Teacher preparation in social studies is unique at Gettysburg College because of its thoroughgoing interdisciplinary nature. Whereas prospective social studies teachers are often sent off to register for courses armed with long lists of prescriptive requirements, at Gettysburg students are encouraged to fashion individualized programs of study that will help them build deep reservoirs of content knowledge by drawing on the strength and creativity of the faculty who teach here. To that end, a number of different pathways to certification are open to our students.
American Studies with Teacher Certification (AS/ED)
The interdisciplinary program in American Studies with teacher certification in secondary social studies, referred to colloquially as AS/ED, is open to any student interested in designing his or her own major in American history and culture with the coursework required to obtain secondary certification in social studies in Pennsylvania. Click on the Special Programs and Opportunities link in the menu to the left for more information on the AS/ED program.
Globalization Studies with Teacher Certification (GS/ED)
Majors in Globalization Studies combine required interdisciplinary coursework in the social sciences with regional and thematic “tracks” to develop a deeper sense of the increasing connectedness of the world and its implications for the future. GS majors completing certification coursework would be well positioned to teach World History, World Geography, and Sociology courses in K-12 schools, as well as any range of cultural and historical course elective that may be offered. For more information on the Globalization Studies major, visit the department’s website: http://www.gettysburg.edu/academics/gs.
Public Policy with Teacher Certification
Students more interested in political science and economics may choose to combine certification coursework with a major in Public Policy. Coursework in Public Policy encourages quantitative analysis of various policy alternatives and sustained study of the political institutions that help shape and respond to various policy alternatives. Public Policy majors who earn secondary certification would be especially well positioned to teach courses in Micro- and Macroeconomics, Government and Politics, Geography, and Environmental Studies. Note that the major in Public Policy is not a standalone major; students hoping to connect a public policy major to certification should pair that major with one in the subject areas already approved for certification. More information in this can be obtained in the Education Office. For more information on the Public Policy major, visit the program’s website: http://www.gettysburg.edu/academics/public-policy.
Traditional Disciplinary Majors with Teacher Certification
For students uncomfortable taking the path less traveled, a major in any traditional social science area, or in history, can be combined with certification coursework (and a healthy dose of fortitude) or with a minor in Educational Studies. Students seeking to major in a single disciplinary area and earn a certificate to teach in Pennsylvania typically will need to bring course credits with them when they come to Gettysburg, and many must also complete some requirements off campus during the summer. Students pursuing this route also may consider the Ninth Semester as a viable student teaching option and often are unable to study abroad in their time at Gettysburg. It may also be possible to combine a traditional major with a certificate in a related area (Pennsylvania also offers certification in citizenship and social science), instead of social studies, but these certificates tend to limit the job opportunities available to graduates. Pursuing this route usually requires additional testing beyond the PAPA and Praxis tests required for initial certification in social studies, especially for students hoping to teach in a state other than Pennsylvania. Careful and frequent consultation with your Education Advisor is especially important if you wish to pursue a major in one of the traditional academic disciplines with teacher certification in social studies.
How to Get Started
If you are interested in teacher certification in secondary social studies, contact Dr. Dave Powell or stop by the Education Office on the ground floor of Weidensall.