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BAEd Program Mission Statement

The mission of the Westcliff University Bachelor of Arts in Education is to foster academic opportunities for students to develop professional skills and knowledge through foundation level educational studies which address the needs of a changing academic landscape.

BAEd Program Description

The Bachelor of Arts in Education (BAEd) degree prepares students to seek employment in entry-level positions in elementary or secondary education. Students will consider, research, and learn to adapt curriculum to the needs of children and adolescents from diverse backgrounds and ability levels. Classes are taught by experienced, respected faculty who bring knowledge and expertise into the classroom.


BAEd Program learning outcomes

The Bachelor’s degree in Education requires both academic and personal growth of its students, contributing to their success as education professionals.  The program’s educational outcomes are to:

  1. Apply research, assessment, and written skills in creating and maintaining a safe and engaging learning environment.
  2. Defend key concepts and theories related to curriculum and instruction through oral presentations.
  3. Actively associate and collaborate with members of the education profession and with the wider community.
  4. Employ an ability to recognize and critically analyze appropriate classroom management skills, continually improving upon professional knowledge and practice.
  5. Apply values, theory, and best practices to educational issues in education.
  6. Extrapolate information from research uncovering inequities in educational access, opportunities, and practices.
  7. Diagnose the needs of students and use quantitative and qualitative data to respond to those needs using appropriate methods.

BAEd Program Graduation Requirements

The BAEd program consists of a program requirement of 120 credit hours, including 60 credits of Core Education Courses and 60 credits of General Education Courses.

Students may complete their entire 120 credit BAEd program by taking secondary by taking all 60 General Education and 60 Core Education Course credits at Westcliff University. Alternatively, students may transfer up to 60 general education credit hours to Westcliff from another accredited school. Additionally, students may apply be granted course waivers for up to 30 credit hours of the required BAEd Core Education Courses. In any option, 54 of the 60 general education credit hours must have academic content. Please refer to the Transfer Credit and Course Waiver Policies for more detailed information and requirements.

Students must apply for graduation and meet all academic and financial requirements.


General Education Description

The General Education courses at Westcliff are structured to provide a coherent, integrated introduction to the breadth of knowledge students will need to help them develop intellectual skills that will enhance their professional, civic, and personal life for years to come. Students will learn how to analyze the world around them from different perspectives, how to communicate their ideas and understand the ideas of others, how to solve problems, and how to apply their knowledge to real-world projects.

General Education course Requirements (60 credit hours)

Westcliff University offers 20 General Education courses, which students may take to fulfill the 60 credit hour requirement. Should students wish to transfer in General Education credits from another accredited school, the following requirements must be met:

General Education Breadth Requirements (30 credit hours):

  • English- 2 courses (6 credit hours) required
  • Math- 1 course (3 credit hours) required
  • Arts and Humanities – 2 courses (6 credit hours) required
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences- 3 courses (9 credit hours) required
  • Natural Sciences – 1 course (3 credit hours) required
  • Communications- 1 course (3 credit hours) required

Electives- 30 credit hours required (maximum of 6 non-academic credit hours)


General Education courses Offered by Category


ENG 120 English Composition 3 credit hours
LIT 150 English Literature 3 credit hours



MAT 135 College Algebra 3 credit hours


Arts and Humanities

ART 100 Art History 3 credit hours
HUM 165 Human Geography 3 credit hours
HUM 170 Human Civilizations 3 credit hours
HUM 180: World Religions 3 credit hours


Social and Behavioral Sciences

HIS 140 U.S. History 3 credit hours
POL 205 International Relations 3 credit hours
POL 210 American Government 3 credit hours
POL 220 World Politics 3 credit hours
PSY 235 Introduction to Psychology 3 credit hours
PSY 240 Human Development 3 credit hours
SOC 245 Introduction to Sociology 3 credit hours


Natural Sciences

BIO 260 General Biology 3 credit hours
SCI 275 Introduction to Ecology 3 credit hours
SCI 280 Environmental Science 3 credit hours
GEO 290 Physical Geography 3 credit hours



COM 115 Introduction to Communication 3 credit hours
PHL 190 Critical Thinking and Problem Solving 3 credit hours


Bachelor of Arts in Education Program Core Courses 

EDU 303 Introduction to Education 3 credit hours
EDU 305 Education Psychology 3 credit hours
EDU 311 Unit Design 3 credit hours
EDU 315 Educational and Social Justice 3 credit hours
EDU 320 Home, School, and Community Collaboration 3 credit hours
EDU 325 Art of Effective Teaching 3 credit hours
EDU 330 Building the Foundations of Literacy 3 credit hours
EDU 341 Child and Adolescent Development 3 credit hours
EDU 350 Assessment of the Teaching and Learning Process 3 credit hours
EDU 355 Exceptional Students 3 credit hours
EDU 360 Curriculum and Instruction 3 credit hours
EDU 361 Information Literacy, Research, and Analysis 3 credit hours
EDU 365 Multicultural Education 3 credit hours
EDU 370 Teaching English Language Learners 3 credit hours
EDU 371 Strategies for Online Learning 3 credit hours
EDU 375 Teaching with Technology 3 credit hours
EDU 400 Differentiating and Scaffolding Instruction 3 credit hours
EDU 401 Educational Leadership 3 credit hours
EDU 410 Portfolio Development* 3 credit hours
EDU 450 Directed Field Experience* 3 credit hours

Total BAEd Education Core Courses

60 credit hours

*It is recommended that this course be taken in the final stages of the student’s BAEd program.



General Education Courses

ART 100 Art History (3 credit hours). This course seeks to develop skills in perception, comprehension, and appreciation when dealing with a variety of visual art forms. It encourages the close analysis of visual materials, explores the range of questions and methods appropriate to the explication of a given work of art, and examines the intellectual structures basic to the systematic study of art. Most importantly, the course encourages the understanding of art as a visual language and aims to foster in students the ability to translate this understanding into verbal expression.


COM 115 Introduction to Communication (3 credit hours). This course provides an overview of the basic concepts of communication and the skills necessary to communicate in various contexts. Emphasis is placed on communication theories and techniques used in interpersonal group, public, intercultural, and mass communication situations. Upon completion, students should be able to explain and illustrate the forms and purposes of human communication in a variety of contexts.


ENG 120 English Composition (3 credit hours). This course is an introductory writing course designed to improve critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. Students will progress from personal expressive writing to text-based expository essays appropriate for an academic audience. Students develop strategies for turning their experience, observations, and analyses into evidence suitable for writing in a variety of academic disciplines.


MAT 135 College Algebra (3 credit hours). This course covers real numbers and their properties; linear equations and inequalities in one variable; linear equations in two variables and their graphs; exponents and polynomials; special products and factoring; rational expressions; systems of linear equations; radicals, absolute values, and rational exponents; quadratic equations, functions, and inequalities; exponential and logarithmic functions; nonlinear systems; and sequences and series.


HIS 140 U.S. History (3 credit hours). This course examines the major political, economic, social, and cultural developments in the United States from its colonial origins to the present day. Topics include colonial development, revolution, U.S. Constitution, economy, Industrial Revolution, Great Depression, Progressive Era, major 1wars, and political, cultural, international, and social changes throughout United States history.


LIT 150 English Literature (3 credit hours). This course is an introduction to literature which offers students the opportunity to read, discuss, and analyze a wide variety of poetry, fiction, and drama. Students will work on developing their writing and oral communication skills as they learn about literary genres. Through exposure to a wide range of human expression, students will learn to compare and contrast the attitudes and values of specific historical periods and diverse cultures.


HUM 165 Human Geography (3 credit hours). This course focuses on how the world’s population impacts the globe. It investigates the diverse patterns of human settlement, development, and movement on earth, which evolved as a result of cultural and environmental factors. Emphasis is placed on understanding global population and migration patterns, language, religion, ethnicity, political and economic systems, development issues, agriculture and urbanization.


HUM 170 Human Civilizations (3 credit hours). This course explores the origins and development of the earliest complex human societies, namely those of Mesopotamia, Africa, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and China. Focus is placed on the nature of these societies, analysis and interpretation of their basic institutions, their religions and world views, and their cultural histories. A great deal of emphasis is placed on comparisons of other world civilizations and cultures with modern society.


HUM 180 World Religions (3 credit hours). This course examines the major teachings, beliefs, and devotional practices of the world’s major religions, including views of the absolute, ceremonial rituals, sacred experiences, and prevalent stories. Religions covered in this course include: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, Daoism and Confucianism, Shinto, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and various alternate paths.


PHL 190 Critical Thinking & Problem Solving (3 credit hours). This course aims to strengthen students’ abilities to identify, analyze, and evaluate formal and informal arguments in professional and everyday discourse. Students will learn to distinguish valid from invalid arguments, identify bias and evaluate evidence in arguments, respond reflectively to arguments, and generate well-formed arguments of their own. Emphasis will be placed on applying these skills to evaluating real world arguments and solving real world problems from a variety of points of view.


POL 205 International Relations (3 credit hours). This course is an introductory study of the cultural, political, and economic interactions among states and non-state actors in global politics. Focus is placed on the interactions among international actors: states, international organizations, and transnational groups. Special attention is paid to key issues, including national interest, international security, power, foreign policy decision-making, and the role of diplomacy in promoting cooperation.


POL 210 American Government (3 credit hours). This course provides an introduction to American politics. It centers on the fundamental role played by the institutions of American government including Congress, Presidency, Federal Judiciary, and Bureaucracy in understanding political dynamics in the United States. The course also examines the mediating role of organizations such as interest groups, the news media, and political parties. Common themes at both the national and state levels will be explored.


POL 220 World Politics (3 credit hours). This course focuses on the key political, social, economic, and cultural changes that occurred in world history from 1500 to the present, with attention to cultural comparisons over time, and to the impacts of global interdependence upon economies, cultures and geopolitics. Topics include the rise of land and sea empires, epidemic diseases through history, revolutionary ideologies and new labor and social relations, the cultures of colonialism and neo-colonialism, the technologies of world wars, and the rise of global production and consumer markets.


PSY 235 Introduction to Psychology (3 credit hours). This course is an introduction to human psychology and behavior. The course covers the historical, physiological, and social influences on behavior, and includes topics such as the biology of behavior; sensation and perception; consciousness; learning and memory; cognition; motivation and emotion; personality and social behavior; stress and adjustment; persuasion; problem solving; and decision-making.


PSY 240 Human Development (3 credit hours). This course introduces students to the central issues in the basic areas in human development. Students will progress through the seven stages of life: infancy; early childhood; middle and late childhood; adolescence; early adulthood; middle adulthood; and late adulthood. The course will explain relationships between physical, cognitive, psychosocial, and emotional aspects of development.


SOC 245 Introduction to Sociology (3 credit hours). This course focuses on basic concepts, research, and theories involved in increasing the understanding of human behavior and human societies. Utilizing a sociological perspective, the interrelations among human societies, individuals, organizations, and groups are analyzed. Topics of analysis include culture, social interaction, social institutions, social stratification, deviance, culture, community, and various social change strategies.


BIO 260 General Biology (3 credit hours). This course introduces the principles and concepts of biology.  Emphasis is placed on basic biological chemistry, cell structure and function, metabolism and energy transformation, genetics, evolution, classification, organisms, biodiversity, plant and animal systems, ecology, and other related topics. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate understanding of life at the molecular and cellular levels as well as be able to demonstrate comprehension of life at the organismal and ecological levels.


SCI 275 Introduction to Ecology (3 credit hours). This course introduces basic principles of ecology- the study of relationships among living organisms, their environment, and each other. Focus is placed on ecological concepts applied to individuals, populations and communities of both plants and animals. Topics include plant and animal adaptations to the environment, the role environmental factors in the distribution and abundance of organisms, the dynamics of population growth, species interactions including competition and predation, and the structure of ecological communities.


SCI 280 Environmental Science (3 credit hours). This course serves as an introduction to and covers broad aspects of environmental science. Specifically, this course examines the environmental impact of population growth on natural resources; mineral and resource extraction; water resource use and water pollution; air pollution and climate change; renewable and non-renewable sources for power generation; and risks associated with population growth in a developing world.


GEO 290 Physical Geography (3 credit hours). This course explores Earth’s physical systems, their dynamic processes, and surface expressions. Particular emphasis is given to developing an integrative view of how atmospheric, hydrologic, geomorphic, and biotic processes control the patterns of climate, water, landforms, soils, and biota across a local-to-global continuum. Those physical elements that influence and/or are influenced by people are the primary focus of study.


Education courses-BAEd

EDU 300 Introduction to Teaching (3 credit hours) – This introductory course is an overview of the teaching profession, the professional teacher, and the learner. The roles and responsibilities of the educator and historical and current educational system in the United States will be examined. Students will learn about diverse learners, learning styles, and theories. Creating a positive learning environment, managing classrooms effectively, and developing and conducting standards-based lesson plans will be covered.


EDU 305 Educational Psychology (3 credit hours) – This course is an introductory course in educational psychology designed to provide students with an understanding of cognitive, social, cultural, and behavioral aspects of learning and instruction. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to evaluate educational and psychological theories and research and their relevance to teaching in diverse communities.


EDU 310 Globalization of Education (3 credit hours) – This course will cover developments reflecting influences and ideas shaping particular manifestations of globalization and their influence on education in both industrialized and developing countries. The global view of political structures, educational systems, and workforce development will be emphasized. Students will compare and investigate systems and ideals, examine solutions, and engage in dialogue and debate surrounding globalization and educational changes.


EDU 315 Educational Leadership and Social Justice (3 credit hours) – This course will challenge students to be effective advocates for social justice. Students will learn about current realities in educational leadership training and in school practices which can be refined or reconstructed.


EDU 320 Home, School, and Community Collaboration (3 credit hours) – This course is focused on teacher, parent, and community engagement strategies for collaborative planning and decision making to support students’ educational and mental health needs. Students will be able to define key players in their education and identify ways in which all stakeholders can work together for the benefit of all learners.


EDU 325 Art of Effective Teaching (3 credit hours) – This course reviews the historical and philosophical viewpoints of teaching, encouraging participants to identify, examine, and define their own teaching style and classroom management practice while considering the foundations of their upcoming professional practice.


EDU 330 Building the Foundations of Literacy (3 credit hours) – This course provides an overview of the theories and practices surrounding reading and literacy instruction, focusing on symptoms, intervention, and differentiation of specific instructional strategies to be used with secondary students in a mainstream class.


EDU 335 Early Childhood Development (3 credit hours) – This course focuses on both typical and atypical child development from birth through age eight. It highlights the diversity of child development and prepares one to meet the needs of children with different backgrounds.


EDU 340 Adolescent Development (3 credit hours) – This course examines the psychological, physiological, behavioral, and cognitive characteristics and factors that affect learning among adolescents. The course emphasizes the teaching of adolescents in diverse secondary school environments.


EDU 345 Art, Music, and Fitness in Education (3 credit hours) – This course reviews the strategies teachers can use to engage in the exploration of play and the tangential factors concerning play. The course focuses on environmental literacy, the impact of technology, and the importance of outdoor play, music, and movement.


EDU 350 Assessment of the Teaching and Learning Process (3 credit hours) – This course teaches students how to assess teaching and learning process.  Students will learn how to clarify learning targets, select assessment methods, and design quality classroom assessment tasks. Students will also learn how assessment relates to instruction and how to interpret assessment data.


EDU 355 Exceptional Students (3 credit hours) – This course focuses on historical and legal perspectives of exceptional students, the characteristics of exceptional students, their strengths and needs, and strategies to work effectively with each student.


EDU 360 Curriculum and Instruction (3 credit hours) – This course defines the differences and areas of overlap between curriculum and instruction.  Students will learn how to create, plan, manage, and structure curriculum and instruction as well as how current issues such as globalization affect curriculum and instruction.


EDU 365 Multicultural Education (3 credit hours) – This course will integrate discussion, “hands-on” activities, skills, and methods to develop an awareness and sensitivity to the challenges facing K-12 educators in today’s classrooms, including race, class, gender, religion, special needs, and exceptional students.


EDU 370 Teaching English Language Learners (3 credit hours) – This course provides students with foundational knowledge on second-language acquisition and different types of ELL programs which are based on changing demographics.  Students will learn how to guide their own students from interpersonal to academic language, academic literacy in the content areas, and how to assess ELL literacy skills.


EDU 375 Teaching with Technology (3 credit hours) – This course examines the history, current practices, and future possibilities for integrating technology into the classroom.  Students will learn how to enhance professional productivity, design technologically enhanced curricula, and manage disruptive technologies.


EDU 400 Differentiating and Scaffolding Instruction (3 credit hours) – This course introduces the concepts of differentiating instruction and scaffolding in a wide range of settings to not only meet the needs of students but also to provide variety and challenge to students.


EDU 405 Teaching Principles, Policies, and Current Problems (3 credit hours) – This course identifies and analyzes significant and persistent issues in early childhood education in the United States and the issues that relate to student achievement and teacher effectiveness.


EDU 410 Educational Research (3 credit hours) – This course will give students the opportunity to demonstrate their competence and achievement of the program learning outcomes through the completion of a portfolio. Students will rely on their research from previous courses and thoroughly examine and evaluate their learning experiences in order to analyze the issues related to teacher education, advocacy, policy, and working with families. Students will research the next steps in professional development and create a plan for further growth as a professional in the K-12 field.


EDU 450 Directed Field Experience (3 credit hours) – This internship experience course gives students the opportunity to obtain hands-on professional experiences in their chosen field.

Prerequisite(s): EDU 410