Social Studies (K-12) Certificate

Program Overview

This graduate-level program is designed for college graduates seeking initial certification as a teacher of social studies. The streamlined, rigorous, and sequential program of professional studies combines the best of theory, research, and practice. It is designed for part-time students who take one or two late afternoon/evening courses per semester. The final clinical experience (student teaching) at the end of the program requires full-time enrollment for one semester. The program is state approved and nationally accredited.

The course work in this program counts toward completion of the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT).

Curriculum Overview

This is a 21-credit program requiring four courses taken in late afternoons/evenings followed by a full semester of full-time clinical experience (student teaching) in a host school in the region.

Certificate Offered

Social Studies (K-12) Certificate


Don Ambrose, Ph.D.
Professor of Graduate Education
Memorial Hall 202

Program Website: Social Science Certificate
Associated Department: Department of Graduate Education, Leadership, and Counseling

Related Programs

Requirements for Social Studies (K-12) Certificate

CURR 700Educational Foundations3
CURR 703Teaching Content Area Literacies3
CURR 720Curriculum and Instruction in Secondary Schools3
CURR 705Secondary Social Studies Teaching and Learning3
CURR 770Clinical Experience and Seminar in Teaching3-9
or CURR 771 Supervised Clinical Experience in Teaching
Total Credits15-21

Additional requirements for completion

  • Completion of all courses before the clinical experience (student teaching) with a “C+” or better in each course and with a 3.0 grade point average.
  • Completion of CURR 770 or CURR 771 with a “C+” grade or better.

Courses and Descriptions

CURR 700 Educational Foundations 3 Credits

This course provides psychological and interdisciplinary perspectives on teaching and learning. Within the theme of optimal development of creative intelligence, students use these perspectives to guide their reflective professional development throughout their program. The course develops knowledge, skills, and dispositions pertinent to (a) child and adolescent development, (b) learning theories, (c) philosophical and historical perspectives on education, (d) sociocontextual and interdisciplinary influences on education, and (e) higher-order creative and critical thinking.

CURR 703 Teaching Content Area Literacies 3 Credits

Current strategies for providing instruction in vocabulary, comprehension, composition and language study in content areas in upper elementary grades through high school. Pedagogy for all learners, ranging from gifted to diverse learners in general education. Prerequisit(e): CURR 700.

CURR 720 Curriculum and Instruction in Secondary Schools 3 Credits

This course is designed for students seeking the initial teaching certificate and introduces them to curriculum and instruction in middle, junior and senior high schools. The history and rationale for secondary-level education is developed. Students acquire skills in instructional planning and classroom management. Field experiences will supplement classroom instruction.

Prerequisite(s): CURR 703.

CURR 705 Secondary Social Studies Teaching and Learning 3 Credits

The theoretical foundations of teaching social studies in junior and senior high schools. Basic goals and aims of social studies instruction are studied, and specific methodological techniques are described and practiced. Demonstration lessons are prepared and presented. Considers typical problems with which teachers are confronted.

Prerequisite(s): CURR 720.

CURR 770 Clinical Experience and Seminar in Teaching 9 Credits

This course, designed for those seeking initial certification, requires full-time supervised daily participation in a school setting. The student gradually assumes a full load of teaching responsibility at the school. The experience will test the translation of educational theory into meaningful practice. A student-teaching fee is charged for this course. (nine semester hours).

Prerequisite(s): CURR 704, CURR 705, CURR 706, CURR 707, CURR 715 and (BSED 530 or ECED 550) or Permission of instructor.

CURR 771 Supervised Clinical Experience in Teaching 3 Credits

This practicum is a condensed version of the Internship in Teaching. It is available only to interns seeking teacher certification who already have a year of successful, full-time teaching experience or its equivalent. A special application must be made and approved for enrollment in the course. The practicum requires six weeks of full-time, supervised daily participation in a school setting. After a brief period of orientation to the school and classroom, the intern assumes a full load of teaching responsibility at the school. The experience finetunes the teaching abilities of interns and enables them to demonstrate competence in the specialty for which they seek certification.

Prerequisite(s): CURR 704, CURR 705, CURR 706, CURR 707, CURR 715 and (BSED 530 or ECED 550) or Permission of instructor.