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English Teaching

The English Education program at Boise State University offers preparation and professional development for teachers of English Language Arts in U. S. schools.  The program includes:

  • An undergraduate major in English teaching whose completion results in Idaho teaching certification in English language arts for grades 6-12.  For information and advice regarding the Undergraduate English Teaching Program, requirements, course recommendations, entrance requirements, and teaching blocks including student teaching, click on: “Undergraduate Majors” in the navigation column.
  • Pathways for students who have already earned a Bachelor’s degree to earn Idaho teaching certification in English language arts for grades 6-12.  For information and advice regarding Post-Baccalaureate certification requirements, course recommendations, entrance requirements, and the teaching blocks including student teaching, click on: “Post-Baccalaureate Certification” in the navigation column.
  • A Master’s degree for practicing teachers who wish to learn more about effective literacy teaching in grades K-13.  For information and advice regarding the Masters in Teaching English Language Arts degree program, click on: “Master of Arts in Teaching English Language Arts” in the navigation column.
  • The Boise State Writing Project, an affiliate site of the National Writing Project, for teachers of any subject or grade level who are interested in effective teaching of writing and literacy.  For more information about the Boise State Writing Project, click on “Boise State Writing Project” in the navigation column.

The Boise State University English Education program is housed in the Department of English, whose office is in the Liberal Arts Building room 230.

On this page you can read:

  • Program Announcements
  • About Teaching Certification in English
  • English Education Faculty

 About Teaching Certification in English

The English Teaching emphasis of the English major Bachelor’s degree is intended to prepare students to teach secondary school English language arts, grades 6 – 12. Students who complete university requirements for English teaching also complete state requirements for an Idaho teaching certificate. A teaching certificate allows you to teach in public secondary schools in Idaho, and a teaching certificate from Idaho will often transfer to other states.

You may earn Idaho teaching certification in English either by meeting the undergraduate English Teaching emphasis degree requirements, or by enrolling in BSU after earning a Bachelor’s degree in English at an accredited college or university and completing teaching certification requirements. If you have a bachelor’s degree in another subject besides English but wish English to be your main teaching subject, you may also earn an English teaching certificate but you are likely to need to take additional English courses. (The state requires 45 English credits.)

Questions and Answers about Certification

Q: Does an Idaho state teaching certificate guarantee me a teaching job?
A: No, but it does qualify you to apply for and hold teaching positions in public secondary schools.

Q: If I want to teach in a private school, do I need a teaching certificate?
A: Probably not. Most private schools do not require you to hold a state teaching certificate, although your preparation to teach your subject(s) might be a factor in that school’s hiring and accreditation. (Private schools generally pay less than public schools.) Charter Schools, however, DO require state teaching certification.

Q: What if I want to teach in grades lower than grade 6?
A: You should be in Elementary Education.

Q: What if I want to teach college English?
A: You do not need a teaching certificate, but you will probably need a doctorate degree in English. (Community Colleges sometimes hire teachers with Masters degrees, but that is less common where candidates with doctorates are available.)

Q: What if I want to teach English to students whose native language is not English, either in the U.S. or in another country?
A: This program may not be for you.  Its focus is on teaching English as a secondary school subject in U. S. schools to students who are mostly fluent in English.  For teaching English as a new language as your main focus we recommend either the Bi-lingual Education program in the College of Education, or an English major with lots of linguistics study.

Q: What if I have earned a Bachelor’s degree in another subject but want to teach English as my main certification subject?
A: We will analyze your transcript and tell you which of your previous English language arts coursework counts toward English certification.  The state requires 45 credits in English including some specific English courses, so you may have to take some additional English courses.  The transcript analysis will tell you how many and which courses to take.  (If you have previously taken any Education courses, the Teacher Education department will also tell you which education courses you still need to take.)

Q: Can I teach secondary school English if I earn a minor instead of a major in English?
A: Yes, if you have earned a minor teaching “endorsement” or teaching certificate in English, you may be hired to teach it–provided you have a major teaching certificate in another subject and you have passed the Praxis II in English. Click on “About Minor Teaching Endorsements” for more information.

Q: Can I be a teacher if I have broken the law?
A: It depends. When you apply to go out in the schools for block I, one line on the application form asks: “Have you ever been adjudicated guilty in a court of law of an offense other than a minor traffic violation?” This rule, like the fingerprint check required by the state, is to ensure that people who could be a danger to children and schools do not become teachers. If you have been found guilty, set up an appointment with the Director of Teacher Education in the College of Education. Your conference may begin an appeal process by which you can explain your circumstances. If your appeal is successful, you would be allowed to proceed towards certification.

Q: What must I do to teach in another state?
A: State requirements vary, so check the Education Department website for the state that interests you.  For certified teachers, moving is usually pretty easy.  If you already hold an Idaho teaching certificate, the state may accept you as a teacher, or perhaps ask you to fill in a few requirements that differ from Idaho.  If you are a student who has not yet completed your state certification, though, whatever college or university you transfer to will expect you to meet their specific requirements regardless of how they match up with whatever you have already taken, so this route normally takes more time and money.

English Education Faculty, Boise State University:

Jim Fredricksen
LA 211F

Jeffrey Wilhelm
GW 103 B (corner of Chrisway and University Dr.)

Amber Warrington
GW 103 A (corner of Chrisway and University Dr.)

All English Education faculty members are experienced secondary school teachers of English with doctorates in the teaching of English language arts.

Helpful Websites:

National Council of Teachers of English:

BSU Office of Teacher Education:

Idaho State Department of Education: