Cross-Disciplinary Studies: Teacher Education, B.A.

Program Overview

Always dreamed of being a teacher? Want to make a difference in the lives of children? Maybe you spent your childhood playing school, or perhaps a great teacher inspired you to follow in his or her footsteps. Maybe you've always known you wanted to teach elementary school. Or perhaps you're drawn to this calling for the first time. However you've been drawn to the classroom, if you want to be an elementary school teacher, cross-disciplinary studies: teacher education is the ideal major for you.

PLNU's teacher preparation program will:

  • Give you real classroom experience through approximately 100 hours of fieldwork in local public schools
  • Allow you to complete coursework for your B.A. and preliminary teaching credential in just 4.5 years (rather than the more typical five years)
  • Prepare you to pass the tests required for an elementary school or special education teaching credential
  • Ready you in an area of concentration (such as mathematics), so you can earn important supplemental authorizations for teaching in the upper elementary and middle
    school grades (grades 6-8)
  • Give you the option of preparing for and earning multiple subject (for elementary school teaching) and special education credentials for greater versatility and job preparedness
  • Ground you with a strong focus on serving students, making a difference, and employing your faith in your vocation

The PLNU School of Education has an outstanding reputation in San Diego. PLNU is known for graduating teachers who are well-prepared to lead in their classrooms, who care deeply for their students, and who act ethically with a strong servant-minded perspective.

PLNU's partnerships with local school districts help to meet real community needs while making you classroom-ready when you graduate.

Deborah Erickson Headshot


Deborah Erickson

Dr. Deborah Erickson, dean of PLNU’s School of Education, has been on faculty since 2013, after serving 11 years in faculty and leadership positions at California Lutheran University’s Graduate School of Education.

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Professional Licensure or Certification

This program is approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and meets the requirements for educator certification in the state of California, where Point Loma Nazarene University is physically located. PLNU cannot confirm whether or not specific programs meet out-of-state requirements for Professional Licensure or Certification. Information about out-of-state requirements in teacher credentialing is available on this website

Course List

For information about the courses required for the Cross-Disciplinary Studies: Teacher Education, B.A. program, view the PLNU Catalog. 

Course Information

Major Map

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Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Student Support

Career Opportunities

If you want to be an elementary school teacher, PLNU’s cross-disciplinary studies: teacher education program is the one for you. With this degree, you’ll be able to earn your bachelor's degree and multiple subject and/or special education credentials in just 4.5 years (rather than the usual five). What's more, PLNU has an excellent reputation in the local education community, meaning you’ll have both a degree and experience that will help position you to find a fulfilling teaching job after graduating.

What can you do with a cross-disciplinary studies: teacher education degree?

The field of education has a large variety of opportunities and specialties you can pursue. Just a few of the many positions recent PLNU teacher education alumni have gone into are: elementary school teachers, substitute teachers, teaching assistants, preschool teachers, tutors, social and human service specialists, and childcare workers. Oftentimes teacher education alumni work at local and nearby educational communities such as San Diego Unified School District, Poway Unified School District, Chula Vista Elementary School District, and many others. 

The following elaborates on certain positions that PLNU teacher education alumni currently hold:

Kindergarten and Elementary Special Education Teachers

2020 Median annual salary $61,420 

Kindergarten and elementary special education teachers are mainly responsible for working with children who have cognitive, emotional, or physical disabilities. Their primary goal is teaching youth with exceptionalities, helping them develop life skills as well as modifying and adapting general education curriculum to meet their students’ needs.

What it takes to be a successful elementary special education teacher: 

  • Critical-thinking skills
  • Patience
  • Communication skills
  • Innovation
  • Adaptability

Preschool Teachers

2020 Median annual salary $31,930

Preschool teachers are childcare professionals who educate and care for children who typically range from 3-4 years old. Their main responsibilities would be teaching children about basic education concepts like colors, shapes, numbers, rudimental reading comprehension, and helping children build social skills. They must also be able to stay organized and keep their classroom clean and safe for their students.

What it takes to be a successful preschool teacher: 

  • Patience
  • Creativity
  • Empathy
  • Communication
  • Organization

Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors

2020 Median annual salary $58,120

Educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors have many responsibilities and must be well-organized and proactive about completing their required tasks. They often have to provide crisis intervention to students when difficult situations occur at school or in their homes, and they may recommend that students seek outside assistance from other mental health professionals and services too. Counselors and advisors also meet with parents or guardians, teachers, and administrators to discuss behavioral or academic progress and to communicate what resources need to be provided for their student(s) to succeed. Counselors also aid students with any educational issues like course selections, class schedules and registration, skipping classes, grades, study habits, and career planning.

What it takes to be a successful educational, guidance, and career counselor or advisor: 

  • Active listening
  • Social perceptiveness
  • Oral expression & comprehension
  • Problem sensitivity 

To teach at the middle or high school level, students with majors in other subject areas are encouraged to take core teacher education courses as part of their undergraduate preparation.

PLNU alumni listed the following skills as the top strengths they acquired as a student in this major: 

  • Curriculum development
  • Lesson planning
  • Classroom management
  • Primary education
  • Event planning
  • Fundraising

Making a Difference with your Degree: 

The future is shaped by the teachers and educators of today. By graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Cross Disciplinary Studies: Teacher Education, you’re taking steps to aid the next generation in creating a world that’s ready to excel and prosper like never before. 

Apply to PLNU today or get connected with one of our counselors for additional support and answers to any questions you may have.

Department Faculty