Curriculum & Instruction
Teaching is a passion, a calling. And, for University of Northern Iowa, a legacy.
If you’re interested in leading and guiding early childhood education, elementary education or pairing your teaching major with middle level education, no other department prepares as many future teachers for Iowa as UNI’s Curriculum & Instruction (C&I).
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.
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.
A Literacy Champion
More than 250 students choose the literacy education minor, making it the #1 minor at UNI.
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 very own Child Development Center directed by Curriculum and Instruction's Allison Pattee. Prepare to make a lasting impact within this growing career path.
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 bring to life an understanding of social-emotional learning, the importance of arts integration, the essential skills for teaching and managing in today’s inclusive classrooms.
And with options like a professional development school setting, online 2+2 options including an accelerated program for paraeducators, and minors galore, you’re well on your way.
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 — is that extra emphasis that school districts are looking for. Add a concentration in two subject areas and you’re prepared for a great future.
“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.”
Get Ready to Be Immersed
Experience is the name of the game, with more than 750 hours in the field before you’ve completed your degree. From your first year through student teaching, you engage with students in multiple settings with increasing responsibility. As an elementary education major, you can go a step further with a semester-long immersion through our professional development school partnership.
Experts. Leaders. Mentors.
In curriculum and instruction, we have our very own "science guy." Known for kicking off the semester with a rocket launch exercise, the 2012 winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching now shares his passion for education to both current and future UNI teacher education students.Meet Mason Kuhn
Different Roads to A Degree
One student at a time, Teach Waterloo is increasing diversity in the elementary education workforce in partnership with the Waterloo Community School District, the Waterloo Schools Foundation, John Deere Waterloo Operations and the McElroy Charitable Trust. By continuing to streamline and refine a program that works for our students and our partners, we’re all working together to provide a pathway for WCSD paraeducators and other specialists to achieve their dreams. .
The 2+2 program provides a flexible, coordinated path to earn your associate's degree and then complete your bachelor's degree online. Offered for more than 25 years by UNI Online and Distance Education, the college and Des Moines Area Community College, the program now accepts students annually from Iowa community colleges. The new Purple Pathway for Paraeducators beginning fall 2022 is a fully online, accelerated pathway specifically designed for employed paraeducators.