Earning your online accelerated teacher certification requires a commitment to excellence and focus. Saint Joseph's University prepares you for the next phase of your professional career with an in-depth program that is designed to push you to reach your intellectual potential.
Saint Joseph's online teacher certification program equips you with the skills you need to succeed and develops the character and desire to positively influence the minds and lives of young men and women.
The convenient online class format can accommodate virtually any schedule. Our online program not only provides an environment in which you can study when and where you want, but it also gives you an opportunity to collaborate with other online students via discussion forums and other messaging formats.
You can also earn a Master of Science in Education - Secondary Education by completing just six more credits.
Program candidates seeking teaching certification are required to complete approved and documented field experiences in the classrooms of certified teachers prior to their own student teaching.
The Instructor of each OATCERT course will establish the procedures and the number of hours required. In addition, participants in EDU 625 Theory and Practice in Secondary Education will deliver a mini-lesson of at least 30 to 40 minutes in length during their field experience. Course instructors will provide specific directions for completing written or teaching assignments related to the fieldwork.
Candidates who are not currently teaching will be responsible for securing their own placements with certified teachers in their content area. Candidates who are currently teaching may complete the field experience requirement, including the mini-lessons, in their own classrooms.
Core Courses (Required for All)
EDU 550 Historical and Contemporary Perspectives in Education
3 credits. American education is a dynamic, sometimes cyclic, process. The origins, evolution, and realities of contemporary public and private schools are examined through critical reading of original documents. Visits to elementary or secondary classrooms in multicultural setting provide a strong link to the teacher's world.
EDU 557 Adolescent Psychology
3 credits. This course introduces theoretical models of instructional design, student motivation, classroom management, and assessment at the secondary level. Attention is directed to instructional objectives; to lesson formats; to motivational strategies; to classroom discipline; to teacher attitudes and expectations; and tests and measurements. Particular attention is given to recent developments in schema theory and to constructivist models.
EDU 646 Language and Culture
3 credits. This course introduces candidates to key theories, issues, and research-based practices related to serving culturally and linguistically diverse students (PK-12), with a special focus on students who are commonly referred to as English language learners (ELLs). Candidates will explore the many dimensions of culture and language. They will also learn how to align the PA Language Proficiency Standards with the PA academic standards to plan instruction in a culturally and linguistically diverse setting. Assigned readings, class discussions, video recordings, library and online research, and a field experience in a culturally and linguistically diverse classroom will engage candidates in the course topics.
EDU 647 Literacy and Learning Across the Curriculum
3 credits. The teaching of reading in various fields in middle and secondary schools will be the focus of this course. Topics examined will include reading in the school programs, problems in curricular materials, meeting individual needs, general and specific reading/study skills, critical reading, and adjustment of instruction to meet individual learning styles. Special focus on the use of audiovisual materials in the classroom is a core component of the course.
EDU 691 Secondary Teaching in Inclusive Environments
6 credits. Student or Intern teaching (or individually designed field experience) under approved supervision (including seminar meetings). This experience is designed as the capstone professional course for the certification student. The fieldwork experience approximates a full-time working/teaching experience for one full semester. At the conclusion of the experience students must have demonstrated proficiencies in instructional management, student motivation, curriculum planning, learning theory, problem solving in an educational setting, using computers in the classroom, using reading, language, and literacy skills in all classrooms, the use of audiovisual materials in the classroom, the identification of instructional resources, and the assessment of student achievement. The fieldwork course is typically the final course in a certification sequence. Students should apply to the Director of Student Teaching based on the application deadlines established by the Department. Includes a weekly seminar.
SPE 600 Foundations and Current Issues in Special Education
3 credits. This course is a critical study of the contemporary and controversial issues within the field of special education. Consideration will be given to the philosophical, psychological, and sociological basis of teacher education, including an analytical review of research-based curricula, programmatic innovations, policy issues and their effects, and ethical practices. Discussions will focus on evidence-based core concepts that contribute to effective program planning; investigation of cognitive, academic, behavioral, and psycho-social solutions and implications for those working with exceptional students; and future implications for the advancement of special education diagnostic and instructional services.Read More
SPE 601 Diagnostic Assessment and Progress Monitoring
3 credits. This course will provide an in-depth presentation of the complex issue of assessment for all students at the early childhood level through secondary education. The content of this course will provide students with an in-depth review of a variety of evaluation procedures and classroom-based data collection strategies for students in all educational settings. Content coverage will consist of an overview of assessment models including traditional, informal, dynamic, performance, curriculum-based, and alternative techniques and include an examination of evaluation procedures, from pre-referral intervention, eligibility/placement/ program decision-making to progress monitoring of scientifically-based instructional interventions based on Response to Intervention (RTI).Read More
SPE 615 Teaching Adolescents in Inclusive Environments
3 credits. The focus of this course is on the developing of skills dealing with effective inclusive classroom management and creating classroom climate conducive to student achievement. It provides comprehensive coverage of a variety of discipline models to aid candidates in building systems and conceptual models of total discipline based on their underlying theories; emphasizes activities promoting positive behavioral supports; increases pupil motivation; applies methods for establishing cooperative classroom routines, procedures, and practices; organizes the environment, including school wide, classroom, and individual supports; measures and reports progress.
This course of study will focus on the unique needs of students in grades seven through twelfth grades. Course study will include a focus on understanding how adolescent behaviors are influences by pedagogical practices and classroom environments. While general education curriculum is appropriate for the majority of students with disabilities, secondary learners who are at-risk for academic and behavioral failure, including those with disabilities, have specific learning and behavioral characteristics that can undermine progress through general education curriculum. Course content will include a careful analysis of the specific needs of intermediate and secondary aged learners, including: slower rates of acquiring information and skills, deficits in the ability to generalize learned skills to other settings or conditions, and a lack of ability to retain skills, all of which directly influence student behavior. Furthermore, course study will focus on the unique psychosocial problems of adolescents, social and interpersonal skill training priorities of young adults, classroom management and motivational strategies for adolescents, and validated learning strategies for adolescents and young adults. (NOTE: Do not take SPE 615 if you plan to take SPE 639.)
Theory and Practice Core Courses (Choose 1)
EDU 625 Theory and Practice for Secondary Teaching – OATCERT
3 credits. This course studies the content and methods for teaching four PA certification disciplines: English, Mathematics, Science, and Citizenship. National, state, and local standards are examined, which students consider in relation to curriculum design and pedagogy. Backward Design, a method for developing lessons and units, provides a common organizing framework that fosters good teaching. For part of the course, students study within their own discipline, interacting with texts that discuss curriculum frameworks, the planning of lessons and units, pedagogical content knowledge, and assessment. Ten models of teaching that are applicable to all disciplines are explored in detail. As students develop units of study, they gain practice in using these models and the Backward Design method.
EDU 627 Theory and Practice in Secondary Teaching Math & Science
3 credits. This course studies the content and methods for teaching the PA certification disciplines: Mathematics, Science. National, state, and local standards are examined, which students consider in relation to curriculum design and pedagogy. Backward Design, a method for developing lessons and units, provides a common organizing framework that fosters good teaching. For part of the course, students study within their own discipline, interacting with texts that discuss curriculum frameworks, the planning of lessons and units, pedagogical content knowledge, and assessment. Ten models of teaching that are applicable to all disciplines are explored in detail. As students develop units of study, they gain practice in using these models and the Backward Design method.
NOTE: Courses are in alpha-numeric order, not necessarily the order in which they are taken, and are subject to change. Please speak with an Program Manager for a course map.
If you would like more information about the online Accelerated Teaching Certification, please call us toll-free at (866) 758-7670 or you can request more information below. Our Program Managers would be happy to tell you all about how Saint Joseph's University can help you achieve the career you've always wanted.