Educator Preparation


Bluffton University offers a four-year path to master’s for future teachers

Bluffton University is now offering a path for qualified students interested in teaching to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in four years.

The 3+1 Educator Preparation Program allows early childhood education majors or intervention specialist majors to obtain their teaching licensure and complete their bachelor’s degree in three years. Following graduation, students will move seamlessly into Bluffton’s Master of Arts in Education program, which also provides a reading endorsement in their fourth and final year of study.

 “We’re so excited to offer this program,” said Dr. Gayle Trollinger, education department chair. “This is an opportunity for students to become qualified teachers in three years and teachers with additional credentials who are highly valued in a school system in four years.”

Interested students must meet certain requirements to be eligible for this accelerated program including a high school GPA of 3.4 and an ACT composite of 24 or SAT of 1110 (verbal and math). Students will need to take at least 18 credit hours most spring and fall semesters and will also need to take classes in the summer Incoming students who take classes through Ohio’s College Credit Plus program will be able to transfer many of those credits to Bluffton, potentially reducing the number of credits necessary per semester.

“Students want to know that a Bluffton education will prepare them for their future career. This program responds to both the College Credit Plus preparation they are getting in high school as well as the expert teaching and learning that is happening on Bluffton’s campus,” said Erin Ostling Burkholder, director of admissions. “This program combines those elements into a package that allows students to maximize their experiences and resources so that they are prepared for their future careers within a condensed time period and at a lower cost.”

Additional information including a four year course plan for each option is available at



Bluffton education major