2021-2022 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
    
    Dec 05, 2021  
2021-2022 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

English BA, (Secondary Education Certification)


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Please also refer to Teacher Education Programs  section for other important information.

Secondary Education Certification
Degree BA, English
Department Chair Patrick L. Hamilton, PhD

The secondary education program in English (ENG/SECED) is designed to prepare teachers of English for Grades 7-12. A unique aspect of the program is that it prepares teachers to effectively deal with students with disabilities who are likely to be included in their classes. It is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and leads to a PA Instructional I certificate. The University’s recommendation and the successful completion of other requirements established by the state, including meeting the pass scores specified by PDE on the required battery of certification tests, qualify graduates for a PA Instructional I certificate. Pennsylvania has signed an Interstate Agreement through the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification which facilitates certification in other states. States’ requirements vary; graduates should determine what they have to do to become certified in a state other than Pennsylvania.

Programs Goals and Outcomes

The program in English helps its majors to:

  1. Develop critical reading skills that will allow them to approach primary and secondary sources thoughtfully, independently, and with attention to detail.
  2. Develop writing skills that will make them competitive on the job market and prepare them for professional life or graduate school.
  3. Develop effective research and documentation skills, including the use and evaluation of Internet sources.
  4. Understand the development of the English language, its structure and basic elements, and linguistic theories that help to explain it.
  5. Develop discussion and oral presentation skills that will allow them to speak effectively in front of others.
  6. Acquire a background in English and American literature.
  7. Become familiar with the perspectives of non-Western literature and the literature of under-represented groups in Western society.
  8. Become familiar with different critical theories and approaches to literature.
  9. Understand the opportunities open to English majors, and behaviors that will assist them in finding employment or entering graduate school.

The English major program goals are realized in the following student learning outcomes:

Department/Program Goal 1 Outcomes:

  1. Students will be able to comprehend texts for their information and/or implications.
  2. Students will be able to identify texts’ genres and their implications for meaning(s).
  3. Students will be able to evaluate texts’ meaning within their specific context(s).
  4. Students will be able to analyze texts in part or as wholes.
  5. Students will be able to make sense with texts as blueprints for meaning.
  6. Students will be able to engage in academic discourse about a text or texts.

Department/Program Goal 2 Outcomes:

  1. Students will be able to establish a focus (i.e., a thesis) that is well-defined, relevant, sophisticated, and original.
  2. Students will be able to develop complex ideas that are relevant to/support the focus/thesis.
  3. Students will be able to analyze effectively evidence that is relevant to/supports the focus/thesis.
  4. Students will be able to demonstrate a logical and compelling progression of ideas through effective and unified paragraphs.
  5. Students will be able to use appropriate and varied language with fluency.
  6. Students will be able to write virtually free of grammatical, formatting, and mechanical errors.

Department/Program Goal 3 Outcomes:

  1. Students will be able to cite sources accurately and completely.
  2. Students will be able to summarize sources accurately, clearly, and succinctly.
  3. Students will be able to evaluate sources clearly and critically.

Department/Program Goal 4 Outcomes:

  1. Students will demonstrate a knowledge of the basic features of historical and structural linguistics as they bear upon English.
  2. Students will demonstrate a knowledge of the phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon of the English language.

Department/Program Goal 5 Outcomes:

  1. Students will be able to organize communication skillfully and cohesively.
  2. Students will be able to use appropriate and effective language.
  3. Students will be able to use compelling and effective delivery.
  4. Students will be able to use credible and varied supporting material/evidence.
  5. Students will be able to communicate a clear, consistent, and compelling central message.

Department/Program Goal 6 Outcomes:

  1. Students will be able to recognize the cultural movements, genres, key figures, and social/historical forces that shape the Western literary tradition.

Department/Program Goal 7 Outcomes:

  1. Students will be able to recognize the cultural movements, genres, key figures, and social/historical forces that shape the literary traditions of non-Western society and underrepresented groups in Western society.

Department/Program Goal 8 Outcomes:

  1. Students will be able to identify a critical lens.
  2. Students will be able to apply a critical lens to literary texts.

Department/Program Goal 9 Outcomes:

  1. Students will secure employment in a job/career relevant to their skills and background as an English major.
  2. Students will be admitted to a graduate program in English or related discipline.

Pre-service teachers in the ENG/SECED program must successfully complete the University’s liberal arts Core Curriculum, a content major in English, and series of Teacher Education Department courses. ENG/SECED majors must satisfactorily complete a series of field/practicum experiences that begin during the first year and continue every semester until graduation. By graduation, our pre-service teachers will have spent approximately 750 hours in community classrooms. During students’ final semester, they must complete two seven-week student teaching assignments (two separate placements).

Students in the English/Secondary Education have two academic advisors. The TED advisor is responsible for advising related to Education courses and field/practicum experiences. The content area advisor is responsible for advising related to the University Core and content major requirements. Each semester, students must meet with both advisors prior to registration to facilitate course selection and receive approval to register. The student is ultimately responsible for the selection and registration of courses.

The secondary education program in English (ENG/SECED) prepares students to teach English at the junior-level and high-school level. In addition to providing the necessary knowledge base in language and literature, the program gives students the skills to identify and assist those with learning disabilities and to use technology effectively in the classroom. The program is fully approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and leads to a teaching certificate valid in Pennsylvania for grades 7 through 12, which is transferable to many other states.

Students in English/Secondary Education must complete the same requirements for the English major , with the following exception:

  • As ENG/SECED students are required to take University Writing Seminar as an English course (ENG 151 ), within their six (6) credits of English electives, ENG/SECED students should take three (3) credits in English at the 300 or 400-level (including ENG 415 Selected Studies in Literature  and ENG 470 Internship ), in addition to courses fulfilling the requirements indicated.

Sequence of Required Courses


First Year


Sophomore Year


First Semester


Total Credits 15

Second Semester


Total Credits 18

Junior Year


First Semester


Total Credits 17

Second Semester


Total Credits 15

Senior Year


First Semester


Second Semester


Total Credits 16

Total Required for Graduation 128 Credits


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