First-year field experience

Confirm your calling

“We get them in the schools early and provide them with support and mentorship. We prepare students to become highly effective teachers and they get jobs.”

Education department

If you are interested in becoming a teacher, you probably want to make a difference in the world. Our nationally-accredited program, supportive professors and experience in a classroom during your very first semester allows you to do just that.

Learn more about Bluffton’s program from faculty and students.

Through Bluffton's Educator Preparation Programs, you will be prepared to create communities of learning and respect in your classroom. Bluffton graduates are among the best qualified in the nation, as reflected in student rankings on the Ohio Educator Preparation Performance Report and in the reputation our graduates enjoy once they enter the teaching profession.


Education majors and minors 

Licensure programs
(reviewed and approved by the Ohio Department of Higher Education and included in the CAEP Accreditation Review)


Specialized program




PRimary p-5

The Primary P-5 license prepares you to teach both typically developing children as well as children with mild-moderate disabilities, with a particular focus on teaching reading to children in pre-kindergarten through grade 5.

Education Degree-Makayla Noble '19

Early childhood education major Makayla Noble ’19 found meaningful community on campus through her involvement in Bluffton Education Organization (BEO).

"I just felt God was calling me to be that person that cares and helps lead kids.”  Makayla's story >

Education Degree-Teacher preparation classroom

More about Primary P-5

Complete a bachelors with an elementary education major and a Masters of Arts in Education with reading endorsement in just four years through Bluffton's 3+1 program.


Middle childhood education

A license for teaching in the middle grades (4-9) can be achieved by completing a middle childhood education major. 

Education Degree-Student teaching

Nathan Otto ’18, a middle childhood education graduate, spent a semester exploring the urban educational setting while completing his student teaching in Chicago. 

“I knew this was an opportunity I might not have again, and I wanted to get out of the area and experience something totally new.”
Nathan's story >

Middle childhood education majors must select at least two areas of concentration:
You may earn a middle childhood generalist endorsement by completing additional coursework
  >>> middle childhood education occupational outlook

Explore the courses required for a
Major in middle childhood education
Middle childhood generalist endorsement

Four-year plan
Complete the middle childhood education major in four years, for students beginning fall 2019 and after.


Adolescent/Young Adult (AYA)

Ages 12-21, Grades 7-12

At Bluffton, you may choose a licensure program in one of three academic areas - language arts, mathematics and social studies - to teach in grades 7-12. 

Education Degree-Jarod Siekman

After studying abroad in Guatemala for a semester, Jarod Siekman returned to Bluffton with a new understanding of numbers that crossed cultures and opened up ideas about mathematical concepts.

“I think there’s a lot of cool math ideas that you can teach students even if it doesn’t really apply to the curriculum. Even if it’s just to get them more excited and interested in math.” 
Jarod’s story >

An AYA teaching license requires completing a major in a content area, licensure requirements for that area and professional education courses. The areas in which an adolescent/young adult license may be earned at Bluffton include:



Ages 3-21, Grades Pre-k - 12

Students may choose a teaching licensure program in specific areas, which permits teaching across a broader age range in either music or visual arts.

Multi-age licensure programs are offered in:
   Music education major   
   Visual arts major with multi-age licensure 

education degree-Robert McMullen

The connection with the professors in the education department and the “comforting” feeling he got on his visit to campus drew him to Bluffton as a first-year student.

“It’s one of the best education departments in Ohio, and coming into the program, I knew they were going to help me achieve what I wanted to achieve,” McMullen-Ruppert said.

Robert's Story>

Explore courses for
   Music education major
   Visual arts with multi-age licensure

Four-year plans
Follow a guideline for course selection to complete your degree in four years, for students beginning fall 2019 and after.


Intervention specialist

Mild to moderate needs 
Ages 5-21, Grades K-12
(Initial and advanced programs)

education degree-Leslie Beasley

While nothing can “truly prepare” you for the transition into an actual classroom, there are lessons that stick out.

There are numerous times when I hear Mr. Byers’s voice in the back of my head about how to approach certain situations. His teaching has helped me with real-life application.”
Leslie’s story >

The intervention specialist major provides preparation to teach children with mild/moderate needs, including those with learning disabilities, developmental disabilities and emotional/behavioral disabilities, with emphasis on inclusive practice.  
>>>occupational outlook for special education teachers

A special education minor is offered for students who are interested in working with people with disabilities whether in their major field or as a service. 

Complete a bachelors for intervention specialist and a Masters of Arts in Education with reading endorsement in just four years through Bluffton's 3+1 program.

Explore courses for a:
   Major in intervention specialist 
   Minor in special education

Three and four year plans
Follow these guidelines to complete your degree in either three or four years, for students beginning fall 2019 and after.



Child development

education degree-Amryn Dover '21

Amryn Dover ’21 knew from an early age she wanted to work with kids. Dover’s ultimate dream is to open a facility that brings together neurotypical children with children on the Autism spectrum.

“Being the oldest child, I watched my siblings grow. It really influenced me to pursue this major. I always loved helping them learn new things.”
>>> Amryn's story

The child development major provides opportunities to study young children in a variety of settings. Coursework includes developmental curriculum, preschool classrooms and nutrition and opportunities to gain experience in various infant/toddler/early childhood environments.

Students also gain knowledge about working with young children outside the traditional classroom setting, such as day care, Head Start and other child development centers.

While the major does not lead to licensure, one possibility would be to add a minor in business administration to learn to manage a small business.  
>>>occupational outlook for preschool and childcare center directors

Explore the courses required for a
   Major in child development

Four year plan
Complete the child development major in four years by following these guildlines, for students beginning fall 2019 and after.


Students with majors outside the education department may minor in education studies or special education.

The education studies minor fulfills requirements for the first step of the Alternative Pathway to Licensure for Bluffton students interested in teaching a high school subject other than history, English, mathematics, visual arts, music or as an intervention specialist.

Education Degree-Ethan Zaerr

As Bluffton doesn’t offer a direct licensure to become a science teacher. Ethan Zaerr is instead taking part in Ohio’s alternative licensure program that allows him to major in his field and become endorsed to pursue a teaching career.

“I’ve been really supported at Bluffton, considering that there’s not really a chemistry and physics education licensure here.”
Ethan's story >

Courses in the education studies minor fulfill requirements for the Alternate Pathway to Licensure Intensive Pedagogical Program.

With completion this program, a person may teach for four years while working toward professional teaching licensure. 

Students who plan to work in settings where there are educational opportunities (e.g. training, tutoring, program development, religious education, etc.) may also benefit from an education studies minor.
>>> course requirements

For students who are interested in working with people with disabilities whether in their major field or as a service. 
>>> course requirements

To contact the education department:
Phone:  419-358-3331
Fax:  419-358-3074

Find your greater purpose


Current education students

Apply for admission to the educator preparation program

2021-22 Educator preparation handbook

2021-22 Student teaching handbook


Education Degree takes on zoom

Master of Arts in Education

Bluffton's graduate program in education provides an affordable and accessible online experience. 

Accredited by CAEP


Education Colleges of Distinction