As a Middle Grades Education (grades 5-8) major, you will be well prepared to guide and inspire early adolescent students. You will quickly discover that the College of Education functions like a family, nurturing and challenging future educators in a supportive environment. The familial environment, referred to as Fraternitas, will encourage you to develop the true heart of a teacher.

USF’s focus on real-world experience will allow you to begin your teaching experiences right away. You will work in a variety of classroom settings as you progress through your program, providing a wide range of opportunities for collaboration, mentoring and networking with teaching professionals and school districts in the surrounding area. Ultimately, you will benefit from the College of Education’s excellent reputation with area schools and will be highly employable after graduation.

The following concentrations are available for this program:

  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Science

The University of St. Francis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. College of Education programs are further approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (

The College of Education has several years of experience preparing teacher candidates to successfully complete the edTPA, a national assessment designed to lead aspiring teachers to a high level of professional performance. The assessment requires teacher candidates to demonstrate substantial academic and cultural knowledge of their students, as well as use data to improve instruction. USF teacher candidates can count on extensive support and guidance to ensure positive results on the edTPA. 

As a Middle Grades teacher candidate, you will get a world of experience as you learn. During the beginning field experience, you will be placed in a middle grades classroom in your designated content area for approximately 12 weeks. Your experience may include working with small groups or individual students, assessing student work, and supporting the classroom environment. Each semester you will be enrolled in a school-based practicum, a one-credit hour experience in settings that will broaden your teacher preparation experiences. A year-long internship at the end of your program will allow you to spend a year in a middle school classroom, where you will apply knowledge and implement your skills in a carefully supervised setting.

The Middle Grades Education degree at the University of St. Francis will prepare you to guide and inspire students in fifth through eighth grade. You will do much more in the classroom than take attendance, make lesson plans and grade papers. As an excellent educator with a true teacher’s heart, you will continue to refine your communication skills, develop creativity, introduce exciting new ideas, inspire minds, mentor others, instill a sense of value and purpose in your students, initiate positive change, and shape the future of our communities and our world.

Education Alumni Testimonial

“The University of St. Francis has given me so many opportunities to be successful. With a very supportive and committed staff and Franciscan values, I felt at home at USF. I left very prepared to enter the field and take on my own classroom. While the classes were not easy, I was challenged academically and I feel that, ultimately, it made me a better teacher. If you have the heart of a teacher, USF is the school to attend!

-Monica Davidson ’15

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