Early Childhood Education (Birth to 3rd Grade)
CSM offers both an Associate and Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. Associate degree graduates are qualified to work in child care centers, preschools, and infant centers. All courses in the associate degree are required for the Bachelor's degree. The Bachelor's degree prepares the student for certification for teaching in pre-kindergarten through third grades. Graduates are prepared to assume greater responsibilities in professional settings. Learning within the program is more than just a classroom experience. Observation and practical (in the field) experiences play a major role in this program. Various agencies and schools in the Omaha area are utilized. Students may seek certification by the Nebraska State Department of Education in grades pre-kindergarten through third upon completion of the program. Many students combine in majors in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education in order to receive certification from pre-kindergarten through sixth grades.
Elementary Education (Kindergarten to 6th Grade)
College of Saint Mary offers a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts program for teachers at elementary levels (K-6). Students in the BS degree program major in Elementary Education and secure additional minors or majors in other certification programs. Students in the BA degree program major in both Elementary Education and an academic area. Students majoring in Elementary Education may secure a double major in Early Childhood Education or Special Education. Middle school programs (4-9) require Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts programs with specific hours in selected major and minor areas. Middle school programs may be combined with elementary or secondary programs. Additional certification opportunities are available in reading, Information Technology and English as a Second Language. Students who successfully complete the above programs qualify for certification in Nebraska and Iowa. Since certification requirements are not uniform for all states, students planning to teach in other states should discuss requirements with the education program director.
Middle Grades Education (4th Grade to 9th Grade)
The Middle Grades Education Program at College of Saint Mary is a professional studies program that prepares students for initial certification as middle grades teachers. Undergraduate students working toward the bachelor's degree, and Master of Arts in Teaching students who already hold the bachelor's degree complete 24 semester hours in two content areas: Business Education, Language Arts, Mathematics, Natural Science, Social Science, or Special Education. Programs include focused observations and experience in working with adolescents ages 10-14 in grades 4 through 9. A full semester of student teaching in both content areas is completed in the final semester of the program.
Secondary Education (7th Grade to 12th Grade)
College of Saint Mary offers preparation for teaching endorsements in the following areas in secondary education: art (K-12), biology, chemistry, English, language arts, mathematics, natural science, physical education (K-12), reading, religion (K-12), Spanish Education and social science. During registration, students in secondary education are required to obtain signatures for education courses in the education department.
Special Education (Kindergarten to 9th Grade)
This endorsement may be completed in conjunction with endorsement in elementary or secondary education. It can also fulfill one of the two specializations required for middle level endorsement. Individuals with this endorsement may teach children and youth who are mildly and/or moderately disabled who are verified per 92 NAC 51 as students with specific learning disabilities, speech language impairments (language verification only), mental handicap: mild, mental handicap: moderate behavior disorders, orthopedic impairments, autism, other health impairments, and traumatic brain injury. Persons with this endorsement may also teach verified children and youth who are placed in multi-categorical programs.
Excellent teachers emerge from preservice programs with knowledge, skills and values resulting from a strong liberal arts program that is integrated with personalized comprehensive courses in the art and science of teaching.
Teacher education students are challenged by roles of preserving the past and predicting the future. Society needs highly qualified teachers who are knowledgeable, creative, flexible, constructive and competent. Teachers learn to be sensitive to the individual needs of all students.
There is national interest in and an awakening recognition of the importance of providing high quality programs for all children. Public and parochial school opportunities are available to certified educators for positions in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.
Teachers who are graduates of CSM are appreciated by school officials for their exceptional technology skills.