Triangle Copy careerplus-badges careerplus-degree Created with Sketch. careerplus-employers Created with Sketch. careerplus-faq Created with Sketch. careerplus-individuals Created with Sketch. careerplus-local-experts Created with Sketch. careerplus-pricing careerplus-registration Created with Sketch. careerplus-responsive Created with Sketch. careerplus-self-paced Created with Sketch. careerplus-stackable Created with Sketch. + Facebook LinkedIn PinterestRSS Instagram Twitter Vine


Bachelor of Arts

Earning an education degree from Clarke University empowers you to make a difference in the lives of students, families and communities. The Bachelor of Education program guides you in exploring how people learn and how best to teach them. Our dedicated faculty strive to educate and prepare teachers who will influence the cognitive, moral, and social development of children in kindergarten through high school in today’s multicultural world.

Clarke University offers an experience that is truly unique through opportunities like the Professional Development School (PDS). Through this program, you’ll gain professional experience with students in their actual elementary, middle, or high school classrooms under the guidance of two Clarke professors who are also licensed teachers. Clarke students complete 300-500 hours of instruction and student teaching, far surpassing the state requirement of 80 hours. These rich experiences empower Clarke education majors to seamlessly connect the theory of teaching with the actual practice of teaching, making them strong candidates for the position of their choice after graduation.

Earning an education degree at Clarke presents a wide variety of scholarship opportunities, and 100% of Clarke students receive financial aid. Some of the many different aid opportunities available to education majors include merit scholarships, athletic talent, and fine arts awards, federal and state aid, undergraduate student loans, and federal work-study or campus employment.

After graduating with your Bachelor of Education, you will possess real-world experiences and be well prepared to work as a licensed, professional educator in Iowa and other states that have reciprocity agreements with Iowa.

Clarke University Education degree student working in classroom

Learning in Action

Below is a small sampling of the types of classes you may take as a Clarke Education major:

FOUNDATIONS OF EDUCATION — Gain your first professional experiences through observation, supervision, and supporting students in their classroom activities.

MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION — Volunteer with local organizations that serve diverse populations.

SUMMER READING PROGRAM —Craft and teach your own summer reading program, including the décor and design of your room.

Education Degree Endorsements

Clarke University’s undergraduate degree programs lead you to a bachelor’s degree and licensure in elementary education or secondary education. You may also choose from over 40 endorsement areas in nearly every subject area, including:

  • ART – Explore studio courses in drawing, painting, digital imaging, ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, and photography. While most graduates work in traditional classroom room settings, you may also find opportunities in museums, community art centers, maker spaces, and senior care centers.
  • READING – Work with students on the fundamentals of reading instruction and inspire a passion of reading in students. Reading specialists are in high demand in communities large and small.
  • SPECIAL EDUCATION – Gain the foundational knowledge needed to identify the individual needs of students and support their growth. In the past ten years, every Clarke graduate with a special education degree endorsement has been hired or accepted to graduate school.

Want to learn more about a specific endorsement area? Contact us at and we’ll connect you with education faculty and admissions representatives who can answer any questions you may have.

Clarke University major students walking on campus.
Clarke University Education degree student working in classroom

A New Pathway to Teaching

Building from the excellence of our traditional elementary education program, Clarke is thrilled to offer our Accelerated Elementary Education Degree. This program was designed for working professionals such as substitute teachers or paraprofessionals with some college credits to earn their bachelor’s degree and transition into a full-time teaching role. Individuals outside the world of education have found success in the program as well. Highlights include:

• 100% online, 8-week courses allow you to continue working while pursuing your degree
• Mentorship and support are built into the program, and our expert faculty will guide you every step of the way.
• This 74-credit degree completion program can be completed in just 18 months with a reading endorsement included. You can add a special education endorsement with an additional semester.

Learn more about the Accelerated Elementary Education Degree.

Program Details

Clarke University Education Outcomes

The outcomes for Clarke’s teaching degree candidates are described in the 10 Interstate New Teacher Assessment & Support Consortium (INTASC) Standards. Demonstration of INTASC Standards must be met for licensure in the State of Iowa. These standards form the pillars of our program with a focus on learner development, learning differences, learning environments, content knowledge, application of content, assessment, planning for instruction, instructional strategies, professional learning and ethical practice, and leadership and collaboration. A more detailed explanation of the standards can be found here.

Admission to Clarke University

Accelerated Elementary Education Degree
Our Accelerated Elementary Education Degree was designed for those working as substitute teachers, paraprofessionals, and other education-related positions to transition to a teaching role. The 100% online 74-credit program can be completed with a reading endorsement in as little as 18 months. You can also add a special education endorsement with only one additional semester.

Early Access Master of Arts in Education
Get on the fast track to your master’s degree with our Early-Access Master of Arts in Education program! Eligible undergraduate education can earn up to 15 graduate credits of our 36-credit master’s program while completing their bachelor’s degree at Clarke. Thanks to the flexibility of online classes, you can earn your master’s degree in as little as 14 months after completing your undergraduate work.

A Masters Degree in One Year
As an education major, you are also eligible to participate in our 4+1 Master of Arts in Education (MAE) program. The 36-credit program is divided between 18 credits of online coursework and 18 credits earned by working alongside a master teacher in a Dubuque area classroom. This allows you to gain professional experience while benefitting from the experience and guidance of a veteran teacher.

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. Apply to Clarke today to begin your journey. 

Atrium Interior

Meet Our Faculty

When our education degree graduates speak about the Clarke moments that helped shape them, there’s always a professor in the story. That’s because being a faculty member at Clarke University requires a deep passion for educating, encouraging, and empowering students. Here, your professors will know your name. They will push you to develop your full potential, and then they’ll ask for more. And, they’ll be right there to congratulate you when you exceed even your own expectations. Often, it’s a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

View Our Faculty & Staff
Ellen Spencer, Ed.D.

Ellen Spencer, Ed.D.

Chair and Associate Professor of Education

A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite imagination, and instill a love of learning.

Cathy Stierman, Ed.D. (abd)

Assistant Professor of Education

Clarke students delight my heart, soul, and mind! I hope to empower students to expand and build new knowledge.

Getting ready to take notes in a Clarke University English Class
There’s more to college than going to class.

The Classroom and Beyond

But don’t take our word for it…

Our Students & Alumni

Kelly Eigenberger

Kelly Eigenberger

Education '06

My Clarke instructors taught me about life-long learning, providing service to the community, and building relationships with others.

Matt DePauw

Matt DePauw

Education ‘17

I like being a big fish in a little pond. Clarke has really provided me with an atmosphere to bask in that.

Louis Deeny

Louis Deeny

Elementary Education with Endorsements in Coaching and Special Education '19

My favorite part of my major is being involved in elementary schools since my sophomore year. It provides me with a ‘leg up’ on understanding the dynamics of a school and what teaching strategies actually work with students.


The median annual wage for elementary teachers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


One-on-one instruction from Ph.D.-level faculty.

job placement

The high placement rate of Clarke graduates attests to the quality of preparation through PDS experiences.


Support and Licensure

Clarke is very aware of the changes in each state of teaching licensure requirements. Classes have been aligned and created to make sure that all requirements are met. Time and energy have been spent to make sure the transition from Iowa licensure is as smooth as possible.

Clarke University Education Department is accredited by the Iowa Department of Education and holds membership in the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education and the Iowa Association of Colleges of Teacher Education. Faculty members hold current teaching licenses and actively participate in the community by serving on advisory councils and providing resources to area schools.

Other Programs to Explore

Experience Clarke Education for Yourself

Atrium Interior