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Secondary Education

Program Details

  • Major Name: Secondary Education
  • Degree Program: Education
  • Degree Designation: AA
  • College / School: Liberal Arts

Potomac State College Secondary Education majors complete the initial phases of degree 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 lifelong 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 an 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.

Because secondary education is a career choice that leads to not only preparation to lead a classroom but knowledge in the discipline of study as well, preparation throughout college has a two part focus: the content area (math, English, social studies) and educational design and delivery. From Potomac State College, students transfer to a variety of accredited institutions to complete their degree in Secondary Educator and earn a teaching license.

To accommodate students wishing to become secondary teachers, Potomac State College offers Associate of Arts degrees in Secondary Education in the concentrations of English and Social Studies. Students wishing to pursue secondary teaching in math, science or other disciplines will have the option to declare a major within the specific discipline while also enrolling in education courses; therefore, it is critical that students work with a Secondary Education adviser to select which discipline and track is appropriate for their future plans.

Career Outcomes

Secondary teachers generally teach students from the 5th through 12th grades. They usually specialize in one subject area, such as math, science or history. They may teach several different classes within that subject area. For example, a high school math teacher may teach courses in Algebra, Calculus and/or Geometry. Future secondary educators can expect their career to include:

  • Planning age and discipline specific lessons in the subjects they teach, such as Biology or History;
  • Assessing students to evaluate mastery of learning objectives;
  • Teaching students in full class settings or in small groups;
  • Adapting lessons to any changes in class size or needs of individual learners;
  • Communicating with parents about students’ progress;
  • Developing and enforcing classroom rules and administrative policies;
  • Supervising students outside of the classroom — coaching, advising clubs, other extracurricular activities.
  • Some teachers trained as secondary educators continue coursework in their specific discipline, earning an advanced or graduate degree leading to careers in research, higher education or curriculum development. Others may pursue graduate degrees in school administration.

Employment of secondary teachers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024. Nationally, the median annual wage for secondary teachers was $57,200 in May 2015. Specifically in West Virginia, the recent average salary of secondary educators is approximately $45,000.

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