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NNU’s education program has been ranked #1 in Idaho, is one of the very best in the Northwest and is rated in the top 20 in the nation.


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Catherine Schamber, Julie Howard, Jackie Schober, and Cindy Williams
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College of Education

NNU’s education program has been ranked #1 in Idaho, is one of the very best in the Northwest and is rated in the top 20 in the nation. Both our undergraduate and graduate programs regularly receive national and regional awards and recognition for outstanding teacher preparation, as a best value education program, and for being a college of distinction. We offer undergraduate degrees in elementary or secondary education and masters, educational specialist and doctoral degrees in Curriculum, Instruction & Innovation and Educational Leadership (both with different emphases options).
Graduate Education, in particular, is NNU's oldest graduate program, having continuous state and additional national accreditation for over 50 years. As programs designed for working professionals, NNU has a variety of Masters, Education Specialist, and Doctoral programs which are fully online. Many graduate programs result in Idaho Principal, Director of Special Education, or Superintendent certifications. Additionally, NNU's only doctoral programs are a vital part of the cadre of offerings in Graduate Education. Alumni of Graduate Education leave NNU called to serve, open to change, responsive to all, and empowered to succeed.


The mission of Northwest Nazarene University's College of Education (COE) is to be Christ-centered in our preparation of leaders and educators as people who are called to serve, open to change, responsive to all, and empowered to succeed throughout the global community.

Program Objectives

Program objectives are clearly aligned with state standards, university outcomes, and the conceptual framework. Candidates completing NNU's undergraduate education programs have a solid grasp of knowledge, skills, and dispositions in the following four domains of teaching (Danielson, 2007):

Planning and Preparation

  • Demonstrating knowledge of content and pedagogy
  • Demonstrating knowledge of students
  • Selecting instructional goals
  • Demonstrating knowledge of resources
  • Designing coherent instruction
  • Assessing student learning

Classroom Environment

  • Creating an environment of respect and rapport
  • Establishing a culture for learning
  • Managing classroom procedures
  • Managing student behavior
  • Organizing physical space


  • Communicating clearly and accurately
  • Using questioning and discussion techniques
  • Engaging students in learning
  • Providing feedback to students
  • Demonstrating flexibility and responsiveness


Professional Responsibilities

  • Reflecting on teaching
  • Maintaining accurate records
  • Communicating with families
  • Contributing to school and district
  • Growing and developing professionally
  • Showing professionalism

Conceptual Framework

Learner Centered Core
The following themes form the conceptual framework for NNU’s Education program and are embraced and modeled within the content of our courses.
Called to Serve
Educators prepared at Northwest Nazarene University view their profession as not just a job but rather as a ministry that requires the full engagement of heart, mind, and soul. They have accepted the call to transform the lives of students through teaching, leading, mentoring, and relationship building. They keep what is best for the student at the center of all they do. (Service)
Open to Change
Educators prepared at Northwest Nazarene University value learning and demonstrate a breadth of knowledge and an inquiry-based habit of mind. As lifelong learners, they continually update their knowledge and skills--innovating with the latest technology and seeking ways to improve education. They question educational assumptions and use current research to stimulate reflection and to inform practice. (Transformation)
Responsive to All
Educators prepared at Northwest Nazarene University are committed to the academic, social, and emotional growth of all students with focused attention on those with diverse needs. They believe that all students can learn. They understand students’ backgrounds and make connections through meaningful relationships and community building. Educators prepared at NNU play critical roles 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 understand the historical and philosophical purposes of schools and the legal and societal influences impacting youth and families. (Community)
Empowered to Succeed
Educators prepared at Northwest Nazarene University are highly skilled in promoting student achievement, using data to guide practice and incorporating technology to enrich learning. Adept at working with parents and responding to students, they apply theories, strategies, frameworks, and research to challenge, to interest, to accommodate, and to assess a diverse student population. Educators prepared at NNU demonstrate management expertise that stimulates growth and creates a safe and positive learning environment. They are recognized as experts in their fields. (Truth)



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Northwest Nazarene University's education programs have maintained continuous accreditation through the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1967. Learn more.

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