Online Secondary English Teacher Certification Programs

Find out about training options that can prepare you to teach English to high school students. Learn about classes offered and key topics along with certification requirements. Schools offering Literacy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Programs Are Available Leading to Secondary English Teacher Certification?

Programs in secondary English education are designed to train you to teach language and literature to high school students. You can do this by completing a bachelor's degree program, a graduate certificate program or a master's degree program. After earning a degree in education, you can sit for the exam to become a licensed teacher in your state. After licensure and teaching experience, you can choose to take a national certification exam from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), which will allow you to teach in any state (www.nbpts.org).

Degree LevelsBachelor's degree, graduate certificate, master's degree
Possible CoursesContemporary literature, creative writing, English grammar, methods for teaching English, world mythology
Certification & LicensureTo teach at the secondary level, teachers must be licensed. Teachers can also seek certification through the NBPTS if they have a bachelor's degree and at least 3 years of experience, allowing them to teach in any state.
Online AvailabilitySome programs are offered online, though students may be required to complete an in-person student-teaching experience depending on the program

What Will I Learn?

Through degree programs in secondary English education, you'll learn to teach English to native English speakers and to speakers of foreign languages. In the bachelor's degree programs in secondary education, you'll study teaching techniques, literature and grammar. Many programs cover American and British literature along with the literature of other cultures. Courses you might take include:

  • West Indian poetry
  • Contemporary literature
  • Creative writing
  • Shakespearean drama
  • English grammar
  • English for high school students

Many courses of graduate certificate programs can be applied to a master's degree in a similar area of study. Master's degree and graduate certificate programs in secondary English education train students to address literacy issues in the classroom and methods for teaching using modern technology. You might also study advanced methods for assessing learning. Some courses could include:

  • Analyzing English literature
  • Major African-American authors
  • Grammar and vocabulary
  • Methods for teaching English
  • World mythology

How Do I Become Certified in Education?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) you must pass a licensure exam in secondary education to teach at public high schools (www.bls.gov). To apply for the NBPTS national certification exam allowing you to teach in any state, you must have a bachelor's degree and at least three years of teaching experience. This certification is valid for ten years. When you become a candidate, you will be evaluated on your ability to create an effective learning environment, advance learning in your classroom and provide advanced instruction in English, according to the NBPTS.

How Do Online Programs Work?

While most programs are still campus-based, online programs may have courses that are entirely online or hybrids, the latter of which involve a combination of online and campus-based learning. Bachelor's degree students and some students in the master's degree program will have to complete a student teaching experience.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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