS2)
Geography of North America (GT-SS2)
Geography of Latin America and the Caribbean
World History to 1500 (GT-HI1)
World History Since 1500 (GT-HI1)
U.S. History to 1865 (GT-HI1)
U.S. History Since 1865 (GT-HI1)
Historical Inquiry
Introduction to Latin American History (GT-HI1)
Colorado History
History of the Hispanic Southwest
Introduction to Political Ideas
Introduction to American Politics
Politics of the Environment
Total Credits40


The Elementary Education Major requires students to take at least 18 credits in a specialized area of interest. The student may choose one of the following options:

Option 1 is to minor in any minor offered at Western Colorado University

Option 2 is to complete at least 18 credits in one of the Areas of Emphasis below:

Emphasis in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity
Select six of the following:18
Women Artists
Native American Art of North America
Borderlands: Representing Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality
Women and Literature
Literature and Ethnicity: Studies in:
Women Writers
Geography of Latin America and the Caribbean
A History of Africa (GT-HI1)
History of East Asia
Introduction to Latin American History (GT-HI1)
History of the Hispanic Southwest
Environmental History of the Borderlands
Politics of Social Movements
Human Rights
American Political Thought
Introduction to Sociology
Social Problems
Social Movements
Social Inequalities
Total Credits18
Emphasis in Global Citizenship
Select six of the following:18
Introduction to General Anthropology (GT-SS3)
Cultural Anthropology (with laboratory)
Introduction to Mass Media
Dramatic Literature and Script Analysis
Public Relations Communication
Advanced Cinema Studies
International Economics and Globalization
Global Literatures: Studies in:
Introduction to Environment and Sustainability (GT-SS2)
U.S. and Western Environmental Politics
Watersheds of the World
World Regional Geography (GT-SS2)
Introduction to Human Geography (GT-SS2)
Geography of Latin America and the Caribbean
Total Credits18
Emphasis in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM)
Select six of the following:18
Foundation Drawing I
Foundation Design: Two-Dimensional
Foundation Design: Three-Dimensional
Environmental Biology
Introduction to Film
Introduction to Theatre
Fundamentals of Acting
Introduction to Production and Theory
Multimedia Communication
Media Production: Documentary
Computer Science I
EDUC 492
Introduction to Engineering Design
Applied Linear Algebra
A 300-level MATH course
Introductory Astronomy
Energy and the Environment
Total Credits18

For final year of Licensure coursework, please see the Elementary Licensure page.

Graduation Requirements

Undergraduate programs require a minimum of 120 semester credits for graduation.  Of those 120 credits, 40 credits must be in upper-division courses (those marked 300 and above).  Fifteen of these 40 upper-division credits must be earned in courses that are part of the standard or comprehensive major program being pursued. 

Students are expected to review all graduation requirements, which can be found in the Western Undergraduate Catalog: Graduation Requirements