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Secondary Education Licensure with Social Studies for Teaching BS

About The Program

Gain a Minnesota teaching license for grades 5-12 Social Studies. Share your passion for learning and make a difference in the lives of urban youth. Empower yourself with the content knowledge, multicultural teaching skills, urban field experiences, and professionalism you need to give urban secondary students a high-quality, equitable education. The Urban Secondary Education licensure program within the School of Urban Education (UED) is designed to meet the needs of urban middle and high schools for teachers who can improve students' educational achievement. The UED prepares prospective secondary teachers who can use their understanding of diverse urban learners and communities along with content knowledge and build on the talents and resiliency of their students for success in school and life.

Our approach to teacher education focuses on preparing diverse, reflective and resilient teachers who are outstanding in their commitment to teaching urban youth and creating equitable educational opportunities. More than any other program in Minnesota, we attract more teacher candidates who are of color, multilingual, low-income or ""first generation"" into teaching careers who can relate to the experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse urban youth and their communities.

The School of Urban Education partners with the College of Liberal Arts to provide the content area knowledge for teaching in this particular subject area and it houses the department that offers the major needed for this license:

Graduate level option

Students with previous bachelor’s degrees seeking secondary education licensure may complete this program at the graduate level towards a master’s degree. See M.S. Urban Education page, linked below, for information about the graduate pathway to secondary education licensure in this content area.

Program accreditation

This program is accredited by the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) to meet the requirements for being licensed to teach in a specific subject area.

Student outcomes

Students completing this program will meet the following 10 learning outcomes aligned with the Minnesota Standards of Effective Practice for Beginning Teachers:

  • Subject matter: Urban teacher candidates will “understand the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the disciplines taught and be able to create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students.”
  • Student learning: Urban teacher candidates will “understand how students learn and develop and must provide learning opportunities that support a student's intellectual, social, and personal development.”
  • Diverse learners: Urban teacher candidates will “understand how students differ in their approaches to learning and create instructional opportunities that are adapted to students with diverse backgrounds and exceptionalities.”
  • Instructional strategies: Urban teacher candidates will “understand and use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage student development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills.”
  • Learning environment: Urban teacher candidates will “be able to use an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create learning environments that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.”
  • Communication: Urban teacher candidates will “be able to use knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.”
  • Planning instruction: Urban teacher candidates will “be able to plan and manage instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.”
  • Assessment: Urban teacher candidates will “understand and be able to use formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the student.”
  • Reflection and professional development: Urban teacher candidates “will be a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates the effects of choices and actions on others, including students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community, and who actively seeks out opportunities for professional growth.”
  • Collaboration, ethics, and relationships: Urban teacher candidates will “be able to communicate and interact with parents or guardians, families, school colleagues, and the community to support student learning and well-being

How to enroll

Program eligibility requirements

In addition to being declaring and admitted into the Social Studies for Teaching BS major program in College of Liberal Arts, students need to apply for and gain admission to the Urban Teacher Program within the School of Urban Education to earn a Minnesota grades 5-12 license in Social Studies.

To be admitted in the Urban Teacher Program, students need to meet the requirements and criteria stated in the Undergraduate Admission Requirements for the School of Urban Education.

Contact or meet with a School of Urban Education advisor to learn more.

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Start the journey toward your Secondary Education Licensure with Social Studies for Teaching BS now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your Secondary Education Licensure with Social Studies for Teaching BS

Courses and Requirements


In addition to completing required coursework and additional requirements for a bachelor's degree, the following are among the requirements for program completion and Tier 3 licensure in Minnesota:

• Completion of at least 120 hours of practicum experiences in urban middle school (60 hours) and urban high school (60 hours) classrooms in your licensure subject area.

• Completion of 12 weeks of full-time student teaching.

• Passing all required performance assessments.

• Licensure application with fee.

Courses Needed for Grades 5-12 Licensure

+ Pre - Requisite Courses Needed for UTP Admission (6+ credits)

These courses are open to all students and, among other requirements, are needed for admission to the Urban Teacher Program (UTP) in the School of Urban Education. To be admitted to the program, students first need to be admitted to their content major (i.e., Social Studies for Teaching BS) and then meet the UTP admission requirements and criteria (see link to more info in Program Eligibility Requirements).

This course provides an introduction to urban learners, urban teaching, and urban school systems using case studies and first-person accounts of teaching and learning in an urban environment. Current issues facing urban P-12 students, teachers, schools, districts, and communities will be discussed. Society's responsibility to urban schools will be examined along with the roles that teachers and schools play in increasing student achievement and leading school improvement. Key concepts of the Urban Teacher Program will be introduced including the importance of high expectations, student and teacher resiliency, educational equity, using the community as a resource, and reflection. Various perspectives and dimensions of the achievement gap will be examined, including causes due to discrimination and perspectives on what constitutes high educational achievement for culturally and linguistically diverse youth. Students in this course are expected to explore and express their own…

Full course description for Introduction to Urban Education and Reflective Teaching

This course introduces prospective urban teacher candidates to core concepts and approaches of multicultural education including issues related to student, family and community diversity based on race, culture, language, class, gender, sexual orientation and disability. Issues of oppression, privilege and equity in relation to schools and society are also addressed as students use their life experiences as a multicultural reference point to begin to understand the life experiences of the diverse students who attend urban public schools. Emphasis is placed on demonstrating the multicultural competence required of all successful teachers working with diverse urban youth. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course requirements.

Full course description for Multicultural Education

In addition to these two courses, completion of the following is needed for students seeking UTP licensure program admission to teach Social Studies in urban secondary schools:

(A) at least 8 credits of content coursework required in the BS Social Studies for Teaching major;

(B) at least 3 credits of Ethnic Studies (ETHS) coursework which can also meet major, University GELS and RIGR requirements;

(C) University General Education or Minnesota Transfer Curriculum Requirements (All 10 Goal Areas completed, 40 cr)

+ Professional Education Core Courses (22 credits)

These courses are open to students who are admitted to the Urban Teacher Program. Students must complete at least 120 field experience practicum hours in urban middle school and urban high school classrooms in their licensure area while completing the following Professional Education courses before student teaching.


This course focuses on common methods of differentiating instruction for urban middle school and high school classrooms. Teacher candidates begin learning how to create developmentally appropriate and culturally relevant unit and lesson plans that attend to the various abilities, needs, cultures, experiences, and interests of urban 5-12 students while also meeting district and state standards for learning and making interdisciplinary connections. Foundational understanding of the diverse learning styles and developmental characteristics of young adolescent and adolescent learners forms the basis upon which appropriate plans are developed and methods are employed. The inter-relationships between standards, assessment, curriculum and instruction are examined in promoting high achievement for each urban learner. Teacher candidates gain awareness of current trends in urban middle school and high school education along with the knowledge and skills these trends demand of effective urban…

Full course description for Urban Middle School and High School Methods

This practicum is designed to give urban teacher candidates the opportunity to document and reflect upon at least 40 hours practical clinical experience working with diverse youth in an urban middle school or high school. Most of the field experience hours will be determined by field-based assignments required in other Education courses. Included with these experiences, urban teacher candidates practice using diagnostic assessment to guide their instructional planning of at least three lessons for a small group of 1-5 students needing help to improve their reading or mathematics literacy. Successful completion of this practicum is a prerequisite for student teaching. Requirements include attendance and participation in periodic seminars to help prospective urban teacher candidates reflect upon their field experiences, and prepare for future clinical field experiences including student teaching. Co-requisites: EDU 306, OR EDU 606, OR EDU 323, OR EDU 481.

Full course description for Urban Teaching Practicum and Seminar

This course is an overview of the role of subject area teachers in assessing, accommodating, and supporting the education of diverse students with disabilities and other special needs in urban grades 5-12 classrooms. The course will address what teachers should know about exceptional learners, including students with disabilities and students with special gifts and talents. The responsibilities of general education teachers in service to students with special needs who are included in the mainstreamed classroom will also be examined, and practice will be provided for developing lesson plans and assessments that meet the needs of students with exceptionalities. Special education law and collaboration with special education staff will be discussed in the context of reviewing current research, issues and best practices for pre- and post-special education service needs of exceptional learners in urban public schools. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course requirements.

Full course description for Teaching and Assessing Students with Disabilities in Urban 5-12 Classrooms

This course is based on current research on the relationship between classroom management and academic achievement to prepare prospective urban teachers for facilitating student learning in a positive classroom environment. Participants in this course will examine teacher and student classroom behaviors from a cross-cultural perspective to recognize the effects of cultural/linguistic differences in the assessment, interpretation, and planning of the instructional and social environment in a class. Students will gain understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create learning environments that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation. Students will also gain understanding of how factors in students environment outside of school may influence the classroom learning environment. A portion of this course will explore the influence of the use and misuse of drugs, and management strategies for atypical behaviors stemming…

Full course description for Managing Learning in Diverse Urban 5-12 Classrooms


This course examines the many aspects of literacy which arise in urban secondary classrooms. Through course readings, presentations, discussions, and applied written and oral exercises, students explore ways to teach a variety of materials to diverse middle and high school students whose reading and developmental levels vary widely. Students explore techniques of how to encourage learners both to engage with reading and writing and to assume responsibility for literacy learning. Through instructional techniques and integrated learning models which focus on various content areas, the information learned in this course prepares the teachers to assist struggling readers and writers. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course requirements.

Full course description for Literacy Education in Urban Secondary Schools

This course explores historical, cultural, and sociological foundations of urban education in the United States. Core concepts include democracy and education, educational equity for all students and historical as well as contemporary relationships between school and society. Emphasis is on issues of power and the educational segregation and attempted deculturalization of historically marginalized groups. Resilience and persistent struggles for equal educational opportunity in the face of oppression are also emphasized from diverse cultural perspectives. Philosophical, legal, cultural and ethical perspectives about education are explored as students develop critical awareness of issues to further develop their own philosophies of urban education. The community is a resource for cross-cultural inquiry and learning about the educational strengths and challenges faced by diverse groups living in urban areas. Students gain understanding of the contributions and lifestyles of various…

Full course description for Historical and Cultural Foundations of Urban Education

This course focuses on assessment as a learning tool to guide the planning, development and implementation of curriculum and instruction. Theories and research related to principles of learning, motivation and multiple intelligences are explored. Practical experience designing short- and long-term learning outcomes and various types of assessment is offered. Topics include standards-based instruction, formative and summative assessment, standardized testing, validity, reliability, bias, rubrics, portfolio-based assessment, performance-based assessment, and communicating with families. State and national standards and performance criteria for the evaluation of teaching are also explored. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course requirements.

Full course description for Assessment of Learning and Teaching in Urban Grades 5-12

This course includes an examination of the process of second language acquisition and strategies for teaching English Language Learners (ELL) subject matter content in urban K-12 classrooms. Prospective teachers will learn how to modify mainstream course materials and instructional strategies so that ELL students can engage in course content while simultaneously developing their English language skills. Course activities and expectations include demonstrating teaching strategies; developing lesson modifications; evaluating textbooks and other materials and resources available in the field; and examining issues in testing students of limited English proficiency for placement, diagnosis, exit, and evaluation. There is a requirement of a 10-hour field experience in urban setting involving classroom participant-observations and working with an ELL student.

Full course description for Teaching and Assessing English Language Learners

+ Content Methods and Advanced Practicum Courses (4 credits)

This SSED content methods course may be taken during student teaching if it is the only course remaining to be completed in the licensure program. If a request to take SSED 450 is made, then EDU 450 must still be completed before student teaching.

This course provides teacher candidates with a variety of approaches to organizing a social studies curriculum in grades 5-12, and multiple instructional methods for effective teaching in the urban, multicultural classroom. Knowledge of the core social studies disciplines (i.e., history, geography, government, and economics) will be applied by planning and discussing units and lessons that include a variety of instructional methods and authentic assessment to enhance student learning. Knowledge of American Indian history, culture, language and government will be applied in order to meet state teaching standards. Opportunities for practice teaching mini lessons will be afforded to enhance skill development as an urban teacher. Differing perspectives will be explored regarding the purpose of social studies education for democratic citizenship in a rapidly changing, increasingly diverse and interdependent, society and world. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course…

Full course description for Teaching Social Studies in Urban Grades 5-12

This advanced pre-student teaching practicum is designed to give urban teacher candidates the opportunity to document and reflect upon at least 60 hours practical clinical experience in an urban middle school or high school classroom within their subject area of licensure. Requirements include teaching at least 3 lessons in their licensure area to a whole class of students, but most of the clinical field experience hours and active classroom involvement will be determined by field-based assignments required in other Education courses and the cooperating urban school teacher hosting the practicum. Successful completion of this practicum is a prerequisite for student teaching. Requirements include attendance and participation in periodic seminars to help prospective urban teacher candidates reflect upon their field experiences, and prepare for student teaching.

Full course description for Advanced Urban Teaching Practicum and Seminar

+ Student Teaching (6+ credits, 12 weeks full - time)

This culminating, intensive internship-like experience is required for licensure not the major or degree, so students should plan with guidance from their major advisor and UTP advisor to complete a major or degree requirement during the student teaching semester if they are interested in being eligible for federal financial aid. Teacher Candidates must notify the Field Experience Director two semesters prior to doing their student teaching. They must also submit a draft student teaching application to their advisor by September 1st for spring placements and February 1st for fall placements.