Leaders in teacher education

The Department of Curriculum & Instruction (C&I) oversees six divisions that are the backbone of undergraduate and graduate teacher education for the College of Education. 

  • Early childhood education
  • Elementary education
  • Middle level education
  • Learning technologies
  • Literacy education
  • School library studies

A variety of minors are  also offered--including a new minor in social emotional learning. In addition, we coordinate an intensive study area in curriculum and instruction, part of the Doctor of Education (EdD) program. 


Student with a small child.


Early Childhood Education

As society increasingly recognizes the value of early childhood education, C&I maintains a commitment which began more than a century ago to educate teachers of young children. We prepare teachers serving needs of all children, including special learning needs and diverse linguistic backgrounds. At the graduate level, you’ll grow as a leader in your knowledge base of theory of practice, leadership and scholarship.

Coordinator: Robin Dada

‌Early Childhood Education BA

‌Early Childhood Education Minor

‌Early Childhood Education MAE

Student with a small child.


Elementary Education

Among the thousands of UNI teaching graduates in classrooms across Iowa and beyond, the majority were elementary education majors. They chose UNI for the same reasons you will: a tradition of quality, faculty intent on helping you learn the how and why of teaching, a richness of field experience and access to high demand minors that add to your career readiness. As a graduate student, you'll find a program considered among the best in online delivery as you strengthen your understanding of curriculum issues and trends.

Coordinator: Mason Kuhn

‌Elementary Education BA

‌Social Emotional Learning Minor

‌Elementary Education MAE

Student and a small child reading notes.


Middle Level Education

As the only higher education institute in Iowa offering a dual major with middle level education, UNI has led the way in preparing nearly 2,000 teachers since 1938 to specifically teach young adolescents in grades 5-8. Our focus gives you the coursework to qualify for a middle school endorsement-only option and adds to your skill base in a minimum of two areas among math, science, social studies or language arts. Paired with an elementary, secondary or K-12 teaching degree, you’ll have the additional expertise that school districts value. 

Coordinator: Carolyn Weber

‌Middle Level Education BA Dual Major

Student with small children teaching.


Learning Technologies & Instructional Design

Learning technologies let you explore current and emerging technologies, preparing you to be technology savvy and proficient in and out of the classroom. Faculty promote digital citizenship, multicultural and ethical behavior and challenge you to think beyond the status quo. (NOTE: Program currently undergoing curricular transition, not accepting applications.)

Coordinator: Leigh Zeitz


Student instructor with a small child.


Literacy Education

Literacy education is a C&I strength — beginning at the undergrad level where faculty with years of K-12 teaching experience guide students through UNI's leading minor. Students gain additional expertise in teaching reading, writing, listening and speaking through additional field experiences such as the Literacy Clinic. Further develop your expertise in literacy education through leadership and classroom experience in the MAE program, part of the master’s in education and online programming recognized by U.S. News & World Report as among the best. 

Coordinator: Sohyun Meacham

‌Literacy Education Minor

‌Literacy Education MAE

Student taking notes.


School Library Studies

C&I’s largest graduate program prepares teacher librarians. This program can lead to Iowa teacher librarian endorsements and an MA degree in school library studies, positioning you for career growth while meeting a need in districts statewide. This online, cohort-based program is designed for your convenience as most students are full-time teachers. It generally takes two years, depending on your pace. All courses integrate literacy and technology skills, preparing you to lead school-wide learning and gain your K-12, K-8 or 5-12 teacher librarian endorsement. 

Coordinator: Joan Bessman Taylor

‌School Library Studies MA