Program overview

Make meaningful contributions in the classroom, positively impact the lives of students and put your passion to work by preparing to become a licensed elementary school teacher.  Rider University's education students participate in mediated field experiences, have access to unique short-term study abroad experiences and benefit from personalized attention. Small class sizes enable our faculty to personally observe and guide students every step of the way.

Why earn your teacher certification in NJ? The median salary for a teacher in New Jersey is $72,900, making New Jersey teachers some of the best paid in the country (, 2022). New Jersey has some of the most robust certification requirements and it is often easier to earn out-of-state certification should you choose to relocate (, 2022).


kindergarten and elementary teaching jobs in the US (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022)


median salary for kindergarten and elementary school teachers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022)


projected job openings for kindergarten and elementary school teachers each year (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022)

Rider alumna Shannon Renshaw teaches elementary education in Bear Tavern School

Scholarships for future educators.

Rider encourages students to embark on this rewarding career path by offering scholarships, ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 per year, for incoming undergraduate education majors, beginning with the fall 2024 semester.

Program requirements

As an elementary education student, you’ll tailor your learning to your goals by focusing on multidisciplinary studies, STEM studies or choosing a second major from the College of Arts and Sciences. The program curriculum for all pathways includes general studies courses, major requirements and field experiences including a semester of full-time student teaching. Students also have the option to earn additional teaching certifications by choosing from a variety of minors

Become a generalist

This option is for students who wish to be generalists (teach all subjects) at the elementary level. The curriculum includes courses in content areas including math, history, science and English. Students select an area of concentration from the subjects listed and take an additional two classes in that area. Students also have the option of middle school certification in that particular content area.

BLC flowers

The four-year advantage

At Rider University, our goal is to turn aspiring educators into confident ones. Our four-year program is focused on immersing you in the teaching profession and cultivating your skills. You'll graduate with the reassurance that you've chosen the right career, saving you both time and money. Once you begin your full-time teaching career, you may be able to take advantage of school district funding or discounts through our University partnerships program to pursue graduate study. 

Student teaching

Your studies are half the picture of becoming a teacher, but the other half is actually teaching. At Rider, you’ll observe and assist in classrooms, learn to use a range of teaching methods and complete an entire semester of full-time student teaching. All field experiences are mediated, so students are never alone in the field. You'll always have a faculty mentor to help guide you.

Student teacher.
Education student, Jenna Dean headshot
I liked that Rider had small classes, and that whenever I visited, the faculty always remembered my name, and everyone always answered all of my questions. I knew that at Rider I wasn’t going to get lost in the crowd.
Jenna Dean '21
Elementary Education (B.A.)
Read Her Story
Beyond100K logo


Rider is proud to partner with Beyond100K and make the commitment to help end the STEM teacher shortage. Having achieved their goal of preparing 100,000 excellent STEM teachers in 10 years, they continue to tackle the world’s most pressing problems by engaging the best and most diverse minds, especially those who have been historically marginalized. They are centered on racial diversity, equity, and belonging for its next chapter to help close gaps in STEM education, drive innovation, and deliver the most impactful solutions to move our world forward.

Financial aid resources

Learn more about financial aid, tuition and the various options we offer to make your college education affordable.


Susan Dougherty

Associate Professor, Department Chair

Department of Teacher Education

Bierenbaum Fisher Hall

sdougherty [at]

(609) 896-5162

Academic Focus: Undergraduate Teacher Education

Education building with flowers in front of it.