The social studies secondary education program prepares students to meet the educational requirements leading to New York State Initial Certification in Adolescence Education required to teach social studies in grades 7–12, with an extension for middle childhood that qualifies the holder to teach social studies in grades 5–9. The program supplies a knowledge base that provides the background knowledge necessary for teachers to implement the NYS Learning Standards for students in grades 5-12.
C205 Classroom Building
1300 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-5412
Fax: (716) 878-3882
Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75, a minimum GPA of 2.75 in all history and social science courses, and achieve acceptable evaluations on the PRAXIS II: Subject Assessment in Social Studies Content Knowledge exam. An interview with the program coordinator, department chair, or other designated official is mandatory, and formal acceptance into the program is necessary.
Prerequisites for Student Teaching: See prerequisites for SSE 409 and SSE 410.
A departmental honors program is also available. Students should contact the department for additional information.
The social studies content core constitutes a 42-credit major in social studies that consists of study in economics, government, and a minimum of 33 credit hours of study in the history and geography of the United States and the world (see “Total Required Credit Hours in Social Studies,” below).
All program majors are required to complete a minimum of 150 clock hours of field experience related to coursework prior to student teaching. These field experiences consist of observations, individual tutoring, and the teaching of small groups of students under the supervision of certified teachers. These experiences are an integral component of the pedagogical core courses specified in the previous section, with learning outcomes specified and their achievement evaluated by course instructors.
Students complete a minimum of 30-35 clock hours of field experience in each of three courses: SSE 200, SSE 303, and SSE 309. Another course, SSE/HIS 488, will be used by students to complete the additional 50 clock hours in field experience required for the grades 5–6 extension. The department has established relationships with several “high-need” urban and suburban school districts where field experiences are held. All majors will have study and experiences that together provide a solid foundation for teaching in high-need schools.
To student teach, students are required to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 and a minimum GPA of 2.75 in the social studies major, as well as obtain a minimum grade of C in SSE 303 and SSE 309. All majors meeting these requirements must enroll in two practicum courses following successful completion of all other coursework, and satisfaction of English and math competency requirements. Placements for these practica include urban and suburban settings. The urban placements may be in high-need districts that provide opportunities for student teachers to work with students from diverse backgrounds, including socio-economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, and students who are English-language learners. Experiences include individual and group instruction, daily and long-view planning, unit teaching, classroom management and routine procedures, use of audiovisual aids, community resources, record-keeping, evaluation procedures, and participation in the total school program.
History majors who do not become teachers are qualified for careers that require a solid liberal arts training with an emphasis in history. Such careers include positions with government agencies such as the U. S. State Department, Customs Service, and Immigration and Naturalization Service, and with businesses that conduct international trade. Skills acquired through the program include analytical thinking, creative thinking, and the ability to address problems from many perspectives. History is also an excellent background for careers in communications because a knowledge of history lends a depth of understanding to print, broadcast, and Web journalists.
Students who choose graduate school typically pursue advanced degrees in history, law, or related fields.
Social studies majors are qualified to teach social studies, including history, in middle and high schools.
Intellectual Foundations Requirements 39–66 cr
Program majors should enroll in an introductory psychology course, such as PSY 101, to satisfy their Intellectual Foundations requirements. It is recommended that majors take history courses to meet their civilizations requirements.
Total Required Credit Hours in Social Sciences 42 cr
A. History of the Western Hemisphere (15 cr)
HIS 106 History of American Life I
HIS 107 History of American Life II
HIS 308 History of Early Canada
HIS 316 History of Modern Canada
HIS 326 History of the Great Lakes Region
HIS 314 Modern Latin America
HIS 415 History and Government of New York State
B. History of the Eastern Hemisphere (15 cr)
HIS 230 World Civilizations
Select two courses from the following:
HIS 115 Foundations of Western Civilization
HIS 116 Europe Since 1500
HIS 117 Twentieth-Century Europe
Two upper-division electives (any Asian, African, or Middle-Eastern world history courses).
C. Geography (3 cr)
GEG 300 World Regional Geography
D. Political Science (3 cr)
Select one course from the following:
PSC 102 Introduction to American Government
PSC 220 The Development of American Constitutional Law
PSC 320 U.S. Civil Liberties
E. Economics (3 cr)
Select one course from the following:
ECO 101 The Economic System
ECO 201 Principles of Macroeconomics
ECO 202 Principles of Microeconomics
F. Seminar (3 cr)
HIS 300W Research and Writing Seminar
Total Required Credit Hours in Professional Education 30 cr
EDF 303 Educational Psychology
EDU 416 Teaching Literacy in Middle and Secondary Schools
ENG 309 Teaching and Evaluating Writing
EXE 100 Nature and Needs of Individuals with Special Needs
EXE 372 Foundations of Teaching Adolescents with Disabilities
PSY 357 Adolescent and Young-Adult Development
SSE 200 Introduction to Secondary Teaching
SSE 303 Methods and Materials in Teaching Middle School Social Studies
SSE 309 Methods and Materials in Teaching High School Social Studies
SSE 370 Computer Technology in the Social Studies Classroom
SSE 402 Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Social Education
SSE/HIS 407 The Teaching of History
Total Required Credit Hours in
Field Experience and Student Teaching 15 cr
SSE 409 Student Teaching of Social Studies in the Middle School (6)
SSE 410 Student Teaching of Social Studies in Senior High School (6)
SSE/HIS 488 Internship: Middle Childhood and Adolescence Education
One Year (or Equivalent) of a Foreign Language 6 cr
Total Required Credit Hours 135 cr