About the Program


There are other programs that teach mindfulness, but Naropa University is the only school in the nation that bases its entire curriculum on mindful, contemplative education.

As a result, you will learn how to inform your teaching with contemplative methods, and transform your life with contemplative practice. 


  • Engage in rigorous academics that fulfill Colorado state standards for teacher licensure
  • Work in classrooms throughout the program starting in your very first course
  • Graduate with a professional licensure and a clear path to a rewarding career with immediate job prospects
  • Gain the skills, self-awareness, and resiliency needed in the classroom


  • Integrate the best practices of Western teaching and learn the wisdom and groundedness of Eastern traditions to prepare to for the complex needs of a diverse classroom
  • Deepen your cultural responsiveness by embracing the dynamics of difference
  • Explore holistic education traditions


  • Deepen your compassion through challenging, thoughtful practices
  • Relate on a deeper level
  • Develop a deep connection with faculty invested in your success and well-being

Unique Qualities

  • Obtain the content knowledge, teaching methodology and self-care skills teachers need to navigate the challenges of today’s classrooms
  • Qualify for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse endorsement along with teacher licensure 
  • Receive coaching and mentoring from master teachers in both contemplative and traditional teacher practices
Continuance Criteria for Naropa University Elementary Education Program

The Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education prepares students for Colorado state teacher licensure in Elementary Education for Colorado public and private schools. In addition, students qualify for the Culturally Linguistically Diverse endorsement along with their teacher licensure.

Teaching children of any age is the most important work we do. For this reason, the Contemplative Education Department, in accordance with the Colorado Department of Education, has set up the following guidelines for students entering the Elementary Education Program.

To continue in the Elementary Education program requires the following:

  1. Full admission to Naropa University
  2. Completion of the following courses with a grade of 3.0 or better including positive field work evaluations:
    1. EDU 150 Foundations of Education in a Diverse Society
    2. EDU 220 Theories, Strategies and Assessment for CLD students K-12
    3. EDU 245 Multicultural Education and Contemplative Critical Pedagogy
  3. Completed and passed background check
  4. Completed fingerprinting
  5. Adhered to the Practicum Code of Conduct

To be on track, students must meet with their advisor as well as the Teacher Preparation Committee to register the above information and be admitted officially into the teacher licensure program. The Department keeps student records on file until graduation. 

Important implications for Students

Teacher licensure is a professional authorization conferred upon a student at the successful completion of all course work laid out by the program. To gain a professional licensure students are required to:

  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA in all education courses
  • Perform a total of 800 hours of contact teaching time with students in public or private schools through field placement experience and student teaching.
  • Plan schedules taking into account field placement requirements. The number of hours varies with each course.
  • Participate in ongoing evaluation of Contemplative Dispositions, Quality Teacher Standards, (QTS), GPA, and field placement performance each semester with the Teacher Preparation Committee.
  • Pass the Praxis exam prior to Student Teaching

Student teaching in a public or private elementary school is the only course a student takes their last semester. The passage from student to teacher is a remarkable one. Student teaching is a full-time job as pre-service candidates are the sole facilitator of learning in the classroom. Candidates are supported both by Naropa faculty at the university and by the teacher at the placement school (cooperating teacher). 

Teacher Licensure with other Naropa degrees
It is possible to add teacher licensure to other BA degrees offered at Naropa. This requires a disciplined adherence to the curriculum outline and may involve an additional one or two semesters of coursework. For more information, please visit  Elementary Teacher Licensure



Transferring into Naropa’s BA Elementary Education or Teacher Licensure Program
Many students at Naropa are transfer students (about 70%).  This includes students from other 4 year universities and community colleges as well as those transferring in credits from AP, IB, CLEP and DANTES exams.  Naropa provides an unofficial transcript evaluation.  The BA Elementary Education program accepts up to 46 credits into the major.  Please see the Transfers (link) for more information.

Naropa accepts the transfer of many community college courses.  In particular, students who have taken elementary education courses or have an Associate in Arts degree in Elementary Education from any Colorado Community College can readily transfer up to 46 credits directly into Naropa’s BA Elementary Education major. The remaining 14 credits will transfer to meet general education requirements. 

Due to the inclusion of the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse endorsement, the BA Elementary Education program is a credit intensive degree.  There is very little flexibility in Naropa 60 credits.  The courses required at Naropa are infused with contemplative practices, mindfulness, social emotional learning and cultural awareness.  Following is the list of community college courses Naropa accepts into the BA ELEM program.

Course Number Course Title Credits
ENG 121 English Composition I 3
ENG 122 English Composition II 3
EDU 221 Introduction to Education 3
PSY 238 Child Development 3
MAT 155 Integrated Mathematics I 3
MAT 156 Integrated Mathematics II 3
SCI 155 Integrated Science I with Lab 4
POS 11 American Government 3
COM 115 Public Speaking 3
GEO 105 World Regional Geography 3
HIS 121 U.S. History to Reconstruction 3
ART 110 Art Appreciation 3
PED 143 Yoga I 3
LIT 255 Children’s literature 3
SPA101 Conversational Spanish 3
SPA111 Spanish Language I 3


  • About 70% of Naropa students are transfer students.
  • Up to 43 transfer credits can be applied toward BA Elementary Education major requirements.
  • Up to 60 semester credits total can transfer to Naropa. 
  • Naropa’s course trajectory is designed to align with community college transfers who took coursework in elementary education