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Educational Foundations Major (BA/BS)

Alison Schmitke

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The Educational Foundations (EdF) major is for undergraduates who are committed to social change. The purpose of the Educational Foundations major is to prepare future professionals in elementary education and related fields who are critical thinkers, well informed about theory and practice, and who possess the knowledge and skills that will enable them to be change agents in economically, racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse communities.  

This purpose is achieved by providing students with 1) a broad-based focus on content preparation; 2) a sophisticated understanding of the intersections of multiple disciplines within larger historical and contemporary themes. The Educational Foundations major is intended to prepare undergraduate students for graduate school in pursuit of a range of career options or volunteer service in an organization – elementary teachers, school counselors, social workers, non-profit directors, AmeriCorps volunteers, Peace Corps volunteers, social workers, etc.

The major is designed as a two-year program completed during the undergraduate junior and senior year. This is a pre-professional degree preparing graduates who are highly competitive for admission into master’s level teacher certification programs or other graduate school programs (social work, psychology, etc.) in Oregon and around the country. 

All undergraduates at the University of Oregon wanting to pursue teaching will attend a graduate teacher education program. Many of our undergraduates continue to UOTeach. UOTeach is the graduate teacher education program in the Department of Education Studies. This is a five term program resulting in a master’s of education (MEd) in Curriculum and Teaching and it fulfills the teaching licensure requirements for the state of Oregon (Elementary K-5 or Secondary 6-12). The graduate program is designed for students to connect theory and practice as they prepare to enter the classroom as teachers after successfully completing UOTeach.

Major Requirements
The Educational Foundations major requires core courses in five thematic areas: 1) learning, teaching, and assessment; 2) curriculum theory; 3) equal opportunity; 4) literacy; and 5) technology.  Additional courses are required in mathematics, science, music, art, physical education, and a variety of other subjects for the purpose of building subject matter preparation for teaching.

Pre-Education (PED) Major
Students planning to major in Educational Foundations enter the university as Pre-Education (PED) majors.  Typically, Pre-Education majors spend their first two years fulfilling general education and requirements for admissions into the Educational Foundations major. Pre-Education status does not guarantee admission to the Educational Foundations major.