Elementary/Middle Education (K-9) and Spanish Education (K-12) Major - Bachelor of Science (BS)

Teachers have a positive and profound impact on future generations unlike any other profession. The Elementary/Middle Education and Spanish Education (EME/SPA) Program prepares educators and future leaders of our global society to teach the core subjects (literacy, math, science, and social studies) to kindergarten through grade 9 learners and Spanish to kindergarten through grade 12 learners. Future teachers, including those who are interested in teaching at an immersion or bilingual school, will learn to reach all students with relevant curriculum, utilizing strategies that are developmentally appropriate for each age, and follow second language acquisition theories. We collaborate with public school partners to provide multiple practical experiences in classrooms where our teacher candidates learn to differentiate teaching approaches with the end goal of honoring the individuality of all students. Graduates of this program are confident, reflective practitioners who value academically rigorous teaching for all, and who continuously improve their skills in response to best practices. 

The EME/SPA program requires a Spanish minor, an immersion experience, and a minimum language proficiency level. Teacher candidates may earn retroactive credits in Spanish by placing into 200- or 300-level Spanish courses.

Completion of the Elementary/Middle Education and Spanish Education Program and associated benchmark assessments will lead to endorsement for the following Wisconsin teaching licenses:

  • Elementary and Middle School, grades K-9 (2088) and
  • Spanish, grades K-12 (1365).

Students in all teacher education programs must satisfy the School of Education (SOE) core requirements.

Students in all teacher education programs must be admitted to the School of Education in order to complete their program requirements and be eligible for endorsement for the appropriate teaching license(s). Students majoring in elementary/middle education (grades K-9) and Spanish education (grades K-12) must meet specific program admission criteria.  

Retention and advancement

Teacher candidates may be retained in their teacher education program provided they fulfill the conditions described in the SOE Retention Policy. Students must complete all course requirements and other benchmarks prior to student teaching as described in the Student Teaching and Internship Policy. Additional SOE program requirements, including the culminating assessment of pedagogical knowledge, are described on the SOE catalog page.
All courses required in the Elementary/Middle Education and Spanish Education Program with EDS, SPE, and TSL prefixes must be passed with a minimum grade of "C" or better. 

Beginning language proficiency

All students with Spanish language on their transcripts and/or prior experience in Spanish must take the Universities of Wisconsin Placement exam and are required to enroll at their level of placement. Students with no evidence of prior study of Spanish are required to begin Spanish at SPA 103.


The Elementary/Middle Education and Spanish Education Program is aligned with Wisconsin Teacher Standards, Wisconsin DPI World Language Standards, and the national CAEP (elementary) and AMLE (middle-level) Standards.

Minor requirement

Elementary/middle education and Spanish education majors must also complete a Spanish minor (21 credits) in order to be endorsed for a Spanish, grades K-12 (1365) teaching license.

Required general education courses (28 credits)

Besides the courses specified below, elementary/middle education and Spanish education majors must satisfy additional general education requirements. The General Education Program requires a total of 42 credits.

EDS 203School, Society, and Teachers 1, 93
EDS 206Multicultural Education 2, 93
MTH 115Mathematics for Early Childhood and Elementary Teachers I 32
MTH 116Mathematics for Early Childhood and Elementary Teachers II 32
MTH 215Mathematics for Middle School Teachers I 32
HIS 110World History 43
GEO 200Conservation of Global Environments 53
Select one of the following: 64
Biological science course from GE Natural Science List
Physical science course from GE Natural Science List
Select an English literature course from the GE Humanities list 73
ART 302Visual Language in the Global Classroom 83
Total Credits28

Recommended general education courses

PHY 106Physical Science for Educators 64
HED 207Youth Health Issues 93

Counts toward General Education Program requirement: Self and Society (GE Category 6).


Counts toward General Education Program requirement: Minority Cultures or Multiracial Women's Studies (GE Category 3).


Counts toward General Education Program requirement: Mathematical/Logical Systems and Modern Languages (GE Category 2).


Counts toward General Education Program requirement: International and Multicultural Studies, World History (GE Category 4-1).


Counts toward General Education Program requirement: International and Multicultural Studies, Global and Multicultural Studies (GE Category 4-2). Also satisfies a WI statutory requirement.


Counts toward General Education Program requirement: Natural Laboratory Science (GE Category 5).


Counts toward General Education Program requirement: Humanities (GE Category 7).


Counts toward General Education Program requirement: Arts (GE Category 8).


Counts toward General Education Program requirement: Health and Physical Well-Being (GE Category 9).

Additional required content courses (23-24 credits)

Elementary/middle education and Spanish education majors must complete the following additional content courses to meet accreditation standards and/or WI statutory requirements. Some courses are also in the General Education program.

PSY 212Lifespan Development 93
MTH 216Mathematics for Middle School Teachers II 32
TSL 250Educating Multilingual Learners3
Select from the category not previously chosen for GE Category 5: 63-4
Biological science course
Physical science course
Select one of the following:3
American National Government 1
State and Local Government 1
Spanish content courses: Identities and perspectives 10
Select two of the following:6
Latin American Voices of Revolution
Perspectives on Contemporary Spain: Culture and Society
Artistic Expression and Society in the Spanish-Speaking World
Latinx in the U.S.: Culture and Society
Topics in Hispanic Cultures
Spanish for the Health Professions
Spanish Language in Contexts
The Sounds of Spanish
Spanish Storytelling
Spanish content courses: Human conditions in globalized societies 103
Select one of the following:
Studies in Hispanic Literature
Studies in Hispanic Linguistics
Total Credits23-24

Courses not requiring admission to the School of Education (12 credits)

EDS 308Foundations of Literacy3
EDS 311Curriculum and Pedagogy: Elementary/Middle Education3
EDS 318Literacy Methods I3
SPE 200Foundations of Special Education 93
Total Credits12

Courses requiring admission to the School of Education (48 credits)

SPE 300Designing Sustainable Inclusive Classrooms3
Field I block courses (must be taken concurrently)
EDS 402Field Experience I: Elementary Level 9, 113
EDS 413Social Studies Methods 93
EDS 418Literacy Methods II 93
Field II block courses (must be taken concurrently)
EDS 446Field Experience II: Middle Level 9, 113
EDS 421Science Methods 93
EDS 422Mathematics Methods 93
EDS 452Philosophy and Curriculum for Young Adolescent Learners 93
World language education courses
GCL 310Theories and Research in Second Language Acquisition3
GCL 400Teaching World Languages: Methods and Approaches 93
GCL 420Teaching World Languages: Design and Application 9, 123
TSL 345Intercultural Interactions3
Student teaching semester 13
EDS 492Student Teaching Seminar 91
A combination of the following: 911
Student Teaching: Elementary/Middle Education (K-9)
Student Teaching: Kindergarten through Grade 12 (K-12)
Teaching Internship
Total Credits48

Also satisfies an SOE core requirement.


Credits taken to satisfy a Spanish content course requirement in this major cannot be used to meet Spanish minor requirements. Between the major and the minor, candidates complete a total of four courses from the "Identities and Perspectives" category.


Field experience will be blended between regular education (elementary or middle) and Spanish education.


Includes experience with high school (grades 9-12) lesson planning and observations.


Must complete all course requirements and other benchmarks prior to student teaching. For more information, please see the Student Teaching and Internship Policy.

Study abroad requirement

  1. All students should consult with their advisor in Spanish regarding specific requirements for study abroad;
  2. All Spanish education majors are required to complete an approved language immersion experience of at least 14 weeks (one semester); students should consult with a Spanish advisor when planning this experience;
  3. Students are required to complete the 12 credit core of courses before studying abroad;
  4. Spanish education majors may take up to six credits of the Level IV and V category abroad. Consult with Spanish advisor for applicability.

Language proficiency for student teaching requirements

Prior to student teaching, teacher candidates are required to

  1. Demonstrate proficiency with an "Intermediate High" rating on the American Council Teaching of Foreign Languages Oral Proficiency test in Spanish (ACTFL-OPIc) and
  2. Demonstrate proficiency with an "Intermediate High" rating on the American Council Teaching of Foreign Languages Written Proficiency test in Spanish (ACTFL-WPT internet).

Additional teacher education requirements are listed on the School of Education catalog page.

All teacher education students must complete the general education, School of Education, major/minor, and university degree requirements in order to qualify for a degree. The easiest way to track all of these requirements is to refer to the Advisement Report (AR) found in the Student Information System (WINGS) Student Center. All enrolled students have access to the AR.

Baccalaureate degree requirements

Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degrees must accomplish the following:

  1. Fulfill the general education requirements.
  2. Complete at least one ethnic studies (diversity) course.
  3. Complete the courses prescribed by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for the degree desired in the respective school or college.
  4. Earn a minimum of 120 semester credits with at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA.1, 2
  5. At least 40 credits must be earned in 300/400 level courses. Transfer courses earned or transferred at the 300/400 level apply to this requirement.
  6. Complete major and minor requirements with at least a 2.00 GPA1, 2 in each major and minor (and concentration or emphasis, if selected).
  7. A minimum of 30 semester credits in residence at UWL is required for graduation. (See undergraduate resident requirement.)
  8. Submit an application for graduation via the "Apply for Graduation" link in the WINGS Student Center as soon as the student has registered for his or her final semester or summer term in residence. December and winter intersession graduates should apply by May 1. May and summer graduates should apply by December 1.

Grade point average requirements for some programs will be considerably higher than 2.00. Re-entering students may be required to earn credits in excess of the 120 needed for graduation in any curriculum in order to replace credits earned in courses in which the content has changed substantially in recent years. Each case will be judged on its own merit.


The grade point average recorded at the time the degree is awarded will not be affected by future enrollment.

No degree will be awarded unless all requirements are fulfilled and recorded within 30 days after the official ending date of each term.

Below is a sample degree plan that can be used as a guide to identify courses required to fulfill the major and other requirements needed for degree completion. A student's actual degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). Also, this sample plan assumes readiness for each course and/or major plan, and some courses may not be offered every term. Review the course descriptions or the class timetable for course offering information.

The sample degree plans represented in this catalog are intended for first-year students entering UWL in the fall term. Students should use the Advisement Report (AR) in WINGS and work closely with their faculty advisor(s) and college dean’s office to ensure declaration and completion of all requirements in a timely manner.

General Education Program
The general education curriculum (Gen Ed) is the common educational experience for all undergraduates at UWL. Sample degree plans include Gen Ed placeholders to ensure completion of the general education requirements. Courses may be rearranged to fit the needs or recommendations of the student’s program of study. Gen Ed courses may be taken during winter term (January between the semesters) and summer to reduce the course load during regular terms (fall and spring). Students should consult with their advisor and/or the college academic services director in their college/school for assistance with course and schedule planning. Refer to the general education requirements for more specific details.

At least 40 credits of the 120 credits required must be earned at the 300/400-level. 

Note: New students and transfer students with less than 12 credits earned are required to take FYS 100 First-Year Seminar (3 cr.) during one of their first two semesters at UWL.

This sample degree plan does not establish a contractual agreement. It identifies the minimum requirements a student must successfully complete, to qualify for a degree, in a format intended to assist the student in planning their academic career. Actual degree plans may differ.

Year 1
ENG 110 or 112 (Gen Ed Literacy-Written)3CST 110 (Gen Ed Literacy-Oral)3 
EDS 203 (Gen Ed Self & Society)3EDS 206 (Gen Ed Minority Cultures)3 
MTH 115 (Gen Ed Math)2MTH 116 (Gen Ed Math/Lang/Logical Systems)2 
HIS 110 (Gen Ed World History)3GEO 200 (Gen Ed Global Studies)3 
FYS 100 (Gen Ed First-Year Seminar)3Gen Ed Humanistic Studies (English literature)3 
SPA Level 3 Course: Communities-Oral Proficiency13SPA Level 3 Course: Communities-Writing Proficiency3 
 17 17  
Year 2
EDS 3083SPE 2003 
EDS 3113EDS 3183 
PSY 2123MTH 215 (Gen Ed Math/Lang/Logical Systems)2 
POL 101 or 1023SPA Level 3 Course: Communities-Writing Proficiency (not already used)3 
TSL 2503Gen Ed Natural Lab Science (Biological)24 
SPA Level 3 Course: Communities-Oral Proficiency (not already used)3Apply for admission to School of Education3  
 18 15  
Year 3
MTH 216 (Gen Ed Math/Lang/Logical Systems)2SPA 4033Study Abroad Semester (Transfer Courses) 
GCL 3103ART 302 (Gen Ed Arts)3SPA 4433
TSL 3453SPA Level 4 Course: Identities and Perspectives (not already used)3SPA Level 4 Course: Identities and Perspectives Course (not already used)3
SPA Level 4 Course: Identities and Perspectives3SPA Level 4 Course: Identities and Perspectives (not already used)3 
Gen Ed Arts (not from ART)2-3Gen Ed Health & Well-Being53 
Gen Ed Natural Lab Science (Physical)44Apply for Field Experience I6  
 17 15 6
Year 4
SPE 3003EDS 4213 
EDS 4023EDS 4223 
EDS 4133EDS 4523 
EDS 4183EDS 4463 
GCL 4003GCL 4203 
SPA Level 4 Course: Identities and Perspectives (not already used)3  
Apply for Field Experience II6   
Apply for Student Teaching7   
 18 15  
Additional year
All course requirements and other benchmarks must be completed prior to student teaching.8   
EDS 4916  
EDS 4975  
EDS 4921  
Total Credits: 150

Depending on placement, additional courses may be required to meet the prerequisite for enrollment in a SPA 300-level course.


BIO 100 Biology for the Informed Citizen (4 cr.) is recommended.


See the SOE admissions website for complete admission and application details. Students will be required to complete a criminal background check at the time of application for admission.


PHY 106 Physical Science for Educators (4 cr.) is recommended.


HED 207 Youth Health Issues (3 cr.) is recommended.


Students applying for field and student teaching placements will be asked to disclose any criminal charges.


Students must apply for student teaching through the Office of Field Experience on year prior to the student teaching semester.


For more information, please see the Student Teaching and Internship Policy.