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Major in Middle & High School Education

Major in Middle & High School Education

The licensure program in Middle School or High School Education for Political Science and Chemistry is only available as a 5 year program through the Kathleen Dunn Scholars program.

Students in the four year program preparing to teach at the middle school or high school level must double major in education and in a subject matter area taught in public schools. In addition to Common Core, students are required to take the following courses in Stage II and Stage III.

Stage I. Fundamentals of Education in the Inclusive Classroom (Common Core) (8 semester hours)

The following courses are required for all general education and ESL majors:

  • *EDUC 156 Schools in an Era of Change (freshman or sophomore year)
  • *GEDUC 460 Teaching Strategies for the Inclusive Classroom (junior year)
    *Includes fieldwork

Students will be evaluated for writing competence at the conclusion of EDUC 156 and must be recommended by the faculty to advance to GEDUC 460. Students will again be evaluated after completion of GEDUC 460. Those students who have not demonstrated strong academic and literacy skills will be offered other options and will work closely with their advisors to find a match for their child-related interests in a non-licensed field.

Stage II. Subject Matter Field(s)

Special subject teachers at the high school and middle school levels must complete the requirements for a major in their subject matter fields. In some areas, additional specific courses are required by state regulations. Students must consult with an advisor in the Department of Education while planning their academic major.

Teacher of biology: A major in biology is required.

Teacher of English: A major in English is required.

Teacher of English as a Second Language: A major in English, or another modern language or other liberal arts majors, are possible. Note, however, that competence in a modern language at or above the intermediate level is required for all. Required ESL subject matter includes the following courses:

  • *ML 310 Introduction to Linguistics and English Grammar
  • *TESL 445 Fundamentals of Reading and Writing in a Second Language
  • TESL 451 Bilingualism and Language Variation in Multicultural Settings
  • *TESL 479 Teaching English as a Second Language Methodology and Curriculum Development
  • *ML 408 Second Language Acquisition
    *Includes fieldwork
    See page 114 for more details about English as a Second Language.

Teacher of history: A major in history is required.

Teacher of modern world language: A major in a modern language other than English is required.* Twenty semester hours must be above the intermediate level, and advanced composition and conversation, linguistics, and theories of first and second language acquisition must be included. Students must demonstrate fluency as determined by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures before student teaching. In addition, Massachusetts licensure requires a demonstration of proficiency at or above the advanced level according to ACTFL/ILR guidelines.

*Simmons has approved licensure programs in Spanish and French.

Teacher of mathematics: A major in mathematics is required.

Stage III. Licensure Preparation (36 semester hours)

  • PSYC 236 Psychology of Adolescence (Prereq.: PSYC 101)
  • EDUC 310 Seminar in Teaching and Learning at the Middle and High School Level (taken concurrently with EDUC 383, EDUC 384, or EDUC 385)
  • EDUC 383 Practicum: Middle School (Grades 5—8) (12 semester hours)
       or EDUC 384 Practicum: High School (Grades 8—12) (12 semester hours)
       or EDUC 385 Practicum: French, Spanish, ESL (Grades 5—12) (12 semester hours)
  • GEDUC 420 Teaching for Content Area Literacy
  • *GEDUC 455 Issues in Teaching and Learning for Middle and High School Teachers
  • *GEDUC 47— A course in the curriculum of specific subject areas in middle and high school
  • *TESL 417 Sheltered English Instruction

*Includes fieldwork

The Five Year Kathleen Dunn Scholars Program

Students preparing to teach at the middle and high school levels may choose to do the five year Kathleen Dunn Scholars Program. These students take some, but not all, of their Education courses at the undergraduate level, and complete the remaining Education courses during the fifth year of their programs at the graduate level. A student may choose to take up to five courses and complete an Education minor. All students must take the courses listed in Stage I.

Students complete the liberal arts major in the field in which they wish to teach (Stage II). In some cases students must take additional courses beyond the courses in the traditional major in order to cover the subject matter required by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). 

Students take at least one more Education course. Students wishing to complete an Education minor must take three more Education courses. Students may choose from the following courses, all of which require fieldwork:

  • GEDUC 420 Teaching for Content Area Literacy
  • GEDUC 455 Issues in Teaching and Learning for Middle and High School Teachers
  • GEDUC 47— A course in the curriculum of specific subject areas in middle and high school
  • SPND 446 Learners with Special Needs
The Fifth Year

During the fifth year students complete the remaining Education courses over the summer following the completion of their undergraduate program. In addition to the Education courses not yet taken listed in Stage III, students take the following two courses:

  • GEDUC 445 Educational Psychology
  • TESL 417 Sheltered English Instruction
In the fall students being their year-long internships.

Fall Semester:

  • GEDUC 400 Middle/High School Prepracticum Seminar (4 credits)
  • GEDUC 488 Middle/High School Prepracticum (4 credits)
Spring Semester:
  • GEDUC 402/3 Middle/High School Seminar (4 credits)
  • GEDUC 481/2 Middle/High School Practicum (4 credits)
Students must take a minimum of 24 credits at the graduate level to be eligible for their MAT degree.


Dual Licensure Program

The Dual Licensure program prepares students for their general education initial license and the Teacher of Students with Moderate Special Needs 5-12 initial license. This program must be done through the five year program. It is an expanded MAT program and requires the following special education courses:

  • SPND 420 Introduction to Assistive Technology (2 credits)
  • SPND 436 Formal and Informal Assessment
  • SPND 444 Special Education Laws and Regulations for Teachers and Administrators (2 credits)
  • SPND 445 The IEP: Strategies for Development, Interpretation, and Implementation (2 credits)
  • SPND 446 Learners with Special Needs
Some of the above courses may be taken at the undergraduate level. The remaining courses would be taken at the graduate level during the fifth year.

Students in this program take GEDUC 464 Reading and Language Arts in the Elementary Classroom in lieu of GEDUC 420 Teaching for Content Area Literacy.

Students in the fifth year complete a general education practicum during the fall semester and a special education practicum during the spring semester.

Upon completion of the graduate program students receive their Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree and are endorsed by Simmons for the general education license. They apply on their own for the special education license.

For more information about the Dual Licensure program contact Helen Guttentag at or 617-521-2553.