Become a Skilled Secondary Education Teacher

Nurture the intellect of the next generation by sharing your expertise in and passion for your favorite subject area. The Middle and Secondary Education with Certification major at UNE provides a comprehensive background in the field of education while offering you two options for delving deeper into the discipline you wish to teach: a second major or an academic concentration. You may choose to focus on life science, physical science, English, social studies, or mathematics. You’ll graduate with the certification, teaching experience, and confidence you need to step into the classroom and be a difference maker in students’ lives.

Why UNE for Your B.S. in Middle and Secondary Education

Teaching at the secondary level requires subject-specific expertise. Our flexible curriculum allows you to double major, minor, or concentrate in your area of interest while earning your B.S. in Education. We also offer minors in Special Education and Coaching.

  • Early and regular field work in classrooms for maximum experience
  • Strong collaboration with local schools that often leads to job offers
  • Close working relationships with faculty
  • Exceptional post-graduation employment rate
Testimonial Place Holder

Briana Chu ’12

Elementary Education

"Coming from a small high school, I was looking for a college with a small campus. When I took my first tour of UNE, I knew that it was the school for me. The small and welcoming community of UNE made me feel right at home. The beauty of campus, the academic programs, and the friendliness of the faculty, staff and students are some of the reasons why I chose UNE.

"As for my major, I have always known that I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. My interest in teaching started when I was in elementary school. I volunteered in a first grade teacher's classroom during recess, helping her assemble bulletin boards, organize classroom material, and grade student work. My passion for teaching grew from there and has been a dream of mine ever since.

"I love the welcoming community of UNE. The Education and Psychology Departments are exceptional. The professors are knowledgeable about their content areas, care about their students, and are extremely helpful... Having a minor in Psychology has helped me make some interdisciplinary connections with my major and will help me in my future career as an elementary teacher. 

"As an Elementary Education major, I have had a 30-hour field study in an elementary school classroom every semester. Although part of the field study includes observing my supervising teacher, I have taught various lessons to students in grades 1 through 5.

"During one of my field studies, I was able to use my knowledge from both my major and my minor to observe and discuss classroom management strategies. I was able to use my knowledge of child development when observing and explaining student behavior in the classroom. In addition to my academic field studies, I have sought additional professional development. I have presented a science lesson to elementary school students at Family Science Night at Hall Elementary School in Portland, Maine."

I love the welcoming community of UNE. The Education and Psychology Departments are exceptional. The professors are knowledgeable about their content areas, care about their students, and are extremely helpful.

Elementary Education

What Will You Study? Middle and Secondary Education Degree Curriculum Overview

B.S. in Middle and Secondary Education Courses

The following are some examples of the exciting courses that the Secondary Education major offers:

  • Supporting 21st Century Learning Through Technology
  • Inclusive Classroom Management
  • Educational Law
  • Supporting Individuals with Autism
  • Inclusive Methods and Data-Based Decision Making
  • Exceptionalities in the Classroom

There are two paths that you can take as a Secondary Education Major:

  1. Double Major: Students can major in Secondary Education along with a major in an academic discipline that leads to certification. Areas of secondary certification are English, Life Science, Mathematics, Physical Science, and Social Studies.
  2. Secondary Major with Academic Concentration: Students can major in Secondary Education with an academic area concentration. Concentrations are available in Mathematics, Biology, Environmental Science, Physical Science (Chemistry and Physics), History, English, and Marine Science.

Grades 6–12 Teaching Certification

Successful completion of the major meets all requirements of the Maine State 6-12 Teacher Certification Program.

Curriculum

There are three (3) paths that students can select from as a Middle and Secondary Education Major. Each student must select at least one (1) of these paths.

Double Major

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science with a major in Middle and Secondary Education with Certification may double major in an academic area that leads to a second Bachelor of Science degree. Options include Life Sciences, Applied Mathematics, and Physical Science.

Dual Degree

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science with a major in Middle and Secondary Education with Certification may dual degree in an academic area that leads to a second major that is not a Bachelor of Science degree. Options include English and History (Social Studies).

Concentration

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science with a major in Middle and Secondary Education with Certification may pursue an academic area concentration. Concentrations are available in Applied Mathematics, Biology, English, Environmental Science, History, Marine Science, Physical Science (Chemistry and Physics), and Physical Education.

Middle and Secondary Education Certification Program Requirements

CAS Core RequirementsCredits
Total Credits42–43
Program Required CoursesCredits
EDU 105 – Exploring Teaching3
EDU 110 – 21st Century Learning Through Technology3
EDU 202 – Curriculum & Assessment3
EDU 303 – Reading and Writing in the Content Areas3
EDU 385 – Diversity Issues in Schools3
EDU 488 – Secondary Practicum3
EDU 498 – Secondary Internship and Seminar12
SPE 220 – Exceptionality in the Classroom3
SPE 405 – Inclusive Methods and Data Based Decision Making3
Total Credits36
Select one (1) appropriate methods course from the following list:Credits
EDU 436 – Teaching Secondary English3
EDU 437 – Teaching Secondary Science3
EDU 438 – Teaching Secondary Social Studies3
EDU 439 – Teaching Secondary Math3
Total Credits3
Double Major*, Duel Degree**, or Concentration*** RequirementsVariable
Open Electives (as needed to reach 120 credits)Variable
Minimum Required Total Credits120

*For the Double Major option, students can find requirements for their selected major here: Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Marine Sciences, Applied Mathematics.
**For the Duel Degree option, students can find requirements for their selected major here: Art, English, and Political Science.
***For the Concentration option, students can find requirements for their selected area in the Concentrations section below.

This program requires an overall minimum 2.5 GPA in the major.

FIELD EXPERIENCE

The faculty in the School of Education is committed to ongoing and frequent observation and involvement in schools. The teacher education programs at UNE have a specific competency-based focus to meet the Maine standards for teacher certification. All students engaged in teacher preparation will spend time in a field setting in each of the semesters for which they are registered for professional education courses. Involvement in the schools will be connected to specific, course-related tasks (e.g., observation, teaching lessons, conducting experiments, administering assessments, etc.). Transportation to and from schools is the responsibility of the student.

ADVANCED STANDING

All students in education certification programs must apply for admission to Advanced Standing when they have completed approximately sixty (60) credit hours and completed at least three (3) education courses. To apply for Advanced Standing, students must develop a portfolio demonstrating how they have met proficiency in the following areas: a) teaching skills, knowledge, and disposition aligned with the Maine Common Core Teaching Standards; b) basic academic skills and c) professional skills. This portfolio is evaluated by a committee of education faculty and a pass/fail determination is made based on a holistic rubric.

Students not meeting the Advanced Standing criteria do not remain enrolled in a certification program and MUST change their major to a non-certification major. Students can reapply for Advanced Standing upon completion of each additional semester up until their second to last semester (i.e., students graduating in Spring must meet Advanced Standing by the beginning of the previous Fall semester.

Student Teaching

Without specific permission from the School of Education Academic Director, courses may not be taken during the internship semester, so all required coursework must be completed the semester prior to the internship. Admission to the internship is not guaranteed and students must have reached Advanced Standing to apply.

The selection of individual internship sites will be made by the Certification and Placement Officer. Geographical location relative to UNE is a consideration. UNE has a collaborative relationship with many districts and selects both schools and teachers based on their interest in and ability to assist interns in demonstrating mastery of the Maine Common Core Teaching Standards. Placement in an internship is not guaranteed. The School of Education reserves the right to deny requests for courtesy internship placement for reasons it deems appropriate or necessary. The University, at its discretion, will not place students in internship settings (1) where an intern's children or relatives are enrolled, or (2) where a spouse or relative of an intern is currently employed. The School of Education, through its Certification and Placement Officer, will make a good-faith effort to negotiate an appropriate placement. Schools have the right to refuse placement requests. The fifteen (15)-week student teaching experience must be done in a local Maine Public School that is in an established internship protocol with the University of New England. Students may not be permitted to accept a contracted teaching position (e.g., long-term substituting, year-long internship) before completing at least half a semester of student teaching internship. However, student teaching interns may be permitted to sub on a day-to-day basis for their classroom teacher.

Professional Educator Review Board

All students enrolled in the internship must demonstrate their teaching competence with respect to Maine Common Core Teaching Standards before the Professional Educator Review Board (PERB). The Board is comprised of professional educators from area schools as well as UNE faculty. Students are required to develop a presentation reflecting their proficiency in meeting these state standards and present and defend the presentation in front of the Board. Passing PERB is a requirement for completion of the certification program and subsequently being recommended to the Maine State Department of Education for teacher licensure.

To learn more about the program, see the Academic Catalog.

Meet our faculty and professional staff

Career Paths for Middle and Secondary Education Majors

As a Middle and Secondary Education major, you’ll graduate with a firm grasp on curriculum theory, assessment, educational psychology, and classroom management, as well as a teaching certificate and vast field experience in local classrooms. The rewarding career of teaching grades 6-12 awaits you.

Our graduates enjoy many benefits, including:

  • Employability in a steadily-growing field
  • The option to work in public or private schools
  • The flexibility of working in any geographical area (coursework reciprocity in 47 states)
  • The benefit of our reputation for  excellence among local schools

Career Advising for B.S. in Middle and Secondary Education Students

Whether you have a specific career goal in mind or a vague idea of the field that interests you, Career Advising is here to help you plan your next step.

Student Success by the Numbers

100%

of graduates employed in education or in grad school within one year of graduation

(Class of 2017, 2018)

#1

in Maine for getting a job

(Zippia, 2021)

Experiential Learning in the Bachelor’s Degree in Middle and Secondary Education Program

Beginning your very first semester and continuing throughout your four years, you will find yourself in classroom settings, gaining critical on-the-job experience and establishing a rapport with teachers and school administrators.

Field Work in the Schools

  • Support a teacher
  • Help with lesson planning
  • Participate in Response to Intervention (RTI)
  • Assist in educational evaluations

Meet Kaylee, Education ’22

During your first semester in one of our teacher preparation programs, you work with children in school settings. Watch what UNE student Kaylee Blake has to say about her time as an education student at UNE.

Global Education in the Bachelor’s Degree in Middle and Secondary Education

In addition to opportunities to spend a semester abroad, you may choose to enroll in our education-related or another short-term travel course

Ireland

EDU 242: Comparative Education in a Global Context

Dr. Lane Clarke

This course investigates comparative education theories and philosophy to examine education in different contexts and includes spending eight days in Ireland in mid-May following final exams. You extend your knowledge of society and how this is enacted through the institution of its schools. In Ireland, you visit schools and learn about Irish culture and history by touring castles, the famous Cliffs of Moher, and the Aran Islands. Other highlights may include exploring the Ring of Kerry and spending time in Galway, Cork, Kinsale, and Killarney.

To enroll in these courses and learn more, visit the Global Education Program website.

Apply Today

Ready to begin your future in UNE’s B.S. in Middle and Secondary Education degree program?

Bachelor of Science in Middle and Secondary Education FAQ

What is a secondary education degree?

A secondary education degree readies students for high school or middle school teaching roles, in a specific subject like math, science, history, or English. These programs are available at both undergraduate and graduate levels training teachers with essential theoretical and practical skills for effective classroom teaching.

The UNE Middle and Secondary Education with Certification major offers a strong education foundation and two pathways for specialization: a second major or academic concentration. Options include life science, physical science, English, history, or mathematics. Upon graduation, you’ll possess certification, teaching experience, and the confidence to make a positive impact in students’ lives.

UNE School of Education graduates who hold a B.S. in Secondary Education enjoy many benefits, including:

  • Employability in a steadily growing field
  • The option to work in public or private schools
  • The flexibility of working in any geographical area (coursework reciprocity in 47 states)
  • The benefit of our reputation for excellence among local schools

What jobs can I get with a secondary educational studies degree?

Many aspiring educators choose secondary education for two common reasons.

  1. Some opt to teach older children wanting to shape the lives of adolescents in positive ways.
  2. Others are driven by a strong passion for subjects such as mathematics, sciences, English, history, and more.

The most common career paths for secondary education degree holders are either middle school (grades 6-8) or high school (grades 9-12) teaching.

UNE students have the ability to work with our Academic and Career Advising Center. It doesn’t matter if you have a clear career goal or just a general interest in a field.

Learn more about Career Advising at UNE

Is a degree in secondary education a B.S. or B.A.?

In general, the primary difference between a B.A. and a B.S. is the subject matter. A B.A. highlights critical thinking, communication, and holistic learning, whereas a B.S. focuses on logic, reasoning, and quantitative abilities. Overall, they are not that different. Your choice of major will usually determine whether you earn a B.A. or B.S.

UNE offers a B.S. in Middle and Secondary Education with a Certification major. Successful completion of the major meets all requirements of the Maine State 6-12 Teacher Certification Program. There are two paths that you can take as a Secondary Education Major:

  1. Double Major: Students can major in Secondary Education along with a major in an academic discipline that leads to certification. Areas of secondary certification are English, Life Science, Mathematics, Physical Science, and History.
  2. Secondary Major with Academic Concentration: Students can major in Secondary Education with an academic area concentration. Concentrations are available in Mathematics, Biology, Environmental Science, Physical Science (Chemistry and Physics), History, English, and Marine Science.

How long does it take to get a secondary education degree?

If you’re earning a (secondary) education degree, it typically takes four years of full-time study and requires a minimum of 120 credits. At UNE, students complete a four-year curriculum leading to a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and either a double major or concentration in a content area.

Teaching at the secondary level requires subject-specific expertise. UNE has a flexible curriculum that allows students to double major, minor, or concentrate in their area of interest while earning a B.S. in Education. We also offer minors in Special Education and Coaching.

Secondary Certification (grades 6-12) is built on strong academic readiness within a major. Over four years, UNE students complete a curriculum for a bachelor’s degree in their chosen field. Maine’s criteria require 24 major credits. Subjects like biology, chemistry, English, environmental science, history, marine biology, math, and political science lead to secondary certification. Successful passing of the Professional Education Review Board leads to UNE recommending Maine state teacher certification.

What are the best colleges for secondary education for me?

Below are some of the many factors to consider when choosing the best secondary education program for you.

Faculty

Identify your priorities as a future teacher and learn more about your potential instructors. Discover what kind of connections you can make there that will further your secondary education career.

One of the reasons why students choose UNE for a degree in secondary education in Maine is the close working relationships with faculty. The faculty in UNE’s Education programs are committed to ongoing and frequent observation and involvement in schools.

Learn more about UNE School of Education faculty and professional staff

Curriculum

Discover the types of classes you’ll be taking, the amount of field experience, and internships and student teaching opportunities. Ask about things that matter to you including class size and learning environment.

Teaching at the secondary level requires subject-specific expertise. UNE has a flexible curriculum that allows you to double major, minor, or concentrate on your area of interest while earning your B.S. in Education. We also offer minors in Special Education and Coaching.

Examples of the exciting courses that the Secondary Education major offers include:

  • Supporting 21st Century Learning Through Technology
  • Inclusive Classroom Management
  • Educational Law
  • Supporting Individuals with Autism
  • Inclusive Methods and Data-Based Decision Making
  • Exceptionalities in the Classroom

UNE is actively engaged in experiential learning. Program highlights include hands-on learning experiences. Students benefit from continuous fieldwork beginning in their first semester and continuing in every education course culminating in a 15-week student teaching internship.

Learn more about UNE’s B.S. in Secondary Education curriculum

Career goals

Determine if the program offers career advising and qualifies you for the secondary education career you want including the right accreditation and licensing or certification requirements you’ll need to meet for professional practice.

UNE has strong collaboration with local schools which means our School of Education students benefit from continuous fieldwork, beginning their first semester. These relationships and networking often lead to job offers in Maine and New England.

There is a need for secondary education teachers in Maine. The Maine Department of Education reports a shortage for the 2023-2024 school year in the following subject areas:

  • English/Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science-Physical
  • Science-Life
  • Science

Overall, UNE offers Career Advising to help Secondary Education graduates plan their next step. 95% of UNE undergraduates are employed or engaged in ongoing higher education within one year of graduating.

Location and environment

Ask yourself what kind of environment suits you best. Figure out if you want to stay in your state or if you wish to move. See if you will be inspired or challenged by your fellow students.

Undergraduate students of the UNE School of Education study on our scenic Biddeford Campus. The Biddeford campus boasts 4,000 feet of shoreline in a famous vacation spot.

Read testimonials from UNE School of Education students

UNE students also have study-abroad choices. You can opt for a semester abroad or join our education-related or other short-term travel courses.

Learn more about UNE’s study-abroad options

Financial aid

Does the school you are considering offer financial aid or scholarships to help you in your education?

UNE provides merit-based scholarships regardless of your chosen degree path. Our tuition is 16% below the average tuition for private universities in New England. We prioritize affordable education, as evident from these statistics:

  • 98% of undergraduates receive merit-based scholarships
  • Our students receive an average award package of $24K
  • We distribute $42 million in institutional scholarships each year

Learn more about grants and scholarships for UNE students