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Education Departments

Cynthia Biggs, Ed.D. Director, Graduate Education Programs

Merion Hall 231, 610- 660-3180,

The Education Departments offer Master’s degree programs designed to meet the interests and needs of pre-service and in-service early childhood/elementary,elementary/middle, Kindergarten-12 th grades, and secondary school professionals

For those seeking initial certification and who were accepted as a student at Saint Joseph’s University prior to August 15, 2011, the following programs are available in the secondary school (grades 7–12) areas of General Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Citizenship Education, English, Art Education (K-12), German (K–12), Italian (K–12), Latin (K–12), French (K–12), and Spanish (K–12). Initial certification programs are also available in Elementary Education (K–6), Special Education (N-12; not available after August 31, 2013 see new special education certification below) and Reading Education (specialist, K–12), Principal (K–12), Curriculum Supervisor (K–12), Reading Supervisor, Special Education Supervisor, and Superintendent’s letter of eligibility.

For those students accepted on or after August 15, 2011 the following programs are available in the new certification areas developed by the Pennsylvania State Department of Education: secondary school (grades 7-12) areas of General Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Citizenship Education, English, Art Education (K-12), German (K–12), Italian (K–12), Latin (K–12), French (K–12), and Spanish (K–12). Initial certification programs are also available in Early Childhood Education (PreK-4) and Elementary/Middle (4-8). Initial certification in special education as an additional certification is now available at the post baccalaureate level for only those students who already hold a teaching certification at either the early childhood, elementary, or secondary levels. The new certifications for those applying for special education certification after August 31, 2013 are PreK-8 and 7-12.

The Departments also have programs leading to certification in the areas of curriculum supervision and principal certification at the elementary and secondary levels, as well as Instructional Technology Specialist and Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility. Specialization programs are also available in other areas of professional education. Professional programs lead to certification in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and students interested in out-of-state licensing are encouraged to seek the advice of the Department of Education of the state to which they are applying for certification.

The teacher education, special education, and educational leadership certification programs seek to increase students’ awareness of the function of schools in a contemporary, pluralist society, as well as to develop the concept of teaching as a career of vital service. The programs are intended to develop and refine competencies in prospective teachers so that they will be able to meet the demands of teaching in a variety of school environments, public and private, urban and suburban. Each of the courses in the programs, in its own way, explores historical and current theories, as well as problematic issues relevant to the varied areas of study in education. Each course in professional pedagogy focuses on students in the regular classroom, as well as on students with exceptional educational needs. Issues of the least restrictive environment, the effect of socioeconomic background, and the impact of gender, race, and class on the learning of students are explored in a variety of course offerings. Complementary field experiences/observations are included as part of appropriate courses, which strike a balance between urban and suburban schools, with their differing situations, needs, problems and opportunities.

The Departments also offer certification programs in education that do not lead towards the Master’s degree. Students interested in any of the certification areas listed above, but not interested in a formal advanced degree, should consider the Post-Baccalaureate Certification Program described below. Admission to this program is based on the standards for admission to the Master’s degree programs listed in this Catalog.

The Education Unit currently offers three certification programs that can be completed entirely online: Secondary Education (OATCERT), Special Education, and Instructional Technology.

The Learning Institute at Saint Joseph’s offers graduate level workshop-style courses for teachers on current educational topics designed to increase success in the classroom. Courses are taken for graduate credit, as approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, for permanent certification, and Act 48 credit.

Scheduling is tailored to part-time students. Courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening, and selected courses are available during summer sessions. Students are required to speak with their advisors on a continuing basis so that they might plan their sequence of courses with care.

A Curriculum Center is maintained in Drexel Library for the use of all interested students. Instructional materials representing a wide variety of grade levels and subject areas are available for student use. Microcomputers and appropriate software for courses taught within the Department are available in the Barbelin computer lab and in the Drexel Library. In addition to an introductory course on the role of technology in education (EDU 621 (4175) Computers for Educators), a number of other courses in the program demonstrate and encourage the use technology in the teaching/learning process.