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FAQs: Education Studies

The Education Studies major is designed for students who want to be elementary classroom teachers.  In just 4 years, students earn both a BA and Multiple Subject teaching credential. Throughout their time at Dominican University, students are actively engaged in working with students in elementary classrooms, learning to teach alongside master teachers in the community. Here are a few frequently asked questions about the Education Studies major.

Yes, the Educational Studies major was meticulously designed so students can earn both a BA and elementary school teaching credential in 4 years.

The Education Studies program is designed to be completed in 4 years and nearly all do so.  However, external circumstances may hinder this goal (e.g., failing a class, extended illness), however, professors and peers support students throughout the program.

Students begin their fieldwork in elementary schools during the first semester in the program. As soon as they submit the required state documentation (TB Test & Certificate of Clearance) they are placed in a partnership school.  Our Fieldwork Placement Coordinator arranges all classroom experiences, with input from faculty and students.

The average class size at Dominican University is 15 students.

On admittance to our program, each student is assigned an academic advisor who works with them throughout their time at Dominican University.  There is a strong connection between students and advisors at Dominican, as Advisors meet individually with students at least once per semester. Many times an advisor is also a faculty member teaching the courses students are taking.

Yes, students can study abroad in a variety of ways through semester abroad and summer global learning courses. All courses taken abroad through Dominican count towards graduation requirements.  You pay the same tuition and you can apply all of your financial aid to program costs. Courses are all taught in English, so you can participate as soon as you are ready. Dominican has a partnership with a university in Finland, the #1 country in the world for education.  Our students are welcomed there for an entire semester and are encouraged to work in schools in Finland, too. Students may also choose shorter experiences, such as taking a required class that is offered in a different country every summer for 18 days or a choice of Service-Learning experiences during spring break.

All students who completed their credential at Dominican during the past 3 years have successfully found employment as a teacher, if that was their desire. Dominican University’s teacher preparation program has a stellar reputation in the community and within California. Many return to their hometowns and get teaching positions quite readily.

The Education Studies major is designed so that students may earn their special education credential in one more semester after graduation.  Special education topics and courses are woven throughout the undergraduate teacher preparation program. During sophomore year, students may apply to the Education Specialist Master’s program.  If accepted, students may begin taking Education Specialist coursework as an undergraduate and complete preparation for the Education Specialist credential in one more semester as a graduate student.

Yes, as a matter of fact, students must work with students with special needs as a part of earning either a Multiple Subject and/or an Education Specialist credential.  Our students learn how to meet all students’ academic and social needs through working with experts in the field. Dominican has partnerships with a variety of schools and service institutions that meet the needs of students with special needs.

Yes, students work directly with elementary students whose first language is other than English.  Marin County has many Spanish-speaking families and our goal is to ensure that our students are prepared to teach all students when they graduate.  Students do not need to know how to speak another language as they learn how to teach students over time. You can also study abroad to improve your Spanish language skills. 

Yes, we enjoy partnerships with many schools that serve predominantly English learners. 

Dominican has had a successful and respected undergraduate teacher preparation program for over 30 years.  This past year, the chairperson and faculty worked together to update the content, curriculum, instructional strategies, and fieldwork experiences to better meet the needs of our students and prepare them for their future students. These changes were made in collaboration with classroom teachers, principals, alumni, and current students. Part of the change is a new name: Education Studies.  The new major integrates pedagogy and content knowledge and instructional technology in new and different ways, ways that match the way graduates will need to teach in their own classrooms of the future. Students will learn how to teach and reach all students beginning freshmen year. We will also intentionally model teaching strategies and assign projects that mirror what teachers are expected to do in the field.

  • San Rafael City School District
  • Novato Unified School District
  • San Francisco City School District

Contact the Admissions office for more information at enroll@dominican.edu. Apply now and start the application process.

All Education Studies students complete a professional website on  “Becoming a Teacher” over their 4 years here. This is a creative, critical analysis of a student’s path in becoming a teacher, ultimately, a showcase of students’ work, activities and reflections as a Dominican penguin that can be used during the job search process.

Students observe and participate in local elementary schools for at least 20 hours each semester and engage in weekly seminars that integrate theory and practice, subject matter knowledge and pedagogy. This means that from their first semester in the program, students are engaged in the content, theory, and practice of teaching and reaching all elementary school students.

Individual mentoring and advisement, peer mentors, and guided field experiences direct students toward successful completion of a 15-week student teaching placement at a public elementary school during the senior year. Thus, the program strives to provide intellectual tools, professional experiences, and reflective conversations that enable students to make a difference as teachers in a diverse world.

The registrar compares your college coursework to GE requirements and Education Studies courses and determines the number of units will be accepted, for a cap of 70 units.