Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Or How a Minor in Education Might Help You Get a Job
by Eleanor K. Sikes, Ed. D.
Interim Chairperson, Middle Grades Education Programs

I do not know just how many teachers Georgia and the nation will need next year because all the retirements, resignations, and dismissals are not in. But I do know that the number will be in the thousands. Georgia needed several thousand just this year, and some positions were never really filled but were held by long-term substitutes all year.

When the supply of graduates from teacher education programs runs out, principals start looking at all college graduates. And when it comes to being hired, those graduates who have had at least some exposure to education program curriculum will have an edge over those who do not. SO, if you want to be among those most likely to be offered a job in education, but you really do not want to be an education major because that dream job just might come available when you graduate, you should think about getting a minor in education.

A minor in education consists of a minimum of 18 hours of pedagogical courses. These courses are foundational courses in understanding critical issues in education, in teaching students with disabilities, in learning how students develop and learn, and in planning lessons and managing classrooms. These courses will introduce you to real classrooms through the field experiences.

Anyone who is going to make a career of teaching must complete an approved preparation program. If this is not done before graduation, it must be done afterwards. HOWEVER, if one has completed a minor in education as an undergraduate, he will have much less to do afterwards.

The minor in education provides a beginning place for the college student who is just not sure about what he wants to do with his degrees. It offers him an alternative, a backup plan for not getting into graduate school, or for not finding a manager’s position right out of school. There never seems to be a surplus of teachers, so job certainty is increased. The pay is good, and the benefits are good, too. Think about Education for your major, but do not neglect looking into our minor if you are committed to another course.

Students who seek a minor in education are encouraged to speak with the Dean of the College of Education or with the Chair of the Department of the program in which the minor is sought.

A minor in education will not yield enough content or pedagogy for certification. However, having a minor might indicate to a prospective employer the applicant’s seriousness about teaching. Additionally, in some circumstances, the courses required in the education minor may be credited toward completion of a program at a post-bacc or Master’s of Arts in Teaching (MAT) level program. Such credit can only be determined by the institution offering the post-bacc or MAT program. Full certification can be achieved only through the completion of an approved Educator Preparation Program.

Because a minor does not lead to certification by itself, the courses included are generic; in other words, they are common to most programs. The courses included in the FVSU education minor are also required by the State of Georgia for all educators. The courses are:

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
EDUC 2110 Investigating Critical and Contemporary Issues in Education 3
EDUC 2120 Exploring Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Diversity in Education 3
EDUC 2130 Exploring Teaching and Learning 3
EDUC 2110P Pre-Professional Block Practicum (50 hours of supervised field experience coordinated with the courses above) 0
EDUC 2503 Exceptionalities and Instruction 3
READ 3823 Expanding Literacy Across the Content Areas in Middle Grades OR 3
READ 3820 Expanding Literacy Across the content Areas in ECE/Sp. Ed 3
EDMG 3132 Classroom Management Strategies ( Middle Grades) OR 3
ECSP 3132 Classroom Management Strategies (Early Childhood/Sp. Ed.) 3 Total Hours 18

In addition to the courses listed above, the CoE faculty recommends that the student seeking a minor in education take other courses if possible: at least one classroom management course, one methods course closely related to his/her intended teaching field, and a course in instructional technology. Currently, FVSU offers the following:

EDMG 3232 Methods of Teaching Science in the Middle Grades 3
EDMG 3332 Methods of Teaching Language Arts/Reading in the Middle Grades 3
EDMG 3432 Methods of Teaching Social Studies in the Middle Grades 3
EDMG 3532 Methods of Teaching Mathematics in the Middle Grades 3
ITEC 2120 Introduction to Instructional Technology 3
ITEC 2433 Instructional Technology for the Middle Grades Teacher 3

We encourage students seeking a Minor in Education to take as many as possible of the courses listed above in order to increase marketability and progress toward certification and advanced degrees.

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