Middle Grades 4-8 Education 

Middle school is a crucial time for children as they transition from their early childhood to their teenage years. Teachers with a Middle Grades degree familiarize their students more advanced subjects, while also helping them navigate the trials of discovering and building their identities and “growing up.”  

  • The Middle Level program provides a wide perspective of teaching young adolescent children in grades four through eight. Candidates select one of the four areas of expertise: Mathematics, Language Arts, Social Studies or Science, which they can take coursework to teach as a single-subject in a middle school.
  • Candidates will fully meet all current Pennsylvania Department of Education Middle Grade 4-8 requirements.
  • Candidates enrolled in this degree program will greatly benefit from the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media, Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve, Step-Up Homeschooling Academy, Bearcat Best, Challenge Program, and many other campus-based learning and teaching programs that provides unique opportunities for research, resources and outreach.
  • Candidates create an electronic portfolio that documents content knowledge and experiences in accordance with the latest guidelines and state requirements.
  • Candidates will also complete 14 weeks of student teaching and evaluation and pass all required state tests.
  • All methods courses have required field hours and micro-teaching experiences. Candidates will participate in the field of middle grade education during each year of study teaching, assisting, and demonstrating 21st century learning skills for today’s classrooms.

Requirements for Bachelors of Science in Middle Grades 4-8 Education

General Studies Requirements:
HI 106 or 107 Topics in US History* - 3 credits
HI 258 Pennsylvania History* - 3 credits
EL 129 Young Adult Fiction* - 3 credits
AR 100 Art and Music of Western Culture* - 3 credits
EL 102 Language and Rhetoric - 3 credits
EL 208 Pedagogy of Composition* - 3 credits
MA 104 Elementary Functions* - 3 credits
Earth Space Science with lab* - 4 credits
Life Science with lab* - 4 credits
CA 235 Introduction to Web Design* - 3 credits
PS 100 American Politics* - 3 credits
Required Studies in Psychology (15 credits):
ED 115 Educational Psychology* - 3 credits
PY 214 Adolescent Development - 3 credits
ED 290 Psychology and Education for Exceptional Students - 3 credits
ED 381 Educational Testing – 3 credits
Required Studies in Mathematics (6 credits):
in addition to general studies
ED 142 Mathematics for Teachers - 3 credits
ED 155 Geometric and Measurement Theory - 3 credits
Required Studies in Science (4 credits):
in addition to general studies
Physical Science and Lab - 4 credits
Required Studies in Middle Grade 4-8 Education (39 credits):
ED 100 Educational Foundations - 3 credits*
ED 102 or 207 Field Experience - 1 credit
ED 109 Physical and Cultural Geography - 3 credits
ED 205 Strategies and Techniques of Instruction - 3 credits
ED 206 Field Experience II: Strategies and Techniques of Instruction - 1 credit
ED 208 Classroom Partnerships and Inclusion - 3 credits
ED 235 Teaching of Science and Mathematics for Middle and Special Learners - 3 credits
ED 237 Teaching of Humanities for Middle and Special Learners - 3 credits
ED 311 Field Experience III: Middle Grade Instruction and Theory - 3 credits
ED 320 Composition and Language Arts for Upper Elementary - 3 credits
ED 390 Teaching of Nonnative Speaking and Culturally Diverse Students - 3 credits
ED 400 Field Experience IV: Pre-Student Teaching - 2 credits
ED 410 Field Experience V: Student Teaching Internship - 9 credits
ED 411 Professional Seminar - 3 credits

Required Additional Studies in one content area (18 credits):
Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Mathematics

Language Arts
EL 110 Introduction to Creative Writing - 3 credits
EL 131 Survey of American Literature I - 3 credits
EL 137 American Short Story - 3 credits
EL 146 Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking - 3 credits
CA 100 Introduction to Mass Media - 3 credits
CA 120 Public Presentation - 3 credits

Social Studies
HI 123 Global History I - 3 credits
HI 228 Twentieth Century America 1941-1980 - 3 credits
EC 101/2 Micro or Macro Economics - 3 credits
PS 222, PS 336 or CLS 227 - 3 credits
SO 106 Sociology and Global Issues - 3 credits

CH 101/103 General Chemistry I and Lab - 4 credits
BL 150/151 General Biology and Lab  - 4 credits
NSCI Understanding Biotechnology - 3 credits
NSCI 130/131 Introduction to Physics and Lab - 4 credits
NSCI 150/152 Earth Systems Science and Lab - 4 credits

MA 109 Calculus I - 4 credits
MA 110 Calculus II - 4 credits
MA 210 Euclidean and Non Euclidean Geometrics - 3 credits
MA 117 Methods of Proof - 3 credits
BA 350 Statistics I - 3 credits
*Also fulfills core curriculum requirements. 

Additional Certifications and Opportunities

Students completing the Middle Grade 4-8 degree at Saint Vincent are afforded many additional opportunities to make them more marketable. The middle grade curriculum is based firmly in the interdisciplinary education of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics).  Candidates are taught how to leverage these STEAM principles in all disciplines taught in middle school.  Students are to select a discipline as a concentration.  This will prepare them to teach grades 7 and 8 in a middle school that models the high school design with subject-specific teachers. Students are to select from mathematics, social studies, science or language arts.

Students are encouraged to also add-on certifications.  By taking a second state exam in a middle level concentration area, students can be certified in more than one 4-8 subject.  Given the liberal arts nature of the this degree, many students are successful in passing secondary and early childhood exams as well. 

Middle grade students are also encouraged to take the Disabilities Studies Minor to become certified in special education PreK-8 while completing their degree in four years.  For more information about the Disabilities Studies Minor.

Internships and Careers

Beyond acquiring theoretical knowledge about teaching middle level pupils, students with a degree in middle grade 4-8 will have an opportunity to apply what they learned in actual classrooms. In addition to participating every year in field work, the last year of the middle grade program requires students to work with a cooperating teacher at a local school district to complete the teaching internship for an entire year (pre-student teaching and student teaching).

Graduates of the program typically seek employment at elementary or middle schools. Candidates are also suited to apply for graduate school. Recent graduates have found employment in many of our partner school districts and agencies including Ligonier Valley, Greater Latrobe, Derry Area, Somerset, Franklin Regional, Penn-Trafford, Norwin, Jeannette, Dr. Robert Ketterer Charter School, Westmoreland Intermediate Unit and others.

Graduate admissions at Saint Vincent College is guaranteed to all teacher candidates prepared by the education department. If a student has completed student teaching internship successfully, they are permitted to enroll in graduate studies. In addition, Saint Vincent offers a discount for alumni and convenient one-night a week course offerings to make completing a masters degree or the PA required 24 credits for professional licensure easy and simple. The masters degrees at Saint Vincent are highly ranked and have been recognized by employers as the best in the area. .

  • Student Learning Outcomes
    • Graduate/student-teacher candidates will achieve passing scores and successfully complete the teacher certification exams for each teaching area.
    • Graduate/student-teacher candidates will demonstrate thorough knowledge of content and pedagogical skills in planning and preparation for teaching.
    • Graduate/student-teacher candidates will establish and maintain a purposeful and equitable classroom environment for learning, in which pupils feel safe, valued and respected, by instituting routines and setting clear expectations for pupil behavior.
    • Graduate/student-teacher candidates, through knowledge of content, pedagogy and skill in delivering and evaluating instruction, will effectively engage students in learning by using a variety of instructional strategies.
    • Graduate/student-teacher candidates will demonstrate the desired qualities that characterize a professional person in aspects that occur in and beyond the classroom.