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Historical Studies 

Advisor: Dr. Jamie Paxton

The historical studies major is designed for students who plan to be certified in either middle level or secondary education and teach social studies (history, geography, government, and economics) in middle schools, high schools, or both.

Secondary Certifications

Those with a social studies certificate are permitted to teach history, geography, government, and economics, as well as psychology, sociology, and anthropology at both the middle and high school levels. In order to obtain the social studies certification for the State of Pennsylvania, students complete the historical studies major, plus Sociology 115 and Psychology 120, the entire secondary education program described later, and all other Moravian University graduation requirements. Students are encouraged to complete the social studies certificate, although it is difficult to accomplish in a normal four-year course of study.

The Major in Historical Studies

Minimum requirements for the departmental major in historical studies are:

  • History 112 or 116; History 113 or 114; one 100-level history course focusing on an area outside Europe or the United States; History 270; two additional history courses at the 200 level and two at the 300 level, to include at least one course each in United States history, European history, and history of an area outside Europe and the United States.
  • Political Science 110 and 115 or 125 or a political science course in an international topic, chosen in consultation with an advisor. 
  • Interdisciplinary Studies 110 (World Geography and Global Issues).
  • Economics 152 (not required for middle level certification)

Students whose background in history makes them eligible to waive one or more introductory courses may substitute an additional history course or courses numbered 210 or above. Students are encouraged to take more courses in history or political science in order to prepare better for teaching.

Completing a Full Major in History

With careful planning and some coursework over the summer, a student can complete the requirements for citizenship education certification while completing a full departmental major in history. A major in history allows for increased facility in teaching historical content as well as additional marketability.

Coursework for Secondary Teaching Certification

Education 100.2 is generally taken spring of the first year or fall of sophomore year. Education 160 is generally taken spring of the first year and Education 130 is generally taken fall of sophomore year (although the order of these two may be switched). Education 244 must be taken after completion of Education 160 and with or after completion of Education 130, and is a prerequisite for Education 260, taken in the fall of one’s junior year.

Education 140.2 must be taken some time before student teaching. Education 260 generally is taken in the fall of the junior year and Education 365, which includes various approaches to the teaching of social studies and curricular designs in secondary schools, in the fall of the senior year. The student- teaching semester (Education 375, 376, 377, and 378) occurs, for most candidates, in the spring of the senior year. Please note that students must have an overall GPA of 2.70 to take education courses at the 200-level or above. To take Education 365, students must have satisfied the basic skills test requirement described below. In addition, secondary certification students must complete Physical Education 236.

To satisfy state guidelines, the student is required to take three college credits in English composition (LinC 101), three college credits in English literature (English 101, 102, 103, 104, or 105; or Education 131), and six college credits in mathematics (1.5 Moravian course units). Most of these guidelines should be met through appropriate selection of courses taken to complete Learning in Common guidelines. Beyond the Learning in Common requirement, students must take at least 0.5 course units in mathematics.

Competencies needed to teach learners with disabilities and English language learners are taught throughout the program. Students must demonstrate they have gained these competencies in both classroom and field settings, but especially during student teaching.

For information on coursework for middle level certification see Education.

Applying for Admission into the Teacher Certification Program

Students should be aware that they are not automatically admitted into the teacher-certification program. Students must make two applications for acceptance into the teacher-certification program. Students may apply for initial admission in to the program after completion of 12 course units, after passing the PPST sections of the PRAXIS exams in reading, writing, and mathematics (information about those tests is available in the Education Department office), and after attaining a 3.0 GPA overall. Initial application forms are available in the Education Department. In order to student teach, students must turn in a formal application, also available in the Education Department, two semesters prior to student teaching. Applications for fall student teaching must be received by December 1 of the preceding year, and for spring student teaching by April 15 of the preceding year. Criteria for acceptance include a 3.0 GPA overall, a 3.00 GPA in the academic major, and a 3.00 in the professional education sequence. In addition, students must receive the written support of their major department and the Education Department, successfully complete field experiences, and demonstrate positive character. Issues of character can be reflected in discipline events involving the Office of Student Affairs, academic honesty violations, and more.

See the Education section of this catalog for other requirements related to admission to the teacher-certification program.

Other Pennsylvania Requirements for Certification

After successful completion of the Moravian education program, initial Pennsylvania teacher certification mandates that students pass all required tests. All education students must satisfy the basic reading, writing, and math skills requirement as described above. In addition, students must successfully pass the Praxis content knowledge exam: Social Studies: Content Knowledge (test 5081). Finally, during student teaching, students will be evaluated using the PDE-430 form. Students must meet criteria for successful completion of the PDE-430 form in order to be certified.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education frequently changes these requirements. For current requirements, candidates should consult both the Pennsylvania Department of Education website and the Educational Testing Service website.

Changes in Pennsylvania's standards for certification may require some alterations in this program. Students should discuss their course of study with the program advisor each term to be certain that such changes can be accommodated.