The middle grades education major engages students in a combination of courses in the Arts and Sciences and in the Education Department. Students choose one area of specialization from the following content areas: English, math, science, or social science.
The Middle Grades Education Program is a state-approved teacher education program and therefore meets the Florida State standards and coursework requirements for graduates to obtain teaching certification. All graduates will also receive their Reading Endorsement, and English specialization majors will receive the ESOL Endorsement. Middle grades majors are required to take the Subject Area Exam for grades 5–9 of the Florida Teacher Certificate Exam. All graduates are also eligible to receive teaching certification in the secondary grades after passing the additional Subject Area Exam for grades 6–12 of the Florida Teacher Certification Exam.
The Saint Leo Middle Grades Education Program has been designed with the National Middle School Association's strong recommendation that "teachers in the middle grades should be specifically prepared to teach young adolescents and be recognized distinctively for this accomplishment" (Turning Points 2000, p. x).
Students in the Department of Education are expected to demonstrate dependability, good character, and acceptable academic standing. Students are therefore evaluated on their academic, professional, and ethical performance in their coursework, as well as in their field experiences. If a student demonstrates inadequate performance in any of these areas, the Professional Standards Committee may be called upon to address the issue(s). Issues regarding academic dishonesty are handled by the Saint Leo University Academic Standards Committee.
Entrance into the program requires students to
- meet the University Explorations (general education) requirements or transfer in with an Associate of Arts degree from another accredited institution;
- pass the General Knowledge (GK) portion of the Florida Teacher Certification Exam prior to or during the first semester in the junior year;
- enter with and maintain a GPA of 2.5 throughout the program.
Students must complete a formal application to intern in the semester prior to final internship. This is a full-time, semester-long, student-teaching experience in a middle grades classroom. To qualify for final internship, students must
- have completed all specialization courses and all EDU courses; however, EDU 428 may be completed concurrently with final internship;
- have a 2.5 overall GPA and a minimum of 2.0 in all education courses; a grade of C- or lower in any education course is unacceptable and would necessitate the retaking of the course.
- complete a background check prior to placement;
- complete a formal application by February 15 or October 15 prior to the internship semester; and
- pass all portions of the Florida Teacher Certification Exam, including the Subject Area Exam for grades 5 - 9 of the Florida Teacher Certificate Exam.
To graduate with a degree in middle grades education, students must
- satisfy all requirements listed above for internship;
- receive a passing grade for EDU 480 - Internship and EDU 481 - Seminar: Final Internship--Synthesis ;
- successfully demonstrate all of the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices in the final internship and in required education courses as documented in the Saint Leo electronic assessment system;
- satisfactorily complete all requirements for a bachelor's degree as set forth elsewhere in the catalog; and
- pass all required portions of the Florida Teacher Certification Exam.