Spanish Elementary Ed. FAQs

Q: How long does the whole CSAT/Spanish Elementary Ed. program take?

A: There are three components to this program:

  • the CSAT major and Spanish Elementary Ed. minor (44 - 46 credits),
  • the Elementary Education Major (39 credits), and
  • the Spanish Elementary Ed. minor (27 credits)

These, in addition to the General Education requirements, will take full-time students at least 9 semesters, usually with 15 credits per semester; some semesters you may take 16 credits.


How long it takes you to complete both majors will depend on several factors:

  • Whether you start the program with courses that either count towards the major or satisfy Gen. Ed. Requirements. Transfer students and those who change their majors may need additional time to complete all requirements. An advisor in the CLAS Advising Center can help you determine which courses you have already taken will satisfy major, minor and/ or General Education requirements.
  • How closely you follow the suggested pattern of coursework. Note that several courses have prerequisites, which in turn have their own prerequisites, so it’s important to get started on these sequences early and complete them in the right order. See the Sheet displaying prerequisites and prerequisite sequences for courses in the CSAT major and Spanish Elem. Ed. minor.


Q: What grades will I be certified to teach if I complete the CSAT/Spanish Elementary Ed. program?

A: The Elementary Ed. certification with Spanish endorsement allows teachers to teach grades K-5 in a general elementary classroom (K-6 in elementary schools that have grade 6), and Spanish only in grades 6-8.  


Q: What can I teach with an Elementary teaching certification with a Spanish endorsement?

A: This combination will allow you to teach grades K-5 in a general English-speaking classroom or a Spanish immersion classroom, as a specialist teaching Spanish language in grades K-5 (K-6 in elementary schools that have grade 6), or Spanish only in grades 6 – 8.


Q: Do I need to study abroad for the Spanish program?

A: Study abroad is not currently required for the Spanish Elementary Ed. program (note that it is required for the Secondary Ed. major and minor). However, one of the State of Michigan’s requirements for an endorsement in Spanish is achieving a fairly high level of spoken skill (a rating of at least Advanced-Low on the ACTFL scale), which is determined through an oral interview; thus we strongly suggest that students plan on a full semester of study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. You should start working with an advisor as early as possible to plan your study abroad.


Q: What if I can’t manage a full semester of study abroad?

A: Students frequently worry about the cost of a semester abroad. Keep in mind that, a full semester of study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country (depending on the location) may be cheaper than a semester on campus. Students who cannot go abroad for a full semester can find shorter programs or alternative methods of increasing their exposure to the language and culture. Meet with a Spanish advisor and contact Padnos International Center as early as possible to find out what will work for you.


Q: What if I want to combine an Elementary Ed. major in one of the core subjects (Language Arts, Math, Integrated Science, or Social Studies) with the Spanish Elementary Ed. Minor?

A: This is not possible with initial certification; the State of Michigan specifies that teacher candidates pursuing an endorsement in a World Language at the Elementary level must complete a comprehensive major (e.g. the CSAT program at Grand Valley). However, it is possible to acquire initial Elementary Ed. certification in one of the core subjects and subsequently apply for the additional endorsement in Spanish.


Q: Can I combine the CSAT major with both the Spanish Elementary Ed. minor and the ESL minor to get two endorsements?

A: Yes, this is certainly feasible and likely a very marketable combination. The additional 18 credits for the ESL minor will add some time to completion of your program.