The evidence is clear: Wisconsin classrooms need teachers, and they need them fast.

To help get teaching candidates there more quickly, Concordia University Wisconsin will soon launch an accelerated bachelor’s program that promises an elementary education degree and state licensure in as few as three years.

Concordia will begin the first cohort of its Accelerated Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education program in July. Graduates of the program will be eligible to teach in any grade K-9.

Accelerated BA in Elementary Education

The accelerated curriculum is organized/delivered in the following manner:

  • Entirely online, outside of practicum and student teaching experiences
  • Three successive, eight-week terms within each semester
  • Six semesters before completion, with the final semester serving as candidates’ student-teaching experience
  • Two 3-credit courses taken within each term
  • Applicants may apply for life and work experience credit toward practicum coursework (up to 6 credits)

“We know that there is a need for qualified teachers who are prepared to take on the demands of the classroom with the passion and care that every child deserves,” said Adam Paape, EdD, director of the accelerated program. “We also realize that living on campus and taking a traditional four-year program is not for everyone. This online three-year program may be just the opportunity someone needs to build a meaningful career and make a positive difference in the lives of young learners.”

Concordia is one of only two colleges in the state – and the only Christian institution – to offer a three-year route to an elementary education bachelor’s degree. The new accelerated program is an especially attractive option for post-traditional learners, or individuals who are already out in the workforce. Applicants may transfer up to 84 credits from previous college experience.

Through Project Invest, CUW also offers a fast-tracked route to a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and Wisconsin Teacher Certification. The Project Invest program is geared toward Milwaukee-area teachers, and aims to increase the number of skilled teachers – particularly diverse teachers – available to minority student populations.

Those interested in the Accelerated Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education program may be eligible for one of Concordia’s Uncommon Scholarships. Teach grants also may be applied.

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

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