Teaching English

The English major is one of the most popular among undergraduates at UConn, with approximately 700 students in any given year studying to receive a BA degree from the English department.  English majors enter many different fields, but a recent survey of alumni conducted by UConn’s Office of Internal Research demonstrates that education is the most popular profession. The Neag School of Education and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offer a dual degree program for students planning to become teachers.  Through Neag’s Integrated Bachelor’s/Master’s Teacher Education program, prospective English teachers can earn three degrees: a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education, a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English, and a Master’s degree in Education. Neag School of Education majors who wish to receive a Bachelors of Arts in English may need additional courses to fulfill CLAS requirements. The English Department also offers a  Concentration in Teaching English designed to provide English majors with the necessary undergraduate coursework to pass the state’s teaching certification exam (known as the Praxis II) and to be competitive candidates for graduate degree programs in Education.  English majors interested in teaching should contact Jason Courtmanche by emailing him via e-mail or by stopping by the Connecticut Writing Project office in Austin 161.  Appointments may be scheduled with Dr. Courtmanche by email or through AdvApp, the university’s online advising appointment scheduling system.

FAQs

If I am an incoming student, how can I explore teaching English as a career and prepare for application to education programs?

First- and second-year English Pre-Teaching majors can participate in the Pre-Teaching Secondary English Learning Community. They can also enroll in a section of INTD 1810 designed specifically for English pre-teaching majors, which is taught by English faculty member and TNE Fellow, Dr. Jason Courtmanche.  English majors pursuing either the dual degree program or the Concentration in Teaching English are also assigned to Dr. Courtmanche for advising.  Students can gain valuable education-related experiences through various undergraduate internships and tutoring opportunities available through the English Department’s writing programs.

How does the English Department support English majors interested in teaching English?

Teachers for a New Era (TNE) is a grant-funded program within the Neag School of Education, which collaborates with the English Department in various ways to support English majors interested in careers in education. Several English Department faculty members serve on a TNE Committee within the English Department. Many of them teach the Composition, Grammar, and Adolescent Literature courses that comprise the Concentration, and several run various High School Outreach Programs. (See the links to the faculty pages in the right-hand column.)

Who is typically accepted in the IBM program and how can I apply?

For more information on the program, see Neag’s Integrated Bachelor’s/Master’s Teacher Education.Apply to Neag’s School of Education.

What if I didn't get into the IB/M program but still want to teach?

Many English majors decide to teach after they have already begun their BA degree in CLAS. For these students, and those not initially admitted to the IB/M program, the English Department offers a Concentration in Teaching English that is designed to prepare English majors to pass the state’s teaching certification exam (known as the Praxis II) and to have the necessary undergraduate coursework to be competitive candidates for graduate degree programs in Education. (Please note that this coursework is not pedagogical in nature and that the Concentration does not provide certification).

What if I'm a recent college graduate (or I will be graduating soon) and I’d like to teach?

For college graduates who wish to gain teacher certification, the Neag School of Education developed the Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates (TCPCG).  A one-year, full-time degree program offered on the Greater Hartford and Waterbury campuses, the TCPCG confers a Master’s Degree in Education, as well as state teacher certification. The TCPCG shares with the IB/M program a strong commitment to high standards, extensive clinical experience, and a concern for the development of reflective and analytic practitioners, for urban and multicultural issues in education, and for teacher leadership.  Experienced, certified English teachers with a Bachelor’s degree in Education who wish to pursue an additional degree in their content area may wish to consider the MA degree for teachers offered by the Graduate English program.

What undergraduate coursework in English should a student take to be a good candidate for graduate study in English Education?

The Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates (TCPCG), as well as other accredited graduate programs in English Education, has aligned its content area admission requirements with National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) requirements.  So, in addition to the Grammar, Composition, and Adolescent Literature courses that comprise the Concentration in Teaching English, students should have coursework in American Literature, English Literature, Literary Genres (such as Poetry, Short Story, Drama, or the Novel), World Literature, and Women or Minority Authors.

How can I learn more about the teaching profession and teaching degree programs?