The Educational Studies Minor
At the end of the sophomore year, students interested in continuing their study of education must make a choice: to pursue certification, which grants successful students the right to pursue professional teaching positions in Pennsylvania's public schools (and, thanks to interstate agreements, in most other states), or to continue studying education in the Educational Studies minor program.
While the Education Department does offer a formal minor in Educational Studies (and, within the minor, offers the two options described below), the minor DOES NOT lead to Pennsylvania certification. Students who wish to teach in public schools immediately after graduating should apply for admission to the Teacher Education program. Students with an interest in pursuing other careers in education (or in another field), who would like to pursue certification in graduate school, or who would like to teach in private, independent schools that do not require certification will find the minor well suited to their needs and interests.
Option 1: Minor in Educational Studies (Non-Teaching)
This program is designed to provide students with the context they need to make critical decisions, and to simply think more deliberately, about education and educational issues. Students are strongly encouraged to formally declare a minor with the Registrar by the end of the sophomore year, though students may declare a minor at any point after the sophomore year as well. Check out the Educational Studies Program Sheet for a simple representation of program requirements.
The heart of the minor program in Educational Studies is a rigorous program of study. The general requirements for completing a minor are as follows:
- An introductory/foundational course (Education 199 or Education 201)
- Two approved courses at the 300-level or higher
- Three additional electives, no more than two of which can be taken in another department, and one of which may be taken off campus.
It should also be noted that no more than two courses may be taken below the 200 (intermediate) level.
In addition to the required six courses that all students completing the minor must take, minors are also strongly encouraged to complete a self-designed applied project or research project in education. The Education Department is committed to working closely with the Center for Public Service to help students become immersed in the local community in an effort to make a difference in the lives of local residents, and several courses offered by the faculty of the department include field-based components that allow students to explore any of a number of different ideas and issues in a variety of educational settings. In the past students have been actively involved in local schools, have helped tutor English language learners at El Centro, have volunteered at the local YWCA, and have been involved in other programs on and off campus that have helped them make an impact on the education of kids in the Gettysburg community. These kinds of projects are strongly encouraged, as are more formal research projects, some of which may even be taken for course credit (be sure to discuss such options with your Education Advisor). In short, the sky is the limit as you plan your project.
If you would like to receive course credit for your project you may consider applying for internship or independent study credit. Students are also encouraged to present their research at Celebration or in other such venues. Be sure to discuss your plans with your Education Advisor. Students completing an Education Project will be recognized at the department’s Capstone Presentation event.
Option 2: Minor in Educational Studies (Teaching Focus, Without Certification)
Students interested in developing their teaching skills may choose to focus exclusively on teaching in the minor program. Note that the minor in Educational Studies with Teaching Focus does not lead to initial certification to teach in public schools in Pennsylvania. Because other requirements must be satisfied to earn Instructional I licensure in Pennsylvania, only students who successfully complete the certification program will be recommended for certification. The minor program in teaching is designed to help students who may pursue alternative routes to certification or who may wish to earn formal certification in graduate school with an opportunity to develop teaching skills while still at Gettysburg College. We expect the program to be of special interest to students interested in teaching fellowships, independent school teaching, programs like Teach for America, or students who are simply interested in developing the skills they need to be effective organizers and managers of learning environments in any setting.
The minor in Educational Studies (Teaching Focus) consists of the following courses:
- Education 199: Foundations of Education
- Education 201: Educational Psychology
- A content-area methods course (Education 306, 310, 331, or 350)
- Education 320: Teaching Culturally & Linguisitically Diverse Students
- Education 340: Teaching Students with Diverse Needs
- A sixth elective course in education (for example: Education 264, Education 332, Education 336, Education 360, or Education 377)
In addition to these six courses, students who wish to earn a minor in Teaching must complete a project demonstrating their knowledge of teaching. This need not be an applied project or internship, but it can be. Students interested in declaring a minor in Teaching should discuss their plans with an advisor in the Education Department.