Secondary Education

Student Teaching

North Park’s teachers-in-training follow an extensive clinical experience program that culminates in student teaching. For 10 to 16 weeks, you’ll assume full responsibility for a classroom: teaching a full load, attending meetings, keeping records, grading, and meeting with parents. You’ll work with a cooperating teacher and you’ll also be observed throughout the experience by North Park University faculty who will offer helpful feedback, encouragement, and constructive advice.

Student teaching will follow your teacher aiding and mini-teaching modules. Learn more about classroom experiences.

Make A Difference. Teach.
Make a Difference. Teach.

Middle and high school teachers are vital figures in the lives of adolescents and teenagers. At this critical age, students are starting to decide where they want to go in their own lives, developing their abilities for critical thinking and reasoning, communication, and complex problem-solving. With a North Park degree in secondary education and a major in a specific content area, you will have the strong academic foundation and extensive classroom experience to make an immediate impact on the lives of young people nationwide.

Secondary Education
Why Study Secondary Education?

Middle and high schools students are at prime ages to be challenged with new material, ready to learn specific skills in complex subjects, and are developing their ideas about what they want to be and do in their futures. Be a part of this exciting time for young people as a teacher. You’ll share your expertise in a specific subject while also teaching young women and men how to think critically and communicate clearly. Do your part to prepare our future leaders.

Why Choose North Park University
Why North Park?

With 125 partner schools in urban and suburban districts, as well as public and private affiliations, North Park’s School of Education offers you the opportunity to find your perfect place as a teacher. You’ll gain the skills you need through rigorous coursework along with spending significant time in local middle and high school classrooms. Your professors and advisors will be your mentors, and you’ll graduate as a licensed teacher, ready to lead your own classroom in grades 6 through 12.

Careers In Secondary Education
  • Middle school teacher
  • High school teacher
  • Summer or day camp educator
  • Camp director
  • English teacher in a foreign country
  • Church education director

With further licensure you can pursue careers that include:

  • Public of private school administrator
  • Guidance counselor
Classroom Experiences

The secondary education program gets you into real classrooms early and eases your transition from observer to student teacher. Here’s the progression:

  1. Targeted observations as part of the methods course
  2. Teacher Aiding: observe and assist teacher/students (50+ hours)
  3. Mini-Teaching: prepare and teach one lesson each day (7 weeks)
  4. Student Teaching: full-time teaching (10–16 weeks)

Learn more.

Content-Area Major and Endorsements

Secondary education majors at North Park must choose a second major of 36 semester hours or more in a content area in which they will be licensed to teach. Programs certified by the Illinois State Board of Education include biology, chemistry, economics, English, history, mathematics, physics, and politics and government (political science). A content area is required for state teacher licensure in secondary education. Learn more about Illinois state teacher requirements.

Students can also choose an optional endorsement in areas like bilingual education or English as a Second Language, or approval as a learning behavioral specialist. Learn more about endorsements and approvals.

Meet the Faculty

Dr. John Laukaitis is an expert in multicultural education, bringing valuable insight and experience as North Park students prepare to teach in diverse classrooms, while also encouraging future educators to develop a strong ethical and moral foundation for their professional lives.

Learn more about Dr. Laukaitis and the education faculty.

John Laukaitis
Golden Apple Scholars Program

Golden Apple Scholars are teachers in Illinois with a passion for serving children in high-need schools. As one of the program’s partner schools, North Park education majors can apply to this competitive program, which offers college scholarships and the chance to participate in summer institutes for further training to teach in challenging school settings. Learn more about Richard Barajas, our first Pathway Scholar, and the Golden Apple program.

Beyond the Classroom

Enhance your own education by getting involved with various service and extracurricular activities at North Park. Opportunities include: