what alumni say
- Teacher education grad Steven Rittenhouse says EMU’s emphasis on caring helped shape his attitude as a teacher. Steven’s now in his second year of teaching!
a caring community
EMU teacher education faculty and staff are at the core of a community of teachers eager to be mentors and help you succeed in your vocation and in your life.
Education Program Key Elements
EMU prepares Christian teachers to teach in public schools. Our education professors aren’t interested in just “filling the seats” like at a larger university. Here, professors work side-by-side with students who feel the call to teach.
Two key characteristics of our teacher education program are: sending future teachers into classrooms early, and reflective practice, which is woven into all education courses at EMU.
The basics of teacher education
EMU education professors encourage reflective teaching through both the curriculum and philosophy of our university. A lot of EMU teaching is researched based. They receive the information and take it out into the field and apply it and adapt it where necessary.
Professors are with you throughout the whole process. They become mentors for you; they are your advisers, professors, and supervisors. You build really close relationships with them. They go out into the field with you, observe you and give helpful feed back to you. If teaching is your calling, your professors are dedicated to helping you succeed.
Student-teaching and learning in the field
At many colleges students don’t begin to be in the field until their third year. At EMU, education students are in local classrooms, observing and learning, by their fifth week of classes. One benefit of observing and teaching in classrooms near our campus is the large diversity of backgrounds. Harrisonburg and the surrounding area offer a rich variety of diversity including cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic. Check out some recent photos of EMU student teachers in local classrooms learning their vocation.
EMU also has a lab school: the Early Learning Center. Every PreK-3 licensure student goes through the program and interacts with 2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds to gain some really great experience.
Highest accreditation standards in the nation
Our program carries the highest accreditation standards in the nation: NCATE. EMU is one of only five private colleges in Virginia to be NCATE-certified. Why this is important? Employers recognize this high level of certification and know that graduates of NCATE-certified colleges come from a highly qualified and quality program.
In 2006 EMU teacher placement rate was 100% and in recent years has never dropped below 95%. Our office always receives phone calls from local school systems asking about graduates available for employment. EMU teachers are highly sought after from graduation and sometimes even before.
If you start at EMU, you can graduate in four years. Some state universities have five-year programs and graduate with a masters degree. However, EMU encourages acquiring an undergraduate first, enabling graduates to get out into the work force, gain experience, and then put your employer’s tuition-reimbursement plans to use so you don’t have to pay out of pocket for your graduate degree.