Secondary Education

Degree Offered

  • Associate of Arts

Nature of Program

Secondary Education majors complete the initial course work required to become a certified teacher. Future teachers naturally expect to be responsible for lesson planning, instruction, and assessment in their future classrooms; however, with society's demands for critical thinkers and citizens committed to life-long learning, it is crucial that future educators experience teacher-preparation rich in opportunities to discover the impact of culturally relevant teaching, learner centered classrooms, and integrated curriculum as well as solid communication, management, and organizational classroom skills. 

Potomac State College offers direct classroom experience for prospective secondary educators as early as the first semester of study. 

Secondary Education teacher education has a two-part focus: the content area (English or Social Studies) and educational design and delivery. 

Secondary Education majors who wish to pursue a four-year degree in other content areas (biology, chemistry, math, or physics) should pursue an AA in the content area, complete EDUC 100 their first semester and EDUC 200 their fourth semester, and meet with their secondary education advisor every semester. 

Career Opportunities

Four-year graduates teach students from 5th through 12th grades. They usually specialize in one subject area and may teach several different classes within that subject area. Some teachers continue course work in their specific discipline, earning a graduate degree leading to careers in research, higher education, or curriculum development. Others pursue graduate degrees in school administration.

Admission Requirements

Entering freshmen are admitted directly into the major.

Benchmark Expectations

Secondary Education majors must earn a C- or better in EDUC 100 and EDUC 200 for graduation. Students must demonstrate competence and professionalism, following all College and school district guidelines and policies, in their school-based placement(s). Students must meet with their education adviser each semester. Students who do not meet these benchmarks may be removed from their major.

Testing Requirements

In West Virginia, Praxis Core tests are waived if you have already completed a master’s degree OR if you scored 26 on the ACT OR if you scored 1170 on the SAT (Math and Verbal, pre-March 2016 sitting) OR SAT Evidence Based Reading/Writing and Math Section 1240 (post-March 2016 sitting). All other students must earn passing scores (based on score benchmarks for the intended transfer institution) on all subsections of the Praxis Core by the application or transfer deadline set by the intended transfer institution. More information about the Praxis CORE can be found at

Disclaimer: State Board of Education requirements may change testing and program requirements.

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.

Curriculum Requirements

GEF Requirements6-9
Credits may vary depending on overlap.
English Track: 9 hrs (GEF 3, 5, 7); Social Studies Track: 6 hrs (GEF 3, 6)
WVUE 191First Year Seminar1
ENGL 101
ENGL 102
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research (GEF 1)
EDUC 100Education Colloquium1
EDUC 200Professional Inquiry in Education3
PSYC 101Introduction to Psychology (GEF 4)3
Foreign Language 12
Select one of the following tracks:24-27
English Track (24 credit hours)
Introduction to Human Development
Select five from the following Content Area Coursework:
American Literature 1
American Literature 2
Multiethnic Literature
British Literature 1
British Literature 2
Shakespeare 1
American Poetry
Introduction to Cultural Studies
Social Studies Track (27 credit hours)
Growth of the American Nation to 1865
Making of Modern America: 1865 to the Present
World History to 1500
World History Since 1500
Introduction to Anthropology
Select four from the following Content Area Coursework:
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
World Regions
Introduction to Human Development
Introduction to American Government
Law and the Legal System
State and Local Government
Introduction to International Relations
Introduction to Sociology
West Virginia
Total Hours60

Suggested Plan of Study for English Track

First Year
EDUC 1001ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3Certification Requirement3
PSYC 101 (GEF 4)3MATH 121 (or higher - GEF 3)3
Foreign Language3Foreign Language3
WVUE 1911 
Elective 1 
 15 15
Second Year
Certification Requirement3EDUC 2003
Certification Requirement3Certification Requirement3
PSYC 2413Certification Requirement3
Foreign Language3Foreign Language3
 15 15
Total credit hours: 60

Suggested Plan of Study for Social Studies Track

First Year
EDUC 1001HIST 152 (GEF 5)3
MATH 121 (or higher - GEF 3)3HIST 179 (GEF 8)3
PSYC 101 (GEF 4)3ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3Certification Requirement3
Foreign Language3Foreign Language3
WVUE 1911 
Elective 1 
 15 15
Second Year
SOCA 105 (GEF 7)3EDUC 2003
Certification Requirement3HIST 153 (GEF 8)3
Certification Requirement3HIST 180 (GEF 8)3
Foreign Language3Foreign Language3
GEF 63Certification Requirement3
 15 15
Total credit hours: 60

Major Learning Goals

secondary education

A primary mission of the AA in Secondary Education at Potomac State College is to prepare individuals for a changing teaching profession. Teachers influence many facets of education including students, parents, school policies and procedures, curriculum design, instructional materials, and classroom environment. Educational issues must be grounded in current research on best practices and deep reflection on ways to implement them in teaching practice.

Upon successful completion of the A.A. degree, Secondary Education majors will be able to:

  • Utilize commitment and skills to engage in life-long learning, including research skills applied to the discipline;
  • Practice effective communication; both oral and written;
  • Recognize that teaching is a professional, moral, and ethical enterprise with well-developed ethical frameworks which facilitate effective teaching;
  • Serve as facilitators of learning for all students;
  • Apply in-depth knowledge of both pedagogy and content, and the relationship between them
  • Be reflective practitioners;
  • Be aware of, and have respect, human diversity;
  • Value and integrate knowledge from a wide variety of fields, be creative and open to new ideas, and be able to act constructively in a world characterized by technological, cultural, and societal diversity and change. 


Associate professor

  • Ruth Upton - M.A. (West Virginia University)
    Special Education


  • Andrea Schafer - M.A. (West Virginia University)
    Elementary Education