As a Secondary Education (grades 9-12) major, you will earn a degree that includes a Professional Educator License (PEL). This major is for those who want to teach high school students in a particular subject area. During the program, you will interact with experienced faculty who model best teaching practices and teach skills that are directly applicable in the classroom. You will receive personal attention in small classes, guided by both a content advisor and an education advisor.

As you progress through your program, you will work in settings that provide opportunities for collaboration, mentoring and networking with education professionals in the surrounding area. You will also also have the opportunity to further increase your marketability by adding any of the following endorsements to your program of study: Special Education (LBSI), Middle Grades, ESL, or Bilingual Education.

The following concentrations are available for this program:

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. 

Through field experience, you will have the opportunity to broaden your teaching experiences and develop cultural awareness while working in a local classroom every semester of your program. This unique opportunity provides significant time to interact with students, giving you more hands-on experience than the more traditional student teaching model. You will work with both groups and individuals, assess student work, and support the classroom environment. Your program will conclude with senior-year Internships I and II, where you will spend two semesters in a high school classroom, applying what you have learned and developing excellent teaching skills in a carefully supervised setting.

A Secondary Education degree from the University of St. Francis will prepare you to teach high school students in a particular academic concentration area. You can expect to do much more than take attendance, develop lessons and grade papers. With both the skills and heart of an excellent teacher, you will have opportunities to utilize communication skills, develop creativity, introduce exciting new ideas, inspire, mentor, instill a sense of value and purpose in your students, initiate positive change, and shape the future of our communities and our world. 

The 4+1 concentration is available to USF undergraduates (native or transfer) majoring in Biology, English, Mathematics, or History. The concentration enables secondary education majors to complete a Bachelor’s degree in four years, while simultaneously taking courses towards the Illinois State Secondary Education License.

Education foundations courses are taken at the undergraduate level, while pre-internship courses are taken at the graduate level. 4+1 scholars complete licensure requirements during the fifth year.

Education course requirements are structured to allow candidates to complete a Master of Education degree by completing one additional course after year five. The chart below illustrates the general progression; individual course plans may vary.

Click the image below to view sample program.

The Noyce STEM Educator Scholarship provides scholarships for qualifying students who major in Biology or Mathematics with Secondary Licensure at USF. Grant funding for Noyce scholarships is ending, so applications are no longer being accepted. However, CLICK HERE to learn more about what our current Noyce Scholars are doing!

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Education Alumni Testimonial

The College of Education does not simply teach students the fundamentals required to be a teacher. The program goes above and beyond in its effort to make St. Francis educators the best in the Midwest. The caring and compassionate nature of Saint Francis is instilled in each and every graduate, preparing them to truly make a difference in the lives of others. I’ve learned that it’s not simply knowledge, but heart and soul that separates average and exceptional teachers.

John Niendorf ’15

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