Secondary Education Certificate

Q:  My high school history teacher was important in my education.  I would like to teach history in high school.  Who do I have to see?

A:  You need to contact   Dr. Doug Burgess (R-S 109), in the Department of History.  He will be happy to go over the requirements for graduation and certification.  You should also contact  the professional advisor in the College of Education, who will acquaint you with the requirements for admission to the program which will certify you in Secondary Education.

Q:  My high school history teacher was the football coach.  Do I need to be a coach in order to teach history?

A:  The short answer is" NO!", you do not need to be a coach in order to teach history in high school.  However, it is the practice of some school board in East Tennessee to have the coaches teach history or to have the history teachers coach.

Q:  I want to be a coach.  Do I have to be a history teacher?

A:  Please, look at the previous question and answer.  If you wish to coach, IMHO you need to go to speak to the appropriate academic advisors in the department of Physical Education.  They can acquaint you with all the possiblities which are open you in regard to coaching.

Q:  I took several history classes.  I find that they do not match the list of courses required for certification.  Can I get substitutions for all of those course so that I don't have to take the courses the state expects?

A:  Some limited substitutions are possible, before the fact.  This means that you must contact  Dr. Doug Burgess (R-S 107), PRIOR to taking the class, in order to see if the class you are thinking of taking is one which will substitute for any on the certification list.  Some courses will not substitute.  Please, do not wait until you are ready to graduate and have taken a full load of course before you come and ask about substitutions, you may find that some or all of the courses which you have take do not apply.

Q:  I would like to add History as a second field for certification.  How do I do this?  Is an "ADD ON" the way to go?

A:  If you are an undergraduate and anticipate certification in two fields (history and "whatever"), then you need to meet the state certification requirements.  If you have not been made aware of what these are, you may contact  Dr. Doug Burgess (R-S 107), or the professional advisor in the College of Education.  The so-called "ADD ON" which you mention is designed for individuals who have already received certification, who have graduated with a B.A. or an M.A.T., who are currently teaching or seeking a teaching position, and who wish certification in an additonal field.  It is not designed for certification for those who have not yet received a B.A.  If you are an undergraduate, seeking certification, you must meet the expectations of the State of Tennessee in each area in which you hope to obtain certification.  Please, see the advisor in the appropriate departments for that information.

Q:  I notice, when I look at the list of courses required for certification, that I don't get much choice.  I also notice that there are a lot of courses that I really don't want to take.  I want to take course on war, or at least I only want to take courses in U.S. history.  What's the deal here?

A:  Both the Department of History (with it requirements for a major) and the State of Tennessee (with its requirements for certification) hold the opinion that "history" is more than wars and dates.  In the opinion of both groups, you need a broad and diverse background, both to understand that the past is complex and complicated, and that it is not just made up of king and battles.  Nothing says that you cannot take additional courses in particular subjects which you personally find interesting; such things can only make you a better teacher.  However, you must meet state expectations in regard to particular courses.

Q:  Does HIST 4417 count as part of my major?

A:  No, it is a part of your "professional core", required by certification standards.  We teach it as a courtesy, for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Q:  I have the "check-sheet" for certification in secondary education.  Can I go by this for graduation purposes?

A:  No, you cannot.  It is only a list of courses required for certification.  If you only use that list to plan your courses, you will not graduate.  It does not contain may courses necessary for graduation.  Please, contact  Dr. Doug Burgess (R-S 107), for additional information.

Q:  Look, I am getting close to graduation, I think I might want to teach high school.  Will this delay my graduation and for how long?

A:  The core of classes needed for certification is a minimum of 44 hours, not including any history courses necessary for certification.  If you have not take any of these course, at the very minimum it will add three terms to your stay at ETSU.  If you do not wish to do this, you have two options open to you:  (1) you may graduate and then return as a Special student, and receive post-B.A. certification, or (2) you may seek an M.A.T. ( Masters of Arts in Teaching).   If you are unsure how to proceed, please contact  Dr. Doug Burgess (R-S 107), for additional information.

Last modified:  Ides of August, in the 2762th ab urbe condita (from the Foundation of the City, Rome, that is....2009, for those of you on a different calendar).

Resources and Information

     Phi Alpha Theta, National Honor Society for History


     Goldlink Registration System

     Academic Calendar


     Millenium Online Catalog

    Academic Advising Rights and Responsibilities

      Student Rights and Responsibilities

     Academic Advisor Rights and Responsibilities