Your legacy starts here

Teaching is a passion, a calling. And, for University of Northern Iowa, a legacy. 

Interested in teaching and guiding young children or elementary students or specializing in grades 5-8? Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) at UNI has the expertise you seek. No other department in Iowa prepares more future teachers for the state and beyond. 

Here you build the foundation to become both a caring and professional educator. You will link theory with culturally sustaining practices. You’ll learn from professors with recent classroom experience and a vision for the future of education. You'll become a world class educator. A UNI teacher.

And with robust online offerings in graduate education -- including emphases in literacy education, learning and instructional technologies and school library studies -- this department is more-than-ready to guide and mentor you toward achieving your goals. 

1 in 10

Leading UNI Major 

Elementary education is the leading major at UNI. 


Iowa's Teacher Librarians  

More than half of Iowa's teacher librarians received their preparation at UNI. 

#1 Choice

A Literacy Champion  

More than 250 students choose the literacy education minor, making it the #1 minor at UNI. 

Undergraduate Programs

An early start to learning

Prepare to teach young children from birth to third grade in both general and special education. Learn from faculty who focus on everything from STEM learning in infants to social emotional development and inclusivity in learning and teaching. 

Learn in settings like our on campus Child Development Center. Prepare to make a lasting impact within this growing career path.

Student with child at child development center

Iowa's largest elementary education undergrad program

It’s true: this is the leading major at UNI with about 1 in 10 (or more) students studying elementary education.  Our faculty help you build an understanding of social-emotional learning and develop the essential skills for teaching and managing today's inclusive classrooms.

And with options like a professional development school setting, online programs including an accelerated path for paraeducators, and minors galore, you’re well on your way. 

Mari H at elementary student teaching

Gaining focus 'in the middle' 

Some say middle level education is the toughest (others disagree!). But as one of the oldest teacher education programs focused on young adolescents, we know middle level education.

This dual major option — paired with elementary education or a secondary education teaching major — provides the expertise that school districts are looking for. Add a concentration in two subject areas and you’re prepared for a great future. 

Middle level student teaching

The first grade student I tutored at a local school drew a picture of us reading a book together and wrote, 'Thanks for being such a good reading buddy.' That picture hangs above my desk to remind me of why I want to be a teacher.

Different Roads to A Degree


Pathways for Paraeducators

Earn your elementary teaching BA degree while working in the classroom. The new Purple Pathway for Paraeducators is a fully online, accelerated pathway specifically designed for paraeducators who are currently employed in Iowa elementary schools.  The Purple Pathway is affiliated with school district paraeducator programs such as Teach Waterloo.

Purple Pathway for Paraeducators

2+2 Elementary Education

Earn an elementary education BA degree without moving to campus.  Take all your courses online except for field experiences and student teaching, which you can complete in a school near you.  This program is designed for Iowans who have or are finishing an AA, AS, or BA degree, but anyone who wants to earn an Iowa elementary teaching license can apply.

2+2 Elementary Education