Initial Teacher Certification - Middle Grades Education (MGE) Program: Grades 4-8

Research shows that the middle grades are crucial for instilling the academic and social skills that students need to have to be successful in high school and beyond. Participants in our MGE program will gain the knowledge and skills they need to help students excel by way of the following elements:

Students will create an Undergraduate academic plan to ensure all pre-requisites for their chosen area(s) of concentration are met prior to matriculation into the Graduate Program.

  • Each concentration provides the content knowledge needed for teachers to be judged “highly qualified” to teach either of two specific subject areas to middle school students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. With the local and nationwide shortage of math and science teachers, graduates will be highly marketable. In addition, coursework equips graduates who are assigned to teach 4th or 5th grades with content knowledge to teach all subjects (i.e., math, science, social studies, and language arts), the same way that teachers in elementary schools normally do.
  • Specific coursework on the cognitive, social, and emotional development of early adolescents; one key to being a successful middle grades teacher is understanding the minds of students in this age group - how they learn, what they can understand, what motivates them, how they form relationships with their peers and are affected by their peers.
  • Coursework on literacy across the content areas; much of what students learn in the middle grades is acquired by reading books in their courses; the MGE program presents cutting-edge information on how to promote reading skills.
  • Coursework on students with special needs; three courses on special education strategies provide a comprehensive and excellent foundation for promoting achievement in all students in the classroom.
  • Coursework on English Language Learners (ELLs); In 2007, the Census Bureau reported that 13% of the population were born outside of the United States; in Philadelphia, one in 10 students are classified as ELL. Teachers need effective strategies for promoting the achievement of their students with limited English proficiency.
  • Courses that emphasize the challenges of teaching and learning in urban environments; Graduates of our program are equipped to teach in a variety of school settings and understand how families, communities, and cultures influence school achievement.

Contact Information

If you have additional questions about this program, please contact:

Dr. Kristie Newton, Associate Professor
phone: (215) 204-6135