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Secondary Education Pedagogy and Practice

Are you a current teacher trying to get the most out of your ACT 48 hour requirements? Are you currently completing a bachelor’s degree in English, math, science or a social science and want to teach others about the subject you love? Have you already earned a bachelor’s degree, and perhaps even emergency substitute teaching certification, and want to make a career out of secondary education? Then the Master’s of Science in Secondary Education: Pedagogy & Practice is perfect for you!

Beginning in Mercyhurst’s summer term, this program offers fully online course work for those looking to earn a master’s degree, paired with hands on clinical experiences and student teaching for those looking to earn their teaching certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Those who begin the program in the summer term may complete the degree in as little as 12 months! Here’s how it works:

Summer 1st Mini (8 Weeks)

  • EDSP 521 (3 Cr)- Psychology of Diverse Learners

  • EDSE 500 (3 Cr)- Foundation of Pedagogy & Practice (Includes 15 Clinical Hours)

Summer 2nd Mini (8 Weeks)

  • EDSP 522 (3 Cr)- Inclusive Practices

  • EDSE 610 (3 Cr)- 21st Century Literacies

Fall Semester (16 Weeks)

  • EDSP 502 (3 Cr)- Educational Research: Single Subject Design

Fall Mini #1 (8 Weeks / 1st Half of Fall Semester)

  • EDSE 601 (3 Cr)- Critical Teaching Strategies (Includes 30 Clinical Hours)

Fall Mini #2 (8 Weeks / 2nd Half of Fall Semester)       

  • EDSE 60X (3 Cr)- Curriculum & Instruction: Subject Area Specific (Includes 30 Clinical Hours) 

Spring Mini #1 (1st Half of Spring Semester)

  • EDSE 665 (3 Cr)- Clinical I (Includes 4 weeks of classroom field experience)

    • First 4 weeks of Spring Mini #1

  • WL 101 (3 Cr)- Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Learners

    • Entire 8 weeks of Spring Mini #1

Spring Mini #2 (2nd Half of Spring Semester)

  • EDSE 675 (6 Cr)- Capstone Clinical: Student Teaching (Includes 12 weeks of student teaching OR 6 weeks of clinicals if already certified); follows EDSE 665

  • EDSE 677 (3 Cr)- Research-based Project (2nd 8 weeks of Spring Semester)

Course descriptions can be found in our Graduate Course Catalog.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I complete this program as a part-time student? Yes, but the time to graduation will be extended by at least one year
  • What if I live outside of PA and want to be certified to teach a state other than PA? Students can complete the program outside of PA and gain certification through your state after you have received your PA certification. Depending on your state, you may have to take an additional exam for certification. 
  • How often must I come to campus? While on-campus seminars will be offered, students are not required to physically attend. If the distance to campus is too far for travel, students will be required to participate in an online capacity. 
  • Do I have to do the clinical experiences if I’m already a certified teacher? Six weeks of clinical experience is needed for teachers who already have certification. 
  • What are the technological requirements? Do I have to have a laptop or special software? Students must have access to a computer with Microsoft Office software, webcam, and headphones for several of the online courses in this program. 
  • I'm interested in becoming a teacher, but I'm not sure if it's the right career for me. Is there any way to get some experience before enrolling in the program? Both the Intermediate Unit 5, located near Edinboro, and Kelly Services, located on West Ridge Rd in Erie, help administer emergency substitute teacher, sometimes referred to as guest teacher, programs that provide substitute teachers for several of the school districts throughout Erie, Warren and Crawford counties. If you are looking to get some secondary ed experience before committing to our master's degree program, reaching out to either of those facilities would be a good first step.
  • I'm currently a long term substitute teacher. Can I get credit for that? If you are currently a long term sub or anticipate being a long term sub, our program director is willing to review your experience for credit. While the policy for awarding credit for substitute teaching experience is still under development, our intent would be to award credit based on a portfolio of your experience as a long term sub in the classroom.



Candace Schiffer , academic coordinator, office of adult education and graduate programs
Phone: (814) 824-3384

Amy Burniston, director/graduate secondary education, assistant professor of education
Office location: Zurn 109A
Phone: (814) 824-2437