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Secondary Education

Students who are interested in Secondary Education currently have two routes:

The Secondary Education Teacher Certification Program is for students interested in pursuing teacher certification and in completing a teaching internship in a middle school or high school classroom.

The Secondary Education Studies Minor is for students who may be interested in teaching but who do not want to complete a teaching internship.  Students interested in non-traditional teaching, graduate school, or other people-oriented careers can benefit from this minor.  (Most students completing the certification program will also complete the minor).  For more information on the minor, click here.

Secondary Education Certification Program

Washington College has twelve Maryland Approved Secondary Certification Programs (grades 7-12): art, biology, business education, chemistry, English, French, German, mathematics, physics, social studies, Spanish, and theatre.  (Students interested in pursuing certification in Music click here).

The Secondary Teacher Certification Program at Washington College has a long- standing reputation for excellence. Multiple graduates have been selected by their high school districts as “Teacher of the Year,” and April Todd ‘95 was named Maryland Teacher of the Year in 2008.

Most students begin the Secondary Internship in the middle of their junior year. At that point they are assigned to a Professional Development School (PDS) where they begin a two-semester internship under the guidance of both College and school personnel. At the same time, students complete their professional coursework at the College. By the middle of their senior year, Washington College Teacher Interns demonstrate that they can effectively teach their chosen subject areas to public school students according to the standards for effective teaching adopted by the state of Maryland, The Essential Dimensions of Teaching.

The number and specificity of courses required for certification in these subject areas vary, with some fields such as social studies and English having more extensive state requirements (see below). Program Completion and Certification are contingent upon candidates achieving Maryland passing scores on the required national examinations and meeting all Program Completion Requirements.

A hallmark of the Secondary Education Program is the challenging yet supportive environment created by the students, faculty, and school personnel as they work closely together to ensure each student’s success and provide the students with a framework for understanding their chosen profession.

Professional Course Sequence

The following education courses are required for students who wish to become certified as secondary teachers. Students should meet with department faculty to plan coursework; not all courses are offered each semester.

  • Secondary Certification Courses
    • EDU 216. and 217. PDS Field Experience (each 1 credit)
    • EDU 301. Principles of Education
    • EDU 302. Educational Psychology
    • EDU 307. Reading in the Content Field
    • EDU 330. Diversity and Inclusion
    • EDU 401. Principles of Teaching I: Secondary
    • EDU 402. Principles of Teaching II: Secondary
    • EDU 403. Special Methods (in the Teaching Area)
    • EDU 404. Secondary Teaching Internship (one credit)
    • EDU 405. Secondary Education Internship (double credit)
    • EDU 401, 402, 403, and 405 make up the “Education Block” taken in the fall semester of the senior year or the fall semester after graduation.


    EDU 307. meets Maryland Reading in the Content Field I and II Secondary Requirements (together with 302 and 401).

Students wishing to be certified in English or Social Studies must also take the required classes listed below:

  • Secondary English Requirements

    Students wishing to be certified in English must take the following courses, in addition to those requirements for their major, the education program, and distribution:

    • EDU 315. Modern and Traditional Grammar and
    • ENG 342. Children’s and Adolescent Literature 
  • Secondary Social Studies Requirements

    It should be noted that students majoring in economics, political science, psychology, sociology, international studies, and American studies may apply for certification in and do their student teaching in social studies. They must plan their programs carefully in order to fulfill all requirements. Social studies certification requires the following core courses, in addition to those requirements for the major, the education program, and distribution:

    • HIS 103, 104. Modern World History;
    • HIS 201, 202. History of the United States;
    • HIS 319. African-American History;
    • ECN 111. Introduction to Macroeconomics;
    • POL 102. Introduction to American Government and Politics;
    • EDU 311. World Geography; and
    • an approved upper division course in social science.