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Associate in Arts Program Advisement Page

Schools are seeking to hire well trained, versatile, and creative teachers who know how to teach to State and National Standards. The University of Delaware is an outstanding place to learn how to become that teacher! The Social Studies Education Program at the University of Delaware is a program that is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS).  It is a rigorous four-year program that prepares you to gain state certification to teach Social Studies courses in middle school and high school (grades 6-12).

In 2003 the National Council of Social Studies gave the highest possible rating to the University of Delaware's Secondary Education Social Studies program. NCSS considers the program to be a model for Secondary Education programs nationwide.

Over the course of this program, we will help you make the transition from being a college student (Year 1) to being an engaging and effective social studies educator for scores of children (final semester of senior year). Effective social studies teaching requires extensive content knowledge about different areas of social studies as well as knowledge about teaching and learning in secondary schools. This means that you are required to complete extensive content core courses and professional education classes while maintaining a GPA of 3.0 in your major and 2.75 overall. In addition, you will spend over 56 hours observing in Delaware secondary schools. You may begin observing middle school and high school classes as early as your sophomore year.

You must apply for student teaching in February (deadline is usually during first 2 weeks of February) of your junior year -- one year before you student teach. If you are accepted for student teaching, you must take HIST491 (Planning a Course of Instruction), HIST492 (Integrating Instructional Technology into Social Studies teaching) and EDUC420 in  the Fall semester of your senior year, and you will student teach in the Spring semester of your senior year.

REMINDER: HIST491, HIST492 and EDUC420 are only offered in the fall semester of your senior year. You are allowed to student teach only after you have passed these courses.

Program Overview

In the course of this program, you will pass through four stages of professional development; each stage will move you out of your "student's seat" and up to the front of the class!

During years one through three of the program, you will complete your General Education course requirements as well as complete most of your related coursework. You will begin preparing your Learning Portfolio during your freshman year and complete it in your senior year. During stage one, your main responsibility as learner and future teacher is to accumulate the essential content knowledge to teach Social Studies.You are also required to take and pass your CORE (formerly Praxis I).

In years two and three, you will begin the transition from college student to teacher/educator. This is the time to learn about the psychological and cultural make-up of adolescent students in middle and high school. During this time, you will focus on questions, such as: (a) Why do adolescent students feel, think, and behave the way they do?; (b) How do adolescent learners learn?; (c) How does diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and academic strengths affect adolescents' motivation, learning, and behaviors?; (d) How do teachers effectively instruct, engage, and manage adolescents with diverse backgrounds? During this time, you will take the following three courses: (1) EDUC413, (Adolescent Development and Educational Psychology), (2) EDUC414 (Teaching Exceptional Adolescents), and (3) EDUC419 (Diversity in Secondary Education). Your first classroom observations will take place in EDUC413 and EDUC419.

*Note on education courses: you must complete a PPD test and a Criminal Background check before you can take EDUC419, EDUC413 and HIST491. Go to http://www.ocs.udel.edu/student-teaching/criminal-background-clearances/  for more information.

For clearance purposes, the most efficient way to complete your  education courses is to take EDUC419 and EDUC413 consecutively (fall-spring, or spring-fall) taking 419 first. EDUC414 does not have a practicum and can be taken at any time during your sophomore or junior year.

You will take EDUC420 (Reading in the Content Areas), HIST491 (Planning a Course of Instruction) and HIST492 (Integrating Instructional Technology into Social Studies teaching) during the Fall semester of your senior year. HIST491 is your "Methods" course. In this course, you will begin to put the pieces together from stages one and two. You will learn how to create course materials and lesson plans that meet State and National standards. You will develop effective teaching strategies that reflect your acquired content knowledge plus your understanding of adolescents and how they best learn. Through classroom observations, you will also learn more about the learners and classes you will be teaching during the Spring semester. You have now moved to the front of the classroom!

During the Spring semester of your senior year, after you have completed all of your coursework and have passed your Praxis II exam,  you will spend fourteen weeks student teaching in a middle school or high school classroom EDUC400 (Student Teaching: Social Studies) is your 9-credit teaching practicum. You will work closely with your cooperating teacher, your supervisor, and your Methods professor. At the same time, we will prepare you in your student teaching seminar, HIST493 (Problems in Teaching History and Social Studies), to seek out and get that perfect teaching position---to get a job at last!

Timeline for AA Students

  • You should meet with your advisor once each semester to help you choose your courses for the following semester.
  • Refer to the Degree Checklist for majors in Social Studies Education, available on the web site.
  • Once you decide to major in one of the Social Studies Education programs, print out and bring a copy to every advising session throughout your undergraduate career.
  • Important! Save all graded assignments and syllabi throughout your college career in order to submit the required Learning Portfolio early in the spring semester of your junior year.

Freshmen & Sophomores

______If possible, attend the mandatory Social Studies Education orientation session, held on UD campus each September or October.

______ Complete courses that satisfy general University and College requirements, i.e. Math, English 110, and foreign language courses.

______Important! While completing your Breadth Requirements, it is very important to   “cross- over” as many courses as possible. Look for Breadth Requirement courses that also count  toward the “related coursework” required for your major. Choose strategically in order to graduate on time!  See our “Coursework Matrix” for Social Studies courses that also count as Breadth Requirements.

______ Important! As soon as you have completed your math requirements, sign up to take CORE (formerly Praxis I).  Have your score sent to UD (directions on the web site)

______ GPA requirements for admission to student teaching are a 2.75 cumulative and a 3.0 in your major by February of your junior year. No exceptions!

______Go over carefully the instructions for the required Learning Portfolio.   You will be required to submit five entries using work samples and course syllabi in February of your Junior year.

Juniors coming to the Newark Campus

______ Complete EDUC414,  EDUC419 and EDUC413 during your Junior year.  EDUC419 and EDUC 413 each have observation hours in the schools and should not be taken in the same semester. You are responsible for providing your own transportation to your school placement.

______ Complete HIST268 in the fall of your junior year.

______If you are a History Education major, be sure to follow carefully the guidelines for History course levels and regions, noted on the History Education checksheet.

______ The deadline for student teaching applications is in February after the start of Spring Semester (submit one year before expected date of student teaching). You will need to turn in 5 of the 10 learning portfolio entries, as well as completed copies of the paperwork available on the web site beginning in January: www.udel.edu/socialstudiesed

______ GPA requirements: a 2.75 cumulative and a 3.0 major GPA by February of your junior year.

______In consultation with your advisor during the winter and/or spring, you should make a plan to complete all requirements by graduation. No courses may be taken during student teaching other than the required EDUC 400 and HIST 493. Fall semester senior year, all students have five required units: HIST 491 (3), HIST 492 (1), and EDUC 420 (1)

______Second writing requirement completed and verified

______Spring: sign up for HIST492 and EDUC420 as part of your fall regimen of classes in your senior year. You will be enrolled in the correct section of HIST 491 by the Program Coordinator.


Contact Information

For additional information regarding the Social Studies Education Program, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions, or contact:

Dr. Barry Joyce - bjoyce@udel.edu

Dr. Hannah Kim - hkim@udel.edu