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Bachelor of Arts

Nearly every person can name a teacher who influenced or encouraged them somewhere along the way. Think about that. Who was it for you? A kindergarten teacher who pulled you out of your shell? That high school English teacher who pushed you to earn a scholarship?

Does teaching children to find their individual paths and encouraging them to blossom sound like your dream job? You will creatively study how people learn and how best to teach them. We 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. Graduates of this department will possess real-world experience and demonstrate the programmatic outcomes as licensed, professional educators who become influential teachers throughout the nation and beyond.

Program Details

Clarke education students go directly into classrooms with children and actually take the lead to teach, inspire, adventure, experiment and learn. This is the heart of our elementary and secondary education program — the Professional Development School (PDS). This is a unique, hand-on experience where you interact with children in their own classrooms with their tools.

The PDS allows you to spend much more time in school prior to student teaching (up to 600 hours – the state of Iowa only requires 80 hours). Each PDS is taught by two professors in residence who are with the students at all times. Education majors complete one to four PDS semesters, depending on endorsements. The PDS experience is truly an authentic way to prepare to be a teacher. Additionally, students who qualify are eligible to complete graduate credit while in their undergraduate degree program.

As a graduate of Clarke University’s Education program, you are eligible to participate in our 4+1 program. This pathway to a master’s degree provides graduates with an opportunity to proceed directly into a one-year, practicum-based master’s degree through Clarke.

The university partners with the Dubuque Community School District to secure a full-time, post-licensure practicum for an academic year in a classroom.

Classes You’ll Take

Admission to Clarke University

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

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Meet Our Faculty

When our 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
Ann Adkins, Ed.D.

Ann Adkins, Ed.D.

Chair and Associate Professor of Education

My students bring an enthusiasm to the classroom that is irrepressible. It is with joy that I help my students prepare for a career in which they will make a difference in the lives of many children.

Rebecca Bodish, Ed.D.

I teach students how to advocate for themselves and for their future students because opportunities are lost when we don’t have the courage to speak up.

Ellen Spencer, Ed.D.

Ellen Spencer, Ed.D.

Assistant Professor of Education

I want to honor each student right where they are and help them move forward in their development as a person. One way I do this is through discovery. Learning through discovery is the essence of meaningful retention and understanding of any concept.

Cathy Stierman, Ed.D. (abd)

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.

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.


The 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.

Other Programs to Explore

Experience Clarke Education for Yourself

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