Middle Level Education Social Studies

Middle Level Education Social Studies Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) with Certification

Middle Level Education Social Studies

Open students' eyes to the world of geography, history, government and current events.

Become a middle school social studies teacher with a bachelor's degree in middle level education and grades 4-8 social studies certification from PennWest California.

 PennWest California has a history of producing top-quality teachers for more than 165 years in Pennsylvania and beyond. Our middle level education program adheres to the standards of the Association of Middle Level Education (AMLE), and takes a hands-on approach to teacher training that includes:

  • Fieldwork experiences in local Pennsylvania
  • A full semester of student teaching.
  • In-depth courses grounded in evidence-based teaching practices.
  • Full preparation for Pennsylvania grades 4-8 teaching

 You'll graduate from PennWest California's middle level education program with the knowledge, skills and disposition needed to become a top middle school social studies teacher.

Program Highlights: Middle Level Education

Top Professors: All program faculty members have experience teaching in childhood education classrooms and can relate theory to real-life experiences. You'll work closely with professors who are available, approachable and ready to answer your questions, provide personal assistance and give you resources for career success.

National Accreditation: PennWest California's bachelor's degree in middle level education is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Our education programs have also been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, and we are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). This program is nationally recognized by the Association for Middle Level Education.

Top Accreditation: This  degree program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In addition, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accredits PennWest California. CAEP promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement. See CAEP reporting measures of program impact and outcomes.


Weeks of student teaching in a grades 4-8 classroom with increasing levels of responsibility for planning, instructional delivery and assessment.
Is the average annual salary for middle school teachers according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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Degree Benefits

Benefits of earning your PennWest California middle level education bachelor's degree with a concentration in social studies include:

  • The development of proven teaching techniques in both general middle school and specialized social studies teaching
  • Fieldwork and student teaching in local Pennsylvania middle schools.
  • On-campus seminars that keep you up to date on current education topics and trends.
  • Job placement support from faculty, alumni and PennWest California's Career and Professional Development Center.
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Graduate Outcomes

PennWest California's middle level education bachelor's degree with a concentration in social studies will give you the hands-on experience and key teaching credentials that school districts look for in new hires. Our student teaching and fieldwork requirements ensure you graduate with the confidence and resume you need to hit the ground running in a variety of educational roles. PennWest California program alumni have gone on to careers as:

  • Public or private school
  • Para-educators and remediation teachers.
  • Children and youth services members.
  • Substitute teachers and recreation services instructors.
  • Curriculum authors, and more.

Curriculum and Related Courses

This bachelor's degree and teaching certification program will give you in-depth training in grades 4-8 education and specialization in the teaching of social studies. Upon successful completion of this program, you will earn a bachelor's degree and will be eligible for Pennsylvania teaching certification.


Course Credits
General Education Courses 40 or 41
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar
ENG 101  English Composition I
Public Speaking
EDU 350  Supporting English Language Learners
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
MAT 120  Elementary Topics I
Health and Wellness
CHD 250  Teaching Health and Physical Education
Technological Literacy
EDU 333  Technology for Teaching and Learning
ESP 210  Special Education Foundations and Collaboration
Fine Arts
Any Fine Arts Course
Natural Sciences
Any Natural Sciences Course with Lab
3 or 4
Social Sciences
GEO 100  Intro to Geography
Ethics and Multicultural Emphasis 
CHD 350  Family and Community Collaborations
General Education Options
  • MAT 130  Elementary Topics II
  • British/American Lit Course (from approved list)
  • HIS 101  U.S. History to 1877
Required Major Courses 45
ELM 200  Intro to Middle Level Ed 3
ELM 220  Instruction and Assessment in Grades 4-8 3
ELM 301  Reading Methods, Assessments and Interventions (Grades 4-8)* 3
ELM 302  Language Arts Methods, Assessments and Interventions* 3
ELM 311  Math Methods, Assessments and Interventions* 3
ELM 321  Science Methods, Assessments and Interventions* 3
ELM 331  Social Studies Methods, Assessments and Interventions* 3
EDU 375  Intro to Integrated STEM Education 3
ELM 415  Middle Level Education Field Experience* 3
CHD 413  Content Area Literacy Field Experience*
CHD 450  Assessment and Data Literacy* 3
ELM 461  Student Teaching and School Law* 12
Concentration Courses 18
HIS 102  History of the U.S. since 1877 3
HIS 112  World History since 1500 3
HIS 200  History of Pennsylvania 3
POS 105  American Politics 3
ECO 100  Elements of Economics 3
Select one of the following courses:
  • ECO 200  Current Economics Issues
  • ECO 201  Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECO 202  Principles of Macroeconomics
  • GEO 105  Human Geography
  • GEO 217  Demographic Analysis
  • GEO 220  Geography of N. America and PA
  • POS 101  Contemporary Policy and Politics
  • POS 306  The Congress
  • POS 310  The Presidency
Required Related Courses 15
ESP 311  Assessment and Positive Behavior Interventions 3
ESP 412  Evidence Based Practices* 3
PSY 206  Adolescent Psychology 3
PSY 208  Educational Psychology (PSY 100 waived) 3
MAT 181  College Algebra 3
Free Electives 3
Total 121

Additional requirements, not counted toward the General Education requirements, include:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): ELM 461 Student Teaching and School Law
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): ELM 415 Middle Level Education Field Experience AND CHD 413 Content Area Literacy Field Experience 
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): Any Natural Sciences Course with Lab

* Courses marked with an asterisk are restricted to candidates admitted to Teacher Education.

Program Notes:

  • All courses required for certification with C- or lower must be repeated.
  • All ELM, CHD and ESP courses require current clearances and minimum 2.5 GPA to register for courses, except ELM 200 and 220, which require 2.0 GPA to register.
  • Candidates must follow policies for Admission to Teacher Education as stated in the Teacher Education Handbook.
  • Pre-requisite for ELM 220 and all 300-level ELM and CHD courses is ELM 200.
  • State licensure exams must be passed before student teaching.
  • Current clearances are required prior to enrolling in program courses. 
  • Approved American/British Literature Courses are: ENG 107, 125, 127, 148, 150, 155, 160, 203, 301, 302, 337, 338 and HON 250. (HON 250 has a pre-requisite of HON 150; the 300-level ENG courses have pre-requisites of ENG 101 and 102.)

View Course Sequence

Related Courses
A PennWest California student works with middle school students.

Course Spotlight: Technology in Teaching

Learn the skills and concepts for applying technology in the middle school classroom. This degree course focuses on current technologies (such as computers, mobile devices and online tools) and how to effectively incorporate them into your lesson plans. The class emphasizes building knowledge, increasing technological skills, understanding best practices and applying your learning in an educational setting.

Students learning in the classroom.

Practical Skills that Make a Difference

"I can't express how valuable the education program was to me at PennWest California. ... Learning how to analyze student data and how to make changes to my instruction to meet students' needs enables me to provide the best education for each student that I have on a regular basis." - Amanda Bilitski '15

A PennWest California student educating middle school students.

Professional Development Schools

As a middle level education major at PennWest California, you'll you have the opportunity to travel to nearby Pennsylvania middle schools to practice instructional delivery in real-world classrooms. These Professional Development Schools (PDS) collaborate with PennWest California, and often hire program graduates.