Education (secondary)

The responsibility to help shape the lives and educations of young children is a big one. It requires an intelligent and exceptionally caring person, someone with a great deal of insight, creativity and stamina.


That’s what you bring to the table. Central matches it with a unique developmental model, one-of-a-kind programming. As a secondary education student, you will major in a specific content area and enroll in the education courses necessary to obtain a teaching license. This liberal-arts approach will provide you with the broad background you need to become an effective 9th- to 12th- grade teacher.

With the help of one of the best education programs in Iowa, you’ll see your passion for education evolve into the résumé of a highly skilled professional teacher.

hours of required field experience in secondary classrooms
  • The Central Teacher Academy pairs students with experienced teachers 3 years prior to student teaching

The Real World


Successful Careers

  • English language assistant, Paris, France
  • Social studies teacher, Madison HS, Madison, Mo.
  • Spanish teacher, Davenport HS, Davenport, Iowa
  • Physical education teacher/strength coach, Sheldon, Iowa
  • Eighth grade science teacher, Carroll Community Schools, Carroll, Iowa


  • Education Club
  • Geisler-Penquite Scholarship program
  • Council for Exceptional Children

Education majors can travel the world with faculty to Puerto Rico or Sierra Leone, Africa, or attend regional and national education conferences. No matter what your interests are, Central has something for you! Learn how you can get involved with groups and organizations at Central.

Paige Wilkin

Paige Wilkin

"Every class has made me a stronger problem solver."

Read More

Graduate Placement

Education students pursuing graduate school typically do so after several years teaching in the field. Educational leadership, reading, special education and content specific areas are typical graduate school studies for education graduates. Central education students have attended graduate school in varying states across the United States. 


  • North Mahaska High School, New Sharon, Iowa
  • Kelly High School, Chicago, Ill.
  • Tri County Community Schools, Thornburg, Iowa
  • Southeast Polk High School, Pleasant Hill, Iowa

Courses & Faculty

In addition to rigorous coursework, Central education majors are expected to immerse themselves in their chosen field–whether through a short-term faculty-led trip to work in schools in Puerto Rico or the Central Teacher Academy where students gain hands-on experience with a local K-12 mentor teacher.

Students can also get involved with a development-focused mission trip to Sierra Leone, Africa, or student teach in inner-city Chicago or on one of Central's international study abroad programs. 

Learn more about education (secondary) in the course catalog.

Education (secondary) photo
Meet the faculty:
  • Rebecca Addleman, B.A., M.S., Ed.D., Associate Professor of Education
  • Jennifer Diers, B.A., M.Ed., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education, interest areas include child and adolescent development, technology in education and international education
  • Melanie Hatch, B.A., M.A., Lecturer of Education, interest areas include special education, educational leadership
  • Mindi Kacmarynski, Coordinator of the Central Teacher Academy
  • Susan Lyons, Adjunct Instructor of Education
  • Melissa McAninch, B.S., M.A., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Education, interest areas include teacher questioning practices, mathematical discourse and classroom assessment
  • Christine McConville, Office Manager Education Department
  • Mary Stark, B.S., M.A., Ph.D., John and Anna Poole Endowed Chair in the Humanities and Professor of English, interest areas include nature and environmental literature, literature for children and young adults and secondary education
  • Linda Steddom, Director of Clinical/Field Experiences in Education
  • Jason Surian, B.A., M.Ed., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Education, interest areas include English language learners, literacy development, early childhood education, student engagement in the elementary classroom
  • Julianne Taylor, B.A., M.S., Lecturer of Education

Sample Schedule

First year
  • Foundations of Education
  • Children with Exceptionalities
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Core, major, licensure & endorsement courses
Sophomore year
  • Human Relations
  • Core, major, licensure & endorsement courses
Junior year
  • Reading in the Content Area
  • Learning and Assessment
  • Behavior and Classroom Management
  • Core, major, licensure & endorsement courses
Senior year
  • Secondary student teaching
  • Secondary General Methods
  • Secondary Special Methods
  • Senior Seminar
  • Advanced Integration of Technology in Education - Secondary

The Central Difference

Learn Using a Unique Developmental Model

You’ll become a highly prepared teacher when you use the “I Understand, I Can, I Am” developmental model. It will provide you with a multitude of varying field experiences in diverse settings and ultimately ready you to become a highly qualified teacher in a global world. This model aligns with the InTASC standards for teacher preparation and provides fundamental, developmentally appropriate coursework and experiences.

Central education students exhibit highly successful Praxis Exam completion rates (over 96%) and are annually awarded the Recognition of Excellence Indicator Award for exemplary scores.

Central Teacher Academy

Apply to participate in the Central Teacher Academy (CTA) program — an exceptional teacher preparatory program and the only one of its kind in Iowa. If selected, you will be trained and paired with mentor teachers in the Pella Community School District and Pella Christian Schools for three years prior to student teaching. This early hands-on learning can be essential to your future success.

Learn in Nationally Recognized Facilities

You’ll spend a lot of time in the three-story Roe Center, which houses classroom, office and instructional space for the education and psychology departments, along with communication studies and Central’s nationally recognized community-based learning department. The building features energy conservation and environmental responsibility, and was awarded a platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating from the United States Green Building Council.

Work Toward Distinguished Honors and Scholarships

The Geisler Penquite scholarships are awarded to juniors and seniors accepted into the teacher preparation program. When completely funded, 48-50 renewablescholarships of up to$5,000 will be available for 12 new students in the elementary and secondary education programs.

The Scholars Program honors students who exemplify essential values and skills, advocate for future teachers in very direct ways and work collaboratively to build upon Central’s reputation to recruit exemplary teachers for future generations.

Expand Your Teachable Horizons: Study Abroad

Enhance your development as a global citizen along with your educational frame of reference. Study abroad — and earn credits toward your education degree — with one of Central’s international programs. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.

Education Students


Jake Wassenaar receives Fulbright award to Taiwan

Jake Wassenaar receives Fulbright award to Taiwan

Central College senior Jake Wassenaar of Pella has won a 2016-2017 Fulbright U.S. Student Award to Taiwan.

Read More

Central’s Extraordinary Education Majors
Central’s Extraordinary Education Majors

Experience in the classroom sets these teachers apart.

Read More

Our Fabulous First Year
Our Fabulous First Year

So, what is it like being a brand-new teacher? One year after graduation, four education majors from Central tell about their first years as teachers.

Read More

Learn More

Want to find out more about secondary education at Central? Contact us to learn more about this major and our other strong academic programs. Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.