Courses of Study
Courses of Study
We offer three teacher certification fields: Elementary/Collaborative, Secondary Education, and Arts Education. The Religion-Education Interdisciplinary major is also available for students not seeking certification. All are four-year undergraduate degrees.
Certification areas include elementary/collaborative education for students who wish to teach grades kindergarten through six. This major offers certification in both elementary education and collaborative teacher K-6 (special education). Certification programs are also offered for students to teach secondary education grades 6-12 and for students to teach in arts education (visual art) in preschool through 12. Within these disciples, students receive degrees in their academic areas and are certified to teach.
Educator Preparation Checklist
The educator preparation programs of the Education Department of Birmingham-Southern College are accredited by the Alabama State Department of Teacher Education and Certification (ALSDE). Birmingham-Southern College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Click any hyperlink below to see the official program of study (checklist) for that major.
Certification Programs and Class B Certificates:
Collaborative Education K-6
Elementary Education K-6
English Language Arts 6-12
History and General Social Studies 6-12
Visual Arts P-12
Eligibility for Teaching Certificate
Currently, to be eligible for a teaching certificate a student must be admitted to the Teacher Education Program and complete an approved Course of Study. Students must successfully complete all program requirements, but must also satisfy the following conditions to be recommended for a teaching certificate:
- Completion of the College's graduation requirements.
- Achieve a minimum 2.75 cumulative grade point average in professional studies and in the teaching field with no grade below "C" in professional studies. A grade of "C-" is not acceptable. Maintain a grade-point average of 2.75 or higher overall, 2.75 or higher in professional studies, and 2.75 or higher in the teaching field.
- Demonstrate proficiency in teaching by achieving a grade of "B-" or better in all student teaching internships.
- Complete a Criminal Background Check and fingerprinting processed and cleared by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation (ABI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
- Pass all standardized tests required for certification in your academic discipline as determined by the Alabama State Department of Education.
- All students must take and pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Test before they can be admitted to BSC's Teacher Education Program and meet ALSDE's first test requirement. Information on the test and registration is available at https://www.ets.org/praxis/about/core/.
- PRAXIS II Test(s) required for certification in the state of Alabama can be found at http://www.ets.org/praxis/al.
- Collaborative/Elementary Education majors should review test requirements under both "Elementary Education" and "Special Education" Grades K-6
- Visual Art majors should review test requirements under the "All Grades"
- All other academic area candidates should review their specific testing requirements under "Secondary Education" and their specific subject area.
The ALSDE has determined that certification candidates must pass both the Praxis Core Test and certain PRAXIS II test(s) to be eligible for teacher certification. Candidates at Birmingham-Southern must also pass a comprehensive exit exam before they can complete BSC's Teacher Education Program.
The type of certification issued to those completing programs at Birmingham-Southern is a Class B-Baccalaureate certificate.
The Teacher Education Program at Birmingham-Southern College is subject to change from the Alabama State Department of Education without notice. Students should consult a faculty advisor or the certification officer concerning current certification requirements. You can email the certification officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (205)226-4810.
Certification Only Option
Students with a bachelor's degree in one of the secondary certification grade 6-12 areas (Biology, Chemistry, English, History, Math, Physics, or Spanish) or visual art P-12 that have a minimum 2.75 grade average. Maintain a grade-point average of 2.75 or higher overall, 2.75 or higher in professional studies, and 2.75 or higher in the teaching field from BSC or other institutions may explore earning Class B Certification at Birmingham-Southern. After a degree equivalency evaluation by faculty and approval by the State Department of Education, appropriate coursework leading to a class B certificate may be pursued. We can only admit students who demonstrate potential for success and meet SDE guidelines as well as Birmingham-Southern's Criteria for Entrance into the Teacher Education Program.
Certification for Enrolled BSC Students
Any student who is seeking teacher certification must meet the criteria for formal admission to the Teacher Education Program (TEP). At the end of the student's freshman year or beginning of their sophomore year, students should schedule an appointment with an education faculty advisor to discuss their course of study.
BSC Education Department's Conceptual Framework
We believe that purposeful and intentional teachers:
- Demonstrate intellectual curiosity
- Demonstrate philosophical, pedagogical, and academic grounding
- Practice reflective and intentional teaching
- Practice advocacy for the community, the profession, and for all children
Demonstrate intellectual curiosity
- We believe that purposeful and intentional teachers are intellectually curious. We define intellectual curiosity as any interest that leads to inquiry. We believe that intellectual curiosity, this wakefulness of mind, is a vital quality of an effective teacher. Intellectually curious individuals exist in a state of constant learning, reading and researching. Intellectually curious individuals persistently seek solutions to problems and connections between and among divergent topics.
Demonstrate philosophical, pedagogical, and academic grounding
- We believe that purposeful and intentional teachers know, know why, and know how.
- Purposeful and intentional teachers know –they have wrestled with knotty questions and complex academic content from a variety of disciplines.
- Purposeful and intentional teachers know why – they have developed a philosophical stance which informs their teaching decisions.
- Purposeful and intentional teachers know how – they have acquired a repertoire of teaching moves informed by their pedagogical studies. These teaching moves include the ability to select and use resources and technologies to support teaching and learning.
- Purposeful and intentional teachers can clearly articulate their beliefs about teaching and learning, cite supporting research and philosophical underpinnings, and speak to informed applications in a variety of classroom settings.
Practice reflective and intentional teaching
- We believe that purposeful and intentional teachers hold a set of principles which guide the decision-making process and which inform practice. We believe that effective teachers do what they do on purpose – each teaching move is intentional and reasoned. We believe that “intentional teachers are thoughtful, reflective people who are conscious of the decisions they make and the actions they take; they live and teach by the principles and practices they value and believe in” (Miller, 2008)
Practice advocacy for the community, the profession, and for all children
- We believe the purposeful and intentional teachers know, respect, participate in, and advocate for the communities in which they teach.
- We believe that purposeful and intentional teachers serve as advocates for the teaching profession. They participate in professional organizations and contribute to the “professional conversations” of their peers. Their actions and attributes are models of advocacy.
- We believe that purposeful and intentional teachers know, respect, and advocate for ALL children. They advocate for whatever is necessary to meet the needs of individual members of their learning community.