Urban-centered and field-based, Cleveland State University’s teacher licensure program in middle childhood education combines advanced course work in the arts and sciences, rigorous study in the theory and methodology of teaching, and challenging field experiences to prepare students for professional teaching careers in grades 4-9. Students gain a solid foundation in science and liberal arts subjects and develop expertise in two of the following middle school teaching fields for licensure: reading and language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. In addition, they develop a firm understanding of the unique cognitive, social, and emotional needs of young adolescents, with an emphasis on human variability in development. Through supervised field experiences and supporting course work, students also gain the knowledge and skills needed to create enriching, child-centered environments for learning and further learn how to adapt those environments to meet the needs of the diverse students in their classes. The capstone of the program is a semester-long, supervised student teaching experience during which middle childhood education majors are required to plan and teach formal lessons and units, employ a variety of teaching methods, participate in professional development and extra-curricular activities, participate in parent-teacher conferences, and assess student outcomes.Beginning with their initial professional education class, students create and continue to develop professional portfolios. These are used to assess student progress and to demonstrate professional development, eventually becoming a showcase for a student’s teaching competence.
Having met current curriculum guidelines set by the National Middle School Association, the program is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and approved by the Ohio Department of Education.
For 2004-05, the College of Education and Human Services reports passage rates ranging from 92 to 100 percent on the various national Praxis II qualifying teacher licensure exams for middle school social studies, language arts, mathematics, and science. For the same time period, the corresponding passage rate on the Praxis II Principles of Teaching and Learning Test for Grades 5-9 was 90 percent. Moreover, during their initial two years of employment, all program graduates passed the Praxis III Classroom Performance Assessment needed to advance from a two-year provisional to a five-year professional teaching license.
The Middle Childhood Education program prepares students for teaching positions in grades 4-9. Eligibility for specific positions in both public and private schools is limited to the two subject areas selected for concentration. Graduates of Cleveland State University’s middle childhood education program usually elect to teach in Northeastern Ohio, but are in demand nationwide. Employment opportunities depend, in part, on the fields of specialization chosen by the student with concentrations in mathematics and science being in greatest demand. Graduates of the programs also move on to related fields and graduate programs where teaching skills and experience are valuable assets. These include positions as school counselors, principals, curriculum specialists, and staff developers.
Depending on which two subject areas of concentration are selected for focus, this program can take more than four years to complete, especially when summer registration is not an option. To facilitate timely degree completion and avoid scheduling problems, middle childhood majors are especially encouraged to meet with an advisor in the Education Student Services Center (EB 107A, 216-687-4625) early in their academic careers.
Subject Area Concentrations
Students select two subject areas of specialization as required for middle childhood licensure by the Ohio Department of Education. Beyond specified courses contained in the recommended sequence above, additional requirements for all four possible concentrations follow. The suggested semester course load can be reduced to accommodate required field experiences and/or personal scheduling needs by registering for summer classes and/or extending to five years the time needed to complete program requirements.
For official requirements for a degree in this major, see the Undergraduate Catalog.