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Minor teaching endorsements

This page is intended for:

  • English majors interested in earning a minor in an additional subject;
  • Non-English teaching majors interested in earning an additional minor teaching endorsement in English;
  • Elementary education majors interested in earning a Pre-endorsement in English.

Contents:

  • Academic Minor and Minor Teaching Endorsements
  • Minor Teaching Endorsements for English Teaching majors
  • Minor Teaching Endorsements in English Teaching for non-English majors
  • English Pre-Endorsement Area Requirements for Elementary Education Majors

Academic Minor and Minor Teaching Endorsements

An Academic Minor is a university term for a student’s second area of study, usually around 21 credits in the field.  The minor is listed after your major on your diploma and transcript when you graduate.  Minor requirements are listed in the catalog.  Academic minors have nothing to do with teaching.

A Minor Teaching Endorsement is a teaching certificate by which the state grants you the right to teach a school subject in addition to your major subject.  You can earn any number of minor teaching endorsements.  You may earn them while you are earning your major certificate, or you can earn them after you start teaching.  You must complete a major teaching endorsement before you can teach with any minor endorsements.  It is possible, but not automatic, that you could earn both the minor teaching requirement and an academic minor, but check requirements carefully as they are often not the same.

Q: What are the steps to begin the process of completing a minor endorsement?

A: All you need to do is take the required courses.  After you have finished student teaching when you apply for your teaching certificate, you can also apply for any minor endorsements that you have earned.  The State Department of Education analyzes your transcripts and if you have met the requirements, they add your minor endorsement to your certificate.

You can also finish minor endorsements after you have started teaching.  You can take the courses on your own (both now and later) and when you are finished, submit your transcripts directly to the State Department of Education and ask to add the endorsements to your certificate.  You may do that at any time in your teaching career.

Minor Teaching Endorsements for English Teaching majors

Even in a subject like English, in which many secondary school teachers find full-time teaching assignments in their discipline, it is a good idea for students to complete a minor teaching endorsement in another field.  Not only are such minor studies educationally beneficial, but students with multiple qualifications are potentially more versatile in teaching roles and able to apply for more jobs.  Minor teaching endorsements are listed in the Teacher Education section of the college catalog; most require 20-25 credits.  Most common among English majors are minor endorsements in:

  • Reading
  • Communications (speech or journalism)
  • Theater arts
  • A foreign language
  • History
  • But minor endorsements may be completed in any discipline, including high-demand areas like mathematics or special education.

You must also pass the Praxis II in any additional endorsement areas you wish to teach (e.g. minor endorsements), meeting the same qualifying score as majors in the subject.

More about the Reading Endorsement:

In Idaho grades 6, 7, and 8 students take both a Reading class and an English class, which usually focuses on writing.  So about half of the English jobs in those middle grades are for Reading teachers, or teachers who are certified to teach both English and Reading.  In order to apply for and teach Reading classes you need to earn the Reading Endorsement.  A Reading Endorsement would also qualify you to work with struggling readers in after-school and summer programs for these students.  High schools teach a few Reading classes, mostly for students who missed those credits in prior grades, and high school teachers of Reading classes still need the endorsement.  But most high school English teachers do not teach Reading and so do not need the Reading Endorsement.  For specific requirements, see the Education Literacy Department’s catalog or website.

Minor Teaching Endorsements in English Teaching for non-English majors

Students who wish to earn a minor teaching endorsement in English must follow the requirements specified in the BSU Catalog under English Minor Certification Endorsement.

Praxis II: The state now requires you to pass the Praxis II test #0041 “English Language, Literature, and Composition: Content Knowledge” with a score of at least 158 even for a minor endorsement.

Current requirements are:

Survey of British Literature (3 credits)

Survey of American Literature (3 credits)

Introduction to Literary Studies (3 credits)

Intro to Linguistics (3 credits)

ENGL 301 Teaching Composition

ENGL 481 Lit. for Jr. and Sr. High

Two Writing courses 200 or higher (6 credits)

Think Beyond the Minimum

The requirements for the minor teaching endorsement in English represent the minimum preparation possible.  Consider that if you earn a minor endorsement in English, you probably will teach English part of the time.  You cannot say to your English students, “well, English is just my minor–so you’re out of luck this year.”  You will be those students’ English teacher, minor or not.  So we encourage you to go beyond the minimum requirements and to take enough course work so that you will feel comfortable and confident in teaching English as well as your major subject.

Teaching Methods Courses

You will take the “Content Methods Course” for your major subject during your block II semester.  In this course you should learn some planning and teaching methods that may be adapted to English teaching.  Therefore, we do not require minor endorsement students to take our Content Methods Course, ENGL 381.  The two teaching courses that we do require, on teaching writing and literature, are more specific to English and less likely to be something you have studied in your major program.

Q: If I hold an elementary teaching certificate (for grades K-8), can I add an English Teaching endorsement?

A: Not exactly.  Completing the requirements for the English minor endorsement allows you to teach English through grade 9.  It does not permit you to teach English in grades 10-12.

English Pre-Endorsement Area Requirements for Elementary Education Majors

  • ENGL 267, 268, 277 or 278 Survey of British or American Literature (3 credits)
  • ENGL 275  Introduction to Literary Studies (3 credits)
  • Upper-division literature course (3 credits)
  • English writing courses numbered 200 or higher (3 credits)

Elementary Education Pre-endorsement areas are intended to give future elementary teachers a semblance of enhanced subject-matter knowledge in one academic subject.  We encourage future elementary teachers who wish to build their knowledge and preparation in language arts to go beyond the minimum requirements listed above, if possible.