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Department Programs and Communities

Secondary Education Overview


As an English major and history minor, I appreciated the program’s emphasis on a thorough knowledge of my content area and felt that my instructors fully prepared me to teach any topic in English and history.
Michelle Krueger, Secondary Education Alumni 2001

Top Ranked Programs

For the eighteenth consecutive year, the 2013 U.S. News and World Report ranking of graduate schools of education rated Michigan State University’s elementary and secondary education programs as the best in the U.S. This ranking is reflective, in part, of the high esteem in which K-12 school employers hold our graduates, as well as our national and international reputation among educators and scholars.

Teachers Matter

We know this from our own experiences with teachers who changed our lives. There is also a growing body of research that shows that teachers play a significant role in children’s learning. But teachers are not born. Teaching is work that requires professional preparation and lifelong learning.

Focused Preparation

Graduates of MSU’s secondary teacher preparation programs are distinct from other new secondary teachers in two important ways. First, they know their content for we require extensive preparation in both a teaching major for all secondary teachers as well as a teaching minor. We realize the value in having a firm grasp of the subject matters of which you will be teaching. This is why we require students to take all subject matter courses outside of the college while taking professional education courses in the TE Department. By doing this, students are not only expanding their subject matter knowledge, but learning how to effectively implement that knowledge in their classrooms to ensure all children learn. Second, our teachers participate in a full-year teaching internship in a public school. This allows them to enter the job market as seasoned professionals: They’ve seen a full year of teaching unfold, and collaborated with experienced teachers as they worked with a class of students for an entire school year. Principals regularly tell us that our graduates are more polished, more self-assured, more knowledgeable, and more professional than other first year teachers.

How do we do this?

The program blends classroom experience with inquiry and reflection in a series of dialogues with MSU professors and mentor teachers. We hope that, through this collaborative effort, the graduates of our program will be teachers who teach for understanding, who will reach diverse bodies of students, who will be thoughtful and skilled about linking subject matter in a responsive curriculum, who will cultivate learning communities, and who will be engaged in democratic reform. Working together, we plan to continue building a teacher certification program that reflects our collective visions of the kinds of teachers needed to meet the educational needs of an increasingly diverse student population in an increasingly complex society, informed by new perspectives about subject matter and learning.

Exploring Further

For more information about our Secondary Education Teacher Preparation program, please view the following: