Brigham Young University Reviews - Bachelor's in Elementary Education
It was a privilege to attend Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The environment and culture of the university is wholesome and welcoming. Students come from all around the world to receive an education that is subsidized by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Professors approach all learning with a perspective based on the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ and with the intent to better the lives of their students. The campus grounds are well maintained, beautiful, and easily accommodate the 30,000+ students who attend. The education program prepares teachers to enter the classroom with knowledge that is gained from practicum experience and direction from leading educator professors.
The most useful part of the elementary education program was the two consecutive semesters that combined regular campus coursework with field experience in public schools. For one month out of each semester we were assigned to a classroom at an elementary school that participated in an ongoing partnership with the university. The responsibilities in real classrooms made the textbook knowledge actually meaningful and applicable. This helped to prepare me for my own entry into professional teaching.
Brigham Young University provides a good atmosphere to engage in quality study at a low cost. It is very possible to graduate with little or no student debt, as tuition is remarkably low. Instructors are good and most courses have a low student-teacher ratio, except for some few required lecture classes. Instructors strive to provide academic support to students, and students are also responsive to other peers. In most programs, students support each other and form study groups to help one another succeed. It is a wonderful place, and a lot of that is due to the high moral expectations that students are required to uphold. If you want a more liberal college experience, this is probably not the place for you. If you want economical, quality instruction with the opportunity to meet some Christians, look into this school. Most of the demographic consists of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but that is not a requirement to apply.
I absolutely loved BYU. It was a perfect fit for me. I felt the academics were challenging, the student life enjoyable, and the environment nurturing and safe. I loved the Honor Code.
I would like to note ahead of time, that since my experience, my college program failed to be certified for teachers (probably due to some of the items I note in my review), they since changed a lot of the way they run their program (of which I am not familiar), and are now certified to train teachers. As such, I recommend that you do your own research into how the program functions now should you want to attend this institution. During my experience, there was no cohesion in the program. This means that the school of elementary education was broken into 5 different cohorts based upon the 5 different school districts that students would be attending for their practicum experiences and student teaching. Each program had their own set of classes and instructional methods as well as observation and in-class experiences. None of them were the same. For example, the Nebo Cohort (which I attended my first half) was very organized. Each of the methods classes were designed to focus students towards the 10 standards of Utah Teachers and helping students prepare their final portfolios they will need to move from a level 1 teacher to a level 2 teacher. They taught four different types of lesson teaching styles and expected students to apply all four methods in their practicum experience to gain expertise in a variety of methods. The preservice teachers were assigned to their own classroom with their own cooperating teacher and had opportunities to teach and work with students every day. Alpine cohort, on the other hand, was disorganized (I worked with them my second half). Their portfolio was a hodgepodge of anything and everything you ever did. There was no organization or implication for how those records would relate to the 10 standards or the final organized portfolio for teacher transitions. The assessments class was taught by a celebrity who was gone more than he was there and didn't know the materials. He instead used class time to promote his book (not related in any way to the topic of the class). In school experiences grouped 2-4 preservice teachers to one cooperating teacher. This made it so that you were not allowed to teach or work with students more than one time in a week period. So it was luck of the draw for whether you got a great experience or a horrible one.