Biology Major, Secondary Education Certification
Secondary Education Certification
Degree BA, Biology
Department Chair Angela Asirvatham, PhD
The secondary education program in biology (BIO/SECED) is designed to prepare junior high school and secondary school teachers of biology. Our BIO/SECED program has been continually refined to keep pace with developments in the profession. It is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and leads to a teaching certificate valid in Pennsylvania (grades 7–12) and is transferable to many other states. A unique aspect of the program is that it prepares teachers to effectively deal with students with disabilities who are likely to be included in their classes.
Effectively, students majoring in BIO/SECED must complete two majors, one in teacher education and one in biology. Accordingly, they have two academic advisors who cooperate to keep students on track. Each semester, they must meet with both of their advisors.
Pre-service teachers in BIO/SECED must successfully complete the liberal arts core curriculum, a series of generic teacher education department (TED) courses and field experiences, the courses and experiences required by the SECED specialization, and a content area major in biology.
BIO/SECED majors must satisfactorily complete a series of field experiences that begin during the second semester of the first year and continue every semester until graduation. By graduation, our pre-service teachers will have spent at least 700 hours in community classrooms. During students’ final semester they must complete a 15-week student teaching assignment (two separate placements). All field experiences and teaching assignments are arranged by Misericordia University. Transportation to and from field experience and student-teaching assignments is the responsibility of the student.
Students who successfully complete the BIO/SECED program are eligible for recommendation by Misericordia University to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for state teacher certification. This recommendation and the successful completion of other requirements established by the state, including meeting the pass scores specified by the state on the National Teacher Examination, qualify graduates for an “Instructional I” certificate. Once certified in Pennsylvania, our graduates usually have no difficulty becoming certified in other states.