decorative triad

Early and Middle Grades Education

The Department of Early and Middle Grades Education offers undergraduate and post-baccalaureate programs for those who wish to be certified to teach children from pre-kindergarten through grade eight. The Department also offers two programs leading to a master's degree-the M.Ed. in Applied Studies in Teaching and Learning and the M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education. The Department offers a graduate level certificate and endorsement in Teacher Leadership. We are proud of our programs, our faculty, and our students who exit our undergraduate and graduate programs prepared for success as teachers and teacher leaders in various education contexts. We invite you to explore our programs and opportunities for our students.

Program Overview Spotlight

Program Overview

Undergraduate students who are interested in becoming teachers of PK-grade four major in Early Grades Preparation (EGP). Students who are interested in teaching grades four through eight major in Middle Grades Preparation (MGP). Our EGP and MGP students have a variety of field experiences in different grade levels and settings throughout their four-year program. In addition, students can opt to participate in our Urban Teacher Track, our Community Immersive Semester in Education (CISE), our yearlong program, or our Professional Development School (PDS) student teaching intern program. Our EGP majors could opt to apply for one of our five year accelerated Bachelor to Master’s programs in either Literacy or TESOL.


We, the faculty in the Department of Early and Middle Grades Education, support the preparation and professional development of pre– and in–service teachers.

We are dedicated to improving educational practice, advancing educational knowledge, and supporting the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that characterize educators who are passionate in their commitment to improving the life chances of children, adolescents, and their families.

We believe that quality learning experiences are active, collaborative, constructive, and continuous processes that are responsive to context, accessible and valuable to all learners, and contribute to the development of informed citizens.


The Department of Early and Middle Grades Education offers undergraduate, post baccalaureate, and master's degree programs with the following outcomes:


Department Chair
Dr. Karen Johnson

Assistant Chair &
Undergraduate Program Coordinator
Dr. Sara Lamb Kistler

Coordinator, M.Ed. in Applied
Studies in Teaching and Learning
 Dr. Heather Leaman

Coordinator, M.Ed. in
Early Childhood Education
 Dr. Jade Burris

Graduate Coordinator,
Post–Baccalaureate Certification
Programs PK-4 & 4-8
Dr. Laura Fiorenza

Field Experiences Coordinator
 Dr. Tina Selvaggi

Coordinator, Graduate Certificate
& Endorsement in
Teacher Leadership
Dr. Heather Leaman





decorative triad