Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education

Combining contemporary best practices in teaching with mindfulness and wisdom traditions, the Elementary Education Major emphasizes the development of students’ capacities to teach with presence and compassion in order to meet the complex needs of today’s diverse classrooms. This major spans a broad scope of coursework including education, math, science, social studies and literature as well as personal contemplative practices, and is designed to position students to obtain K-6 elementary teacher licensure (applicable in public and private schools) as part of their major requirements.

Grounded in contemplative, as well as culturally and linguistically diverse pedagogies, the Elementary Education Major develops the skills required for creating compassionate, engaged, and effective learning environments while meeting the Teacher Quality Standards, the Colorado Academic Standards, and the Colorado Elementary Content Standards required by the Colorado Department of Education.

With careful degree planning, up to 12 credits of the major requirements can fulfill BA Core Curriculum Area Requirements.

Student Teaching and Field Placement/Practicum

Students perform a total of 800 hours of field placement/practicum and student teaching. Students should plan their schedules taking into account field placement requirements. Student teaching in a public or private elementary school is required in the last semester. Student teaching is a full-time job as pre-service candidates are the facilitator of learning in the classroom.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Endorsement

Naropa University’s delivery of this endorsement prepares students to teach in culturally and linguistically diverse public and private school environments with presence and compassion. The curriculum required by the Colorado Department of Education to fulfill the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Endorsement is contained in specialized courses and interwoven into courses across the program. Unlike many other Teacher Licensure Programs, upon completion of this course of study, students will have satisfied both the Teacher Licensure credentialing requirements and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Endorsement, through the Colorado Department of Education, increasing their marketability and cultural responsiveness.

Degree Requirements


Required Courses


Foundational Courses (9)

  • EDU150 Foundations of Education for a Diverse Society (3)
  • EDU220 Theories, Strategies, and Assessment for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students K-12 (3)
  • EDU245 Multicultural Education and Contemplative Critical Pedagogy (3) 

A formal Application for Continuance in the Teacher Licensure Program must be submitted after completing the Gateway courses.


Transformational Practices (15)

  • EDU330 Holistic Teaching Traditions (3) 
  • EDU370 Teaching the Exceptional Student in the General Education Classroom (3)
  • EDU375 Assessment for the Diverse Learner (3)
  • EDU385 Observing Childhood Growth & Development (3)
  • EDU425 Elementary Social Studies Methods (3)

Contemplative Study & Pratice (11)

  • EDU404 Maitri and Mudra Space Awareness (3)
  • TRA133 Yoga I (3)

Choose 3 credits

  • PAR100 Wisdom of the Body (3)
  • PAR230 Preparing the Voice: Breathing is Meaning (3)

Choose at least 2 credits

  • REL158W Breeze of Simplicity: Meditation Weekend (1) 
  • REL255W Opening the Heart: Meditation Weekend (1) 
  • REL390 Shambhala Training Level I: The Art of Being Human (1)
  • REL391 Shambhala Training Level II: Birth of the Warrior (1)
  • REL150 Buddhist Journey of Transformation: An Introduction (3)
  • REL160 Meditation Practicum I: Freeing the Mind (3)
  • REL210 Religion and Mystical Experience (3)
  • REL240 Foundations of Buddhism (3)
  • REL250 Spirituality and Creative Expression (3)
  • REL271 Christian Prayer and Mystical Practices (3)
  • REL314 Contemplative Islam: An Introduction to Its History, Thought, and Practice (3)
  • TRA100 Shambhala Meditation Practicum (3)

Language and Communication (12)

  • EDU340 Linguistics for CLD teachers (3)
  • EDU345 Elementary Literacy I: Foundations of Reading (3)
  • EDU355 Elementary Literacy II: Development of Oral and Written Language (3)
  • EDU445 Elementary Literacy III: Foundations of Literature (3)

Numeric Literacy (9)

  • EDU315 Math for Teachers: Content, Curriculum, and Mathematics Education (3)
  • Other mathematics credits needed (6) 
    Six credits of mathematics courses that address the following: Engages students in the concepts of school mathematics, including the recognition of numerical and geometric patterns and their application to a variety of mathematical situations; mathematical problem-solving, reasoning, critical thinking, and communication; algebraic thinking, representation, analysis, manipulation, generalizations and extensions, problem solving involving probability, elementary statistical concepts, congruence and similarity, the metric system, and motion geometry and tessellation.*  

Systems and Cycles (6)

  • EDU300 Nature and Education (3)
  • Other science credits needed (3) 
    Three credits of a science course that address the following: Examines the nature of energy and matter, their interactions and changes, and the application of fundamental concepts to the study of our natural world, integrating the fundamental concepts and ideas about the nature of physics and chemistry with the natural world.*

Artistic Process (3)

  • ART101 2-D Design: Art Techniques and Experimentation (3) 

Our Place in the World (9)

  • EDU348 US History of Immigration (3)
  • ENV100 Physical Geography: Beholding the Body of the Earth (3)
  • ENV253 Environmental Economics (3)

World Language (6)

  • Conversational Spanish I (3) 
    or equivalent*
  • Conversational Spanish II (3) 
     or equivalent*


Choose one of the Following

Students must satisfactorily complete all Gateway and Milestone courses prior to Student Teaching. In addition, students must pass the elementary PRAXIS exam (fees associated with the exam are the responsibility of the student).

State Licensure Track (13)

  • EDU475 Elementary Student Teaching (12) required for state licensure
  • EDU480 Student Teaching Seminar (1) required for state licensure


Non-State Licensure Track (6)

  • INTD380 Capstone I: Thesis Proposal Development (3)
  • INTD480 Capstone II: Integrative Thesis (3) 

State Licensure Track - Total Credits: 93
Non-State Licensure Track - Total Credits: 86

*May be satisfied through Advanced Placement (AP), the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), or transfer credit (through an individual consortium agreement if financial aid is needed). Contact your academic advisor for details.