Bachelor of Science in Teacher Education



120 credit hours

Program Length

4 years


Accredited by the SCDE

Touch the Future — Become a Teacher

If you are interested in becoming a teacher, Columbia International University’s College of Education offers a bachelor’s degree program in Teacher Education that can meet your needs. The program has an undergraduate core in Bible and is designed to prepare you for a career in teaching. Upon completing the Teacher Education Major and specific South Carolina state requirements, you will be recommended for initial licensure in elementary education (second-sixth grade) with an add-on in early childhood.

CIU’s Education programs are endorsed by the Higher Education Accreditation Program (HEAP) of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). Graduates who meet specific requirements are eligible to apply for appropriate ACSI teacher certificates. This program also offers early childhood (PreK-third grade) and elementary (second-sixth grade) education licensure, which prepares you to teach all subjects in these grade levels at the initial licensure level.

The Teacher Education program offers a comprehensive education that will prepare you for a rewarding career in teaching. You will learn effective teaching strategies, classroom management techniques, and gain hands-on experience through practicum opportunities. The program emphasizes the importance of integrating faith and learning, and you will have opportunities to reflect on how biblical principles apply to education. Overall, the program is designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to make a meaningful impact in the lives of your students and positively contribute to the field of education.

Why Choose Columbia International University

CIU’s excellent reputation is based on dedicated faculty and a successful education program that has prepared thousands of teachers for a career in education. Throughout the program you will have opportunities to develop and grow as a Christ follower as you build a strong educational foundation through empowering courses and hands-on practicum experiences.

This program leads to dual certification in elementary and early childhood, opening the doors to teach or work with children from Pre-Kindergarten to Sixth grade. Those satisfactorily completing the requirements get both state certification and Christian school certification, opening the doors for them to teach in multiple settings in the United States and around the world, in public, private and international contexts. 

The training, personal growth and access to faculty in the university classroom combine with field experiences in preparing the teacher education student to impact their future school communities. The transition to becoming a Christian educator is more than being trained and having the right skill set; you want someone to walk with you, modeling the heart for children and life skills to make your training effective and fulfilling. Faculty/student working relationships are highly valued in the training process, bringing a depth of training and support beyond just the classroom. The biblical foundation guides teacher education whether it is understanding the learner, developing personal dispositions, developing a learning culture, meeting the needs of all learners or demonstrating instructional excellence with integrity in a professional setting. To this end our program objectives are intended to help you become a:

  • Learner who knows content, children, and pedagogy 
  • Designer who demonstrates effective planning and preparation for instruction 
  • Presenter who models effective educational methodology, communication and technology techniques 
  • Evaluator who assesses, diagnoses and monitors individual needs to implement differentiated instructional opportunities 
  • Manager who creates and effectively manages a nurturing environment 
  • Partner who collaborates with the child, family, community and other professionals 
  • Professional, committed, reflective, model educator who learns from experience and contributes to the profession 

Overall Benefits of this Degree

The training in this program is designed to prepare you to teach Pre-K to sixth grade in these contexts: 

  • Public schools in the United States (The program leads to initial teacher licensure recommendation in South Carolina, which has a reciprocal agreement with most other states.) 
  • Christian schools in the United States 
  • Private and charter schools in the United States 
  • International schools all over the world 

Graduates have also used the training to pursue other education-related interests: 

  • Working in child development centers 
  • Developing a tutoring business 
  • Serving as classroom assistants 
  • Working for companies focusing on tutoring 
  • Teaching home school groups 
  • Assisting as an academic interventionist 
  • Serving and leading in church education 
  • Ministering to children through mercy organizations worldwide 
  • Directing afterschool and daycare programs 
  • Consulting in Christian education  
  • Pursuing further training as curriculum and instructional specialists, guidance counselor, school administrator and doctoral work. 

Featured Faculty

Linda Murdaugh

Director of Professional Education Field Experiences, Associate Professor of Education

What Will I Study?

In addition to the undergraduate core, here are degree specific-courses you can expect to take:

  • EDU 2110 Foundations of Education

    This course is an introductory study of the historical, social, philosophical, psychological, and pedagogical "foundations" of education, designed for those preparing to become professional educators. You will develop the tools to articulate a personal philosophy of education, with an emphasis on the social context of urban schools and an understanding of biblical principles relating to education.

    3.00 credit hours
  • EDU 3135 Contemporary Educational Issues

    Through the use of group discussion, centered on selected educationally-related literature, students will develop familiarity with important historical and contemporary educational issues and the ability to critically interpret and discuss. This course is repeatable.

    1.00 credit hour
  • EDU 3136 Pre-Professional Study in Education

    This course is designed to introduce students to the broad responsibilities and expectations of the teaching profession. The course is designed to emphasize areas of professional expectations which may affect instructional design or the learning environment.

    1.00 credit hour
  • EDU 3320 Curriculum Theories and Principles of Learning

    A survey of instructional methods and curriculum, including learning/thinking processes for elementary and early childhood, personality factors, unit and lesson planning, assessment skills and diagnostic and prescriptive procedures, and the needs of exceptional children.

    3.00 credit hours
  • EDU 3432 Methods of Inquiry-Based Learning in the Content Area

    Focuses on teaching early childhood and elementary social studies, science, and health. Emphasis is placed on designing developmentally appropriate, inquiry-based instruction using methods and materials to promote learning in early childhood and elementary years.

    2.00 credit hours
  • EDU 3541 Learning Environment and Classroom Management

    This course is designed to introduce a variety of class management models, with analysis and application emphases. Implications for both early childhood and elementary settings are studied. Classroom environmental arrangements; time management factors; children of diverse backgrounds and needs; mental-, emotional -, social-and/or physical differences; and preventive, supportive, and corrective discipline are addressed. Large and small group management and components of effective physical, social, emotional, and academic learning environments are examined.

    2.00 credit hours
  • EDU 3660 Integrating Enrichment Areas

    This course introduces the enrichment areas (visual arts, music, drama, and physical education), focusing on enriching learning environments and instructional design through developmentally appropriate practice for early childhood and elementary education. Students actively participate in learning activities involving the arts as they design and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and inter-disciplinary learning. Students learn the biblical basis for encouraging creativity through these enrichment areas.

    2.00 credit hours
  • EDU 3720 Instructional Design for Curriculum and Assessment

    This course provides the theoretical and practical foundation for the design and management of instruction and for the use of formal and informal assessment strategies including assessment through observation and documentation in early childhood and elementary education. The course provides the prospective teacher with opportunity to plan instructional units and develop assessments appropriate for early childhood and elementary students, assess learning based on knowledge of subject matter, child development, the community, and curricular goals. (3)

    3.00 credit hours
  • EDU 3810 Students with Diverse Needs

    This course will expose students to various areas of exceptionality including definitions, incidence, and educational needs. Regulations governing the education of the disabled, options of serving special needs, and the modification of regular classrooms to accommodate exceptional children will be studied.

    2.00 credit hours
  • EDU 4231 History and Philosophy of Education

    This course surveys and analyzes the historical and philosophical ideas that guide educational theory and practice in schools today. The course focuses on the study of ideas and movements and their developmental effects on current educational settings in the United States. In addition, major consideration is given to Christian philosophical perspectives which are the foundation of Christian school education, with attention given to the goals of education, the nature of the learner and learning, the role of the teacher, and the content of curriculum as components of educational philosophy.

    3.00 credit hours
  • EDU 4431 Assessment for Reading and Content

    Surveys assessment principles guiding instructional design across content areas. Emphasis is given to administering, interpreting, reporting, and implementing assessment tools for early childhood and elementary with an emphasis on literacy progress. This course is part of the 12-credit hour South Carolina Read to Succeed requirement.

    3.00 credit hours
  • EDU 4603 Instructional Practices for Literacy and Technology

    Emphasizes instructional strategies, technology, and curricular support for literacy development in reading and writing. A focus is placed on emergent literacy and addressing the diverse needs of learners. This course is part of the 12-credit hour South Carolina Read to Succeed requirement.

    3.00 credit hours
  • HIS 2310 United States History and Government

    In this survey from colonial America to the present, you will examine the enduring issues and themes of American history. While the course is structured around historical events, particular effort is made to understand the paradox of American unity through diverse social, economic, political, and cultural factors.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PSY 3330 Psychology of Learning

    This is an in-depth study of learning, motivation, and change, and the implications this will have for teaching and counseling methods. You will focus on historical and modern cognitive research and testing, especially within the academic, relational, emotional, and spiritual arenas. You will also give particular attention to the development of biblical perspectives of learning theory.

    3.00 credit hours
  • BIB 3820 Bible for Teachers

    In this course, you will develop a philosophy of Bible teaching and learn to follow a preparation procedure that will ensure that the purpose for which Scripture was given will be accomplished in your own teaching. You will focus specifically on how to plan a Bible curriculum with courses of study, units, and daily lessons, following the pattern of biblical revelation and teaching the biblical material with integrity.

    3.00 credit hours
For a comprehensive list of courses related to this program visit the Academic Catalog.

Accreditation and Accolades

SC Department of Education
ASCI (Association of Christian Schools International)
SACSCOC (The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges)

Career Path Opportunities

  • Teaching in public and charter schools in grades PK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 
  • Teaching in Christian schools in grades PK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 
  • Teaching in International schools in grades PK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 
  • Teaching in public child development centers 
  • Teaching in private child development centers 
  • Working with tutoring companies to service students 
  • Working in church ministry positions such as childcare director 
  • Working in child development centers 
  • Developing a tutoring business 
  • Working as classroom assistants 
  • Working for companies focusing on tutoring 
  • Teaching home school groups 
  • Assisting as an academic interventionist 
  • Ministering to children through mercy organizations worldwide 
  • Directing after-school and day-care programs 
  • Consulting in Christian education 
  • Pursuing further training as curriculum and instructional specialists, guidance. counselor, school administrator, and doctoral work 

Top FAQs

Is this program approved by the state of South Carolina for teacher education?

Yes, this program is approved by the state of South Carolina for teacher education. This means that the program has met the state's rigorous standards for teacher preparation and is recognized as a high-quality program for aspiring teachers in the state.

Does this program lead to state certification?

Yes, this program leads to state certification in both elementary and early childhood education. Upon completing the program and meeting state requirements, you will be eligible for initial licensure in these areas. This certification is an important step in becoming a licensed teacher in South Carolina, and is recognized by other states as well.

Can I transfer my certification to another state?

Yes, South Carolina has reciprocal agreements with most states, which means that your certification may be transferable to other states. However, the specific requirements for transferring certification can vary by state, so it is important to research the requirements for the state in which you plan to work.

Is this an online program?

No, this program is offered in a face-to-face format. This means that you will attend classes on campus and have the opportunity to interact with faculty and peers in person. While some courses may be offered in a hybrid or online format, the program as a whole is primarily delivered through in-person instruction.

Do your graduates get hired?

Yes, in many cases our candidates are offered teaching positions before they even finish their student teaching. This is a testament to the quality of our program and the strength of our graduates. We have a strong network of partnerships with schools and districts throughout the state, which helps to connect our graduates with job opportunities.

Do your graduates do well in the teaching profession?

Yes, our graduates have a strong track record of success in the teaching profession. South Carolina uses the SCTS 4.0 evaluation system for educators, which includes a measure of successful impact on student learning. To move from an initial certificate to a five-year certificate, program completers must pass these evaluations. State data shows that 100% of our program completers pass these evaluations and have a positive impact on student learning. This demonstrates the effectiveness of our program in preparing teachers who are able to make a meaningful impact on the lives of their students.


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