If you are passionate about a particular field and want to educate and train others in that topic, consider entering the world of secondary education. Successful secondary teachers first acquire in-depth knowledge of a given subject, and they then apply concepts and principles of the subject as they educate their students. The U offers the following secondary subject areas for students to specialize in:
- Art Teaching BFA
- Biology Teaching BA/BS
- Chemistry - Teaching Emphasis BA/BS
- Earth Science Composite Teaching BS
- English Teaching BA
- French Teaching BA
- History Teaching BA
- Kinesiology Teaching BS
- Mathematics Teaching BA/BS
- Modern Dance Teaching BFA
- Music Education BMus - Choral Emphasis/Instrumental Emphasis
- Physics Teaching BA/BS
- Spanish Teaching BA
- Theatre Teaching BFA
Students major in their emphasis area, complete the secondary education program, and then are recommended to the Utah State Board of Education for their Utah Professional Secondary Teaching License. Through a program of coursework, discussion, and hands-on experience, the Secondary Teacher Licensure Program will prepare you for a career as a junior high, middle school, or high school teacher. In addition to the requirements for their subject track, secondary education students complete courses in adolescent psychology, assessment principles, teaching students with disabilities, multicultural education, and building family-school partnerships. The ESL endorsement is optional, but highly recommended. If students complete one additional class they can receive an ESL endorsement at the time they are recommended for their teaching license. The final year of the program is a field practicum, where students are placed in local classrooms to gain experience teaching their chosen subject. Ultimately, this program will give you the critical thinking skills and human understanding necessary to be an effective educator or to pursue a career in an allied field.
The Student Experience
Students seeking academic enrichment can complete undergraduate research projects through their major coursework, allowing them to pursue individual interest areas they can apply in a classroom environment. If you want to get involved on campus, consider joining a club through your major department or other department. Be sure to attend the outreach events offered by the Urban Institute for Teacher Education (UITE). These events give you the chance to professionally network and socialize with other students and faculty. Additional involvement opportunities include the Education & Advocacy Bennion Center Student Groups, College of Education Student Council and the Utah Education Network.
Upon graduation and successful completion of the PRAXIS test (a series of tests required for teacher licensing in the state of Utah) and Pedagogical Performance for Teachers (PPAT), students may pursue careers as teachers in middle and high schools. Stay in Utah as a local educator, or relocate to another part of the country to teach in an entirely new state (licensure in your new state might be required). With additional education at the graduate level, students can become principals, school counselors, professors, or administrators.