Secondary Teaching

sesp.northwestern.edu/ugrad/secondary-teaching

SESP’s interdisciplinary secondary teaching concentration combines subject-area courses in a chosen field from Weinberg College—biological sciences, chemistry, economics, English, history, mathematics, physics, political science, or Spanish—with courses in child and adolescent development, education theory and methods, and urban education. The program leads to an Illinois Professional Educator license as well as a bachelor of science and social policy degree.  The degree is 42 units.

Similar to the other SESP concentrations, which have a four unit practicum in the junior year, secondary teaching students must complete a one-quarter student teaching internship in the senior year while enrolled in TEACH_ED 388-0 Student Teaching: Humanities or TEACH_ED 389-0 Student Teaching Seminar: Math/Science

Weinberg College students who wish to pursue secondary teaching licensure must apply to the program by the fall of junior year and complete the requirements of the secondary teaching concentration. They also must complete the degree requirements of Weinberg College.

Students must also complete the Undergraduate Registration Requirement and the degree requirements of their home school.

Total requirements42 units

Distribution requirements11 units

Professional core13 units

Teaching subject–area requirementsvaries

Electives—7 or fewer as needed to complete the 42-unit degree requirement

Distribution Requirements (11 units)

  • 1 oral communication course
  • 2 natural sciences courses
  • 2 formal studies courses (mathematics, logic, etc.)
  • 2 historical studies courses
  • 2 ethics and values courses (TEACH_ED 302-0 Social Contexts of Education will count as 1 of these)
  • 2 literature and fine arts courses

Selected courses from Weinberg College and professional schools across the University fulfill distribution requirements.

Professional Core (12 units)

Course Title
SESP 201-0Human Development: Childhood and Adolescence 1
TEACH_ED 302-0Social Contexts of Education
TEACH_ED 310-0Foundations of Learning in a New Language
TEACH_ED 322-0Content Area Reading and Writing
TEACH_ED 327-0Educating Exceptional Children
1 methods and techniques course chosen from:
Methods & Techniques: World Languages
Methods & Techniques: English
Methods and Techniques: Secondary Mathematics
Methods and Techniques: Science
Methods & Techniques: Social Science
1 middle grades methods course chosen from:
Middle Grades Methods & Techniques of Teaching: English
Middle Grades Methods & Techniques of Teaching: Mathematics
Middle Grades Methods & Techniques of Teaching: Science
Middle Grades Methods & Techniques of Teaching: Social Sciences
1 practicum/seminar:
Theory and Practice of Teaching: Secondary Humanities
Theory and Practice of Teaching: Secondary Math/Science
1 student teaching seminar (4 units):
Student Teaching: Humanities
Student Teaching Seminar: Math/Science

Teaching Subject–Area Requirements (12–20.72 units)

Specific teaching subject–area courses prepare students to meet the requirements of the Illinois State Board of Education. Teaching subject–area requirements may differ from those of a departmental major, and departmental course offerings change frequently. Secondary teaching candidates must meet regularly with the secondary teaching adviser to ensure that requirements are met. In the event that courses listed here are no longer offered by the departments, suitable replacements will be found. Students are also responsible for any prerequisites. The unit totals below are approximate minimums. Exact unit totals depend on options chosen.

Biological and Physical Sciences

Biological Sciences (20.06 units)

Course Title
8 core science courses plus labs:
Modern Cosmology
Highlights of Astronomy
Introduction to Astrophysics
Genetics and Molecular Biology
Quantitative Problem Solving in Chemistry
Advanced General Inorganic Chemistry
and Advanced General Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
Earth Systems Revealed
Earth: A Habitable Planet
The Health of the Biosphere
College Physics
and College Physics
and College Physics
and General Physics Laboratory
and General Physics Laboratory
and General Physics Laboratory
General Physics
and General Physics
and General Physics
and General Physics Laboratory
and General Physics Laboratory
and General Physics Laboratory
4 additional chemistry courses and required labs:
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry Laboratory 1
Advanced General Physical Chemistry
and Advanced General Physical Chemistry Laboratory
General Chemistry 2
and General Chemistry Laboratory 2
Organic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
5 additional biological sciences courses plus 3 labs:
Physiology
Cell Biology
Principles of Biochemistry
1 chosen from:
Population Genetics
Evolutionary Processes
Developmental Genetics Laboratory
1 additional 300-level biological sciences course (SESP students) 1
3 labs:
Genetics and Molecular Processes Laboratory
Cellular Processes Laboratory
Investigative Laboratory

Chemistry (20.72 units)

Course Title
9 core science courses plus labs:
Modern Cosmology
Highlights of Astronomy
Introduction to Astrophysics
Basic Genetics and Evolution
Cell Biology
Quantitative Problem Solving in Chemistry
Advanced General Inorganic Chemistry
and Advanced General Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
Earth Systems Revealed
Earth: A Habitable Planet
The Health of the Biosphere
General Physics
and General Physics
and General Physics
and General Physics Laboratory
and General Physics Laboratory
and General Physics Laboratory
9 additional chemistry courses and required labs:
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry Laboratory 1
Advanced General Physical Chemistry
and Advanced General Physical Chemistry Laboratory
General Chemistry 2
and General Chemistry Laboratory 2
Organic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Lab I
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Lab II
Introductory Instrumental Analysis
Green Chemistry
2 additional 300-level chemistry courses

Physics (14.36 units)

Course Title
7 core science courses plus labs:
Modern Cosmology
Highlights of Astronomy
Introduction to Astrophysics
Diversity of Life
Quantitative Problem Solving in Chemistry
Advanced General Inorganic Chemistry
and Advanced General Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
Earth Systems Revealed
General Physics
and General Physics
and General Physics
and General Physics Laboratory
and General Physics Laboratory
and General Physics Laboratory
6 additional physics courses:
Foundations of Modern Physics
Classical Mech
Statistical Mechanics
Advanced Electricity & Magnetism
2 additional physics courses including at least 1 at the 300 level

English 

English (13 units)

Course Title
ENGLISH 210-1
ENGLISH 210-2
British Literary Traditions
and British Literary Traditions
or ENGLISH 270-1
ENGLISH 270-2
American Literary Traditions
and American Literary Traditions
ENGLISH 300-0Seminar in Reading and Interpretation
TEACH_ED 324-0Critical Issues in Literacy
9 additional courses, including at least 4 at the 300 level:
At least 3 world literature courses chosen from but not limited to:
Reading World Literature
Interpreting Culture
Literatures in Translation
Studies in World Literature
Movements and Periods
Studies in Postcolonial Literature
Studies in African Literature
Studies in African Literature
At least 3 literature courses representing different genders, ethnicities and social classes chosen from but not limited to:
Introduction to Native American and Indigenous Literatures
Introduction to Asian American Literature
Introduction to Latina and Latino Literature
Studies in African American Literature
Topics in Native American and Indigenous Literatures
Topics in Asian American Literature
Topics in Latina and Latino Literature
Reading Difference
Studies in Race & Ethnicity
Studies in Gender, Sexuality & Representation
3 additional courses chosen from the following:
Studies in Film, Media, and Visual Culture
Reading & Writing Poetry
Reading and Writing Fiction
Reading & Writing Creative Non-Fiction
Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing
Studies in Literature and Film
Reporting & Writing
Multimedia Storytelling
Podcasting
Media Construction
Analyzing Media Texts

Spanish

Spanish (13 units)

Course Title
Students must earn a score of upper-intermediate or higher on the ACTFL OPI for licensure.
TEACH_ED 328-0Dynamics of Middle School Curriculum
12 Spanish language, literature, and culture and civilization courses, including at least 5 at the 300 level:
3 courses chosen from:
Conversation on Human Rights: Latin America
Conversation on Current Topics
Individual and Society through Written Expression (or AP placement) 1
Spanish for Heritage Speakers
Reading and Writing the Art of Protest
Spanish and the Community
5 literature courses:
Introduction to Literary Analysis
1 course chosen from:
Literature in Spain before 1700
Literature in Spain since 1700
Literature in Latin America before 1888
Literature in Latin America since 1888
3 literature courses with at least 2 focusing on Latin-American literature selected from the following:
The "New" Latin American Narrative
Discovering Jewish Latin America
Introduction to Latina/o Literature
Cervantes
Golden Age Poetry and Prose
Golden Age Drama
Cervantes' Don Quixote
Realism in Spain: The Problem of Representation
Avant-Garde Writers and Experimental Fiction in Spain
Colonial Latin American Literature
Latin American Modernismo
Latin American Avant-Gardes
Reading the 'Boom'
Testimonial Narrative in Latin America
Readings in Latin American Short Fiction
3 Latin American/Latin-x culture and civilization courses including film, art, and history, from:
Language in Context: Latinos, Language and Culture
Latin America: Studies in Culture and Society
Citizenship and Urban Violence in Latin America
Cultural Borders/Border Cultures
Topics in Film: The Silver Screen in Latin America and/or Spain
Topics in Latin American, Latina and Latino, and/or Iberian Cultures
Choose 1 from the following:
Introduction to Spanish Linguistics
Spanish Phonetics and Phonology
Advanced Grammar

Mathematics

Mathematics (12 units)

Course Title
12 courses (total number of courses may depend on the calculus sequence the student enrolls in) with at least 5 at the 300 level. No more than two AP credits may be counted toward the 12.
Foundation calculus courses:
Single-Variable Calculus with Precalculus
and Single-Variable Calculus with Precalculus
and Single-Variable Calculus with Precalculus
Single-Variable Differential Calculus
and Single-Variable Integral Calculus
Sequences and Series
Multivariable Differential Calculus
Multivariable Integral Calculus
Additional required courses:
Linear Algebra
Combinatorics & Discrete Mathematics
1 probability and statistics course chosen from:
Probability and Stochastic Processes
Introduction to Statistics and Research Methodology
Introductory Statistics for the Social Sciences
Topics in High School Math
1 geometry course chosen from:
Geometry
Topics in High School Math
Additional courses as needed to reach minimum 12 units

Social Sciences

History (14 units)

Course Title
No more than 1 AP credit may be counted towards history course requirements.
HISTORY 250-1
HISTORY 250-2
Global History: Early Modern to Modern Transition
and Global History: The Modern World
or HISTORY 201-1
HISTORY 201-2
Europe in the Medieval and Early Modern World
and Europe in the Modern World
HISTORY 210-1
HISTORY 210-2
History of the United States, Precolonial to the Civil War
and History of the United States, Reconstruction to the Present
HISTORY 393-0Approaches to History
5 additional courses, including at least 4 at the 300 level:
2 non-Western civilization courses such as:
Background to African Civilization and Culture: Origins to 17th C.
and Background to African Civilization and Culture: 16th-19th C.
and Background to African Civilization and Culture: 1875-1994
Middle Eastern/Islamic Civilization
Chinese Civilization
Japanese History, Ancient & Medieval, 200-1600
and Japanese History: Tokugawa Period, 1600-1868
History of South Africa, Early Times to 1879
and History of South Africa, 20th century
East Africa
Topics in West African History
Race and Nation in the Independence Era
History of Modern Brazil
Revolution in 20th Century Latin America: Mexico and its Revolutions
and Revolution in 20th Century Latin America: Marxist Revolutions
Development and Inequality in Modern Latin America
History of Modern China: Late Imperial China, 1600-1911
and History of Modern China: 1911-present
The Modern Japanese City
History of Modern Japan: The Modern State, 1860-1943
and History of Modern Japan: War and postwar Japan, 1943-present
History of Modern South Asia, 1500-1800
3 additional history courses with at least 2 in US History
4 courses to meet related core requirements in social sciences; no more than 1 may be met by AP credit:
American Government and Politics
Introduction to Macroeconomics
Economic Geography
Plus 2 from the following:
Introduction to Microeconomics
North America
Introduction to International Relations
Introduction to Comparative Politics

Economics (15 units)

Course Title
8 economics courses:
Introduction to Macroeconomics
Introduction to Microeconomics
Introduction to Applied Econometrics
Microeconomics
Microeconomics
Macroeconomics
3 additional economics courses at the 300 level
6 history courses including four in U.S. history
1 related core chosen from the list:
American Government and Politics
Introduction to International Relations
Introduction to Comparative Politics
North America

Political Science (15 units)

Course Title
8 political science courses of which 5 must be at the 300 level:
Choose at least 2 from:
Introduction to Political Theory
American Government and Politics
Introduction to International Relations
Introduction to Comparative Politics
Urban Politics
1 course in methodology chosen from:
Introduction to Empirical Methods in Political Science
Methods of Political Inference
Logics of Political Inquiry
Statistical Research Methods
5 additional political science courses with at least two focusing on a region outside of North America
6 history courses with four in U.S. history
1 related core course chosen from the following:
Introduction to Macroeconomics
Introduction to Microeconomics
Economic Geography
North America

Electives (varies)

Additional units of elective coursework must be taken to complete the 42-unit degree requirement. Students are encouraged to discuss their elective plans with the teacher certification manager.

Teacher Preparation Program

Students who wish to be licensed as teachers must apply to the SESP Teacher Preparation Program. This program is approved by the Illinois State Teacher Certification Board. Com­pletion of the courses alone does not result in licensure, nor is licensure required for completion of the SESP degree.

Application and Admission

Students apply to the Teacher Preparation Program by the fall of the junior year. To be admitted, they must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.5 and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in a humanities teaching subject–area course or meet an annually calculated and determined GPA in math or science subject-areas. Students must be eligible for entrance to the program no later than the end of fall quarter of the junior year.

Clinical Experience

Students in the Teacher Preparation Program complete two clinical experiences: a 100-hour school practicum (typically during fall of the senior year); and student teaching (typically during winter of the senior year).

To be eligible for the 100-hour practicum, students must have met the GPA requirements for and been admitted to the Teacher Preparation Program and be on track to have completed a minimum of 9 courses in the teaching subject area by the end of the practicum term in order to be placed. Those meeting these requirements will be placed with a department or teacher mentor at a local school.

 Clinical experiences gained at the site are central to the discussion of methods and theories in the practicum seminar (TEACH_ED 378-0 Theory and Practice of Teaching: Secondary Humanities or TEACH_ED 379-0 Theory and Practice of Teaching: Secondary Math/Science) and methodology courses (TEACH_ED 355-0 Methods & Techniques: World LanguagesTEACH_ED 359-0 Methods & Techniques: Social Science).

To be eligible for student teaching, students must have successfully completed the applicable TEACH_ED 355-0 Methods & Techniques: World LanguagesTEACH_ED 359-0 Methods & Techniques: Social Science course(s) as well as TEACH_ED 378-0 Theory and Practice of Teaching: Secondary Humanities or TEACH_ED 379-0 Theory and Practice of Teaching: Secondary Math/Science, earned a passing score on the applicable ICTS Content-Area Test, fulfilled minimum GPA requirements for student teaching, completed 9 teaching subject–area courses and have been recommended for continuation to student teaching. Most school districts also require a criminal background check.

Student teaching involves full-time placement in a local school for the entire quarter. Teacher candidates attend an evening seminar (TEACH_ED 388-0 Student Teaching: Humanities or TEACH_ED 389-0 Student Teaching Seminar: Math/Science). The internship and seminar together earn 4 units. No other courses are taken concurrently. Teacher candidates are evaluated by their school mentor, a Northwestern supervisor, and the seminar instructor.

Other Licensure Requirements

In addition to successful completion of student teaching, all teacher candidates must successfully complete the state-mandated performance assessment, edTPA.

Foreign language teacher candidates other than those in Latin are required to complete the Oral Proficiency Interview of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages with a rating of upper-intermediate-high or better.

Recommendation for Licensure

Students are recommended for licensure when they successfully complete degree requirements, earn a rating of recommendation for licensure for student teaching and pass all outside tests as noted above. Although legal requirements for licensure vary from state to state, the SESP Teacher Preparation Program is flexible enough to permit students who plan carefully to complete provisional requirements for most states. As it is easier to obtain a teaching license in another state through reciprocity than through independent certification, all students who complete the program are encouraged to apply for an Illinois license before leaving the state.

Students should apply for the license immediately upon graduation. Teacher Preparation Program graduates who are recommended but do not apply for certification upon graduation may not be eligible for certification at a later date due to changes in state requirements.

The Illinois School Code has provided that school districts may not knowingly employ individuals who have been convicted of certain offenses (principally those related to sex or drugs). All Illinois school districts require applicants to submit to a criminal background check.

TEACH_ED 302-0 Social Contexts of Education (1 Unit)   Societal structures that organize, supply, and channel individual learning experiences and how they provide the formal and informal settings in which social interaction takes place, particularly in urban settings. How participation in these socializing settings molds the development of individuals' capacities and forms their goals. Taught with LRN_SCI 302-0; may not receive credit for both courses.

TEACH_ED 304-0 Seminar on Teaching: Introduction to Schooling in Communities (1 Unit)   Action research methods- including observation/field notes, interviewing, and artifact analysis-as means to understanding how schools work and how theory and practice relate. Includes 30 hours of field experience.

TEACH_ED 309-0 Speech & Communication in the School Environment (1 Unit)   Communication in the classroom and school environment for teacher and student. Basic public speaking, interpersonal communication, creating a positive climate for classroom discourse, facilitating group activities.

TEACH_ED 310-0 Foundations of Learning in a New Language (1 Unit)   Historical, political, sociocultural, and educational practices that impact linguistically and culturally diverse learners in American schools.

TEACH_ED 313-0 Problems in the Philosophy of Education (1 Unit)   Classical and modern philosophies of education. Text interpretation, analysis of ideas, argument construction; relationship of philosophy to educational issues. Students develop their own philosophy of education.

TEACH_ED 322-0 Content Area Reading and Writing (1 Unit)   Theory and practical methods of reading methodology to enable teacher candidates to scaffold the literacy skills of English-language learners and students not reading at grade level.

TEACH_ED 324-0 Critical Issues in Literacy (1 Unit)   Continues on the work in MS_ED 422-0 and TEACH_ED 322-0, delving deeply into critical literacy issues.

TEACH_ED 327-0 Educating Exceptional Children (1 Unit)   Students with disabilities, including learning disabilities resulting from human development and/or accidents; understanding and application of approved emergency, educational, and rehabilitative activities; interrelationships with medical, health, and educational personnel.

TEACH_ED 328-0 Dynamics of Middle School Curriculum (1 Unit)   Identifying and understanding the effects of middle school dynamics (principles, structures, and practices) on classroom learning and instruction. Focuses on the development and social problems of fifth through eighth graders.

TEACH_ED 329-0 Early Adolescent Development and Intervention (1 Unit)   Interaction of physical, mental, and emotional health and the surrounding social environment of middle school students; developmental characteristics of early adolescence; the middle school teacher's role in assessment and referral.

TEACH_ED 336-0 Instructional Design & Assessment (1 Unit)   Students will gain an overview of various approaches to curriculum design and instructional models, and will investigate several kinds of assessments, including formative and summative, and how those assessments are linked to instructional design, teaching and learning. Opportunities will be given to practice grading, providing good feedback, and managing a class assessment system.

TEACH_ED 338-0 Learning and Teaching with Techology (1 Unit)   Theory and practice of designing school environments that integrate new technologies and media. Taught with LRN_SCI 338-0; may not receive credit for both courses.

TEACH_ED 351-0 Special Topics in Teacher Education (1 Unit)   Advanced work on special topics.

TEACH_ED 355-0 Methods & Techniques: World Languages (1 Unit)   Analysis of research, teaching methodologies, and literature related to the content area. Focuses on learning experiences, methods, and educational techniques appropriate for elementary, middle school, and high school students. Concurrent registration in TEACH_ED 378-0 or TEACH_ED 379-0 required.

TEACH_ED 356-0 Methods & Techniques: English (1 Unit)   Analysis of research, teaching methodologies, and literature related to the content area. Learning experiences, methods, and educational techniques appropriate for high school students.

TEACH_ED 357-0 Methods and Techniques: Secondary Mathematics (1 Unit)   See description for MS_ED 456-0.

TEACH_ED 358-0 Methods and Techniques: Science (1 Unit)   See description for MS_ED 456-0.

TEACH_ED 359-0 Methods & Techniques: Social Science (1 Unit)   See description for MS_ED 456-0.

TEACH_ED 366-0 Middle Grades Methods & Techniques of Teaching: English (1 Unit)  

TEACH_ED 367-0 Middle Grades Methods & Techniques of Teaching: Mathematics (1 Unit)  

TEACH_ED 368-0 Middle Grades Methods & Techniques of Teaching: Science (1 Unit)  

TEACH_ED 369-0 Middle Grades Methods & Techniques of Teaching: Social Sciences (1 Unit)  

TEACH_ED 373-0 Topics in High School Math (1 Unit)   Content varies.

TEACH_ED 378-0 Theory and Practice of Teaching: Secondary Humanities (1 Unit)   Exploration of education theory in the seminar, plus 10 hours a week of fieldwork. Concurrent registration in the applicable methods and techniques course (TEACH_ED 355-0 - TEACH_ED 359-0) required. Prerequisites: TEACH_ED 304-0 and passing score on the ILTS Test of Academic Proficiency.

TEACH_ED 379-0 Theory and Practice of Teaching: Secondary Math/Science (1 Unit)   See description for MS_ED 478-0.

TEACH_ED 388-0 Student Teaching: Humanities (4 Units)   Seminar and accompanying fulltime, 10-week internship involving intensive clinical experience and teaching under the supervision of a mentor. Prerequisites: TEACH_ED 304-0; TEACH_ED 378-0 or TEACH_ED 379-0; applicable course(s) from TEACH_ED 355-0 - TEACH_ED 359-0; successful completion of the practicum experience; passing score on the applicable ILTS Content Area Test.

TEACH_ED 389-0 Student Teaching Seminar: Math/Science (4 Units)   See description for TEACH_ED 388-0.