Education Studies

  • Department Interdisciplinary
  • Academic Division The College
  • Offerings Minor

A student teacher in class A student teacher in class

W&L offers minors in education and education policy. Students can pursue a professional teaching license to teach in K-12 schools in one of 21 different endorsement areas through our nationally accredited teacher education program; or they can pursue an interdisciplinary minor in education policy that prepares them for work in a variety of social and political arenas.

Education Minor/Teacher Licensure

All states require professional education courses for licensure to teach in public schools. Through the Rockbridge Teacher Education Consortium (RTEC), a collaborative teacher-preparation partnership between W&L and Southern Virginia University, students may earn a teaching license in elementary, middle or secondary education. In addition, many private schools favor applicants who have been licensed through a state-approved program. Our graduates go on to careers as teachers, administrators, community organizers, counselors, clergy, professors and more.

Education Policy Minor

W&L offers a unique opportunity for undergraduates to pursue an interdisciplinary minor in education policy. Students chose from an array of courses in education, politics, economics and poverty studies and complete fieldwork and service opportunities in local schools. Students minoring in education policy have gone on to careers as teachers, researchers, policy analysts, lobbyists, economists, politicians and lawyers.

Special Programs and Study Abroad

Teaching Opportunities: Our programs offer opportunities to teach abroad in numerous countries, including Ireland and Denmark, in local schools, and in partnerships with numerous teaching residency programs.

Sarah G. Ball Education Award: This award is granted to a senior at Washington and Lee University who has completed coursework in the field of education and teaches in a low SES school. The $4,000 award is renewable for a second year of teaching.

Burish Service-Leadership Internships: These selective programs make interns responsible for determining the volunteer needs of an assigned school in the Rockbridge County School System, recruiting and training tutors to fill those needs, ensuring that tutors are responsible for their assigned shifts, and filling in where needed.

Teacher Licensure Endorsement Areas

History and Social Sciences

Computer Science
Earth Science
History and Social Science

French, German, Spanish, Latin, Chinese
Vocal and Instrumental Music
Theater Arts
Visual Arts

“I am sure my time studying teacher education strengthened my mind and heart to invest in students, strive toward organizational excellence, and bring people — young and old — together.”

Ralston Hartness
Class of 2018

Haley Sigler

Program Head

Craig Lawhorne

Administrative Assistant


W&L’s Hamza Zia ’26 Receives Davis Projects for Peace Grant

Zia plans to continue his work with the PINK Center Project in his home country of Pakistan.

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Five W&L Students Awarded Gilman Scholarships to Study Abroad

The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards of up to $5,000 to U.S. undergraduate students who are Pell Grant recipients.

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Washington and Lee Students Selected for Congressional Hunger Center Internships

Sai Chebrolu ’26 and Valentina Giraldo Lozano ’25 are among 13 students chosen for the Zero Hunger Internship program.

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Rockbridge Teacher Education Consortium Among 38 Educator Prep Providers Recognized for National Excellence

The consortium is among 559 providers meeting the rigorous standards necessary to earn accreditation for its teacher education program.

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Two W&L Students Awarded Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship

Jessica Pachuca ’25 and Gabe Miller ’25 will attend the PPIA Junior Summer Institute at Carnegie Mellon University this summer.

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W&L’s Alina de Zoysa ’25 Awarded the Obama-Chesky Scholarship for Public Service

De Zoysa is the university’s first recipient of the two-year scholarship for juniors interested in a public service career.

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Future by Design

Sharon Mendieta Ramirez ’23 has designed her W&L experience to prepare her for her career as an educator.

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Eric Moffa

W&L Education Studies Professor and Student Co-Author Journal Article

Professor Eric Moffa and Jake Winston ’24 penned the article which appeared in The Social Studies Journal.

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W&L’s Maggie Hawley ’23 Selected for Fulbright to Spain

Hawley has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Spain.

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Louisa Ortiz

Lucy Ortiz ’15 Awarded Luce Scholarship

The scholarship provides young scholars with an immersive experience in Asia through which they can learn to "be comfortable being uncomfortable." 

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Eric Moffa

W&L Education Studies Professor Named to Various Committees in Education Field

Eric Moffa holds several state and national leadership positions in the field of education.

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David Galvez

W&L’s David Gálvez ’22 Awarded Fulbright to France

Galvez has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to France, where he will teach English to secondary school students and serve as a cultural ambassador for the United States.

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Sample Courses

At W&L, we believe education and experience go hand-in-hand. You’ll be encouraged to dive in, explore and discover connections that will broaden your perspective.

EDUC 200

Foundations of Education

An introduction to the issues relating to American public education in the 21st century. Students are introduced to information about teaching strategies and school policy upon which future courses can be built. Emphasis is given to school efforts to create environments which promote equity and excellence within a multicultural system. Required for teacher licensure in Virginia.

EDUC 302

Teaching the Exceptional Learner

This course addresses education for exceptional individuals by examining the key issues surrounding instruction for children and adolescents with disabilities or special talents. Students study the identification, etiology and incidence of exceptionality. Through case-study review and individual research projects, students investigate the educational, social and cultural dimensions of life in American society for exceptional individuals. Required for teacher licensure in Virginia.

EDUC 305

Teaching Elementary Reading

This course prepares students to teach reading in the elementary classroom. Participants will develop an understanding of the reading process, consider theories of reading instruction, examine current research in reading development, and investigate elements of a balanced literacy program. Strategies for teaching word study, phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension and spelling will be studied for each developmental reading stage. Students will also examine formal and informal diagnostic techniques and instructional procedures for dealing with various types of reading difficulties.

EDUC 330

Elementary & General Music Methods

This course includes methodologies for teaching music in the classroom (Orff, Kodaly and Dalcroze approaches), computer applications, music textbooks and classroom materials for music education in the elementary and general music classroom. This course also includes the study of learning theories appropriate to elementary-aged music students combined with applications in practical lesson plans.

EDUC 365

Methods for World Language

This course prepares students to teach world languages in elementary and secondary classrooms, including English as a Second Language. Participants develop an understanding of theories of world-language pedagogy and examine current research in world-language instruction. Students learn strategies for direct instruction and group learning to meet the needs of learners at different stages of development. Students also learn how to plan and prepare lessons while managing the learning environment of the classroom.


Exploring Childhood in Denmark

The course explores childhood in Denmark and the United States. In Denmark, students experience schools, daycares and preschools in both economically advantaged and disadvantaged areas as well as speak with administrators and policymakers. Students explore Copenhagen and take a three-day study tour of Western Denmark, and also participate in a three-day mini-practicum teaching Danish schoolchildren.

Meet the Faculty

At W&L, students enjoy small classes and close relationships with professors who educate and nurture.

Haley Sigler
Haley Sigler

Haley Sigler

Director of Teacher Education, Associate Professor

Sigler teaches courses on the foundations of education, teaching methods and childhood policies. Her research pertains to writing workshops, writing across the curriculum, and teacher education program development.

Curriculum Vitae

Eric D. Moffa
Eric D. Moffa

Eric D. Moffa

Assistant Professor of Education

Moffa teaches courses on the foundations of education, methods for middle and secondary education, and fieldwork in education. He has researched rural education, global and digital citizenship, and teaching controversial issues.

Curriculum Vitae

Eric D. Moffa
Haley Sigler