Western Kentucky University

School of Teacher Education

Secondary Education

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Secondary Education - Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate programs leading to certification for Grades 8-12, 5-12, and P-12

Certification for Grades 8-12

If you are planning to be a high school teacher, teaching children in Grades 8-12 (see below for information on preparing to teach Grades 5-12 or P-12), your educational pathway will depend on the content area in which you plan to teach. If you plan to teach:

  • Social Studies: declare the major in Social Studies (#592) and also complete 31 hours of secondary education course work (EDU 250, PSY 310, SEC 351, SEC 352, SEC 453, SEC 481, EDU 489, and SEC 490). For more information, contact:
  • English/Language Arts: declare the major in English for Secondary Teachers (#561) and also complete 31 hours of secondary education course work (EDU 250, PSY 310, SEC 351, SEC 352, SEC 453, SEC 475, EDU 489, and SEC 490). For more information, contact:
  • Mathematics, declare two majors: Science and Mathematics Education (SMED) (#774) and Mathematics (#728). For more information, contact:
  • Biology, declare two majors: Science and Mathematics Education (SMED) (#774) and Biology (#617). For more information, contact:
  • Chemistry, declare two majors:  Science and Mathematics Education (SMED) (#774) and Chemistry (#623). For more information, contact:
  • Earth and Space Science, declare two majors: Science and Mathematics Education (SMED) (#774) and Geology, concentration in Earth and Space Science (#676). For more information, contact:
    • Earth and Space Science advisor: Dr. Fred Siewers, Dept. of Geography & Geology, 270-745-4988, fred.siewers@wku.edu.
    • Science and Mathematics Education advisor: Ms. Karen Long, SKyTeach, 270-745-3900, karen.long@wku.edu.
  • Physics, declare two majors: Science and Mathematics Education (SMED) (#774) and Physics (#754). For more information, contact:
    • Physics advisor: Dr. Richard Gelderman, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, 270-745-4357, richard.gelderman@wku.edu.
    • Science and Mathematics Education advisor: Ms. Karen Long, SKyTeach, 270-745-3900, karen.long@wku.edu.

Certification for Grades 5-12

If you have decided to teach Agriculture, Business and Marketing, Family and Consumer Sciences, or Industrial (Vocational, Career, Technical) courses, your certification will be for Grades 5-12. You should declare a major in the appropriate content area, and you will also take specified courses in professional education. All programs include EDU 250 or equivalent, PSY 310, EXED 330, EDU 489, one or more methods courses, and MGE/SEC 490. For a list of the additional professional education course requirements, contact the program advisor. If you plan to teach:

  • Agriculture courses, declare the major in Agriculture with a concentration in Agriculture Education (#508). For more information, contact:
  • Business and Marketing courses, declare the major in Business and Marketing Education (#621). For more information, contact:
  • Family and Consumer Sciences courses, declare the major in Family and Consumer Sciences, concentration in Family & Consumer Sciences Education (#563). For more information, contact:
    • Family & Consumer Sciences Education advisor: Dr. Kathy Croxall, Dept. of Consumer and Family Sciences, 270-745-3997, kathy.croxall@wku.edu.
  • Industrial(Vocational, Career, and Technical) Education (#599), with a concentration either in Technical Education or Vocational Education. For more information, contact:
    • Industrial (Vocational, Career, and Technical) Education advisor: Dr. Brent Askins, Dept. of Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences, 270-745-4433, brent.askins@wku.edu.

Certification for Grades Primary (P)-12

If you have decided to teach Art, French, German, Music, Physical Education, or Spanish, your certification will be for Grades P-12. You should declare a major in the appropriate content area, and you will also take specified courses in professional education, including EDU 250 or equivalent, PSY 310, at least one methods course, EDU 489 and SEC 490. For a list of the additional required professional education courses in each content area, contact the program advisor or the secondary education advisor. If you would like to teach Health, you should declare a minor in Health Education and a teacher certifiable major in another area. If you plan to teach:

  • Art, declare the major in Visual Studies, concentration in Art Education (#509). For more information, contact:
  • French, declare the major in French (#665). For more information, contact:
  • German, declare the major in German (#683). For more information, contact:
  • Health, declare a major in a teacher certifiable area and declare a minor in Health Education (#389). For more information, contact:
  • Music, declare a major in Music, with a concentration in Music Education – Instrumental, Music Education – Vocal, or Music Education – Integrated (#593). For more information, contact:
  • Physical Education, declare the major in Physical Education (#587). For more information, contact:
  • Spanish, declare the major in Spanish (#778). For more information, contact:

Advising regarding professional education course work for secondary education is provided in the Office of Teacher Services. Contact Ms. Pam Pierce.

Students in all secondary education programs must apply for admission to professional education. Usually this occurs during the semester in which the student enrolls in EDU 250 or equivalent. Click here for additional information about admission to professional education.

When students obtain sophomore standing, they are eligible to enroll in the first set of secondary education courses (EDU 250 and PSY 310). *Application for student teaching is made during the senior year. The completion of the secondary program must be spread over a minimum of four enrollment periods. Students are required to have 200 clock hours of field and clinical experiences in addition to coursework. Students are expected to work closely with their major and minor advisor and professional education advisor.

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 Last Modified 8/14/14