Elementary education is the term commonly used to describe the formal teaching and care of children by people other than their family or in settings outside of the home, usually from early childhood through 6th grade. English as a Second Language (ESL) is an English language study program for nonnative speakers. The goal of an ESL program is to improve students’ levels of English. ESL classes teach different language skills depending on students’ English abilities, interests and needs. All programs teach the following: Conversational English, grammar, reading, listening comprehension, writing and vocabulary.

Description of the Field

Students receive a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with Texas teaching certifications in EC-6 Core Subjects and ESL. As part of the 123 credit hours students are required to take for the Bachelor of Science degree, students must be admitted to the Teacher Education Program by fulfilling GPA requirements and passing the THEA test with the required scores for admission to the Teacher Education Program. These scores may differ from score requirements for admission to the university. Students must also complete Clinical I which includes classroom observations and Clinical II which is the student teaching semester. Finally, in order to teach in the state of Texas, students must pass state certification exams which they are eligible to take after completing the Teacher Education Program and consulting with UNT Dallas Certification Officer to ensure they are adequately prepared before registering. After these requirements are completed, students are eligible for teacher certification through UNT Dallas.

Suggested Degree Plan

EC-6 ESL Transfer Guide

Possible Empoloyers

Students are primarily being prepared to teach all subjects in early childhood through 6th grade and/or in ESL classrooms with this degree; however, the following employers also look to hire certified teachers.

Texas Public Schools

Private and Charter Schools

Private Tutoring

Daycare Centers

Community Organizations

Correctional Institutions

Education Consulting Firms

Publishing Companies

Peace Corps


Social Service Agencies

Adoption Agencies

Test Preparation Companies


United Way Agencies

Group Homes

Community Recreation Centers

Overseas Schools for Military Dependents


Possible Job Titles

Elementary Teacher

Middle School Teacher

Missionary Worker

Employee Trainer

Curriculum Writer

Day Care Worker

Social Services Worker

Private Tutor

Educational Consultant

Educational Materials Sales


Success Strategies

  • Obtain multiple certifications to increase employability.
  • Private schools may not require certification or licensure.
  • Obtain master's degree in subject area for increased employability.
  • Acquire teaching experience.
  • Obtain Ph.D. and certificate in school administration.
  • Graduate study required for "special service" fields.
  • Obtain master's degree in area to become specialist. Requirements for certification and/or accreditation vary by state.
  • Develop strong word processing, editing and desktop publishing skills.
  • Learn federal, state and local job application procedures.
  • Take some general business and computer courses.
  • Gain experience through volunteer work or internships.
  • Develop writing and public speaking skills.
  • Learn to work well with people of various backgrounds.
  • Add additional coursework in area of interest such as human services, counseling or psychology.
  • Consider certification in special education for greater employability.
  • Seek grant writing experience to increase opportunities.
  • Gain experience and an advanced, typically Ph.D., degree for high level positions in government.

Online Resources

Texas Education Agency- http://tea.texas.gov/
State Board of Education Certification- http://www.sbec.state.tx.us/sbeconline/certinfo/becometeacher.asp
School Spring- http://www.schoolspring.com/
Teachers-Teachers- http://www.teachers-teachers.com/
Teachers At Work- http://www.teachersatwork.com/
K-12 Job Search- http://k-12jobs.com/
Private School Employment Network- http://www.privateschooljobs.com/
ESL Employment- http://www.eslemployment.com/
Teach for America- http://www.teachforamerica.org/tfa/
US Teach- http://www.usteach.com/
K-12 Job Spot- http://k12jobspot.com/
Department of Defense Office of Overseas Schools- http://www.dodea.edu/
US Department of State Office of Overseas Schools- http://www.state.gov/m/a/os/

Professional Associations

Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages- http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/index.asp
Texas TESOL- http://www.textesol.org
National Education Association- http://www.nea.org/
Association of American Educators- http://www.aaeteachers.org/
Association of Texas Professional Educators- http://www.atpe.org/
Link to Content-Specific Education Associations- http://www.theteachersguide.com/Educationassociations.html
National Alliance of Black School Educators- http://www.nabse.org/index.html
Association of Mexican American Educators- http://www.amae.org/history.html

What students are saying

" I love this campus. It’s friendly and inviting, the class size is small, and everyone seems willing to help, even the professors."

Nayelli, Class of 2018

Read Nayelli's story »