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B.A. in Secondary Education | English Education (9-12)


The English Education major is a 42 credit-hour program designed for students who wish to become English Language Arts teachers in Illinois secondary schools. As well as providing a strong foundation in the disciplines of English, this major focuses on the preparation of teachers according to CAEP/NCTE and Illinois Content Area Standards for Educators. Students who seek Illinois secondary licensure through the English education major must also apply for admission to the Education Department's secondary education program and complete that program's required courses as well as the state licensure requirements.

Program Requirements

For more information, please review the program requirements and course descriptions in the SXU Academic Catalog.

Learning Outcomes

  • Teacher candidates will demonstrate knowledge of English language arts subject matter content that specifically includes literature and multimedia texts as well as knowledge of the nature of adolescents as readers.
  • Teacher candidates will demonstrate knowledge of English language arts subject matter content that specifically includes language and writing as well as knowledge of adolescents as language users.
  • Teacher candidates will be able to plan instruction and design assessments for reading and the study of literature to promote learning for all students.
  • Students will be able to plan instruction and design assessments for composing texts (i.e., oral, written, and visual) to promote learning for all students.
  • Teacher candidates will be able to plan, implement, assess and reflect on research-based instruction that increases motivation and active student engagement, builds sustained learning of English language arts and responds to diverse students' context-based needs.
  • Teacher candidates will demonstrate knowledge of how theories and research about social justice, diversity, equity, student identities and schools as institutions can enhance students' opportunities to learn in English language arts.
  • Teacher candidates will be prepared to interact knowledgeably with students, families and colleagues based on social needs and institutional roles, engage in leadership and/or collaborative roles in English language arts professional learning communities and actively develop as professional educators.

120 credit hours are required for Bachelor of Arts degree. The Secondary Education track in the English major prepares students to teach English Language Arts in high school. The major consists of a variety of English courses in literature, linguistics, and writing. Detailed course information can be found in the academic catalog. Students should use Academic Planning on the mySXU portal to schedule courses and track degree progress.

Suggested four year academic plan for the major (courses required in the major are in bold)

Please consult with your academic advisor prior to course selection.

Semester 1 Credit Hours
TRANS 100: Transitions 1
PHIL 140: The Examined Life 3
ENGL 120: Rhetoric and Writing 3
U.S. History 3
POLSC 101: Intro to US Government 3
Semester 2 Credit Hours
FYS 175: First Year Seminar 3
COMM 101: Speech Fundamentals 3
ENGL 208: Study of Rhetoric 3
PSYCH 101: Intro to Psychology 3
Humanities not English (Diversity) 3
Semester 3 Credit Hours
ENGL 207: Study of Literature 3
ENGL 220: Advanced Writing 3
PSYCH 201: Adolescent Development 3
GE Biological Science with lab* 3
Humanities not in English (Global Literature) 3
Semester 4 Credit Hours
ENGL 200 Level Elective 3
ENGL 200 Level Elective 3
EDU 200: Profession of Teaching 3
EDU 377: Historical and Social Trends in American Education 3
GE Physical Science with lab* 3
Elective 3
Semester 5 Credit Hours
ENGL 356: Teaching Writing and Language in Middle and Secondary Schools 3
ENGL 241: Language and Linguistics 3
ENGL 300 Level Elective 3
EDU 202: Educational Psychology 3
EDU 323: Survey of Students with Exceptionalities 3
Semester 6 Credit Hours
ENGL 300 Level Elective 3
ENGL 371: Methods of Teaching Art in the Middle and Secondary Schools 3
ENGL 340: Critical Theory 3
ENGL 344: Young Adult Literature 3
EDU 370: Principles and Practices of the Middle and Secondary Schools 3
Semester 7 Credit Hours
ENGL 373: Methods of Teaching English in Middle and Secondary Schools 3
ENGL 300 Level Elective 3
ENGL 395: Senior Seminar 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Semester 8 Credit Hours
EDU 349: Directed Teaching 9
EDU 345: Seminar In Teaching and Learning 3

English Secondary Education Cougar Map

If you would like to print out the Cougar Map, please view the English Secondary Education Cougar Map (PDF).


(Major/minor, summer suggestions, academic research)

First Year Second Year Third Year Fourth Year

Explore scholarship opportunities.

Bring writing assignments to the Learning Center/Writing Studio for help in fine tuning papers.

Compose your bucket list of must-read titles in canonical and popular literature.

Don't get discouraged in your studies! Visit the Counseling Center for stress relief ideas.

Consider pursuing a minor.

Consider summer courses to catch up or get ahead with your studies.

Develop your topic for your senior seminar research project.

Be mindful of important dates, i.e. semester ends and begins, deadline to withdraw from a course, petition for graduation.

Complete an education research project

Meet with the Language and Literature Department to ensure you're on track to graduate.

Look to submit work for undergraduate academic publications.


(Service, global perspective, study abroad, clubs, RSOs, volunteering))

Consider joining a student club or intramural sports team.

Enroll in Cougars LEAD that supports leadership development and begin working on your leadership certificate.

Participate in student activities.

Explore opportunities to work on campus or get involved with service opportunities through Campus Ministry.

Volunteer in an education setting or in a role that requires you to serve as an educator.

Write for the student newspaper, The Xavierite.

Take on a leadership role within a student club or organization.

Consider participating in a spring break service trip or study abroad.

Check eligibility to join the international honor society, Sigma Tau Delta.

Look into joining professional associations related to education and English and assist those organizations with their events.

Write for Opus SXU's literary publication.

Career Success

(Career or grad school prep, internships, jobs)

Complete your SXU Handshake profile for student employment with the help of the Center for SUCCESS.

Attend SXU's career-related events throughout your time at SXU and network with professionals.

Attain paraprofessional licensure.

Secure a position as a tutor or after-school assistant.

Develop a teaching portfolio.

Secure a position as a paraprofessional or teacher aide to help you diversify your resume, while giving you experience working with adolescents.

Ensure that your LinkedIn or other professional social media accounts reflect all your recent experiences.

Actively apply for teaching opportunities.

Career Outlook

The Secondary Education Program prepares individuals to teach students in the secondary grades, which may include grades nine through twelve, depending on the school system or state regulations. Courses may include preparation to teach a comprehensive curriculum or specific subject matter.

To find out more about your major including potential areas and employers, required skills, job outlook, and median pay, please access the Occupational Outlook Handbook or the O*Net websites.

Explore the subsections below to learn more about the potential skills a student with a secondary education major can develop as well as the potential positions, areas, and employers that hire students with this degree. Please note that these are not exhaustive lists and should be used as a starting point.


As a secondary education major, you will develop an in-depth understanding of your content area. Additionally, students may develop advance skills including communication, patience, creativity, enthusiasm, confidence, dedication, conflict resolution, organization, classroom management, time management, critical thinking, leadership, and teamwork.


Graduates with a degree in secondary education can work as teachers, ELL specialists, textbook salespersons, instructional technologists, direct service and grant writers.


Graduates with a degree in secondary education can work in teaching, research, sales, administration, literacy development, adult and continuing education and fundraising/development.


Graduates with a degree in secondary education can work for public, private, magnet, or charter schools, professional associations, test preparation companies, international schools, publishers, museums, zoos, religious organizations, correctional institutions, higher education, nonprofit and park districts.

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