What is the Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Elementary Teaching Major (BS/BA)?

The Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Elementary Teaching (PCKET) Major at Grand Valley State University is designed for students seeking certification at the elementary level. Students will choose to be certified in a PK-3 Grade Band, a 3-6 Grade Band, or they can choose both Grade Bands to be certified to teach PK-6th grades. Our professors come from departments across CLAS, and are subject-area experts in their fields. PCKET students learn content and pedagogy in the academic disciplines that are taught in an elementary curriculum: English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, fine arts, and health and physical education. PCKET faculty engage students in discipline-specific teaching and learning, opportunities for research and scholarly activity in the disciplines, experiences in area classrooms and in the community, and study abroad programs. 

The PCKET program at GVSU is dedicated to developing and supporting the highest quality PK-6 teachers, who are grounded in the content of each of the subject-specific disciplines, value interdisciplinary teaching and learning, support diverse learners, and commit to the pursuit of academic, life-long learning. Our majors understand that in order to be educational leaders, teachers must be curious, critical, and engaged academics! 

Students will pair this major with the Educational Studies Major or the Special Education Major, offered through the College of Education. Through the double-major program, students will be prepared in all of the professional and content-specific standards established by the Michigan Department of Education. Essentially, students will take courses in subject-matter content along with professional coursework in education. 

Students in the PCKET program can earn certification for teaching pre-kindergarten through 3rd grade (PK-3) and/or 3rd grade through 6th grade (3-6). The 3-6 emphasis includes a 9-credit concentration in one of four content areas: English Language Arts, Mathematics, Integrated Science, or Social Studies. Students in either the PK-3 or 3-6 program also have the option of adding courses that will earn them an endorsement in teaching English as a Second Language, Elementary Spanish, or Special Education (K-12)

Customize Your Degree

Once you've declared PCKET + Education Studies or PCKET + Special Education, then you need to make some choices.

  • Do you want to earn 2 grade band certifications, so that you can teach PK-6? 
  • If your grade band includes 3-6, which disciplinary concentration do you want to choose?
  • Do you want to earn 1 grade band and a specialization in ESL or Spanish?
  • If you choose special education, which grade band would you like to pair it with? 
  • Do you want to earn only 1 grade band certification?

Visit the Advising page, found under the Student Resources navigation menu at the top of the page, to learn more. 


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PCKET is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.