Department of Education

Faculty: Catherine Beals, Karen Blacklock, Lynette Hill, Mary Jones, Paula Kellerer, Michael Poe, Duane Slemmer, LoriAnn Sanchez, Karen Smucker and Loredana Werth.

Mission: The mission of the Department of Education at Northwest Nazarene University is to be a Christ-centered unit that develops capable, compassionate educators who are determined and prepared to meet the educational needs of young people in a changing world. This mission drives our work in undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education programs.

Learning Objectives: Objectives for graduation from NNUís education programs are grounded in the Critical/Social conceptual framework. Objectives are clearly aligned with state standards and university outcomes.

  1. Citizenship/Democratic Society: Educators prepared at NNU play a critical role in promoting democratic values. They examine and challenge social inequities in schools and communities, facilitating equal voice and equal access for all students and parents.  They play an active role in responding to issues in education.  
  2. Liberal Arts/Continuing Learning: Educators prepared at NNU value learning and demonstrate a breadth of knowledge and an inquiry-based habit of mind.  They are lifelong learners who continually update their knowledge and skills.  They communicate effectively, question educational assumptions, and use educational research to stimulate reflection and inform practice.  
  3. Professional Knowledge and Skills: Educators prepared at NNU understand students' backgrounds and connect with them through meaningful relationships.  They are skilled in working with parents, responding to students with special needs, and using technology to enrich learning.  They apply theories, strategies, frameworks, and research to challenge, interest, accommodate, and assess a diverse student population. They demonstrate expertise in managing the classroom in a manner that stimulates learning and creates a safe, positive learning environment.  They use reflection and data to guide instruction.  
  4. Role of Schooling: Educators prepared at NNU are committed to the academic, social, and emotional growth of all students, with special attention to those who struggle.  They use their knowledge to make the best decisions for students, always keeping in mind that the needs of students come first.  They understand the historical and philosophical purposes of schools and legal and societal influences impacting youth and families. 

Learner-Centered Approach
Learner-centered teachers keep what is best for the student at the center of all that they do.  They have accepted the call to make a positive difference in the lives of students through teaching and building positive relationships with them.  Learner-centered teachers see their profession as not just a job, but a ministry that requires the full engagement of heart, mind, and soul.  Educators prepared at NNU are highly skilled in promoting student achievement and have a heart for students.  They are lifelong learners who work with other professionals to do whatever it takes to improve the quality of life for K-12 students.  They advocate for students and are ready to become change agents when needed.  They do whatever it takes to ensure academic success for all students.  

The Chair is the administrator of the Education Department. 

The teacher education program is accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The program is approved by the Idaho State Board of Education using Idaho standards.

Northwest Nazarene University is a member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges of Teacher Education.

It is to the advantage of transfer students to contact an NNU advisor in the education department even while attending another college or working on another degree so they can be assisted in selecting and sequencing coursework that will meet NNU requirements. This can minimize the chance of inadvertently extending the length of their program at NNU.

Application for admission to teacher education should be made during the semester when EDUC2960 (Field Experience) is taken. Decision factors include cumulative GPA, ACT/SAT/COMPASS scores, and disposition reports.  No person convicted of a felony will be admitted to the Teacher Education Program.

Requirements for admission:
The department, with the assistance of the Teacher Education Council, conducts interviews of candidates. Candidates who are not enrolled at NNU for two consecutive semesters need to reapply for admission to the Teacher Education Program when they return.

  1. Scholarship. A cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or above must have been earned in university work or a grade point average of 3.00 or higher earned in the most recent 32 semester credits. GPA is computed only on work taken at NNU.
  2. Dispositions for teaching. These values, commitments, and professional ethics are listed on the Professional Progress Report in the Teacher Education Handbook. They are demonstrated by candidates in courses, field experiences, and interviews.
  3. Satisfactory test performance. Minimum ACT scores of 21 on English and 21 on mathematics or minimum SAT scores of 520 on verbal and 550 on mathematics (or minimum COMPASS scores of 86 on English and 46 on mathematics) are required for admission. Assistance in studying for these tests is available in the Academic Support Center.
  4. Residence. One semester in residence at NNU must precede admission to the program.

Prerequisites for admission to the reading courses and secondary methods courses are admission to the Education Program, maintaining a 2.75 or better cumulative GPA, and satisfactory ratings on dispositions for teaching.

Admission to secondary student teaching (EDUC4860 or EDUC4870) occurs after completion of EDUC3510, Teaching Methods in Secondary Classrooms, and content specific methods courses. Criteria for admission include:

  1. Maintaining a 2.75 or better cumulative GPA
  2. Passing state required test of content (PRAXIS II test).
  3. Demonstrating ability in planning, instruction, assessment, and student management and motivation during methods practicum, and,
  4. Satisfactory ratings on dispositions for teaching.

Elementary education majors experience a full-year internship in a local elementary partnership school. This internship consists of university coursework integrated with K- 6 classroom experience. Courses in the internship year include 4440, 4450, 4460, 4540, 4550, and 4810. 

Admission to the internship year occurs at the end of the semester in which Content Literacy in Elementary Classrooms (EDUC3260) and Fundamentals of Reading (EDUC3250) are taken. Criteria for admission include:

  1. Maintaining a 2.75 or better cumulative GPA
  2. Passing state required test of content (PRAXIS II test).
  3. Demonstrating ability in planning, instruction, assessment, and student management and motivation, and
  4. Satisfactory ratings on dispositions for teaching.

Candidates must have successfully completed all requirements for student teaching or internship with a grade of A or B, passed all State required exams, and been recommended by the Teacher Education Council for certification. 


Bachelor of Arts, Elementary Education

English/Language Arts Middle School Content Area

Math Middle School Content Area

Science Middle School Content Area

Social Studies Middle School Content Area

Bachelor of Arts, Special Education

Bachelor of Arts, Secondary Education

American Government/Political Science Second Teaching Field Emphasis

Art Teaching Area Emphasis

Art Second Teaching Field Emphasis

Biology Teaching Area Emphasis

Biology First Teaching Field Emphasis

Biology Second Teaching Field Emphasis

Chemistry Teaching Area Emphasis

Chemistry First Teaching Field Emphasis

Chemistry Second Teaching Field Emphasis

Communication Second Teaching Field Emphasis

Economics Second Teaching Field Emphasis

English Teaching Area Emphasis

English First Teaching Field Emphasis

English Second Teaching Field Emphasis

Health Second Teaching Field Emphasis

History First Teaching Field Emphasis

History Second Teaching Field Emphasis

Kinesiology Teaching Area Emphasis

Kinesiology First Teaching Field Emphasis

Kinesiology Second Teaching Field Emphasis

Mathematics Teaching Area Emphasis

Mathematics First Teaching Field Emphasis

Mathematics Second Teaching Field Emphasis

Music Teaching Area Emphasis

Music Second Teaching Field Emphasis

Physics Second Teaching Field Emphasis

Psychology Second Teaching Field Emphasis

Spanish Teaching Area Emphasis

Spanish First Teaching Field Emphasis

Spanish Second Teaching Field Emphasis