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Middle Grade Education

  • Bachelor of Science

Middle school is a crucial time for children as they transition from their early childhood to their teenage years. Teachers with a Middle Grades degree familiarize their students more advanced subjects, while also helping them navigate the trials of discovering and building their identities and “growing up.”  

Curriculum Requirements

  • Requirements for Bachelors of Science in Middle Grades 4-8 Education

    General Studies Requirements:
    HI 106 or 107 Topics in US History* - 3 credits
    HI 258 Pennsylvania History* - 3 credits
    EL 129 Young Adult Fiction* - 3 credits
    AR 100 Art and Music of Western Culture* - 3 credits
    EL 102 Language and Rhetoric - 3 credits
    EL 208 Pedagogy of Composition* - 3 credits
    MA 104 Elementary Functions* - 3 credits
    Earth Space Science with lab* - 4 credits
    Life Science with lab* - 4 credits
    CA 235 Introduction to Web Design* - 3 credits
    PS 100 American Politics* - 3 credits
    Required Studies in Psychology (15 credits):
    ED 115 Educational Psychology* - 3 credits
    PY 214 Adolescent Development - 3 credits
    ED 290 Psychology and Education for Exceptional Students - 3 credits
    ED 381 Educational Testing – 3 credits
    Required Studies in Mathematics (6 credits):
    in addition to general studies
    ED 142 Mathematics for Teachers - 3 credits
    ED 155 Geometric and Measurement Theory - 3 credits
    Required Studies in Science (4 credits):
    in addition to general studies
    Physical Science and Lab - 4 credits
    Required Studies in Middle Grade 4-8 Education (39 credits):
    ED 100 Educational Foundations - 3 credits*
    ED 102 or 207 Field Experience - 1 credit
    ED 109 Physical and Cultural Geography - 3 credits
    ED 205 Strategies and Techniques of Instruction - 3 credits
    ED 206 Field Experience II: Strategies and Techniques of Instruction - 1 credit
    ED 208 Classroom Partnerships and Inclusion - 3 credits
    ED 235 Teaching of Science and Mathematics for Middle and Special Learners - 3 credits
    ED 237 Teaching of Humanities for Middle and Special Learners - 3 credits
    ED 311 Field Experience III: Middle Grade Instruction and Theory - 3 credits
    ED 320 Composition and Language Arts for Upper Elementary - 3 credits
    ED 390 Teaching of Nonnative Speaking and Culturally Diverse Students - 3 credits
    ED 400 Field Experience IV: Pre-Student Teaching - 2 credits
    ED 410 Field Experience V: Student Teaching Internship - 9 credits
    ED 411 Professional Seminar - 3 credits

    Required Additional Studies in one content area (18 credits):
    Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Mathematics

    Language Arts
    EL 110 Introduction to Creative Writing - 3 credits
    EL 131 Survey of American Literature I - 3 credits
    EL 137 American Short Story - 3 credits
    EL 146 Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking - 3 credits
    CA 100 Introduction to Mass Media - 3 credits
    CA 120 Public Presentation - 3 credits

    Social Studies
    HI 123 Global History I - 3 credits
    HI 228 Twentieth Century America 1941-1980 - 3 credits
    EC 101/2 Micro or Macro Economics - 3 credits
    PS 222, PS 336 or CLS 227 - 3 credits
    SO 106 Sociology and Global Issues - 3 credits

    Science
    CH 101/103 General Chemistry I and Lab - 4 credits
    BL 150/151 General Biology and Lab  - 4 credits
    NSCI Understanding Biotechnology - 3 credits
    NSCI 130/131 Introduction to Physics and Lab - 4 credits
    NSCI 150/152 Earth Systems Science and Lab - 4 credits

    Mathematics
    MA 109 Calculus I - 4 credits
    MA 110 Calculus II - 4 credits
    MA 210 Euclidean and Non Euclidean Geometrics - 3 credits
    MA 117 Methods of Proof - 3 credits
    BA 350 Statistics I - 3 credits
    *Also fulfills core curriculum requirements. 

    Additional Certifications and Opportunities

    Students completing the Middle Grade 4-8 degree at Saint Vincent are afforded many additional opportunities to make them more marketable. The middle grade curriculum is based firmly in the interdisciplinary education of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics).  Candidates are taught how to leverage these STEAM principles in all disciplines taught in middle school.  Students are to select a discipline as a concentration.  This will prepare them to teach grades 7 and 8 in a middle school that models the high school design with subject-specific teachers. Students are to select from mathematics, social studies, science or language arts.

    Students are encouraged to also add-on certifications.  By taking a second state exam in a middle level concentration area, students can be certified in more than one 4-8 subject.  Given the liberal arts nature of the this degree, many students are successful in passing secondary and early childhood exams as well. 

    Middle grade students are also encouraged to take the Disabilities Studies Minor to become certified in special education PreK-8 while completing their degree in four years.  For more information about the Disabilities Studies Minor.

Program Highlights

Results

  • The Middle Level program provides a wide perspective of teaching young adolescent children in grades four through eight. Candidates select one of the four areas of expertise: Mathematics, Language Arts, Social Studies or Science, which they can take coursework to teach as a single-subject in a middle school.
  • Candidates will fully meet all current Pennsylvania Department of Education Middle Grade 4-8 requirements.
  • Candidates enrolled in this degree program will greatly benefit from the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media, Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve, Step-Up Homeschooling Academy, Bearcat Best, Challenge Program, and many other campus-based learning and teaching programs that provides unique opportunities for research, resources and outreach.
  • Candidates create an electronic portfolio that documents content knowledge and experiences in accordance with the latest guidelines and state requirements.
  • Candidates will also complete 14 weeks of student teaching and evaluation and pass all required state tests.
  • All methods courses have required field hours and micro-teaching experiences. Candidates will participate in the field of middle grade education during each year of study teaching, assisting, and demonstrating 21st century learning skills for today’s classrooms.

Internships and Careers

Beyond acquiring theoretical knowledge about teaching middle level pupils, students with a degree in middle grade 4-8 will have an opportunity to apply what they learned in actual classrooms. In addition to participating every year in field work, the last year of the middle grade program requires students to work with a cooperating teacher at a local school district to complete the teaching internship for an entire year (pre-student teaching and student teaching).

Graduates of the program typically seek employment at elementary or middle schools. Candidates are also suited to apply for graduate school. Recent graduates have found employment in many of our partner school districts and agencies including Ligonier Valley, Greater Latrobe, Derry Area, Somerset, Franklin Regional, Penn-Trafford, Norwin, Jeannette, Dr. Robert Ketterer Charter School, Westmoreland Intermediate Unit and others.

Graduate admissions at Saint Vincent College is guaranteed to all teacher candidates prepared by the education department. If a student has completed student teaching internship successfully, they are permitted to enroll in graduate studies. In addition, Saint Vincent offers a discount for alumni and convenient one-night a week course offerings to make completing a masters degree or the PA required 24 credits for professional licensure easy and simple. The masters degrees at Saint Vincent are highly ranked and have been recognized by employers as the best in the area.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Graduate/student-teacher candidates will achieve passing scores and successfully complete the teacher certification exams for each teaching area.
  • Graduate/student-teacher candidates will demonstrate thorough knowledge of content and pedagogical skills in planning and preparation for teaching.
  • Graduate/student-teacher candidates will establish and maintain a purposeful and equitable classroom environment for learning, in which pupils feel safe, valued and respected, by instituting routines and setting clear expectations for pupil behavior.
  • Graduate/student-teacher candidates, through knowledge of content, pedagogy and skill in delivering and evaluating instruction, will effectively engage students in learning by using a variety of instructional strategies.
  • Graduate/student-teacher candidates will demonstrate the desired qualities that characterize a professional person in aspects that occur in and beyond the classroom.