Secondary Education (Sixth–12th grade)

The secondary teacher education program offers sixth–12th grade teacher certification in the following areas:

  • English Language Arts
  • General Social Studies
  • History
  • Math
  • World Languages (sixth grade–12th grade or preschool–12th grade): French, German and Spanish
  • Music Education (preschool–12 grade): Instrumental and Choral

The curriculum consists of four integrated semesters called “blocks,” followed by a pre-professional semester, and culminating in semester six with full-time student teaching. Each block includes significant applications of problem-based learning strategies, technology, and clinical experiences. Woven throughout the program are emphases on assessment strategies and planning for sixth- through 12th-grade students from diverse backgrounds and with special learning needs.

Career Options

  • High school educator
  • Middle school educator

Companies for Internships

All local schools, as well as external international placements

Things to Note

  • Only accredited program in Alabama to include four teacher certifications in one program
  • 100 % job placement for May 2014 graduates
  • 100% pass rate on national Praxis II licensure tests
  • With over 1,000 clinical hours prior to student teaching, our students feel at home when they enter the classroom their junior year. 

Block Curriculum+

Semester 1: Foundations Block

In semester one, teacher candidates take an eight-hour block of courses that introduces them to the education environment and to major educational issues.

  • EDUC 221: Issues Within the Educational Culture
    The focus of the course is to help teacher candidates develop insight into contemporary educational issues. Candidates examine philosophy and historical bases of education as a profession.
  • EDUC 222: Clinical Experiences
    Candidates spend 40 clock hours in an urban school setting. Candidates work with individual and small groups of children, and with the teacher as an aide. Candidates observe, interact, and reflect on adolescent development, and best teaching and learning practices. This is an opportunity for candidates to experience the classroom from the other side of the desk and to determine whether they wish to pursue formal admittance to Teacher Education.

Semester 2: Middle School Education Block

In semester two, candidates take an eight-hour block of integrated education classes dealing with middle school education.

  • EDUC 305: Teaching in the Middle School
    The focus of the course is providing opportunities for learning the unique characteristics of exemplary middle schools, their students, teaching strategies, and skills for working effectively within core teacher teams.
  • EDUC 213: Adolescent Development Within the Adolescent Culture
    The focus of the course is the adaptations and adjustments that are of primary significance during the life span between childhood and adulthood with emphasis on the education of the adolescent including gender differences, learning styles, learning theories, and motivation.

Semester 3: High School Education Block

In semester three, candidates take a five-hour block of integrated education classes dealing with high school education.

  • EDUC 223: Introduction to Technology
    The focus of the course is to introduce teacher candidates to currently available technologies and to prepare them to use various media for their own education as well as in their professional careers.
  • EDUC 315W: Teaching and Learning in Secondary Classrooms
    The focus of the course is developing reflective teachers who draw upon a wide array of solutions to secondary classroom challenges when planning instruction for preadolescent and adolescent students. The class uses case studies to discuss and prepare candidates to deal with the effects of diverse characteristics and cultures of the adolescent.

Clinical component

Candidates spend one full day in the classroom and two additional class periods where they teach a traditional lesson. This is an opportunity to observe an excellent teacher interact with his/her class. Students keep a reflective journal.

Semester 4: Classroom Applications Block

In semester four, candidates take an eight-hour block of integrated education classes dealing with secondary education, assessment, and technology.

  • EDUC 331: Curriculum Applications in Secondary Classrooms
    The focus of the course is to provide candidates opportunities to apply conceptions of curriculum, instruction, classroom management and discipline, multimedia, human resources, and assessment in the context of an actual secondary classroom.
  • EDUC 414W: Reading, Writing & Assessing Across the Curriculum
    The focus of the course is to assist with the identification of problems related to educational assessment, including the assessment of reading and writing levels and abilities, strategies for effective measurement of teacher performance, and an understanding of standardized testing. This course is fully integrated within the other courses.
  • EDUC 415: Technology Across the Curriculum
    The focus of this course is to provide ways in which technology can be used effectively to teach a wide variety of subjects to diverse learners and to develop an electronic portfolio for reflection and assessment.

Clinical component

Candidates are assigned to a mentor teacher in their major field. They have two classroom observations and then teach and assess a unit they have written for the class. Three follow-up sessions with the mentor teacher will bring closure to the clinical experience.

Semester 5: The Professional Secondary Teacher

This semester focuses on field-based advanced preparation of secondary level teachers as professional educators who work collaboratively with fellow teachers, principals, and supervisors within an assigned secondary level school environment in their content area. Emphasis on establishing professional habits that ensure lifelong growth as secondary teachers.

Semester 6: Student Teaching

Supervised field internship for prospective teachers of middle and secondary students, grades six–12.

Departmental Scholarships+

The following department scholarships are available for current majors. Scholarships are awarded annually through an application process during the spring semester.

Some examples of these scholarships are:

  • Beeson Education Scholarships—A number of $1,000 scholarships are available to undergraduate education majors in early childhood education, elementary education, or secondary education due to the generosity of the Orlean Bullard Beeson family.
  • Velma Wright Irons Memorial Scholarship—Will assist a student in the School of Education who is pursuing a vocational goal in elementary education and who has attained junior class rank.
  • Kathryn Abercrombie Award—Based on scholarship, character, worthiness and need with an emphasis on worthiness. Need is not necessary. Winner to come from sophomore, junior, or senior who is enrolled in the School of Education.
  • Brookwood Baptist / Campbell Scholarship—The Brookwood Scholarship guidelines state the recipient should be an undergraduate with a preference to early childhood education majors.

Program Information+

Certifications or Proficiencies

A summary of special requirements for teacher education undergraduate students in general may be noted:

  • ESEC majors are not required to earn additional majors or minors.
  • Those earning P–12 certification in world languages or music and those earning secondary certification in English, or history are not required to earn additional majors or minors.
  • All ESEC majors must take additional math and science courses.
  • All students earning certification must successfully pass an exit examination, currently Praxis II in content area.
  • All students earning certification must successfully pass the Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program (APTTP).

Admission to Curriculum and Instruction

Requirements for admission to curriculum and instruction undergraduate programs are:

  • Minimum ACT score of 20.
  • Grade of C- or better required in all courses.
  • Formal application for admission.
  • Successful completion of EDUC 221 and EDUC 222.
  • Completion of 60 credits of coursework with a GPA of at least 3.00 for ESEC majors and 2.80 for secondary and P–12 majors.
  • Completion of projected schedule and agreement form.
  • Completion of an interview with a faculty member in the OBB School of Education and Professional Studies.
  • Two letters of recommendation for ESEC majors.
  • Two letters of recommendation for secondary education or P–12 from a professor in the student’s major department and a professor in the teacher education department.
  • Completion of signed document verifying ABI and FBI criminal background checks.
  • Passing score on the Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program (APTTP) examination.
  • Demonstration of satisfactory potential for teaching, including evidence of emotional stability and a satisfactory record as to conduct, character, and mental health, to the effect that the applicant does not have any personal qualities prejudicial to satisfactory performance as a teacher.

Acceptance is contingent upon the recommendation of the admissions panel, which meets twice yearly. Applicants will be notified in writing of their acceptance or rejection. Transfer students follow the same admission policies. Education courses may not be transferred into the teacher education program without permission from the department chair.

Retention in Curriculum and Instruction

Once admitted into the program, the minimum GPA requirement (3.00 for ESEC majors; 2.80 for secondary and P–12 majors) must be maintained in all of the following three areas: cumulative, major courses, and professional courses. Failure to maintain the required minimum cumulative GPA and the required minimum GPA in the major teaching and professional fields prevents a student from enrolling in specific education courses until that GPA is met. No grade below C- in any course is permitted; in case of a lower grade, the course must be repeated. These GPA requirements also pertain to graduation and certification.

Any student who, in the opinion of the OBB School of Education Hearing Board, is judged to have developed dispositions or characteristics, academic or otherwise, deemed undesirable for the profession may, after appropriate review, be dropped from the program.

Students wishing to take courses from other colleges must obtain permission beforehand. Please note that education courses may not be transferred into the teacher education program, and independent studies will not be offered. Also, if students take a course through the Adult Degree Program, they will be billed additional tuition equivalent to the day rate per credit.

Students must complete their program within four years of being admitted to teacher education or must reapply for admission to the program. Grievances related to grades may be brought before the Teacher Education Academic Review Board. See the department chair in OBB Room 338 for specific procedures.

Clinical Requirements

All curriculum and instruction majors are required to complete a wide variety of clinical experiences. These begin in the first semester of the education curriculum and extend throughout the program. ESEC majors will complete a minimum of 30 weeks. This includes one three-week Jan Term experience and observing a first day of school. Secondary majors will complete a minimum of 24 weeks. This includes one three-week Jan Term experience and observing a first day of school. Students must maintain satisfactory evaluations of performance in all clinical experiences in order to progress through the teacher education program.

Professional Semester

The student-teaching semester is the final experience in teacher education. The internship experience includes 15 weeks of student teaching and may be taken in the fall or spring semester.

Students planning on student teaching in the fall must submit the student-teaching application during the preregistration period of the preceding fall. Students planning on student teaching in the spring must submit the student-teaching application during the preregistration period of the preceding spring. Applications must be turned in to the Office of Clinical Experience in OBB Room 322.

To be eligible for student teaching, a student must have been admitted to teacher education, be in good academic standing, have demonstrated necessary dispositions to be a successful teacher, have successfully completed the required clinical experience, completed 56 of the required 64 convocation credits, and must have had a complete records check. To be in good academic standing, a student must have completed all EDUC-prefix courses and all essential teaching-field courses, have removed all Incompletes from all courses, and have maintained a 3.00 (ESEC majors) or 2.80 (secondary and P-12 majors) GPA overall and in each teaching field. Students are referred to the Clinical Handbook for a complete explanation of the required clinical experience.

Student teachers must observe the guidelines established by Samford University and all the rules set by the school in which the student teaching is done. Failure to do so can result in the student being dropped from the professional semester or removed from his/her school placement. A student may only repeat the student-teaching semester one time.

Students should consult the Clinical Handbook for additional information.

Completion of Program

Students who successfully complete a prescribed program at the baccalaureate level in teacher education will be eligible for the Alabama Class B teacher certificate in their area(s) of specialization. Completion of the program is contingent upon achieving a 3.00 (ESEC majors) or 2.80 (secondary and P–12 majors) GPA in the area or areas of specialization, in the professional components, in the higher education GPA, and performing satisfactorily as a teacher during the professional semester. Students must also demonstrate professional dispositions as explained in the departmental dispositions policy. In order to receive certification, all students must be fingerprinted. Students enrolled in EDUC 221/222 will be informed of the ABI and FBI fingerprinting procedures.

Students must also pass an exit examination (currently PRAXIS II) and the APTTP in order to receive certification. If a student successfully completes all program requirements, he/she may graduate, but certification may not be received until both exams are passed.

University Core Curriculum and General Education Requirements

See University Core Curriculum and General Education Requirements in the Howard College of Arts and Sciences introductory pages for a list of required courses. General education requirements are detailed in the individual degree tables, with some exceptions. In those cases where a requirement is not specified, consult pp. 64 and 185 for a list of applicable courses. For ESEC and history majors, INTL 202 is an acceptable substitution for the fine arts general education requirement.

Suggested Sequences

Teacher Education Sequence


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Only Accredited Program in Alabama to Include 4 Teacher Certifications in 1 Program