Department of Education

Faculty: Jennifer Hill, Tracy Marshall, Shannon Panfilio-Padden, Ryan Roberts, LoriAnn Sanchez (Department Chair), and Duane Slemmer

Mission: The mission of the Department of Education at Northwest Nazarene University is to be a Christ-centered unit that develops capable, compassionate educators who are determined and prepared to meet the educational needs of young people in a changing world. This mission drives our work in undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education programs. It is articulated through the conceptual framework underpinning all education programs.

Learning Objectives: Outcomes for NNU's education programs are aligned with the Idaho Core Teaching Standards.

Idaho Core Teaching Standards

Standard #1: Learner Development. The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.

Standard #2: Learning Differences. The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.

Standard #3: Learning Environments. The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

Standard #4: Content Knowledge. The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.

Standard #5: Application of Content. The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.

Standard #6: Assessment. The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher's and learner's decision making.

Standard #7: Planning for Instruction. The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.

Standard #8: Instructional Strategies. The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.

Standard #9: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice. The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

Standard #10: Leadership and Collaboration. The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.


The chair is the administrator of the Undergraduate Education Department.


The Educator Preparation Program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The program is approved by the Idaho State Board of Education using Idaho standards.

Northwest Nazarene University is a member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges of Teacher Education (AILACTE), and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).


It is beneficial for transfer students to contact an NNU advisor in the Education Department even while attending another college or working on another degree so they can be assisted in selecting and sequencing coursework that will meet NNU requirements. This can minimize the chance of inadvertently extending the length of their program at NNU.


Application for admission to the Educator Preparation Program should be made during the semester when EDUC2960 (Introduction to Instructional Design) is taken, or by spring semester of the candidate’s sophomore year.  Candidates who transfer to NNU with junior or senior classification should apply for admission to the Educator Preparation Program during their first semester of residency.  Decision factors include scholarship, dispositions for teaching, satisfactory test performance, and residency as described below.  Any person convicted of a felony must be cleared by the department chair prior to seeking admission to the Educator Preparation Program.

Requirements for admission:

The department, with the assistance of the Educator Preparation Council, conducts interviews of candidates. Candidates who are not enrolled at NNU for two consecutive semesters need to reapply for admission to the Educator Preparation Program when they return.

  1. Scholarship. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above must have been earned in university work. GPA is computed only on credits earned at NNU.
  2. Dispositions for teaching. These values, commitments, and professional ethics are listed on the undergraduate dispositions assessment. They are demonstrated by candidates in courses, field experiences, and interviews.
  3. Satisfactory test performance. Satisfactory English and mathematics scores are required for admission. This requirement may be met by receiving the minimum score on any one of the tests in the chart below.
Test Minimum English Score Minimum Mathematics Score
ACT 21 21
SAT 28 on Reading Test 570
COMPASS 86 50 on Algebra Test
ACCUPLACER     169 on Reading & Sentence   74 on Elementary Algebra

4. Residence. One semester in residence at NNU must precede admission to the program. (Transfer students may apply during their first semester of residency.)


Checkpoint 2 occurs at the end of the fall semester prior to candidates enrolling in elementary reading or secondary methods courses.  This is typically during the candidate’s junior year.


Admission to the internship year occurs at the end of the semester in which EDUC3260 Content Literacy in K-8 Classrooms and EDUC3250 Fundamentals of Reading are taken (generally spring semester of the candidate’s junior year). 


Admission to secondary student teaching (EDUC4860 or EDUC4870) occurs at the end of the semester in which EDUC3510 Teaching Methods in Secondary Classrooms and content specific methods courses are taken (generally spring semester of the candidate’s junior year).


Candidates must display appropriate dispositions for teaching, must have successfully completed all requirements for student teaching or internship with a grade of A or B, must have passed all state-required tests, and must have been recommended by the NNU Educator Preparation Council for certification.


English/Language Arts Middle School Content Area
Math Middle School Content Area
Science Middle School Content Area
Social Studies Middle School Content Area
American Government/Political Science Second Teaching Field Emphasis
Art Teaching Area Emphasis
Art Second Teaching Field Emphasis
Biology Teaching Area Emphasis
Biology First Teaching Field Emphasis
Biology Second Teaching Field Emphasis
Chemistry Teaching Area Emphasis
Chemistry First Teaching Field Emphasis
Chemistry Second Teaching Field Emphasis
Communication Second Teaching Field Emphasis
English Teaching Area Emphasis
English First Teaching Field Emphasis
English Second Teaching Field Emphasis
Health Second Teaching Field Emphasis
History First Teaching Field Emphasis
History Second Teaching Field Emphasis
Kinesiology Teaching Area Emphasis
Kinesiology First Teaching Field Emphasis
Kinesiology Second Teaching Field Emphasis
Mathematics Teaching Area Emphasis
Mathematics First Teaching Field Emphasis
Mathematics Second Teaching Field Emphasis
Music Teaching Area Emphasis
Music Second Teaching Field Emphasis
Physics Second Teaching Field Emphasis
Psychology Second Teaching Field Emphasis
Spanish First Teaching Field Emphasis
Spanish Second Teaching Field Emphasis