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Secondary Education

Teachers continue to be important role models and support mechanisms in the lives of their students. They facilitate students' educational needs as well as act as mentors, guides, helpers, and advocates.

The Secondary Education (SECED) major is designed to help students prepare to become middle- and high-school teachers. It also helps support their understanding of teaching and student learning in grades 7-12.

SECED students are trained for initial (level I) teacher certification in a specific content field. The program offers four teaching options:Female student listening in class

* Science Education students must choose one specific subject: Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space, or Physics.

Program Features

Teacher-candidates in the SECED major engage in course work and student teaching that are designed to enhance their understanding of teaching and learning, focusing on adolescents and teenagers.

The program provides teacher candidates with a strong foundation of research-based teaching methods in subject and discipline areas.

Course Requirements

The program features approved courses that will help meet all requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Field Experience and Student Teaching

SECED students participate in three student teaching experiences:

  • an introductory field experience (C I 295B) as early as the student's third semester;
  • a mid-level field experience (C I 495C); and
  • a culminating final student teaching experience.

Student-teaching opportunities are provided at a variety of locations depending on the specific certification program. They are available across town and across the globe.

More information about field experiences and student teaching is available on a separate page.

Teaching Multiple Subjects

Students can increase the number of subjects that they are certified to teach. To add endorsements to an issued certificate, students must earn a passing score on the state-mandated content knowledge test in that particular subject. Individuals interested in multiple subject endorsements (for example, Social Studies and English, or Biology and Chemistry) must enter the Secondary Education major in their primary content field, take any extra content course work needed to support the teacher-candidate’s knowledge in the other desired subjects and then take the other subjects' tests.


Upon successful completion of all requirements for graduation, students receive a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Secondary Education. To be certified to teach, students must also meet all clearance and testing requirements specified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Initial certification is only in the content field selected at entrance to the major, for grades 7-12. Those students who plan to teach outside of Pennsylvania can have their credentials transferred to other states through a process call reciprocity.