Published: Nov. 9, 2016

Education student with child_photo courtesy of the School of EducationBeginning in the 2017 school year, entering freshmen at the University of Colorado Boulder will have two new degree options for pursuing transformative careers in education and leadership — a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a bachelor’s degree in leadership and community engagement, both conferred by the School of Education.

The new majors are designed to offer desirable pathways for students interested in serving high-needs communities and working with youth.

“We are strongly committed to the preparation of educational leaders—in the classroom and outside of schools—who will work to provide educational opportunities for all children and youth,” said Kathy Schultz, dean of the School of Education. “These majors are another step toward that goal.”

As Colorado and the nation continue to face growing teacher shortages —particularly among teachers prepared to work with diverse populations and English language learners — the elementary education students will earn their degrees in conjunction with the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education endorsement, a state-approved added endorsement to teacher licensure. The degree is designed to prepare teachers qualified to teach culturally diverse students.

The new degree program is in addition to the university’s existing teacher licensure program in which students interested in elementary education (grades K-6) or secondary education (grades 7-12) can combine a degree in another area with teacher licensure. 

The new leadership and community engagement degree is also designed to be completed with a second complementary major or minor. It was created in response to societal needs for ethical, skilled leaders who can bridge differences and contribute to public work addressing complex challenges in Colorado and beyond.

At CU Boulder and nationally, millennial students have expressed interest in nonprofit and community sector work, and this degree will prepare them for rewarding careers in higher education, international development, urban planning, social work or government, for example.

CU Boulder is part of a small number of institutions nationwide to offer these emerging and attractive interdisciplinary degrees.

To learn more about the new degrees visit

November 9, 2016 Original Article