Department of Education

Faculty: Jennifer Hill, Eric Kellerer, Tracy Marshall, Shannon Panfilio-Padden, Holly Ripley (Department Chair), LoriAnn Sanchez (Dean), and Whitney Ward

Administrator: The chair is the administrator of the undergraduate Education Department.

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 learner-centered CORE 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 an 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 a 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 Educator Preparation Program at Northwest Nazarene University is accredited based on the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards. The program is fully approved by the Idaho State Board of Education.

The Educator Preparation Program at Northwest Nazarene University is eligible to seek accreditation based on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) standards in spring 2022. NNU is proud of its 51-year NCATE accreditation history and looks forward to seeking accreditation based on the CAEP standards in 2022.


Bachelor of Arts, Elementary Education

Bachelor of Arts, Visual Art Education

Bachelor of Arts, Biology Education

Bachelor of Arts, Chemistry Education

Bachelor of Arts, English Education

Bachelor of Arts, History Education

Bachelor of Arts, Kinesiology Education

Bachelor of Arts, Mathematics Education

Bachelor of Arts, Music Education

Bachelor of Arts, Spanish Education

The Educator Preparation Program at Northwest Nazarene University is approved by the Idaho State Department of Education to offer programs leading toward an Educator Credential and Standard Instructional Certificate. Candidates will also obtain teaching endorsements in one, or more, of the following subjects:

All Subjects K-8 (Elementary Education)
American Government/Political Science
Computer Science
Mathematics, Basic
Middle-Level Science
Middle-Level Social Studies
Physical Education (Kinesiology)
Visual Art
World Language, Spanish

For the Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, candidates will pursue the All Subjects K-8 endorsement. Additionally, candidates choose one middle-level grade band endorsement field from the subjects listed below.

Middle-Level Endorsements, Grade 5-9
Mathematics, Basic
Social Studies

For secondary education candidates, NNU offers endorsement areas and fields in the following subjects for grade bands 6-12. Secondary candidates may choose one teaching area or two teaching fields in which to pursue endorsement. If a candidate pursues two teaching fields, one must be a first teaching field. Music, Physical Education, and Visual Arts subject areas have the option of pursuing K-12 grade band endorsements.

Area: 45 cr or more First Field: 30 cr or more Second Field: 20 cr or more
Biology Biology American Government/Political Science
Chemistry Chemistry Biology
English English Chemistry
Mathematics History Communication
Music Mathematics Computer Science
Physical Education Physical Education English
Visual Arts World Language, Spanish Health
  Visual Arts History
    Physical Education
    World Language, Spanish
    Visual Arts


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. Knowledge assessment. 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.
Minimum English Score 21 (Reading) 544 (Reading/Writing) 169 (Reading)
Minimum Math Score 21 533 163
Minimum Writing Score 7 6 165
  1. Residence. One semester in residence at NNU must precede admission to the program. (Transfer students may apply during their first semester in 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.