Educational Studies Early Childhood
The educational studies department at the College has two main goals: to promote the study of educational processes, institutions and thought; and to prepare highly qualified teachers for elementary and secondary classrooms. Courses and programs examine education as an essential and complex social process that occurs in formal and informal teaching-learning situations. While the department is dedicated to the preparation of effective teachers, we invite and encourage other students to take courses to develop greater understanding of educational issues and concerns.
Teacher education programs approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction prepare students for licensure at the early childhood/middle childhood level (grades PK through 5), the middle childhood/early adolescence level (grades 1 through 8), and the early adolescence/adolescence level (grades 6 through 12). The educational studies department also offers PK-12 certification programs in art, foreign language (French and Spanish), music, physical education, physical education and health, and theatre (pending program approval).
You can learn more in the Teacher Education Handbook
- Ripon College helps recognize state teachers, including A.J. Zayia ’15
- Ripon’s welcoming atmosphere helped overcome learning disability for Olivia Wetzel ’13
- Sports management offering opened doors for Hannah Herzog ’15
- Matthew Knoester receives Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship to travel to India
- Publications by Associate Professor of Educational Studies Matt Knoester receive awards
Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.
As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. Staff in the Office of Constituent Engagement and Career Services help to match your interests to concrete goals and construct a plan for success, offering support through three stages of career development – planning, exploration and search. Student Support Services provides tutoring and additional academic and skill development, as well as tools to help with note-taking, exam preparation, goal-setting and time management. Mentors in the Collaborative Learning Center provide in-depth, one-on-one or group mentoring for students about class projects and college-level writing, and can share problem-solving strategies to overcome academic obstacles.
Whether you choose a program that is international or domestic, it is an experience bound to change your view of the world. Click to learn more about Off-Campus Study and Liberal Arts In Focus at Ripon College.
Financial aid continues for students who choose to participate in an approved study-abroad program, minimizing additional expenses.
Student teaching usually is scheduled during spring semester of the senior year or during a ninth semester following completion of the degree program. Faculty from the College observe student teachers frequently and meet with them often to discuss their progress. A weekly student-teaching seminar provides a forum for discussion and a support group in which individuals can share the successes, demands and inevitable frustration of their first full-time teaching experience.
Ripon student teachers can complete the second nine weeks of their student teaching in another country. During this placement, student teachers will assist in English language support in public schools overseas. Students interested in exploring the possibilities for student teaching in another country should speak with Jeanne Williams.
The Chicago Center for Urban Life and CultureTeachChicago! Program
The Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture sponsors the Teach Chicago! program. Ripon College students may complete their student teaching through this program. Students interested in completing an urban student-teaching placement through this program should speak with Jeanne Williams.
Navajo Reservation Schools Student-Teaching
Pending faculty approval, Ripon student teachers, in partnership with Indiana University, may complete their student-teaching experience at Navajo reservation schools in Utah, New Mexico or Arizona. Students interested in completing student-teaching placement through this program should speak with Dr. Jeanne Williams.
Ninth Semester Program
Students seeking teacher certification sometimes find it difficult to complete their programs in eight semesters, especially if they wish to include an overseas semester, a double major and/or a rigorous major/minor program. The College has a reduced tuition program for students who attend a ninth or later semester to complete their student teaching.
Liberal Arts In Focus: Arts Integration for Teachers
Students can participate in a week-long exploration of how Chicago teachers and professional artists integrate theatre, music, art and dance into classroom teaching. In the evenings, students will attend performances, gallery exhibits and other arts/cultural experiences in the Chicago area. Special consideration is given to learning about the neighborhoods and institutions of Chicago.
Students enrolled in teacher certification programs at Ripon College complete 100 hours of clinical experience in schools and other educational settings prior to student teaching. Most of these clinical hours are completed in conjunction with specific education courses that students can observe and experience the various dimensions of teaching as they are learning about educational theory and practice.
Be a Teacher
While it certainly is true that good teachers are always in demand, it also is true that changes in the economy, government funding for education, regional population shifts and family lifestyles affect employment trends for teachers. Ripon graduates have success finding teaching jobs, in part, because faculty work closely with students to help them plan programs and conduct job searches geared toward current employment trends.
Some Ripon graduates with teacher certification have elected to take advantage of opportunities for work abroad in the Peace Corps. Others are using their teaching skills in service and business settings. An increasing number of agencies and institutions seek teachers to staff their educational programs.
An additional career route for certified teachers is graduate school. Master’s degree-level programs enable students to add areas of certification such as special education, early childhood education and bilingual/bicultural education. Such specialized expertise often opens new opportunities for securing a teaching position.