Secondary Education - English - Public Certification 

Bachelor of Science 130 credits

In keeping with the Valley Forge Christian College institutional mission to prepare individuals for a life of service and leadership in the church and in the world, the education program at VFCC seeks to prepare competent professionals for a life of service in Christian, and public schools.

The Secondary English Education program is designed to prepare competent and qualified college graduates to receive Pennsylvania state certification to teach English and English-related subjects in Pennsylvania's public and private secondary schools, grades 7-12. The program will include general education courses as established by the college for all students. In addition, the program will include those professional courses that will meet the guidelines for teacher certification. These courses will encompass areas of reading, writing,speaking, listening, with variety of literature electives. Teaching methods courses will also be included. 

Upon graduation students will demonstrate competency in instructional and developmental theory, and in planning, organizing and implementing learning experiences for students of secondary education certification. Having participated in the total college experience according to the principles found in Luke 2:52, VFCC graduates will be prepared to begin their roles as intellectually, physically, spiritually, and socially mature leaders. They will be prepared to serve as educators, to continue professional development, and to pursue graduate level education.

The online course catalog tool is for informational and reference purposes only and may change without notice. To access the official catalog, click here to download as a PDF.
  1. Students will communicate effectively, orally and in writing, for a diverse audience within educational settings.
  2. Students will access, evaluate, and utilize current educational research and literature based on knowledge of best practices and academic standards.
  3. Students will establish and maintain professional demeanor and relationships with students, colleagues, parents, and supervisors in educational settings.
  4. Students will articulate a philosophy of education that is consistent with a Christian worldview and integrate Christian principles into professional practice.
  5. Students will design, implement, and reflect upon instruction that is aligned with best practices and academic standards and that meets the educational needs of diverse learners.
Public School Certificate (PA)

  1. Prepare competent and qualified college graduates to receive PA state certification to teach English and English-related subjects in public and private secondary schools, grades 7-12.
  2. Offer a curriculum that integrates the development of professional skills in the English language and teaching with development of Christian worldview that includes knowledge of Bible, Christian thought, and personal spiritual development.
  3. Prepare individuals to continue professional development and pursue graduate level education.


Student Teaching

Each student in a teacher preparation program is required to participate in a student teaching experience. This supervised student teaching will be completed during the student’s final semester. Students participating in student teaching must meet the following criteria:

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Completion of all academic work
  • Approvals from the Director of Student Life and the education faculty
  • Passing the PAPA test series
  • Passing of ENG 123 College Writing and Research
  • Passing an English OR American Literature course
  • Passing of two college-level Mathematics courses
Public School Teaching Certification

The Secondary Education - English certification program is designed to make the teacher candidate eligible to receive the Pennsylvania State Instructional I teaching certificate. Candidates for this certificate apply to the Education Chair who will verify the candidate’s morality, competencies, and educational qualifications and will submit a recommendation to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for certificate issuance.

In order to be eligible for the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s teaching certificate, four tests of the PECT/PAPA test series for beginning teachers as published by the Pearson Evaluation Systems must be successfully passed. It is required that the first three PAPA tests be taken in the student’s fourth semester; the remaining one before graduation. Information concerning these tests can be obtained from the teacher education office.

For students seeking to pursue graduate education, most graduate programs require a minimum GPA of 3.0 for entrance.

Course Descriptions & Related Information

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BIB 103 Introduction to Biblical Interpretation 3 credits

A practical introduction to the study of the Bible. The course provides an overview of fundamental issues of interpretation, inspiration, manuscripts, and translation. Emphasis is on basic approaches to Bible study and appropriate use of biblical reference tools. Only required for non-ministry majors.

CMS 233 Educational Technology 3 credits

This course provides an in-depth examination of technology used in the educational setting. Included are digital media applications, along with projected, non-projected and audio media. The integration of media into the lesson planning process is a crucial component of the course.

COM 123 Fundamentals of Public Speaking 3 credits

A basic course in public speaking designed to provide both theory and practice in principles of effective speech composition and communication.

ENG 123 College Writing and Research 3 credits

This course stresses the writing process and introduces the skills necessary to conduct college-level research. Emphasis is placed on argumentative and analytical writing supported by research. A passing grade of C- or higher is required.

HIS 233 U.S. History – Colonization to Reconstruction 3 credits

A survey of the major events and individuals in United States history from Colonization to Reconstruction. Critically examines various topics of interpretive interest in American history such as the coming of the Europeans, Puritanism, religious freedom, the Revolution, slavery, immigration, industrialization, urbanization, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.

HIS 243 U.S. History – Reconstruction to the Present 3 credits

A survey of the major events and individuals in United States history from just after Reconstruction to the present. Critically examines various topics of interpretive interest in American history such as immigration, industrialization, urbanization, the rise of Big Business, imperialism, the New Deal, the Cold War, Vietnam, the civil rights movement, etc. No prerequisites required.

LIT 253 American Literature Survey I 3 credits

This course will offer students the opportunity to read widely among the various literatures of the Bible and its literary counterparts found in poetry, prose, and fiction. The course will attempt to explore and analyze the relationship between the sacred and the secular by using works from John Milton, C.S. Lewis, T.S. Eliot, George Herbert, William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, and several others. Several traditional as well as modern models of literary criticism will be considered.
Prerequisite: ENG 123 or 497.

NWT 113 New Testament Survey 3 credits

A panoramic view of the chief events, prominent characters, main themes and salient teachings of each New Testament book in relation to its historical, geographical and cultural contexts.

OLT 123 Old Testament Survey 3 credits

A study of the historical settings, literary features, authorship, theological teachings, and general content of the books of the Hebrew Bible. This survey provides a factual and practical groundwork for further studies in the Old Testament.

PHE 281 Health and Nutrition1 credit

This course is an overview of personal health and stress management strategies for identifying and preventing health problems. Successful exercise, wellness, and nutrition programs are introduced.
May be taken one time only. This course is required of all students.

PHL 113 Worldviews 3 credits

This course will examine and apply principles involved in the development of a worldview. The course will emphasize the development and application of a Christian worldview. Special emphasis will be given to critical, creative, and Christian thinking skills.

PSY 383 Educational Psychology 3 credits

A study of learning processes with practical applications for classroom teaching. Topics include human development, the impact of culture and community on learning, learning theory, motivation, testing, and assessment. This course includes a practicum involving observations and interviews with persons working in educational settings.

SOC 103Life Formation3 credits

A practical study of the classic spiritual disciplines that are essential to lifelong spiritual formation from a Pentecostal perspective. The course will emphasize intentional and holistic applications in daily living.

THE 233 Introduction to the History and Theology of the A/G 3 credits

A study of Assemblies of God antecedents, history, government, doctrinal emphases, distinctives, and missions.

Major Requirements

EDU 113Adolescent Development3 credits

This course examines the major concepts, principles, theories, and research related to the adolescent’s cognitive, social, sexual, emotional, and moral development. Through course readings, class discussions, and student assignments, students will apply knowledge of adolescent development to professional settings in the U.S. (i.e., school, classroom, NGO, and/ or church).

EDU 263 Principles of Adolscent Education 3 credits

A study of the social, philosophical, and historical foundations of education with special emphasis on the application to contemporary educational settings and issues. The course requires a practicum and a practicum journal.

EDU 285The Writing Process3 credits

A course in the basics of English grammar and mechanics for the middle/secondary level education major. The writing process, paragraph and essay structure journals, portfolios, and writing domains are examined. This course includes methodology for teaching writing and the writing workshop approach. Prerequisites: ENG 123 or 497

EDU 340 Methods of Teaching ELL 3 credits

A course designed to prepare students to teach English language learners in ESL classes and in
mainstream content area classes in public and private schools in the United States and to teach EFL in a foreign country. Included are theories of second language acquisition, program models for ELLs,
curriculum development, and lesson planning using a variety of methods to integrate the teaching of
English listening, speaking, conversation, pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing with
content area objectives.
Prerequisite: CMS 233.

EDU 383 Field Experience 0.5 credit

The aim of the field experience program at Valley Forge Christian College is to provide education students with a progression of opportunities to apply theory to practice in an authentic educational setting. During the two semesters prior to student teaching, students spend one full day or two half days per week (secondary education only) in a local P-12 classroom at a grade level appropriate for their certification. The VFCC Field Experience Coordinator secures all field experience placements. Every education student at VFCC, regardless of the certification program, takes EDU 383.  Students are concurrently registered for specific methods courses required for their degree program have assignments related to the field experience.

EDU 413 Multicultural Education 3 credits

This course explores what it means to be an effective teacher in a society that is increasingly diverse.  We will focus on the skills and dispositions teachers need to provide high quality instruction for all students, regardless of their class, race, ethnicity, gender, or religion. 
Prerequisites: EDU 103, EDU 263 or ECE 123.

EDU 443Classroom Management 3 credits

This course is an overview of various strategies related to classroom instruction. Topics include effective teaching strategies, generation of classroom rules and procedures, maintaining appropriate student behavior, and strengthening communication skills. Note: This is a senior level practicum course designed to be taken just prior to the student teaching experience. All lower level education courses should be completed before taking this course. Prerequisite: CMS 233.

EDU 453 Assessment and Measurement 3 credits

This is an introductory overview of the policies and procedures used in the measurement and assessment of educational performance. This course provides the foundation of basic measurement concepts as well as hands-on experience with assessment tools. The primary focus of the course is on measurement and assessment strategies for all learners including the use of standardized, informal, and curriculum-based procedures. Attention is also given to the diagnosis and program planning of students with exceptional learning needs. The field experience portion of this course is designed to provide students with school-based experiences relevant to academic assessment methods and procedures of all learners.
Prerequisites: all methods courses.

ENG 173Intro to Linguistics3 credits

This Course examines the six branches of linguistics and traces the historical development of language families from a Proto-Indo-European parent language. Within the Historical exploration, there is a focused examination of the development of the English language from the Anglo-saxon period to the modern. In addition to changes in language over time.the course also studies such variations in language as registers and dialects. Particular areas of concern for the Language Arts teacher candidate, such as primary and secondary language acquisition, cognitive disability and language, physical disability and language, and neurological disability and language also come into examination.

ENG 223Creative Writing3 credits

Structured as a writing workshop, this course encourages students to develop a personal writing style and voice through experimentation with writing short stories, drama, and poetry. Skill in revising and marketing are taught. Prerequisite: ENG 123 or 497.

ENG 333Writing for the Media3 credits

This course will introduce students to various types of mass media writing -- print and broadcast journalism, public relations, advertising and online media. It will develop skills in information gathering, interviewing, organizing, writing and revising media writing and in judging the quality of current media writing. Students will learn how to create a weblog or online “blog” and become an expert in a niche field. The class will teach students to look at a news story and determine the best media to represent it. Prerequisites: ENG 123 or ENG 497.

LIT 203Understanding and Appreciating Poetry 3 credits

This course will focus on the study of poetry as an art form, literary genre, and medium for personal expression. Students will develop skills necessary for reading, analyzing, and understanding poetry while examining the works of renowned poets. Prerequisite: ENG 123 or 497.

LIT 243English Literature3 credits

A critical and historical study of selected English literature from the fifth century to the present. Representative authors from each period are selected so that students may gain an appreciation for outstanding authors and an understanding of the society in which each lived. Prerequisite: ENG 123 or 497.

LIT 254American Literature II3 credits

A study of the major writers, works, and movements from the Civil War to the Postmodern period, with an emphasis on literature that reflects diverse cultures such as Native, African-, Asian-, and Hispanic-American. Prerequisite: ENG 123 or 497.

LIT 291Literary Criticism3 credits

A study of literary theory and contemporary interpretive practices, including formalist, biographical, psychoanalytic, historical, structuralist, poststructuralist, sociological, Marxist, feminist, reader response, and deconstructionist. Prerequisite: ENG 123 or 497.

LIT 325Literature for Adolescents and Young Adults3 credits

The course explores quality adolescent and young adult literature, censorship of adolescent and young adult literature, various approaches to reading adolescent and young adult literature, including reader response criticism, close reading strategies, and contemporary critical theories; the imagined reader(s) of young adult texts, and, by extension, the recent history of the cultural construction of the “teenager”; the application of cultural theories to analyses of adolescent and young adult literature as not only literary texts but also parallel cultural artifacts and mass-produced products; issues of multiculturalism, globalism, and diverse audiences and subject matter; and the relation of adolescent literature to “classic” adult literature. Prerequisites: ENG 123 or 497, and EDU 113.

LIT 363World Literature I3 credits

A critical and historical study of masterpieces of world literature from the Ancient World, Middle Ages, and Renaissance. Prerequisite: ENG 123 or 497.

LIT 364World Literature II3 credits

A critical and historical study of masterpieces of world literature from the Enlightenment through the Postmodern period. The course includes Western and non-Western literature and deals with a variety of literary forms including poetry, drama, short stories, novellas, and non-fiction. Prerequisite: ENG 123 or 497.

LIT 433Shakespeare & His Contemporaries3 credits

A study of Shakespeare’s tragedies, history plays, comedies, and romances, their distinctive features and cultural and historical context, with an emphasis on a critical analysis of the text and an appreciation of Shakespeare’s great artistry as a dramatist. Prerequisite: ENG 123 or 497.

SEC 373Secondary Education Curriculum and Methodologies3 credits

This course will explore current practices in the teaching of language arts in secondary schools. Prospective teachers enrolled in this course will learn to plan appropriate learning activities, to assess their students’ progress, and to reflect on their own teaching and learning experiences.

SEC 466Student Teaching12 credits

Student teaching is a 15-week capstone semester in which the pre-service teacher integrates the pedagogical content knowledge acquired in the teacher education program in either a middle/junior high or a senior high school. This is a hands-on experience in which the student teacher candidate progresses from assisting the classroom teacher to gradually assuming control of the classroom for the entire day. The student teacher candidate participates fully in the life of the classroom by planning and implementing instruction, managing the classroom environment, assessing student progress, and working with school personnel. Student Teaching must be taken concurrently with SEC 471, Student Teaching Seminar.

SEC 471Student Teaching Seminar1 credit

The student teaching seminar provides small group interaction with the student teaching supervisor and fellow student teacher candidates to share experiences of the student teaching placements. Final certification requirements and school law issues of concern to a classroom teacher are discussed. Assistance with navigating the job search process, including resume writing and interviewing is also included. SEC 471 must be taken concurrently with SEC 466.

SPE 223 Introduction to Exceptionalities 3 credits

Provides an overview of the basic characteristics and unique life and educational needs of individuals who have been determined to be exceptional in mental, physical, and/or emotional characteristics. Topics of study include but are not limited to: learning disabilities, mental impairment, emotional and/or behavioral disorders, mental health disorders and multiple and severe disabilities. Emphasis is placed upon understanding differences from a biblical perspective. This class is open to all majors and is required for education majors.

SPE 403 Inclusion and Collaboration 3 credits

This course is a survey of the basic characteristics and unique educational and life needs of children who have been determined to be exceptional in mental, physical, and/or emotional characteristics. It is also a brief introduction to those educational and related services that are collectively known as “special education” in contemporary public schools and the inclusion of those students in the regular classroom. A ten-hour field experience is included as part of the course.
Prerequisites: EDU 103, SPE 223.