English Secondary Education (B.S.)

SCSU English student teacher in front of a classroom of students


The B.S. in English with Certification is for those planning to teach middle - or highschool English (Grades 7-12). The program requires a separate admission process after beginning your degree, per the instructions below. Visit the main English Department page at Southern’s website for a curriculum map and overview of the degree in English Secondary Education. For a comparison of the English B.A. and B.S., see Planning your English Major.

Student Handbook

The primary guide for students pursuing the degree is the updated BS in English with Certification Student Handbook, which includes instructions on:

  • Praxis I and II

  • Field Work Experience

  • Methods Courses

  • Student Teaching and Portfolio

See the current student handbook here (revised Fall 2020): 

BS in English with Certification Student Handbook (PDF) 

Admissions to the Secondary English Education Program

For undergraduates in the Bachelor of Science (BS) in English with Certification (7-12)

Declaring Interest in the Program

Students interested in teaching middle and/or high school English should declare English as their major, and then choose “secondary English education” as their concentration and program.  “Selection of Degree Program” forms are now available online through the Registrar’s web page for forms and documents.  Use the “Selection of Degree Program” form that mentions education.  Please contact one of the English department faculty members who specialize in English education to inquire about the program and preparing for the admissions process (see contact information below).

Preparing to Apply to the Program

Most students apply to the program during their sophomore or junior year, once they have successfully passed EDU 200 Teachers, Schools, and Societies and ENG 112 Writing Arguments, the composition requirement.  State certification regulations specify that students cannot take more than two professional education courses before they are accepted into a teacher education program.  

Application Process

Application to the program occurs during both the fall and spring semesters.  In the fall, applications are typically due in mid-October, and in the spring they are typically due in mid-March.  The exact due date will be posted in the English hallway and emailed to all English majors.  We welcome interested students to meet with the coordinator of the program, Melissa Talhelm in Engleman D 272, to inquire about the process and due dates. 

We accept only online applications through the College of Education’s Tk20 site at https://southernct.tk20.com/, where you can upload all the necessary materials. This Quick Guide will help in your application process for TK20.

In addition to submitting the application materials, students will also interview briefly with two members of the Secondary English Education Committee during the week following the due date for the application materials.  A sign-up sheet will be posted on Dr. Talhelm’s door during the week the applications are due.  

An interview will not be granted unless all application materials are complete.  We encourage students to come to the interview professionally dressed and prepared to speak about those experiences that have informed your desire to become an English teacher.

Required Admissions Materials and Criteria

  1. Official copies of transcripts from all institutions attended.

  2. The College of Education requires students to maintain a 2.7 QPR average, while the English Department requires a GPA average in all English classes of 3.0. Eligibility for acceptance into and continuing in the Secondary English Education Program depends upon these academic standards.

  3. Proof of taking the Praxis Core Academic Skills Test (which includes sections in reading, writing, and mathematics), the SAT, or the ACT.  Often, Banner should list your tests and scores under “Test Scores.”  This is acceptable proof. 

  4. A writing sample of academic prose (4 to 6 pages) from an English course.

  5. An essay (2 pages maximum) answering this question, “What life experiences have led you to want to become an English teacher?”

  6. Two letters of recommendation, along with the recommendation forms from the College of Education’s admission requirements website.   You may upload these letters and forms to Tk20, but since many candidates choose to sign the confidentiality waiver for recommendations, it is acceptable to have your recommenders send their letters and forms directly to: Dr. Melissa Talhelm, English Department, Southern CT State University, 501 Crescent Street, New Haven CT 06515

All materials must be submitted to Tk20 by the application due date for the given semester.  Please remember to sign up for an interview for the following week.  Good luck with this important step toward your career in the classroom! 

Further Information

If candidates have any questions, they should contact any of the following Secondary English Edcuation faculty members: Dr. Melissa Talhelm (Talhelmm1@southernct.edu, Engleman D272), Dr. Meredith Sinclair (Sinclairm4@southernct.edu, Engleman D259), or Dr. Andrew Smyth (Smytha2@southernct.edu, D265B).