Majors and Minors Home
About the Major
South’s secondary education programs prepare students to teach English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies to students in grades 6-12 through rich experiences both on the college campus and in local classrooms under the guidance of mentor teachers.
Jobs in Secondary Education
- English language arts teacher (including English, drama, journalism)
- Mathematics teacher
- Science teacher (including general science, biology, chemistry, physics)
- Social studies teacher (including history, government, economics, sociology)
South Experience Leads to France
Raven McShan, the daughter and granddaughter of Mobile school teachers, started her career as a reading intervention teacher at Hankins Middle School in Theodore, Alabama.
She lived at home, so it was easy to talk shop with her mom, who’s a literacy coach.
“My dad is like, ‘OK, I guess you’re going to talk about your students for the next two hours,’ and that’s what we do,” McShan said. “I’ll tell her about a student with problems, and she’ll say, ‘You ought to try this.’ And then I’ll come home the next day and say, ‘It worked.’”
At South, where her older sister and younger sister also enrolled as students, McShan was a member of the Honors College. She spent a lot of time in the historic Seamen’s Bethel, the college’s headquarters. Her honors thesis was a poetry collection called “Writing Nooks and Reading Crannies.”
After graduating from South in 2019, she traveled to Europe through the French Embassy’s Teaching Assistant Program in France. McShan spent a school year teaching English in Domfront, a town of about 3,000 people in Normandy.
"It’s all about stories and helping people get comfortable with learning.”
“You’d be surprised,” she said, “by the similarities between Southern people in America and countryside people in France.”
Speaking French was part of teaching English. Local slang included “bah oui,” which, depending on the situation, means “oh, yeah,” “oh, no” and several other things.
McShan is vegan, as well as lactose intolerant, so enjoying the local cuisine was problematic.
“You can’t escape cheese — it’s part of every meal, every course, practically,” she said. “My apartment was down the street from a Camembert factory.”
When McShan returned to Mobile and began teaching, she used her experience in France with those struggling to read.
“The beauty of spontaneous conversation,” she said. “If I started with nouns and verbs, I would get stares, but if it was a news clip, boom, we’re having a conversation. It’s all about stories and helping people get comfortable with learning.”
Did You Know?
- Secondary education majors at South spend more time in local classrooms getting mentorship from teachers than those at any other secondary certification program in the state.
- Online courses in the program combine synchronous and asynchronous learning so students get face time with instructors and classmates even in the digital environment.
- Students who complete a secondary education program at South graduate with a double major in education and in their content area of focus.
Curriculum and Degree Requirements
- Biology concentration
- English language arts concentration
- General sciences concentration
- Mathematics concentration
- Social sciences concentration